Seven turned eight this weekend, and it was a whirlwind of activity.
What can I say about Eight? Every year I think he has grown so much, and changed, and yet the sweet, silly, smart inside part of him that makes him exactly who he is and no one else is always there. He was once so painfully shy and quiet that when he started preschool the teacher told me he did not say a word for the first two months. And he is still very reserved with strangers and bestows hugs and kisses only on very rare occasions, but his second-grade teacher says he is a chatterbox and at home the only way to get him to stop talking is if you give him a book. Although, even then, he will read aloud the funny parts. He tells – and acts out – endless stories. He can get so taken away by the drawn-out story he is telling us at dinner that he will forget to eat and instead stands up because if he’s sitting down it doesn’t come out right. Sometimes, when he pauses, I beg him to take a bite.
He has always touched his brother’s ears and is always searching for them. Sometimes I see him reach out and stroke a close friend’s ears in the same way; it is both intimate and distracted in that easy, careless way young boys have with each other.
He likes school, he likes being with his friends, their races the playground, and he seems to like the learning part of it too. The bits of his days he mentions the most are lunchtime and recess, yoga and chess, and when the art historian comes to restore a statue in the schoolyard with his class.
At home, he reads and draws and writes comics. He still loves Legos and building things.
He is the child who makes me look like I know what I am doing. But really, he is the one who has it all figured out.