How quickly time has gone. How are you eight and how do I have an eight-year-old child? I look at the chubby pictures of you scattering our walls and it seems like so long ago, longer ago even than my own childhood, that you were this open-mouthed laughing baby. But this year brought you so many new adventures:
1) We stole you away to the mountains on a pilgrimage to Bob Marley’s house during our family trip to Jamaica, where somehow you were able to play the EXACT piano he had played as a child. You will also sometimes randomly turn to us while we are at Lollapalooza or an outdoor concert and ask, “Why does it smell like Jamaica, here?” We’ll save that answer for your 14th birthday…
2) You also learned how to snorkel. Kind of. Floating on a big inner tube. But still, you put on the mask and the snorkel and saw the magical underwater world of sea anemones and spiky sea urchins.
3) After many sidewalk falls, arguments on “how Dad is better at teaching me how to ride a bike,” and sore back muscles (OUR sore back muscles, I should add), you learned how to ride a bike.
4) Swimming finally became something you like to do. With goggles.
5) You talked back for the first time. And looked at me, waiting to see what would happen. And I perfected my, “Don’t try that again with me” mother glare. So you didn’t.
6) You thought you would rather live in an apartment. After moving to an apartment, you realize you want to go back to living in a house. We’re working on that one, G.
7) You had to make that ever-so-difficult decision at Lollapalooza—Black Sabbath or The Black Keys. And you chose…Black Sabbath. But somehow made it in time to see “Gold on the Ceiling” live, proving at age 7, you will always strive to DO BOTH!
8) Much to our chagrin, you learned all the dance moves to “Gangnam Style.” So we get to listen to that at least once a day. And watch you shuffle from side-t0-side, grabbing your crotch, and wearing black sunglasses.
9) You made four goals in one soccer game! And one was from mid-field. David Beckham you better watch out…
10) You proved that although you are taller, wiser, and cooler, you still will snuggle with me. And I hope I still have one more year of those magical moments.
But this year I also learned from you—I learned that you don’t need me as much anymore. I learned that it is not too late to follow my own dreams, and now some of my favorite memories from this past year are of us both studying at our dining room table. You pulling out my stethoscope to listen to your own heartbeat. You have given me the desire to help others again and to continue to learn. And I hope, my darling boy, we never stop learning together.