Aidan, age 5.
And Ian, age 5.
But only for 6 more minutes.
For on December 8, Aidan turns six, and the magical nine days is over.
Nine days ago, Ian woke up on his 5th birthday. He usually sleeps in 'til 9:30 or so, but on that morning, he was dressed, down to his shoes and socks, before 8.
"IAN!" I exclaimed in not-quite-mock astonishment. "What are YOU doing up?"
"It's my BIRTHDAY!" he beamed. "AIDAN! I'm five like you!"
He thinks he's the coolest kid ever, being five like Aidan.
And Aidan thinks it's pretty cool, too. With his cool little smirk, he said, "Only for nine days, Ian. Nine days."
For those nine days, the boys are on even turf. There are no hierarchies. No king-of-the-hill battles. They are twins.
Ian got a $20 check from his Grandma and Grandpa, and when we went to Target to spend it, Aidan whined about not having his OWN money to spend. "But Aidan, it's not your birthday yet," I tried to explain. "You'll get yours in nine days."
He was almost okay with that, but Ian wasn't.
"Aidan," he said. "I'll give you ten and I'll have ten, 'cause ten and ten makes twenty."
Aidan smiled so sweetly, I kissed him right on the lips.
"Ian, when I get my birthday money, I'll share it with you, too."
And I knew he meant it.
Tomorrow, Aidan will be six. Once again, he'll be the older brother. Ian will be the little one. There will be squabbles and turf wars and hierarchies.
But for nine days each year, it all vanishes.
Happy birthdays, boys. You make me love being a Mom.