Sunday, February 12, 2012

Six Years

I'm posting this a few days after your birthday this year, not for any lack of love or admiration, but really because this seems to be the kind of year it has been.  Nothing coming right on time, an extra helping of chaos and not enough time to do the things we want or need to do, no matter how important they are.


Well, Little Dog, another year has passed and once again I'm wishing you yet another happy birthday.  As I type this I realized pretty soon I'm going to need to quit calling you "Little Dog" except maybe in the ironic way the biggest guy at school gets nicknamed "Tiny."  You are growing by leaps and bounds, long and lanky already, I see visions of the future where your frame dwarfs papa and me. Most people react with surprised when they hear you are just now six.  Not only are you tall for your age, you are very verbal, your vocabulary and ability to turn a phrase is not like other kindergartners I've met.  Paired with your cynical humor, it can be hard to believe you are as young as you are.  It's pretty amazing.  And yet, this is not without a downside.  You often get mistaken for being older and the expectations of that more advanced age are imposed upon you even as you work through the milestones appropriate for your own age.  It must be so frustrating for you.

And I've seen this frustration in action.  Not just with the unfair expectations, but with your inability to control the world around you.  You seem to have a little steam in your system at all time that just waits for the right circumstance to boil over.  Stress or disappointment can turn your cheerful self into a tornado of chaos that can be hard to manage.  You've worked hard on coping skills, and at times you manage it so gracefully, even to the point of helping others cope with their own frustrations, but if too much is up in the air those skills seem to elude you.  It is hard to watch at times, but I've been assured it is completely normal and as you learn more about yourself you'll gain more control.  I know, I remember being there myself as a kid, and perhaps that is why it pains me to watch you navigate that same course.

But let's not let the bumpy parts eclipse the amazing.  And button, you are certainly that.  Amazing.  Your are naturally athletic, managing to jump and leap and twist with such fluidity that even just taking a walk can seem like a display of gymnastic skill. While you may not love team sports, or at least not the losing part of competitions, you seem to pick up the basic skills quickly and with such grace.  As an ungainly and clumsy person, I often just watch and smile.

You are not always excited about traditional learning, practice repetitions of basic skills are perhaps a bit too slow, but any kind of experiment turns your mind on.  Science, art, even cooking lights you up as you make combinations and test your theories.  You've decided against a career as a spy and now want to be a scientist.  Though when I explained that becoming a scientist takes many years of schools on a day you told me you had more or less already had enough of the daily school routine, you balked.  In fact, your response was, "I don't want to be a regular scientist!  I want to be a mad scientist!" as though there were different qualifications for that chosen profession.

You have a strong sense of justice. Playing fair is important to you, well, unless you are the one taking the unfair advantage.  You want rules applied evenly and will probably struggle with this for a long time to come as the world is an unfair place. As much as people should do the right thing, they often don't and you can't take the responsibility for bringing them all in line.  It is too big a job for one kid.

No matter how big you get, you have not yet lost your love of cuddling.   You melt right into my arms, head against my shoulder in a way that just fills my heart with warmth.  It defies words. As you grow it gets harder to hold you on my lap, but that doesn't deter us from trying. You are my baby no matter how your physical size may try to contradict it.

Six years ago I took my first look into your dreamy blue eyes and fell so deeply in love with you.  I've been crazy for you ever since.  Happy birthday, big guy. I love you always.

1 comment:

Sybil said...

Oh this is so sweet! Happy birthday Little Dog! I have to say so much of what you wrote reminded me of my 5yo. *sniff*

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