Whew. Now that i've gotten that out of the way, let's get to the good stuff!
He loves the game. This is his second year in the after-school program where kids get together and play chess. It's called Chess Tutors, and it's pretty sweet.
None the less, he's good. REALLY good. If i'm not paying attention, the little bugger can swoop in and checkmate me faster than a melissophobiac running from a swarm of bees! And because of his skill for his age, he was invited to the 12 Annual Grand Match Gala at USC. This is where the best players from all of the local schools compete.
He sat at a table with second graders from all over Los Angeles, each one overseen by staff to help settle disputes, and to register the wins. Scoring was 1 point for a win, 1/2 point for a draw, and 0 points for a loss.
The event ran pretty much all day, which was kind of a pain, since the kids really only got 2 hours of play time in. The onerous was on you to play as many games as you could, and get the most number of points.
So i used this time to exlore my Alma Mater with my litte girl!
Maggie was a huge fan!!
Maybe if i have enough money, and the tuition hasn't double by the time she's 18, she can go to USC just like her papa!
None the less, you are most likely interested in the results of the Gala. Despite playing well, unfortunately Alexander did not get in the top 3 at his table, which is a very difficult task.
However! His school, Cabrillo Elementary tied for 5th place (out of 22 schools) and hence he received a medal!
Like i said, Alexander LOVES chess. Which is awesome, as so do i. I predict that if he keeps up this pace, by the time he is 10 years old, he will be beating me regularly.
The gauntlet has been thrown!
With some extra birthday money, Alexander decided to buy a Chewbakka mask. This would be THE MASK that makes noise when he opens his mouth.
It's as stellar as advertised!
Here's your standard 2nd grade dinosaur diorama.
His teacher, Mrs. Rawlins, is hilarious and very good at her job.
She also made some shadow cutouts of her kids. This is Alexander, although it kind of resembles Harry Potter. Isn't it amazing!?
One thing you'll notice through out his work, is that Alexander seems to have a common thread throughout. I don't have ANY idea where he got this from.
(right click to see the text of these classics larger)
And one more. If you can't figure this one out, it's self titled "Asoka Dolphin." You see the light saber that dolphin is holding? Yea. That's happening.
It's so pervasive, that the only work i was able to find WITHOUT any Star Wars references was a battle of foods. Awesome.
He is so creative, and i truly can't wait to see more of his amazing and beautiful work. Keep up the good job, my young padwan!
I know i was meant for greater things. And when they come, i know that my shoulders can bear the weight.
Future? I'm yours.
Each and every one of them.
I mean i get it. They are so curious with the world and they want to share it with you. Everywhere you go, it's "Look!" or "Look at this!" or "Look at that." They see something amazingly awesome that time itself must stop and everyone should hold their breath and glance if just for a moment.
But the truth is, that us adults have seen it. We've seen it a thousand times. Whether it be that crow that just landed on the grass, or a purple car, or somebody with a big cowboy had. There's always something new for them to see. And naturally they want to share it.
But it doesn't stop there. Too often, its some variation of the classic 'look at me, i'm amazing.' Puffed out cheeks. Tongue doing something strange. Stuffed animal in a funny position. And it happens ALL THE TIME.
Especially in the car. And that's when i've got to draw the line. I get relatively easily car sick. But if i looked back each and every time they did something or saw something, i'd be at the chiropractor daily suffering from whip-lash. I love my minions dearly, but honestly, after about 16 "look!"s in a row, i am ready to throw them out the window. So what to do?
Without stifling their curiosity, when it comes to driving, i tell them (calmly!)each time they shout out "look!" that i can't look because i'm driving. And that the #1 job of the driver is to look forward for safety, but that i would be happy to look at the next stoplight.
Effect? The "look!"s have subsided dramatically. But i can't still help to feel that i've squashed their thirst for validation at least a tiny little bit.
I guess you can't win 'em all.
Yes sir. This no-longer-so-little guy now can fully participate in masses!
So First Communion is a pretty big deal to Catholics. And so you can imagine that it's pretty much one of the most important events in a Poles life! So we pulled out all of the stops for this one.
After the church ceremony, a HUGE party was hosted at my parent's in OC. Lots of guests were invited to the party, and there were even Polish caterers, making delicious feasts for all.
My brother (the GOD-father) and his kids and some of his extended family made it to the reception. We were even graced with two Fraters from St. Michael's Abbey, one who played the guitar.
Alexander's day was so special. Thank you to all who made it happen!
So what did we do? He got eight special surprizes squeezed into 4 hours from yours truly! Here they are:
1) 8 Balloons on pickup
2) A container of chilled tasty fresh black berries
3) No more booster seat!!!
4) A package of gummy bears for the ride
5) Ice skating!
7) Grampa & Grandma visit
8) And of course.... a Star-Wars LEGO set
Have a Happy Birthday, my little man. Don't blink, because in exactly one decade, you'll be 18!