Well, my friend, another year has gone. You are 7.
First grade is just about done, a wild summer of bike camp, camping, golf lessons, and learning how to skateboard is ahead of you.
That skateboard is something you have talked about for months. It’s been the carrot we have held out to get you to practice your reading. You are getting there, but you’re not quite there yet. You memorize books, you don’t necessarily read the words on the page. You use the pictures in the books for a lot of cues, but you’re getting there. You just need to practice, and the skateboard was the bait.
You love playing baseball despite never playing on a team. That’s something daddy has got to get on. You do swimming lessons all the time, and you played soccer in the spring, but more team sports for next fall will be on the plate. And next summer it will be baseball. You can hit the ball very well, I toss it overhand, and you get it every single time.
Your grandparents visited this weekend and you proudly read books in French and English to your grandpapa. (and hit a few homeruns off him too)
Your bilingualism is astounding, le grand monsieur. You are quickly gathering a deep vocabulary and understanding of the language. You and I can sit and talk at the dinner table in French, having full conversations. Truth be told, it is I who is struggling to find the words to keep up with you. While I worry about your reading, I’m not worried at all about your grasp of language.
So back to the skateboard. Like reading, it has been a challenge for you over the first weekend. You’re not a fan of challenges. It took a while to convince you that you could ride a bike, for example. However, once you got success at it, and realized you could do it, you love riding. So we have to convince you that success will come with practice. You’re getting there, but you’ve got to learn to trust yourself.
It’s hard to believe just a year ago you still had training wheels on that bike. Now, you and I go on long bike rides to your school and back. And we’ve even tackled some of the more complicated single track mountain bike trails on Paskapoo Slope. See, bunny, you can do it when you try!
Last weekend we made our opening weekend trek to Calaway Park and you rode the ‘big roller coaster’ for the first time. Last year you were a little shy to try, this year you basically dragged me to the front of the line to do the big drop and corkscrews on the Vortex. You were terrified, you were thrilled, and you did it! (now you just have to convince your Daddy to do it again with you)
Your best friend is Tipe, he lives behind us. You also play a lot with Rihanna, Jaxon, and Nolan at school. Axel, your best friend from Junior Kindergarten, came to your birthday party this weekend and you guys still get along like gangbusters despite seeing each other 2 or 3 times a year.
Your love of your little brother knows no bounds. You are proud to share and show him off to the world.
You are empathetic to him and to others when they’re down in the dumps. You’re creative in your imagination and storytelling.
Last week you sat down at your desk and, unprompted, took a pen to paper and wrote a little story about the LEGO scene you had just built. Your words were nowhere near spelled properly, but your story had a beginning, middle, and end.