(All photos courtesy of the immensely talented Katie Gardner, 2016.)
This child, no. Yes. No really he’s really seven. I KNOW. (And in fact he’s really really REALLY seven years old, because I’ve been putting off this post for 6 months.)
Seven years have taken forever and at the same time, went by in a blink. And here’s this boy, all lean limbs and jokes and sweetness, and I’m still shocked that I made this person mostly from banana-flavored Laffy Taffy and Special K cereal.
In the last few weeks I have had two separate people describe him as a “gentle soul”, and that’s not the first time I’ve heard that phrase ascribed to him. He truly is empathetic and kind. Which is lovely and darling, but also makes me a little sad, because I feel like some day, this world is going to eat him alive. So my goal is to open his eyes as he gets older, and try to prepare him for that.
His imagination just blooms in a million directions (sometimes to a fault, as his teachers can attest to). He loves being around people, oh LORT he’s such an extrovert, and wants to show them everything and learn all about them.
And this is why we take our kids to lots of museums and dance lessons moreso than push sports and math drills. This is why we take the tablet away and shove Peter outside to play knights and dragons and have Pokemon battles, chasing his own shadow around the yard. This is why I ask Peter about the worst part of his day, and then we sort it out.
In short: this is why my generation emphasizes these things with our kids. I want to raise my boys to empathize, to do good things, and to dream. Because these are the types of adults that the future world is going to need.
And Peter, the one that put our world on a tilted plane of existence – right now he’s got all of this in spades. My hope is that he always keeps it.