A.A. Milne puts emphasis on 6, and I mostly agree, but to me a real transitional period is that whole year of 6 ending in 7. Reid certainly marked the end of a momentous year.
In the year of 6, Reid transitioned to:
- bike commuting with a gear bike
- hiking without the occasional lift (yes, our Ergo–now with his cousin Orion–clocked a lot of QW miles)
- looking beyond his parents, brother, and brother’s friends for entertainment (1st and 2nd grade friends are fun and funny)
- reading (first with Spanish phonemes, and then with English)
- playing complex games (hello awesome board games like Settlers of Catan in which Reid somehow beat us all, goodbye Candy Land!)
- writing (too much, Reid would argue, in Spanish, though he is proud of his cursive)
- walking to school and the ice cream factory without his parents
- talking and singing in Spanish (sometimes in a gringo accent to make fun of his parents)
- stretching out (gone is the baby fat–sigh)
- playing soccer with gusto, and loving running and swimming
And, yet, despite the many changes, so much is familiar:
- Reid’s impressive determination (his Spanish teacher says he writes more in Spanish than any of his Tico peers in his effort to keep up)
- his keen awareness of rules and expectations (there’s increasing nuance here, but those who misbehave are still generally labeled as “bad” by Mr. Reid)
- his independent streak (as toddler Reid said, “If I do, I do; if I don’t, I won’t”–the rule still generally applies)
- his admiration for his brother (this year Reid wouldn’t have minded if said brother were doing less origami and more pretend play, though he rarely complained)
- his critical mind (before our move to Central America, lots of “What if _________” (fill in the blank with worst case scenarios, like death by rabies in the event of being the last person on earth with no access to treatment) statements emerged)
- his love of books (hours are still clocked on the couch reading–this year El Deafo was his literary winner)
- his drawing ( initially Ed Emberly inspired, very narrative in nature and action packed, with weaponry, ships, castles, horses, low riders, electric vehicles, and pretty much always good guys and bad guys)
- his style (this year’s outfits often include bright soccer jerseys, short, knee high fluorescent yellow wool socks with stripes, and fluorescent orange and blue soccer shoes)
- his willingness and ability to keep up in a family where he is always the littlest (impressive!)
One other thing that hasn’t changed: when we are walking, if either Tim or I put our hand down by our side, Reid’s will snap in for a hold within seconds. It’s magnetic and magical.
Happy birthday, Reid. We’re so grateful to share this journey with you.