Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Month, Day 22: Lionheart

His Mom sent me a message: 

"You set the bar high for desserts, Karyn. We were out for dinner last night and Leo tried a sticky toffee pudding. His verdict? "It's not as good as Karyn's." Don't get him started on your banana split."

A little while later I got this one:

"Can we make it a date on the 22nd of October, around noon? Leo would love to celebrate his 6th b-day with a special Three Hills banana split.

So today, right about noon, the front door swung open and in sprang Leo, followed more sedately by his elder brother, James, and his longsuffering parents, who were willing to drive from Calgary to Trois Lumps for a banana split.

First, drinks - a peach Italian soda was deemed "too fizzy" but the root beer which replaced it was just right. The boys came to the Wall of Great China to select china cups for their parents' tea and carefully carried them back to the table themselves.

Then a visit to the bookcase to pick out a game or two. Leo was very decisive as to what was going to be played  on his birthday celebration.

Lunch disrupted the game temporarily; and after the butter chicken curry and shepherd's pies were consumed ("I'd like soup; I HATE salad!"), the all-important moment arrived.

Banana splits, of course - but did he have to share with James or, now that he was six in a matter of hours, could he have a full one for himself? 

James, tranquil James, said that he could share or have his own. Leo decreed that he needed his own; I backed him up - after all, he was SIX now!

One of the most delightful things about these two young men is that guests sitting at nearby tables have expressed their pleasure at seeing how well behaved they are and how cohesive their family unit is. One couple put it this way: "When we first saw two young boys sitting near our table we were apprehensive; but they were so polite and so quiet that it was a joy to observe them and to be near their table."

The banana split arrived and Leo blew out the "6" candle we had for him, being careful first to make a wish. And when they were getting ready to leave, he came behind the counter and got the Ovations for the family.

Alex and I were talking for a few minutes at the counter and when I was laughing about something or other Leo had said, Alex commented wryly, "Leo leads a very passionate life. He feels very strongly about everything."

And that's why I'm drawn to Leo. He has been aptly named, this child who knows no half measures. Imagine the King of the Jungle being half-hearted about something! Leo draws you into his world with gusto. He is engaged in everything that goes on around him, and you can't help but follow suit.

My wish for you on this all-important sixth birthday, my dear Leo Lion Cub, is that your heart will remain strong and true and that it will lead you in the right direction for your life. Thank you for loving the TH, and thank you for having a wonderful elder brother like James to look up to, and thank you even more for bringing your Mom and Dad back into my life all these years!


  1. Wow -- you're making me tear up, Karen! Been a busy weekend of Leo "drawing us into his world with gusto" and it's nice to hear the positive side of it -- it can be easy to miss at times ;)


  2. Dang, but those Carswellians make good-looking kids. Lovely to see.


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