Arlo woke up at 4:00 this morning.
“It’s my birthday party and tomorrow is my birthday and I am just so excited!” he said. He didn’t stop talking all day. Allllll day.
Right now he is sleeping soundly, though there is still light in his room because the kids keep moving the blackout curtains aside so they can see outside. Kids! Outside will still be there tomorrow! Shut your damned eyes and slumber. I would.
I don’t know anything about eight year olds. I didn’t buy the book this year. However, it’s the beginning of a new birth year and those always seem to go well (except for the first one, and the third) so right now I’m going to say: hooray for eight.
Arlo at eight is moderate and often seems very grown up. He sometimes gives in to his younger, more tetchy sibling and his unreasonable requests. (Arlo at eight also lost it and hit that sibling because he broke a promise. The promise in question? To “show [me] his coolest face.”)
Arlo at eight craves mastery. He tried road hockey, is currently obsessed with basketball, can ride a bike and a scooter, can tie his shoes, finally, and is interested in all the sports. All of them. He wants to play football and soccer and baseball and lacrosse. We, his parents, are confused by this, as we are of the clan sit-around-and-think-too-much (except, ahem, when one of us is running for “fun”) and we don’t care much for sports, but he wants to be excellent at something, and having already mastered reading, writing, math, and being a fabulous guy, sports and surgery are the only things left.
I get to.
Also I don’t think surgery would be a good choice. He might sever his own toe. (when do children stop being clumsy if ever? Maybe I need the book after all.)
(age: four years)(we mysteriously have no photos from 2009)
He opened gifts at his friend-birthday-party today and after each one looked the friend in the eye and said, “I love this! I will use this A LOT.” His genuine appreciation for gifts — no matter how big or small — makes my heart glad.
He eats and analyses food (“this tastes sweet but creamy but not good somehow”) and sweats like a … relative of me.
He is even-tempered, and forgiving. He understands things like mixed feelings and conflicting statements. He gets where you’re coming from. When people get hurt, he winces along with them. He laughs at my jokes. He allows me to sing along with the radio, sometimes, because he appreciates passionate singing and good drama.
He wanted an eight-layer rainbow cake for his birthday this year. I tired at the seventh layer (actually the fifth, but I couldn’t very well stop at yellow) so we agreed the pink layer could be the frosting. “My friends might wonder why my cake is pink,” he said, “but they’ll understand when they see the rainbow.”
(all becomes clear when you see the rainbow.)
Happy 8th, Arlo. Infinity year. Year of hatching dreams, chasing rainbows, and eating more vegetables.
You bet I’m serious. This is your mother speaking.