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A Bit of Burgos by Dale Burgos

    A year of firsts

Rece showing off his new piercings

Ask any person what their most memorable moment was in their life and more often than not, they mention a milestone that involved the first time they achieved something. For me, it was when I got my driver’s license, or when I first laid eyes on my wife Lizabeth, or when I held my sons for the first time. The list can go on and on, and this year is no exception, it has been a memorable year of firsts for the Burgos clan.

Let’s start with the oldest of the boys. Johnny is now in his twelfth year of school. As I wipe the tears away from my face and ignore the sounds of cracking from my bones, I have come to the realization that in just one short year, the first of our five boys will have completed high school and entered adulthood. This is a momentous first for us. And it is a realization that I am that much older and wiser. (If you ask my wife, she would definitely say older, but not wiser – clumsier maybe).

Onto our next one, William is turning 16 very soon. He is currently enrolled in drivers ed and he celebrated what he claimed was the best day of his life as he recently received his learners license. I have to say, he is a natural behind the wheel. Very confident and very aware of the rules of the road, but he still won’t be able to borrow my car. Uh uh, forget it. I know how teenagers drive and there is no way I’m letting him “drift” in my car. If I had hair, this would surely cause it to go grey.

Rece (Dale Jr.) turned eight this year, which isn’t a first for the Burgos boys, but these days it seems eight is the new 12. The conversations about toys have been replaced with chats about school, careers and the inner nuances of astrophysics. He’ll soon be developing his own iPhone app and preparing for jobs that aren’t even created yet. But that isn’t the biggest first for him. His claim to fame for a Burgos first would be that he has gotten his ears pierced. Now before you exclaim, “Dale! He is too young for earrings!” let me explain that I really didn’t have a say. I got a call from my wife as they were most likely standing in line at the mall picking out which will be his first set of studs for his youthful lobes. Of all the boys, I gotta say, this suits him the most. Therefore I wasn’t surprised, Lola Burgos on the other hand, she was surprised.

Gavin (or #4 as I like to call him) is seven this year. Grade 2 and loving it! He’s making a ton of new friends. What is his first? He’s losing teeth like crazy! The top two front teeth have come and gone and soon, the new ones will take their place. However, it wasn’t all fun and games when it came time to pull them out. His insisted that he pull them out himself, but with his low pain threshold he just couldn’t go through with it. My solution was to tell him that I just wanted to take a peek while using my ninja skills to pull it out before he knew what happened. The look of shock was heart wrenching, but the tooth was out, nonetheless. The tooth fairy felt guilty that night and he scored a few cool pesos that night.

The last and youngest of the boys started kindergarten this year. So far, Cam has perfected his alphabet and is now working on his writing. Not surprising, his penmanship is already better than mine. Kindergarten is the biggest first of his life so far and by the time he gets his learners license, I will definitely be older, wiser and most likely clumsier. And no, he won’t be borrowing the car.

Dale Burgos manages the communications department for a Winnipeg school division.

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