"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~e e cummings

Monday, April 14, 2014

Seven? You Got This, Evan

About a week ago, Sam was out of town for work. We usually use the Divide and Conquer approach to bedtime, so we were going to have to switch things up a bit since I was on my own. When the kids were all finally washed, dried, jammied, combed, and brushed, I told the boys to go play quietly in their own rooms while I put Molly to bed.

I finished an abbreviated bedtime routine with the littlest and went to see what kind of messes were created during the boys' playtime. Instead, I found both boys tucked into Max's bed, a pile of books next to Evan. "Evan's reading to me, Mommy!" Max gushed as soon as he saw me. Before I could offer to take over, Evan waved his hand, shooing me out of the room, "You can go fold laundry or something, Mom. I can read to him."

"But I don't have any laundry to fold..."I started.

"Then just go into your room and relax or something. I got this."


Evan, you're the best big brother there ever was.
You love them when they're babies...

Evan and Baby Cousin Kieran

You love them when they're slightly bigger babies...

(You even tolerate them when they're getting into your stuff.)

And you share your excitement of Getting Bigger with them as they follow in your footsteps.
And they love you....So Much.

You are Getting Bigger so fast, Ev. And as much as I wanted you to slow down and stay my *little* boy when you started to take your first steps away from me (to kindergarten, then to first grade, needing less snuggle time and more time playing by yourself or with your neighborhood buddies...)
I don't want that anymore.

I love this Getting Bigger thing. You are so smart and you ask such great, thought-provoking questions...about life, and science, and history, and beliefs. I can picture what our dinner conversations are going to look like in a few years when we're (hopefully) past the "Stay in Your Seat"/"How Many More Bites Do I Have To Take" phase....and I can't wait. You want to know things that I don't have answers to...like how is it, exactly, that evolution actually happens? And, what was it like to live in the Wild West if you were a kid? And what was it like in the 1880s ("when you were a kid, Mommy."). And, what's going to happen if the bees all die? And so many questions about Star Wars...thank god for the internet. 
I love hearing what makes you wonder.

As you Get Bigger, your confidence does, too. You wanted to sign up for gymnastics again, after taking a break for the winter. During your first class, you did a cartwheel like a pro. No hesitation, no over-thinking. You just did it. And then you turned to me, waiting in the Parents' Room behind a large window, and you flashed me a thumbs up. You got this. 

During your second class, you did a cartwheel (with only minimal assistance) ON THE BEAM. And you blew my mind. But again, just a quick thumbs up and you were off to your next challenge. 

Last week was a tough week in gymnastics...not for you, you were loving it...but for your brother and sister who were Not Happy to be spending an hour in a 2'x3' space with only the books and Lalaloopsies I had brought for them for entertainment. I was busy with them, trying to keep them quiet and happy and not whining, fighting, or crying, and hadn't had a chance to watch any of your practice. But somehow, by some miracle of lucky timing, I looked up and watched as you did your very first unassisted backwards flip over the bar. That one surprised even you. You dismounted and whipped around to meet my eyes...the look on your face I'll never forget. Equal parts "I did it!" and "Holy shit!" and "Did you see that?"

I did see it. I also saw the pride on your face when you accomplished something you'd been working towards but had never done before...and whether I had been there to see it or not, that feeling wouldn't have changed. YOU did it. 

Getting Bigger is so awesome, buddy. And I'm not going to wish for time to slow down anymore. I'm going to enjoy this as much as you are.

Because, let's face it.....you're not all Grown Up quite yet. There's still a goofy little boy not too deep beneath that Big First Grader exterior....

You wanted me to take a picture of your "messy" face after eating a cupcake.
I can still count the times you've actually needed a napkin on my fingers.

And nothing, nothing, gets you goofballs going like throwing around a few potty words. A few weeks you came home from school with a big announcement...for Max. "Max, come into the playroom for a minute," you said, and of course he followed. And of course I perked up my ears. "Did you know that weenie is another word for penis? It really is." (That damn school bus.) Max started giggling, which got you going, until you were both beside yourselves with laughter. You both tumbled out of the playroom, anxious to share with me and Molly the new addition to your vocabulary. "Weenie! Weenie! Weenie!" Max sang as he danced around. I furrowed my brows at you in disapproval. "What?" you shrugged with contrived innocence, "It's just a part of our body!" I shook my head, but promptly turned to hide my smile. I mean, c'mon....Weenie? It is funny. 

But as you Get Bigger, you are starting to learn that there actually does exist a brand of humor beyond the Potty variety. In fact, I've heard you tell Max a few times lately that he's taking the potty talk too far. "Max," you'll state with Big Brother Authority, "that's totally inappropriate."

Your humor is becoming more clever...you love a good joke (though you're still honing your joke-telling skills...we have to do the "Wait, pretend you don't know the answer" routine at least once or twice with every joke you tell so you can get the punchline right) and you're figuring out puns and word play. The other day, at lunch,  you told me a story, one based on a favorite character, but completely your own: 
"Once upon a time, Amelia Bedelia's mom said to her, 'Amelia Bedelia, I want you to go to Amazon and get some new boots.' She meant that she wanted her to go to Amazon.com, you know, the website? But Amelia Bedelia misunderstood her and went to the Amazon rainforest instead! She took the boots right off of someone who lived there!"

But regardless of whether it's potty talk or a witty pun that elicits it from you, there is nothing, nothing, like the joyful, infectious sound of you laughing. I wish I could bottle it up and listen to it on rainy days.

Six has been a big year for you, buddy.
First lost tooth....

First time in a space chair....or cranial x-ray machine...

First cartwheel...first handstand...first time trying a tortilla (this was huge)...first time playing outside with the neighborhood kids by yourself, while I was inside with the other kids...first time braving the carpool drop-off line at school...

And...my favorite....first time reading a Big Kid series independently. 
Reading? Oh, yes. You got this.

We were talking about the magic of reading one day recently. "It's like a whole world exists inside your head that wasn't there before," I told you, "that's why reading is so amazing...an author can make you have certain thoughts or feelings just by putting words together into a story...they can introduce you to characters and worlds that once only existed in their minds...but now they're sharing them with you." You thought about this for a minute, then said, "I think you should read these books after I finish them. Then you'll have the story in your brain, too, and it'll be like we know what the other person is thinking."

I hope you always let me in on what you're thinking.

I love our moments together when it's just the two of us. They can be hard to come by, some days...

But we find a way. We always will.

Lesson Learned:

Thumbs up for Seven, Evan. It's going to be a great year.

I love you more than you could possibly know. Lots and forever.

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