If the year between 5 and 6 was the year of Lego, then the year between 6 and 7 was the year of sports. About midway through, during an unseasonably warm February, you discovered your soccer ball and you haven’t put it down since.
When you decide you like something you adopt an almost obsessive-like quality to pursuing it. For the most part, it’s a great trait to have. You took on soccer – listening to all of my critiques and pointers – with a ton of patience and grace. And you’re good! In fact you’ve gotten real good these last few months. You played on two different teams, one in the spring and one in the summer. When I pick you up from school on Fridays I love watching you get games going with your friends and the older kids too. I really admire that you play ball with kids who are several grades above you.
Speaking of grades, you had Marisa DeChiara for 1st and she adored you. You excelled in reading during the school year and you actually really love to read. Marisa even referred to as “the reading machine” once, and had nothing but positive things to say about you on your report card. You have no idea what it’s like to hear and read complimentary things about your child. You make me very proud, Mylo.
For Halloween you were a ninja and your sister was Super Girl.
Santa came to the house on Christmas Eve again. I honestly wonder how many more times we can pull off the-Santa-landed-on-our-deck-trick! Probably not many but I hope you’ll continue believing for your sister. When I was small it was my brother who told me that Santa wasn’t real and laughed at for me for being crushed. I can only hope you don’t do the same to Reya.
At Christmas you and I met my parents and Uncle Aki’s family in Las Vegas again. You had an absolute blast with your two cousins and played beautifully with them there. I think you’ll follow in the Taha’s footsteps as you get older and carry the Vegas torch!
This was also the year you discovered video games (much to my dismay). Since I don’t love it, I’ll just leave this one here.
You love playing catch with your dad and listen wide-eyed as he tells you all about the mechanics of Aaron Judge’s perfect swing. You like playing basketball too. But so far, you haven’t caught the football bug and I’m ok with that. The longer I can keep my kid from pursuing a sport that has a good chance of giving him a head injury is just fine by me.
The other big thing that happened this past year was that your style changed. I used to be able to buy whatever and you’d wear it. I was even able to pick out your clothes up until you were 6 1/2. But with the awareness of soccer, a sporty-themed wardrobe came too. Soccer jerseys, shorts in the dead of winter (yes you are one of those), long socks and flashy Nike shoes. Not only did you bring the mohawk back, but you’ve been wanting a blue one. Because I’m not coloring my kid’s hair anytime soon, we settled on blue washable spray paint. (Much to your father’s chagrin).
You ran two races between the age of 6 and 7. The jury’s still out on whether or not you actually enjoy it, but as a long time recreational runner, it definitely makes my heart sing!
There were some firsts too, like downhill skiing. You accepted absolutely no direction from me or your dad and just blazed your way down the bunny hill. Like I said, when you like something, it’s full steam ahead with it.
We rented a house in Falmouth, Cape Cod last summer. I wouldn’t exactly call it a vacay (for me) but you guys had the best time.
Your closest friends remain Olivia and Hunter – in fact, they’re basically siblings. Then there’s Mati and Kody who go to different public schools than you but who you’ve known since you were small. From school your buddies are Aiden, Brendan and Ethan. You also forged a close relationship with Jake, who is also from the city but whose family owns a vacation house a few doors down from Goomah on Candlewood Lake. Like you, Jake is energetic and athletic and the two of you get along famouslYour dad and I were bummed that you were on the cusp of turning 7 and didn’t know how to ride a bike. Being that both of us are from the suburbs, we learned early. But you’re a city boy and since space is a commodity, we weren’t about to get a bike until you at least showed some interest in wanting to learn. So for your birthday your grandparents surprised you with a bike and as I feared, you were pretty disappointed. It was not what you wanted. I’m not sure if you’ll remember the chat we had as you held back tears, but shortly afterwards you went back outside and got on that bike. And you didn’t get off until you were cruising.
I can honestly do without all the pestering and bickering between you and your sister but I suppose when I signed up for having another child I also signed up for a lifetime of sibling rivalry! When the two of you are nice to each other and play together, it’s the sweetest thing ever. When you’re not, it drives me bat-shit mad.
Your birthday falls on a Wednesday and since it’s impossible to get people to commit to a party on summer weekends, we’re trying something different this year. (Not that we didn’t already try something different last year by having your birthday party in September after school started.) But this year we’re having a small celebration at our home in the evening of your actual birthday. Ganga is coming, the Wallack’s will be there, along with Mati and Cami, and Kody and Aiden. We’re blowing up a 10 foot pool out back and letting you guys loose with super-soaker water guns. Your dad thinks I’m nuts!
You’re energetic, athletic and kind. You’re a voracious reader and you’re interested in the earth, sun, moon and stars. And your dad’s got you all jazzed up about outer space too! You’re extremely intuitive. You asked me once how it was that one of your good friends was born if he doesn’t have a daddy. (I gave you a horrible, stammering answer, by the way.) You still have a penchant for crazy, and acting wild. I think you always will and while this quality makes you who you are, it’s also what worries me most as you get older.
How I can possibly keep you safe in a world like this one I don’t know. But it is my duty to try and I’ll continue to do so courageously — even though deep down, I am scared. I love you my buddinsk, Happy Birthday!