Today is my son's 11th birthday. We're doing a simple party at home tonight after his sisters get off work. Nothing fancy, but he'll have fun. I talk about my kids a lot, especially my boys, but today I thought I'd tell you some specific things about Nathan ...
Nathan is an avid bird enthusiast. He has two bookshelves filled with bird books. They aren't books for kids, but field guides, books about individual species, books on birds from all over the world, even coffee table books. Nathan's been known to throw members of the Audubon Society off with a question. He once asked one of the members what the little dangly thing was called on top of a California quail's head. She didn't know. We later found out it's simply called a topknot or plume. Another time he was on one of the rides at Disney's Animal Kingdom. All the people were looking at the elephants and other big mammals when Nathan excitedly points out, "That's a Victoria Crowned Pigeon! It's the biggest pigeon in the world." Rick ended up asking one of the bird experts in the aviary and he said the same thing. Amazing. He also collects those stuffed Audubon birds that make realistic sounds. His collection is huge.
Nathan loves to write stories. I've posted a few of these on my blog before. He comes up with some really good plot ideas, too. I'm always encouraging him to write them down while he still remembers them. He literally has stacks of spiral binders filled with stories, illustrations, and other ideas. His new interest is Word though, so now I find him typing away on the computer. He likes formatting his stories and leaving blank spaces so he can come back and illustrate them.
One of Nathan's favorite things to eat are Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies. Seriously, we can't keep them in the house. I wish I could buy them in bulk at Costco. He has been a pretty picky eater up until recently. Lately, he's been trying new foods, like shrimp and halibut. Considering how many brownies he puts away, I still have hope for him.
Nathan is a Lego fanatic and can put even the largest sets together in record time. He sits at the table with the instruction book and doesn't stop until he's done. Some of his favorite Legos are from Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and soon ... Harry Potter. He's getting some of those today for his birthday -- shhhh! Other toys he likes are Hot Wheels, G.I. Joe, Go-Gos Crazy Bones, and remote control cars. He's also really into video games -- both PC and PlayStation. Hell, I can't even figure out how to turn the TV on!
Nathan isn't very athletic, but that's more my fault for not getting him into stuff. He's taken swimming lessons and loves riding his bike, but he's never really been into group sports. He and Neil are just getting into golf. We bought them some used golf clubs and Rick has dug holes in our lawn (sigh) for them to putt around with. He's expressed an interest in taking lessons, so maybe that's something he can do in the spring. He also loves hiking, kayaking (he's getting pretty good at paddling now), camping, sledding, and snowshoeing. He can play a mean game of air hockey, too.
Nathan seems to have an uncanny ability to save money. He has more than me, anyway. He says he's saving for a car. Unlike Neil, who spends it as fast as he gets it, Nathan puts his away. Yesterday he received a birthday card from his aunt & uncle with $25 cash in it. Neil's been spending his money left and right, so Nathan wanted to give some of it to him. Being the mean mom I am, I made him keep it himself. In addition to saving his money, he's also generous. Whatever he decides to buy, I know he'll share it with Neil.
Nathan is pretty smart and I don't think this has much to do with my homeschooling abilities. The other day he was working on his history lesson and one of the questions was to locate a certain capital in one of Canada's providences. We had the globes out and were searching for it, but we couldn't find it. He gets up and goes to the computer and the next thing I know, he's found it on Google Earth. HA! And there I sat like a dummy, squinting my eyes, still trying to locate it on the dumb globe. He never ceases to amaze me.
So, all in all ... he's a pretty cool kid! Happy Birthday, Nathan!