I’m sure it’s uncool to admit this, but I’m sort of totally besotted with my seven-year-old just now. Maybe it’s because I picked up a couple of new things for him at Target yesterday and he’s finally now wearing trousers that come past his ankles, along with a groovy navy hoodie, but he looks like a whole new – big – kid to me. A handsome, smart (in the good way), sensible (mostly), listening (sometimes), cool quirky individual with a personality all of his own.
He hums to himself and sings choruses of his own composing, he pitches and catches and bike-rides at high speeds, he reads and writes (albeit reluctantly), he loves math homework. I gave him a joke book for his birthday, as I had a hunch that if anything could get him reading it would be a bunch of cheesy, predictable, corny jokes – and indeed, he labours through each one, sometimes needs the punchline explained, and then appreciates the heck out of each and every old chestnut.
|Have new coat, will wear|
He won’t be kissed any more, and any goodnight kiss I might happen to land on him is quickly swiped off and sent back to me. But if I have to wake him up for school – I never thought the day would come, for my 5am two-year-old, but it has – I plant a good few smackers on his warm sleepy cheek and he grins through his dreams and can’t muster the energy to push me off. Hugs are still okay, even awake, and he’ll still surprisingly hold a hand.
He can’t see me with a camera without hamming it up to the nth degree, which is why I have a lot of photos of superhero poses and cheesy grins and not many of his bright handsome face looking the way it should. He’s lost and gained two bottom teeth, and the gap where he knocked out one top tooth in babyhood finally looks right, though the replacement isn’t poking through just yet. He looks like his father, like my mother’s brothers when they were young; not like me that I can see, but others can, they say. His eyes are blue, his shins are bruised, and he always seems to need a haircut.
He’s miraculous, hilarious, and totally irritating. He’s irrational, loud, stubborn, infuriating, and a pain in the neck, but his heart, I think, is in the right place. He plays gently with the younger kids, until he forgets and shows off. He adores and tolerates his rambunctious little sister and puts up with her nonsense and her imperious demands for the one corner of the sofa that everyone wants, and he knows exactly how to push her buttons until she screams and stomps off in high dudgeon.
He was an obsessive three-year-old, deeply devoted to Spider-Man and constantly wanting to make machines and have us build things for him out of cardboard. His obsessions have levelled off as his interests have expanded and his abilities have caught up with his imaginings, but he still devotes a lot of thought to inventions he’s planning and characters he’s inhabiting. He just has other outlets now, his own internal life and friends at school and things I’m not involved in, just as it should be. That’s what we’ve been preparing him for, after all.
I’m not saying he’s Done or anything, but he seems to be coming along quite nicely. And I like him a lot where he is right now.