I Love Seven

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Well, to be completely truthful, six to seven is really cool.

(Er, “six to seven” what?)

My younger boy turned seven in October, and though he’s growing up, he still hasn’t lost a bunch of wonderful characteristics of this age.

  • Absolute wonderment at the smallest things: baking soda and vinegar is amazing, the way gears mesh together is delightful, and bugs are cool.
  • Independence, but not so independent as to not hold my hand when we’re walking down the driveway from the bus, or so independent that he won’t crawl up into my lap to watch some TV but fall asleep in the middle of the show.
  • A power to pretend which defies any explanation I can come up with: this age is endowed with the most powerful ability to pretend I have ever witnessed.
  • Real-world oblivion: though it drives T. and me crazy sometimes, he’s able to focus so tightly on what he’s doing (whether it’s pretending, reading or playing) that he becomes totally unaware of the real world. This has led to some very entertaining moments.
  • Simple is better: whereas his brother, age 9, is getting into the phase where his Lego contraptions need more detail, a few blocks and plates are enough to elicit the essential characteristics of a Tie Fighter, X-Wing, or, with a few more blocks, a whole Imperial Starship Destroyer. Some of the most elegant models I have ever seen are these simple models.
  • The beginnings of craftiness: On Christmas morning, T.’s message to the kids (she was downstairs with them already) was, “We can have Christmas if Dad says it’s OK.” His message to me was, “Mom says it’s time for Christmas.” And the other day, he and two of his friends sprung a plan to get the three of them together at a local game place. Of course, they each decided that the idea was another kid’s idea. The parents felt both “had” and proud of their scheming.
  • Childlike faith: his understanding of the Bible and what God and Jesus mean to us is so much more concrete in him than it is in me. He takes these things as absolute truth, without question. There have been many times over the past year that I’ve wanted to be like him.
  • Physical prowess, master of his universe: I don’t have to worry too much anymore about him and whether or not he’s going to fall, trip, or otherwise take a spill. He’s comfortable in his body and it shows. Every time he (or his brother, for that matter) run and fall on their knees to skid into the kitchen, my knees scream in sympathetic pain. Of course, it doesn’t bother their knees.
  • Cuteness: first graders are just about at the peak of their cuteness, something which starts at birth and continually increases until some of the awkwardness of eight, nine, etc., kicks in. I love picking this guy up at school and watching the herd of children, all of them miniature humans, running, playing, interacting, laughing, and, generally, being cute. And there’s nothing better than watching a game of huddleball (you and I know it as “soccer”) or seeing this age in other competitive activities.
  • Irrational Exuberance: This kid is just as likely to sit at the dinner table, waving his arms around in the air, singing to himself as he is to cry at the least of infractions, which is just fine. Emotions come and are expressed easily, whether through wild armwaving or something akin to a dance, or verbally with nonsense syllables, or in song, or through more visceral means, such as laughing, crying or yelling. There’s no doubt what is going on in that mind of his, and it’s wonderful to witness.

And on top of all of this, he absolutely loves and adores his parents and brother. I am glad that he absolutely trusts us with his well-being, even though he wants to take care of himself more and more.

It’s a delight, this age.

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