My son is sleeping away in his room, literally unconscious of the fact that he turned eight half an hour ago.
There is no baby left, hardly even a little boy. This kid is a full-fledged kid with amazing superpowers — actual physical and mental muscles that surprise everyone — including himself — with what they can move.
It is the age of reading by himself, doing magic tricks, getting pretty good at basketball, trying desperately to play video games in a household that limits them severely, falling in love with math and science, paying attention sometimes to the news and being disturbed by what he finds there, developing best friends, having people start to cheat off of you on tests, not allowing his mom to buy him clothes unsupervised, and picking out (and dancing to) his own music.
Good god, my kid is funny. And in that really smart way, not just in the funny-sounding-farts or well-heeled-pratfalls kind of way. I need only direct you to earlier posts for examples of his wit. I used to laugh so as to humor him. Now he genuinely (and even intentionally) makes me laugh so hard that tears pour down my face.
He loves to swim laps — his record is 36 at one go — and given his long, thin frame, I think he could really go places with it — I mean go places other than back and forth across the pool.
Still on the table from last year: kung fu, reading chapter books that are a hybrid of text and comics, Legos, Pokemon, and the preferred daily uniform of t-shirt, basketball shorts, and flip flops.
If I had to name one development as my favorite, it’s my son’s newfound ability to empathize deeply with me — not to mention other people. He and I have butted heads on and off for years, but suddenly in the last year he understands why and when I get upset. And he tries not to upset me. And he voluntarily apologizes when he does. It’s nice. In this and many other ways, I feel like we are understanding each other more and more these days. There are times when I think there is no one on earth I would rather spend time with.
There are also times I want to chain him to a radiator. But those times are fewer and further between.
I’m sure there are times he wants to chain me to a radiator. And I’m sure I’d deserve it just as much.
I keep wondering if I’ll ever stop thinking, “This is my favorite age.” So far, I keep updating that award.
Happy birthday, sweetest boy. This is my favorite age.
And for posterity, some quick stats: today you are 4’7″ tall, weigh 74 lbs., and wear a size 5 shoe.