Monday, October 5
Noah as a 7-almost-8-year old has grown into a kid who is confident in the things he is good at and loves, opinionated and determined to teach (and correct) anyone about the things he is passionate about... and yet still so young and innocent. He feels hip, I am sure... knowledgeable and savvy about things he and his peers are into. He is a natural leader, both with his friends and with his younger siblings. We trust him to do and handle a lot of things around home. He has moments of self-awareness and clarity with regards to his feelings on deeper things... but is still largely a child and more self-interested than empathetic.
It's fascinating to take a moment to consider his change from "little kid" to this "almost big kid". He's on the cusp of that season where more and more "loss of innocence" happens... Nothing awful (we pray), but just that general coming-of-age where one realizes that parents are fallible, Santa might not be real, and girls are actually kind of cute. He's not quite there, but he's close. I love it. Both the not-quite-yet, and the soon-to-be.
Once upon a time, I was 7-almost-8.
I was the second-oldest of then-5 kids, and had many of the same parental expectations upon me that Noah now has. I was immersed in my own world of friends and my own inner world of stories and make-believe. I loved art, music, dress-up, and friends. I was pretty naive-- not naturally "hip" or anything.... Luckily for me, I had a marvelous best friend who was naturally more stylish and with-it than I, and she was such fun. She loved me the way I was, but also nudged me to stretch my wings a bit. Her name was Bonnie, and I adored her. I have so many memories of fun times with her and her family... of watching her brothers play Atari and her older sister taking time to spare us a moment to help us with fashion or hair. I remember sleepovers and Barbies. Road trips. Talking about boys. (Yes, already!!) Learning from Bonnie how to have a crush and eyeball cute boys out of the corner of our eyes. And I remember Bonnie playing trendy music and nudging me to help her make up dances.
Which is how I landed on my very first "favorite song" ever: Irene Cara's "What A Feeling" from Flashdance. Bonnie introduced it to me, and declared it to be OUR song. We listened to it as often as we could so we could learn the words. We used pretend microphones and sang along, loudly. And with the help of Bonnie's confident encouragement, I got braver about pretending to be a rock star in front of other kids.
This song stayed my favorite song for years and years... Even after my sweet friend had to move away and we both grew older and found other songs, and other friends to play with. And my fondness for my first "best friend" stayed, too. We eventually lost touch, as is common for little kids to do, even when they vow to be pen pals forever. But bless Facebook. Whatever critics may say, I thank heaven for Facebook's way of bringing old friends back together, and letting them slowly re-learn about each other... to meet the grownup version of each other and begin to build a new relationship. I love having my Bonnie back.
In fact, I think we're overdue for a good old lip-sync session, complete with dance moves and pretend microphones. You're never too old to act like a kid again, right?
Posted by Emily S. at 11:32 PM