Liam is 12!

Our lovely Liam turns twelve today. A few memories and reflections from his year of being eleven:

Liam continues to be a kid of depth and revolving, near-obsessive interests. When he was four, he was all about airplanes. Piano and origami kicked in around five or six, and they often resurface. Costa Rica brought on Spanish and soccer.

This year’s passions have included all things Zelda, an action-adventure video game. Liam’s patient character is reflected in the fact that he has yet to actually play the most recent version of the game (parents and their odd principles sometimes get in the way). But he found other ways to dive in: dressing up like the character Link for Halloween, making drawings to go with the game, learning to play the ocarina and several of the theme songs on the piano (thank you, Anthony, for arrangements), and saving his money to buy an older Zelda game.

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His passion for soccer hasn’t let up–the kid has hung on to some nice Tico foot skills. For the second year in a row he and three buddies–Nick, Henry and Bergen–enjoyed a winter indoor soccer clinic with the tradition, thanks to Pankaj, of stopping for fast food on the way home.

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Liam would have loved to have played more hockey this year and was happy whenever we got out on the ice.

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He made it to the summit of Mount Katahdin last summer.

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And, though he prefers team to individual sports, my, can the kid skate ski.

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He’s lucky to have some wonderful friends–Bergen, Matty, Wes, and with the advent of gaming and D&D at the library, Maeve, Finn and Noah.

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And although he sometimes grows impatient with Reid, overall Liam is one heck of a good brother. The two of them sometimes feel like a married couple–they voluntarily share a room and a single bank account (in this case a box covered in penguins where they stash their cash). They, walk through the woods together every day, read books together, and clock hours of play.

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In much of life, Reid still relies on Liam as his spokesperson and general representative, whether at a rally or when communicating in Spanish. We don’t blame him, particularly on the Spanish front (the kid has a gift for las idiomas, which reveals itself every week when he chats with Jairo or Jaziel).

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Music is an ongoing passion for Liam. This year he’s really started to improvise on the piano and he loved playing the clarinet with the school band.

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He also took up teaching piano to his younger friend Alden, and judging by Alden’s progress, it’s been a huge success. Some of Liam’s earnings went toward buying a real bow and arrow.

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Hot sauce and good food remain passions for the boy. He has memorized the entire business history of Belizean hot sauce maker Marie Sharp, and he joined me in cooking the salmon and buckwheat below.

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Liam’s creativity pops up in all sorts of places: his hair (fortunately the slick-back trend passed), bits of folded paper that pop up around the house, his role as the fox in the school play, game and accessory design for stuffed animals, and most recently computer coding. If you need a new user logo for Scratch, look up Scarlet Fox 50 (Liam’s username) and he’ll  happily provide.

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