I'm so glad we have a boy because I don't think I ever would have known how delightful six-year-old boys can be. I will confess that I perhaps had a somewhat inaccurate perception of little boys. You, however, have dashed them all.
At age six, you are a gentleman. With impeccable manners and polished composure, you could easily be mistaken for a little prince. You greet strangers with a serious gaze and a distinguished nod of the head, hands in your pockets. At the table, you remember to say "please pass the strawberries" and "thank you for this delicious meal." During church services, which you sit through without squirming or talking, you listen dutifully, while writing in a notepad or the week's bulletin.
You are naturally neat and organized. Don't brag about it your sisters, but - shhh - you often keep your room the tidiest. Even as a very small boy, you lined up your cars in rows and wiped your mouth carefully with napkins. You are happiest when things are orderly and aesthetic.
At age five, you biked almost eight miles on The Loop and walked all over Washington DC without complaining. You keep up with your big sisters like a champ and want to go everywhere they go, offended to be left out of any adventure. "When is our next camping trip?" is a question that is often on your lips.
Last year, you were stretched out of your comfort zone in attending a bilingual Christian preschool. You learned so much and came out with academic confidence - counting to 100, recognizing and sounding out all your letters, knowing your right from your left, etc. You've built on that solid foundation and you are reading simple books now, reciting the months of the year and poetry, adding doubles, counting coins, and practicing cursive.
Your favorite things to do are camping, bike riding, and going new places. You love books, trucks, pasta, smoothies, grandma's house, music, live theatre, cheesecake, anything with wheels, and being with your sisters. You do not love being apart from your family. I've been a parent sixteen years now and, although I still have much to learn, I do know that forcing kids to separate isn't necessary or what you "should" do. All kids eventually grow up and spread their wings. Homeschooling this year has been a wonderful decision.
One morning after preschool on a fine May day, you sat quietly looking out the car window the whole ride home. After awhile, you said solemnly, "I wouldn’t want the world to be black and white like an old fashioned movie. I’m glad there are colors and pretty flowers.” That phrase says much about your personality - observant, thoughtful, appreciative of beauty and truth, and with great depth of spirit.
Dearest H, the world would be missing so much without you in it. You are a brave, kind, old soul - and it is a distinct pleasure to watch you grow up.
“When I was One,
I had just begun.
When I was Two,
I was nearly new.
When I was Three
I was hardly me.
When I was Four,
I was not much more.
When I was Five, I was just alive.
But now I am Six, I'm as clever as clever,
So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.”
― A.A. Milne, Now We Are Six