Now We Are Six

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

Part of me would like to freeze my boy at this age forever and ever. He has matured so much in the past year that it’s a bit breathtaking. He grips his pencil elegantly, drawing his inventions with rapt concentration. He can colour inside the lines, and he wants to. He makes about three new Lego creations daily, many of which change their purpose as he goes. A train recently turned into a train, car, plane and boat, all at once, with a pulley to hoist the driver onto the roof. Currently he’s working on a museum of “amazing things,” including an exhibit of a dragon without wings.

He takes seriously his ability to create. When we went to a friend’s book launch in the fall, he came home and wrote two books (one was posted here). He was an author, and he was going to sell his books. (Actually, he did sell his books at our January LevĂ©e). When we took him to an exhibit of the art of Mary Pratt, he seemed initially bored. Recently, though, he has been equating good art with Pratt’s work: “Daddy, don’t I colour just as well as Mary Pratt?” Our friends’ daughter is a prodigy on the piano. The other day, I showed him a video of Natasha (6 years old) playing Mozart on a grand piano in a theatre lobby. He was duly impressed and disappeared. He returned moments later with a triangle, which he started dinging along with the video. He really had no idea why I was laughing. Then he took off to prepare for his own concert, which was to be later that day. I love the grandeur of his ambitions. He really does believe that if he puts a sign at the end of the driveway (we are the last house on a dead end street), his public will appear. And be amazed.

He is loving and kind. He loves his little brother so much that when he had to choose one photo of himself to show his class, he chose one with Seamus in it. He wouldn’t hear of using another one. He does, however, think his brother is a little germy. If he so much as touches the pacifier, he goes to wash his hands. He whispers “I love you” a dozen times a day, though lately his adoration often gets turned into a song/rap with nonsense rhymes. We shush this child more than we probably should, because he talks/sings incessantly. But when I stop and listen, I hear a smart and sensitive boy.

Like I said, part of me wants to keep him here, hold him at six, with his absolute certainty about both magic and nonsense. But I also want so much to see where he goes next, what he discovers, how he changes, who he becomes.

Nostalgia time:

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I love you, sweet Owen! Happy happy birthday!