Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Six Years Old

I'm a bit late with this birthday post. I wanted to get it right. And lately I've felt this sort of urgency to just stop and BE with you. So I've spent time this week and last building all your new toys with you. I've cleaned your room for you to make room for this expanding collection of tracks you've amassed. I've spent it decorating the house for Halloween with you. I've spent it reading chapter after chapter of The Witches. And because you're you, you've been so grateful, giving me hugs, telling me thank you. Your gratitude is so sweet and pure, I sometimes feel like you deserve more. For your birthday your Aunt Sarah took you to build a car. And when I talked to her about how you were, she could only say that you were just so good. So sweet and grateful. She said it brought tears to her eyes. People love to spoil you (including me) because of this.

But I haven't done all this just for more hugs (you'd give them to me anyways). I know in the future, you won't want me in your room to play. You won't care if I put spider webs up, skeletons in your bathroom (or will have to pretend you don't care). You won't fit in the curve of my arm and listen to me read in a very bad english accent. So I'm savoring it. Savoring the pure sweetness you ooze every day. Savoring the excitement you have over decorations, new toys, bounce houses. At six I feel like we're at the edge of something. About to go over that edge into the sevens, the eights and nines. Pre-pubescent. Something I feel like I know nothing about.

So I'm trying to hold on to who you are now. A boy obsessed with things that go. You build elaborate tracks for your trains and cars. Mini-worlds and rides. Your most ambitious to date started up on your dresser, went across the whole room, through a "time machine" winded around dinosaurs, under the bed and back through another time machine elevator up to the dresser again. Your ingenuity is astounding. Every time I think about giving away some of your toys, I have to stop and think about what you might need it for. The empty box becomes the time machine. The old barn becomes the elevator. You approach each situation and solve it yourself. Mini physics experiments laid out in hot wheels tracks. This creativity and problem solving makes me inordinately proud. I know that this one characteristic will take you far in life and allow you to succeed where other's may fall short.

You're still obsessed with all things science. Dinosaurs, fossils, sharks, space, anything and everything about this world you live in. The things you remember and understand continue to astound me and your dad. You don't just remember all the planets, you remember their characteristics. Beyond that you've latched onto this idea of meta-physics, building universes and worm-holes. You've sat rapt, listening to Steven Hawkings and Radiolab podcasts. You've surpassed most adults I know in your understanding of these very abstract concepts. We talked and read yesterday about earthquakes, about P-waves and S-waves, fault lines and plates. I love these moments with you, seeing the light bulb go off in your brain, when it "clicks" and you understand. More and more you're coming to these conclusions on your own.

I also love to hear you impart your knowledge to your sister. In the car the other day, she asked you if any animals eat rocks. And you immediately answered, "Alligators eat rocks, because they swallow their food whole. So they eat rocks too, to help them break down their food." You two are still as close as can be. You have inside jokes and silly songs that put the two of you in hysterics. We hear you two talking and laughing when you should be sleeping and we holler for you to go to sleep, but then we look at each other and smile, because its such a sweet thing to hear. You are so good with other kids, younger and older. When we showed up a tiny bit late for school today, the three mothers waiting outside exclaimed, "There's Griffin! All the boys were asking where you were!" You're sweet and mellow and funny and kids are drawn to that in you.

There's all these other things I want to say about you. How you still love music, rocking, rollicking music, the louder the better. How you can bust a move, do a James Brown spin, have great rhythm. How you care deeply about the clothes you wear, what you look like, how things feel. How you have to go to the salon to get your hair cut because no one else can do it right. How a bad hair day can ruin your morning. How you are pessimistic, fearing the worst outcome in every situation, and yet still maintain a bubbly happiness. How you manage to be a happy go-lucky pessimist is beyond me, and a trait unique to you and your dad. How you can be ecstatic and grateful over something nice someone did for you and then follow it with a "but what if..." How you believe your Papa can build anything and everything.

Everyday we feel so lucky to have such a sweet, smart funny little dude like you in our lives, and we look forward to all that is to come. Happy Birthday Boog-ity!

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