We are celebrating with the usual jumpy birthday party with friends, because that is what Leo likes. There will be cupcakes and pizza for the same reason.
We will also give him a few presents. But mostly we are using this milestone to acknowledge that our boy is become a teenage dude, and no longer a little kid. So while one of his presents is a Monsters University DVD, another is a room makeover -- working with him, asking him about taking down the stamper paint 1-2-3 posters he made years ago (he said yes) and putting up a Star Tours poster instead. Removing the colored, preschool-style toy bins and replacing them with clean white shelves for relocating some of those toys. Replacing cutesy puppy sheets with cozy red fleece ones.
Nothing is going away permanently, not at first. We'll store most of his kiddie stuff in the garage for a while, in case he asks for it. Because he does that, sometimes, and knowing things are retrievable is reassuring way for him to manage transitions. Pluse these changes are hard for all of us, especially sentimental mothers who wish their kids could stay kids just a little longer.
If you'd like to honor Leo's 13th birthday, his school would be most grateful for a donation of any size. Just click through to the school site and click the Donate button. Thank you.