Friday, March 26, 2010

Birthday Boy

Today Snacks turns 7.

Truthfully, I have been thinking of him as being seven for quite some time now--six seems much too babyish for the boy that he has become.

His feet are almost as big as mine and yesterday we bought him his very first tennis shoes with laces instead of Velcro. They look like man shoes. The top of his head is up to my collar bone and he's lost every bit of his baby face. John and I look at him so often in complete admiration...marveling at how tall and handsome he is already becoming. He hasn't seemed six for so long.

So he's starting out seven with all his permanent front teeth, size 10-12 undershirts that are way too small, and brand new shoes size 3 1/2.

Snacks' favorite color is blue and his favorite clothes have Minnesota Vikings logos on them...though he refuses to wear them unless it's actually football season. His favorite foods are cheeseburgers and cheesecake--neither of which he gets very often--and he complains about most everything else. (I am missing the days when he used to eat squash and avocado and salmon and all kinds of different wonderful things, but he assures me that he'll try them again when he's older.) His favorite band is The Black Eyed Peas; his favorite song Imma Bee. (We have to keep checking all the radio stations for that song while we are driving in the car. If we get to our destination and the song comes on, we wait in the car until it's over.)

We moved past Transformers and Bakugan this year and, thankfully, have not replaced them with anything similarly trendy. Snacks spends lots of time reading books about all kinds of tropical fish and building things out of LEGOs and Magna Tiles. He loves to play board games. He is very interested in how things work and impressed Grampy this week with his understanding of electronic circuits. He is always one of the first to raise his hand and give an answer in any kind of workshop or program setting. Snacks is never shy about his broad range of knowledge.

At seven, we are three months into homeschooling, and "unschooling" seems to suit all of us very well. Snacks has much more time to pursue the things that he loves to do like reading books on subjects of his own choosing (and there are lots of them), playing basketball, taking a ceramics class, taking science classes, doing Cub Scout activities, hanging out with his grandparents, going to concerts and plays, and playing with all of his new friends. He also enjoys (though he would be loathe to admit it) spending time with Sissy whom he considers to be his favorite chess companion...because "she only ever moves her pawns".

We regularly have lengthy, truthful, and (I hope) meaningful conversations about history, government, politics, world events, society, pop culture, and so many things that I never would have thought to ask about when I was just seven years old. He always has lots and lots of questions.

Snacks seems much more eager to participate in gardening this year and has asked for snap dragons and a butterfly garden, both of which he will be starting from seed very soon. He also helped me choose the chicken breeds we ordered and is anxiously looking forward to the arrival of our first chicks in about six weeks. He tags along when we meet up with our farmers in parking lots and alleys, and especially enjoys going out to the farms themselves. We talk all the time about where our food comes from and why we procure and prepare it the way we do, as opposed to buying processed foods from a regular grocery store. We recently talked about how his generation is not expected to have lifespans as long as their parents, and why we are doing things differently so that he and his sister have the very best chance we can give them to be strong, healthy, and long-lived.

As part of growing up, this year Snacks decided that, in fact, our back yard is too small for him to build a house to live in when it's time for him to be out on his own. John and I are disappointed, of course, but we said maybe we could work something out if and when we ever build a new garage. :-)

We are so proud of our sweet, considerate, thoughtful, loving boy who turns seven today. Snacks still loves hugs and kisses and snuggling and makes me cards and valentines that say "I love you" on them. John still carries all sixty plus pounds of him up to bed each night, he loves to have me lay his clothes out for him each morning, and, thankfully, he still hasn't figured out that parents are Totally Embarrassing...yet.

Happy Birthday, Baby Boy! We love you.