Reyna looked up from their book and smiled, indulging their son’s whimsy. “Is it?”
The child grinned, waving the plastic dinosaur in his hand. A colorful array of the jurassic age lay on the grass at his feet. “Yeah! I’m seven and four monfs.”
Reyna couldn’t help but laugh. Jax had only learned about the months recently and he was proud to show off his new knowledge. Part of them loved the childlike speech and hoped he would never grow out of it, but part of them couldn’t help worrying that he wouldn’t.
“It’s not your birthday,” Edd told his brother. The older boy was kicking a ball around the yard.
“Edd,” warned Reyna, but Jax broke in.
“It is too my birfday! I was born on the sif-”
“The sixth,” his brother corrected him.
“S’what I said! And today is the sif!” Jax slapped at his brother’s arm. Edd stopped kicking the ball. He didn’t seem hurt; just annoyed.
“Jax.” Reyna called out in the same warning tone. “We don’t hit.”
“You don’t have birthdays for months; only years,” Edd insisted and returned to his game.
“Mama, is it true?” Jax ran to Reyna. His eyes were large and his lower lip trembled.
They sat up and held out their arms. Jax climbed onto their lap and they wondered how much longer their youngest would want to do this. Edd had started to distance himself around this age. They smelled Jax’s hair, the scent a mixture of soap and earth and the faintest hint of the adult Jax would become. “Of course not, Jax,” Reyna told the child. Edd stopped playing and glanced at his mother, a mixture of anger and curiosity on his face. He did not like being corrected but, like his brother, he was always eager for new knowledge. “A birthday is what you make of it.”
“But it’s in the name,” Edd asserted. “Birth. Day.”
“Ah, but there’s nothing in the name to say it has to be on a yearly basis,” Reyna pointed out, the corner of their mouth curling with promise, “and I love any reason to celebrate my boys.”
“Celebrate?” Jax asked.
“Yes, why not?”
Lexi stepped out onto the porch, drying her hands on a dishtowel. “Did I hear something about a celebration?” Her red eyebrows drew upwards.
“We’re celebrating my birfday!” Jax announced.
“Oh, are we?” Lexi exchanged a glance with Reyna, who shrugged.
“Yeah. I’m seven and four monfs.”
“So you are,” agreed Lexi. “What an interesting precedent to set.” This comment was directed towards Reyna.
“It’s not a president, Ma,” said Jax. “It’s me!”
Even practical Lexi laughed at that. “Well, then, let’s celebrate your birthday, but month birthdays are always smaller celebrations. Year birthdays are the big ones.”
Edd smirked. “I told you.”
“You did not!”
“I did so!”
“Boys, if we are going to celebrate, I’m going to need you to clean up,” said Lexi. Both of her sons looked at her. “We don’t have to celebrate…” She let the statement hang.
“Will there be cake?” Jax asked.
Lexi sighed and Reyna knew she was thinking about the logic of having a cake every month. They jumped in. “Let’s see.” They put a finger to their chin and rolled their eyes skywards as though thinking. “If I remember right, each month is different. Only a year gets the cake, but four months...that’s cookies.”
“Cookies!” Both boys were excited.
“Yes, but we have to make them ourselves. That’s the rule,” Reyna stated. “And we can’t make them until everything is cleaned up out here. That’s another rule.”
The boys became a whirlwind of activity, grabbing toys and putting them away. Edd even helped Jax with his dinosaurs.
“Glad I just washed the dishes,” Lexi muttered. Reyna stood and went to their wife, wrapping their arms around her.
“We’ll clean up.”
“Damned right, you will,” Lexi said, kissing them, “but I’m helping make and eat the cookies.”
“Never doubted that,” Reyna said, between kisses.
“Done!” Jax announced.
Lexi reached out and pulled him into a hug. “Then let’s go celebrate your birthday. What kind of cookies are we going to make?”
“Chocolate chip!” Jax told her.
Edd asked Reyna, “If cookies are the fourth month, what’re the other months?” Reyna and Lexi’s eyes met over the boys’ heads and they started laughing. Edd looked from one to the other. “What?”
Reyna told him, “You’ll just have to wait to find out.”
“Now, let’s go make some cookies,” said Lexi.