Say, can you help me? I’m pretty sure I left a four year old around here somewhere. I know I saw him last night. I tucked him into bed and gazed at his sweet face. Maybe I even took a picture of him lying there, looking all four. But this morning, I can’t find him anywhere. I did find this neat five year old wandering around, but he can’t possibly be *mine*. I mean, do I look old enough to have a five year old? I think not.
Or maybe I am. It so turns out that the big five year old wandering around *is* my son Grey. And what a fine young five year old he is.
I did a big post not so long ago about Grey, and what he’s up to. In the incremental way of children who are no longer babies, he’s continued to build on those foundations. Emotionally, he’s more in control of himself. He is very empathetic and kind towards his brother and others (although he maintains a great dislike and disdain of ants). Physically, all his skills continue to come together towards a refinement of motion. I can see laid the foundations where he surpasses me, the vigor and sureness of youth overtaking the experience and practice of age. His balance is excellent. His fine motor skills are improving. He’s fast (although not QUITE fast enough to beat me in extremis… yet).
I’m very impressed by how Grey is doing at aikido. We had a period where we stepped back a bit from pushing it because, as Grey described it, there was “too much love”. He also explained that he was tired after school on Wednesdays. (Duh.) Now we have a rule that he should go once a week, but we never need to enforce it. we ask him if he wants to go, and he says yes. He goes with great cheer and no complaining. He listens on the mat. He sits still. He pays attention to the lessons. He runs hard. He laughs and has fun. He’s still a little goofier than martial arts call for, but I’m incredibly proud of the attitude he bring to it.
Reading is going from a task of great effort to a background processing activity. I admit that there are uncomfortable moments — he can totally bust us when we spell things out now. He totally knows what that sign says (Donut) and whether the flyer you just handed him is actually for him. (It’s not.) It’s a real joy to listen to him read. He’s playing a Bakugan DS game, and it has all these really hard quiz questions on the Bakugan. He’s asked me to read a few to him. I have no idea how he’s getting them, but they seem to make sense. His language acquisition isn’t totally perfect, of course. He still has challenges with the past tense. But he read all the birthday cards that were sent to him this year!
Grey can be super polite and considerate. It’s stopped being a constant nagging on our part, and begun to be a part of who he is and how he talks. Even when he doesn’t SAY please or thank you, his tone of voice is charming and pleasant (as he constantly begs for treats). And I LOVE his excitement. Tonight we went THE 99! He jumped up and down and clapped his hands and squeed and hugged my leg. He kissed me and said I was the BEST MAMA EVER. Honestly, I think I could win the lottery and be less effusive. But that’s to my detriment — I love his energy and enthusiasm and joy in life!
I think it might be a fool’s errand to try to encapsulate why I love him so much — the myriad ways he charms me. NPR today included a quote that says, “A beetle is a gazelle in his mother’s eye”. I think it is one of the blessings of humanity that mothers are so charmed by their children, and that children shine at least in the eyes of their parents. It’s one of the good things in life, this half-blind reciprocal joyful loving between parents and children (in between the patches where we drive each other crazy).
Every time I write a blog post about one of my sons I worry. I worry that the OTHER son will figure out that this son is my favorite. Of course, then when I go to write about the other, I have the exact same worry. In a mathematically and linguistically unlikely way, I’ve come to realize that BOTH my sons are my favorites. I just really like them.