A few of us (Zoë, Benjamin, me, and maybe even Phoebe) wrote birthday balloons for Alexander on time for his birthday, but the rest of us...didn't. Rachel and Miriam were coming home for dinner but otherwise were more or less living at Grandpa's house, life was generally pretty hectic through mid-October, and we didn't formally get around to writing birthday balloons until Miriam's birthday.
So below are both sets of October birthday balloons. First we have Alexander's...
Happy birthday to you! Love ya, Alex!
Many happy returns on Alex's birthday!
It's hard to believe you're six years old! You were just Phoebe's age when we moved to Georgia. Pretty incredible to think of all you've learned in the past few years.
You are a sweet, silly and serious, curious and cautiously adventurous kid. You are kind to your friends and siblings, thoughtful, and helpful around the house.
You are clever and creative and so determined to learn what you want to learn.
The exciting thing is that there is still so much for you to experience! Maybe this year you'll learn to ride a bike or dive off the diving board or any number of things!
I love who you were, I love who you are, and I love who you are becoming!
Amazing that you love owls
Eccentric about your family
You were 5 and now are 6. I love you so much. You are amazing. I hope you have a great time being six until you're seven (in one year!)
Lovely little boy (you're a great person to be a around!)
Excellent learner (you're good at everything you do!)
For eXample, you are so happy to do piano lessons with me (I need to do a lesson with you!)
Happy Birthday, Buddy!
I love you and can't wait to see what you do this year!
Alex! You're such a silly, sweet, and conscientious kid! You're always happy and try to have fun and you do good school work and great chore work. I'm so excited that you're six now! Happy belated birthday!
Happy (late) birthday! I can't believe you're already six, you're growing up so fast! You're a smart, kind, talented, funny kid, and I'm glad to have you as a little brother. I'm excited to see how much you'll learn and grow this year. I love you!
P.S. I think you're smarter than the average crow, by the way.
Aficionado of owls
Loving little brother
Excellent at math
Xylophone (why must you have this x in your name?)
Now, the crow thing I will explain a little bit. On October 23rd, we were discussing things at dinner and Benjamin said, "I read a lot about crows today. Did you know that the average crow is smarter than the average first grader? Like they have better problem solving skills and..."
"Well, the average first grader isn't all that smart," Rachel said.
Alexander squeaked out an offended gasp.
"Oh, no!" Rachel said. "I forgot he was in first grade!"
"Wait," Zoë said. "He's not! He's in kindergarten, not first grade!"
"Phew!" said Rachel.
"For what it's worth," Miriam said with grandeur, "I think you're smarter than the average first grader."
"For what it's worth," Rachel said, with even more grandeur, "I think you're smarter than the average crow."
While we were cleaning up from dinner, Alexander went to the white board to write down his new affirmation: I am smarter th[a]n a crow!
And now for Miriam's birthday messages...
First from me:
Maker of music and cozy knit muffs, so very fond of marshmallow fluff, collector of friends—mes amis— and good stuff, I am not sure there is ever enough time to describe your magnificent traits! You're dependable, clever, thoughtful, and tough, so funny—you think of jokes right off the cuff! Your hair is fantastic; it's thick and your brush suffers from struggling through the blonde scruff (though scruffy you're not; you're really good-looking), and now I'll sum up by saying, I love you. I luff you, I luff you, I luff you, beaucoup! I think you're the best! Happy birthday to you!
You rock! You rule!
Thanks for being a wonderful person and fun part of our family! You're awesome at developing your talents and learning and you'll keep doing amazing things. Happy birthday!
Miriam, you are...14! You should be proud of yourself for filling this year with love, joy, and music (a talent you have cultivated for years). I love you!
From Alexander (spelling preserved because...it should be):
I love you so much!
You're *almost* 15 now! (I'm just kidding. You're not. Stop rounding up so much.) You're smart, funny, and so talented at everything you choose to do—organ, piano, knitting, sewing, and so many other things. I seriously can't believe that you're this old already (it makes me feel old. Rude)! You're a fun person to hang out with, and I'm glad you let me make you read all the books and watch all the movies and shows that I like. I love you!
Dear Miriam: I can't believe that you are 14! The year is passing so, so fast! Love you!
Rambunctiously musical sister!
I love you!
Musical! Like me!
These October babies are some good kids!