Simon is 7. And what a great 7 years it has been. There are ever so many reasons I consider myself the luckiest mom ever to have him for a kid, and especially my oldest kid, but since he is 7, I’ll limit myself to sharing just that many.
1. He’s not afraid of responsibility. We often ask Simon to help out with Oliver and Elsa and he doesn’t shy away from it. He knows he is older and more capable and he is willing to step in and step up to make our lives easier — even if it makes his life a bit harder.
2. He is a solid contributor. When I went to visit his class last fall, I was surprised and pleased to see how readily he raised his hand and shared his views. I know part of my pleasure stems from the fact that I am still not comfortable doing that kind of thing, but aside from my parental pride, it is nice to see that he is engaged and feels like a member of his class and the community.
3. He thinks things through. We all know that Simon likes not just to know things, but to understand them. The other day at lunch, for example, he asked about water bubbles: how they get there, what are they made of, and especially what is the force that creates the border of the bubble. I had no idea, but I thought it might have something to do with electrons. He’d read about it in a Star Wars science book and needed clarification.
4. He’s focused. Simon has a lot of interests, and when he gets into it, he really gets into it. Chess, soccer, robots, magic, machines are a few of the interests he is and has explored in depth. And yes, he plays soccer in our apartment. I never thought I’d be grateful for the narrow hallway, but it makes a surprisingly useful soccer pitch in a pinch.
5. He likes to be silly. For such a thoughtful, intelligent, and nerdy kid, he does more than his fair share of laughing. And it makes me so happy to know that even though there are things that weigh heavily on his mind — like eternity, the nature of time, and the millennium — he doesn’t let those weighty matters weigh him down. He appreciates a good joke and a silly rhyme as much (or more) than the next kid.
6. He takes joy in his siblings. Even when Oliver and Elsa get in his way or ruin his stuff, he doesn’t let that ruin his respect and love for them. He loves that Oliver is a bit of a class clown and really appreciates his jokes, and he’s on the front lines cheering Elsa on as she jumps (again and again and again) from the couch or toy box. Even though he is pretty competitive and sometimes gets a little anxious when someone does something better than he does, I think he’s learning to not let it bother him and just be happy that someone else is good at something, too. (Let’s hope this isn’t wishful thinking on my part.)
7. He’s a handsome little kid. As exhibited below. I rest my case.
And one to grow on: He has vision. He can see things in his mind, on a large and small scale, and thinks that he can make it happen. Lately he’s been talking about being an inventor when he grows up and inventing transportation systems (mostly to get him to and from school). And he can talk (and talk and talk) about the other things he is imagining — whether it is related to games that he plays, things that he’s learning in school, or something he heard about somewhere else.
It’s that skill that is possibly the most exciting and intimidating for me. I can see that he has such great potential — but I worry, as many other parents do, that I won’t be able to give him the skills and experiences to help him reach that potential. Then again, I know he is confident, focused, responsible, joyful, sharing and so many other things that will help him on his way. So I should probably just learn to trust him to do his thing and not get in his way.
What a kid he is. What a kid.