My baby is eight. I truly do not know how this happened; I've blinked and eight years have flown by. My cute, roly-poly toddler has gone somewhere and left me with a gap-toothed, Under Amour-wearing boy, dead set on barrelling toward independence, one who spends more time riding bikes, exploring the neighborhood with his friends, and mastering his new Nintendo DS than hanging out with mom.
Soccer Boy loves spending time with his friends, riding his bike and his scooter, practicing his basketball shot, reading, and learning interesting facts about history and science. His favorite subject recently is United States presidents. This thrills me, a former history teacher, because neither Swim Chick nor Gym Girl has ever showed much interest in my field. Soccer Boy is also creative. His latest effort involves developing a series of comic books featuring Super Worm, a character he and two friends dreamed up. Super Worm is currently on his eighth adventure, with Soccer Boy serving as writer-in-chief and one of his friends contributing the artwork.
Movies are also a big part of Soccer Boy's life, an interest he shares with Adventure Guy. Want to know the opening date of any summer blockbuster? Just ask Soccer Boy. Though he does claim to be hazy about the exact date the new Nancy Drew movie opens. All he'll give up for his sisters who are waiting for the film is, "sometime in June." I think he secretly has that date committed to memory too but isn't giving them the satisfaction of fessing up. This summer will be a good one for him with new entries in the Spiderman, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter and Shrek franchises opening.
Though he can be sensitive, particularly with relationships with friends and his sisters, Soccer Boy often amazes me with his toughness. Ironically, with the name I've chosen for him, soccer does not come incredibly easy to him. He's been working hard this year, and he's become good at playing the goalie position. What does seem to come easily is skill at distance running. He has a number of 5K races under his belt and plans to run a 10K with Adventure Guy soon. I'll never forget his first 5K. I agreed to run it with him since Adventure Guy wanted to run the race for time and knew Soccer Boy would be slower. I figured he'd get tired along the way and we would end up walking a lot of the race. Let's just say that Soccer Boy's own time would have been far better if he had not had to keep stopping to look back and check on his mother's progress. For the next 5K we did, Race for the Cure, I told him just to go ahead and run his pace, and I'd meet him at the finish line when I made it. Tact not being his strongest point, he did complain that he'd had to wait "a really long time" for me to come in!
His toughness has also shown through this last week in dealing with his broken wrist. The boy broke two bones and has still not had any pain medication. I'm adding the fact that we didn't take him in to be x-rayed until 24 hours after the accident to my list of reasons for mom guilt. A little obvious pain would have been helpful in triaging the situation, however! He's dealing well with being in the cast, and I'm thankful it's his left arm since he's right-handed.
Next month Soccer Boy will be taking on yet another adventure, going to camp for 25 days for the first time. Last year he went for 13 days and did great. His sisters have gone for the full-term before, but neither of them was quite as young when she started as Soccer Boy will be this summer. I would have sent him for the half-term again, but he was absolutely insistent on going for the full time. He can't stand being left out of anything that his sisters are doing--especially if it's something that's as much fun as camp. I just know that it will be tough come June 1 to stand in the parking lot and wave as their bus pulls away. The great thing about it, though, is that I know Soccer Boy is ready. In fact, he's looking forward to the experience. Which just goes to show, he's truly not my baby anymore.