This boy is now eight.
He is the moon and stars rolled into one, and every mama-cliche about their babies.
He is not a baby. He is a boy. He wants to stay that way. He says his worst fear is becoming a teen.
"I know adults have more freedom, but I like being a kid. I would rather have less freedom and less responsibility."
And just this week: "I might have kids someday, but I'm not going to share my stuffed animals with them!"
This boy loves his penguin, his stuffed koala, his Ewok and a dozen other friends. Every other week we empty his bed of animals and say, "Choose three." Within a week, the three have multiplied once again.
This is classic Nolie and Sean---with Sean trying to entice him and Nolie contemplating whether he'll go along. This boy is strong willed and does not follow blindly, but his big-brother adoration is equally powerful. His love of Ewoks, like his love of koalas, the book series Amulet, and a million other things, have been handed down.
And yet, this boy is his own person. He loves shiny things. He once asked for a diamond from Santa. His grandmother introduced him to Michael's craft store this summer, and he was in awe of the bling aisle. He has very definite ideas, like his decision to be a s'more this Halloween. Not one of the dozen superheroes we already have costumes for, no. A s'more.
This boy has always had a thing for s'mores.
This boy is the slowest eater, and the only boy in our house to like mac-n-cheese, cantaloupe, or grilled cheese (hmm, just like his dad!). This boy used to ask us to call him Brian Junior.
This boy is now an independent reader, just like his brothers. He has fallen for graphic novels in a big way, and El Deafo specifically. This was also the year he introduced our whole family to Edward Tulane. He loves bringing home books none of us have read before---a challenging feat!
This boy is a master builder. And a bit spoiled. This boy hates when I say that, though I intend it as a reminder to his parents. He doesn't have a third of the jobs his brother Aidan had at that age. He is a rule-follower to the extreme in the classroom, and not quite so much at home.
This boy plays piano, soccer, and baseball. His beloved Robotics club just ended. Last summer he went to two weeks of summer camp, at the Golden History Museum and Mines Sports camp. He is always asking his dad for help building something.
He loves his babysitter who comes for an hour after school. This boy loves how his baby sitter doesn't notice him sneaking yet another fruit snack or granola bar. And he loves drawing with her, and playing games his brother Sean invents for them. He is good at math and great at writing, but hates when his mom has him rewrite his messy work.
This boy says the best grace at dinner, gives his dog a blessing at bedtime, and is anxiously awaiting his First Communion this year.
This boy notices beauty. He gives compliments and hugs, but only to people he knows well. He craves sad stories. He loves to snuggle.
This boy amazes me and scares me because I love him so.
And now he's eight.