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Number Nine

Although I've known Aiden for nine years, it's still hard to believe that he's nine years old. I remember the long night of his birth, nine years ago. And yesterday was his ninth birthday, so he must be nine now, right? And in fourth grade in the fall? Wow.

Anyway, there was a party for him at his grandparents' house, and he was properly if raucously celebrated by family and friends. He was gracious throughout, as he always is. He's always sensitive to the feelings of others, and he knows how to make people feel good. He has good answers and asks good questions. What more can you ask from a nine-year-old?

In fact, all of the kids were well-behaved, but not cloyingly so. The boys got a bit rowdy, but without causing any permanent damage to person or property. For most of the day, Kylie was the only girl, and she gave no ground, mixing it up with enthusiasm. Watching her, it's sometimes hard to tell what she likes more, chasing or being chased. I think it's about 50/50.

At not quite two-and-a-half, Alex is still the baby of the family, but not for much longer. That could (and definitely should) change this week, when his baby brother Jacen joins us. And while Alex can't quite keep up with the older kids, they are for the most part patient with him, and they look after him as much as possible. Kylie did a spirited call-and-response version of the alphabet with him, although he has some trouble with "W." It comes out something like "badonkadonk."

What's better than having your birthday on the day after the last day of school? Aiden thinks being nine is pretty cool, and he's pretty sure he doesn't want to be any other age. That's fine for now, but double digits are only a year away. Then, watch out, world.


Click here for more photos (and one lame video) from Aiden's big day.

Baseball: After a disastrous day in St. Louis yesterday, when they lost two games by scores of 8-0 and 7-1, the Giants had to go to a relief pitcher for today's start, but Chad Gaudin gave them what their big name starters haven't been able to accomplish lately: six innings, four hits, just two runs. And thanks to some timely hitting, they came away with a 4-2 win, to avoid the sweep.

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