this year you turned 7. wow. you are taller and kidder than ever before. although of course you are always growing, these past few weeks especially it has become increasingly obvious. your ankles and belly are sticking out of everything, even the pieces you insist still fit. and most of what still fits still fits because it is voluminous on you. long enough and much too wide. you continue to exhibit my metabolism — eating many things and gaining no weight. you are busy and strong, though, with a great enthusiasm for running and jumping and laughing and wrestling.
you still love soccer and were very excited to start jp youth soccer this fall. practice is twice week (although we usually only make one) with scrimmages on sunday afternoons. the scrimmages are the highlight of your day — you have been waiting and waiting to play “real games” and you are always to proud when you score. your feet are pretty amazing. you can tell you love the game and have been studying it, you are always getting just a little bit better and you really love playing with anyone who will take the time in the backyard.
big brother meets baby brother
this year was part kindergarten/part first grade, both of which you loved. i thought for sure the transition back to school from the holidays was going to go worse than it did both times, but you like school enough that so far going back after time off always goes better than i fear. you are always pretty wiped out — you work really hard both emotionally and intellectually at school to keep it together — by the middle-to-the-end of the week, but you don’t resist going back. you really do enjoy learning and it’s so fun to watch you grow this way. you continue to love math and you are starting to enjoy drawing and to be proud of your writing as well. first grade has brought upon an explosion of reading that’s astonishing to see. we can’t spell in front of you anymore and you’ve annoyingly started reading over our shoulders at the computer! well done and also stop that! but watching you read to yourself or — more endearing still — to your brothers is absolutely one of the most amazing sites. you are growing up quite a bit, my love.
playing games with grandpa
getting bigger means more responsibilities too. you have taken on more chores around the house. you don’t like this, and you complain and sulk a bit about it, but you are always proud of a job well done. well no one likes chores, frankly, so who can blame you for the sulking? but i’m always proud when you do what you’ve b sen asked to do too. you walk yourself home from the bus stop these days too. this is particularly fabulous because it means your baby brother can take his nap without being disturbed most afternoons. it made you nervous, at first, to walk home by yourself, but now you have more confidence. i’m proud that you can look both ways for cars and that you managed to be brave until you felt comfortable. now what i’d really like is for you to be able to walk yourself to the bus, but i guess there’s time for that yet too.
speaking of baby brothers, you are a big brother again! you handled the change beautifully. i guess babies are old news to you now, but still, it was wonderful to have you welcome into our lives with such open arms. you adore him and are just as loving to the new baby as you care to calum. they are both lucky to have such a great older sibling in their lives. that’s not to say that there’s never a fuss about little brothers in this house, but for the most part you are loving and patient and kind. hugo adores you, and you are very careful with him. you and calum will watch him for me while i’m in the other room working or cooking, play with him just for fun on your own, read to him, and play games in froth of him just for his entertainment. you used to beg to take baths with him, but now that he is a giant monster baby who splashes too much, you have started to ask to take baths on your own (well he does make quite the mess)!
counting down to winter
you’ve changed in others ways this past year too — asked to have your hair cut into a faux hawk, which we did. it looks pretty wild but you love it. i love that you are starting to take an interest in expressing yourself a bit. you choose your clothes most (non-school) days too. you like bold color choices and comfortable pants. well, i can’t fault you for that one. you lost your first tooth in december this past year too. i can’t believe in the next year you’ll have two front teeth again! i’ve gotten so used to you missing a tooth that it will be strange to see it replaced. you have another tooth loose too, but it seems to be taking its time.
you had a “minion” birthday party this year — despicable me is a favorite. we made a minion cake and minion masks and had a minion dance party. it was a bittersweet event, a lot of different friends from all our years in boston were here, some of whom are moving far aways this summer. all of your friends are very sweet, though, and polite, and generally very lovely party guests. it was great fun to have them all over!
it actually looks like dave!
it’s been a wonderful year and i’m so proud about the great kid you are growing into! know that your papa and i love you so very much for always.