"I'm a little freaked out and scared," my daughter confessed. When I responded with a concerned why, she said, "'Cause my brother's gonna be 8 and that sound so old!." Yesterday was Du's birthday and he is reassuringly still the same sweet kid he was at 7. The two years before this one, he cranked through 3 shoe sizes a school year and in 1st grade went from size 5 clothes to size 10! He's been mistaken for a 10 year old at least 3 times and he's even been asked if he was in 5th grade. For the time being, though, his growth spurt seems to have relaxed a bit.
Don't get me wrong, 8 is big. The years fly by. But he's still enough of a child to love his new Folkmanis puppet owl with the head that swivels around. He loves the Harry Potter series and has already cast his new owl as Harry's faithful pet, Hedwig. She does a pretty fair impression of Ron's owl, Pigwidgen as well. Du and his sister have had much fun producing and acting all the parts in DIY plays and videos based on the Potter series.
He's a pretty mature kid sometimes, too. When I offered to get over sized chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, bedecked with shamrock sprinkles, at Costco for his class celebration, I thought he'd jump at the suggestion. Instead he surprised me by saying, "Mom.....I don't know if ginormous cupcakes are a good idea. My class gets kinda squirrely with regular cupcakes so they might be really crazy with the huge ones." I finally talked him into it, since they use simple sugars and are much tastier than the smaller corn syrup laden cupcakes available at the local grocery chains. And the "ginormous cupcakes" were an equally huge hit and nobody got too much squirrelier than usual.
If I could impart any words of wisdom to my son for his 8th year, they'd be this: Childhood magic lasts such a short time and you have a lifetime to be grown up. So enjoy being a kid as long as you can and savor each age for the new adventures and experiences it brings. I read a quote once that you carry in you all the ages you have ever been.
Two cars ago, I used to have a bumper sticker that said "When I grow up I wanna be a kid." Well, being a Mom is kind of like that. So carry with you the sweet innocence of babyhood, the affectionate nature of toddlers, the inquisitiveness and open mind of preschoolers, and the strength, humor and playfulness of early elementary school kids.
The growing up adventure continues. And don't worry, little sister, you've got the best big brother ever, to lead the way.