You’ve been at your new school for three weeks now. I watched you change a tiny little bit every day. You were excited and brave, then you got a bit shy and insecure about it. Being the new kid is tough – you don’t know where anything is and everyone else does. You don’t know anyone’s names or what happens on which day. I get it. And after three weeks I’d say you’ve settled in quite beautifully. Picked a few kids you like, toys you love most and you’ve slotted in to the routine like hot butter on toast. You’ve changed, you’re still changing. You’re six years old now, well six and one month and two days. Here are a few things I’m really enjoying about you lately.
1. Your insanely handsome face. Your stubborn, curly hair that you love too. You insist on doing your own hair in the mornings, and making a giant, flat curl across your forehead. You take such pride in your appearance. You love getting ready, looking good, brushing your teeth (you made me buy you mouthwash) and picking out a great shirt. I love that you’ve always cared so much about how you look.
2. You’re still a vegetarian. Not that it has anything to do with meat. I just love that you have stuck to something. You stopped eating meat when you were three, and we all thought it was a phase. We still dished up your dinner as usual every night and I still put ham on your ham and cheese sandwiches. Every day I watched you pick the chicken out of your soup, tear the ham out of your sandwich and scrape the chops and steaks to the corner of your plate. For three years, you’ve stayed true to something you care about, regardless of anyone else’s opinion but your own. That’s incredibly admirable, my boy.
3. You love solving problems. You keep telling me that you want to do this as your job, one day. You want to find solutions, solve things, be the hero. I love that from such a sweet, young age you’re enjoying challenges. I wonder if you’ll read this in ten or twenty years time and if any of this will mean anything to you. Did you end up being a problem solver little Nu?
PS You just walked over to me and asked what I’m doing. I said I’m writing you a letter about how much I love you. Your face turned the colour of sunshine and you ran off. I asked what you’re doing and you said you’re trying to make a dog whistle for Jack that humans can’t hear.
4. You love putting on a show. No really – any show. You make tickets and invite us to magic shows, the circus and music shows all the time. You ask everyone to watch you, and you always start with “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to my show!” And you’re pretty good, too!
5. You love learning, understanding and solving. You watch documentaries, mostly about the human body. You love watching those little science clips on youtube on how things work and how things are made. You watch clips on the ear, the inside of the nose, the eyes. You understand how your digestive system works and you’ve even watched a clip on birth. Well, it was part of the ‘Human Body’ documentary and I wasn’t paying attention the whole time. You love that kind of stuff though!
PSS You’ve just walked down the passage shouting “Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s time for my amazing crazy dog show!” You’re blowing bubbles and Jack is jumping around trying to catch all of them.
6. The other day, we were talking about you and Ben fighting. I gave both of you a bit of a lecture on siblings getting along and how I really wanted you guys to stop bickering about silly things. You and Ben love each other so, so much but man you can fight over absolutely nothing sometimes. Anyway, after my whole little lecture, you kept quiet and solemn and you said “I’m trying to be better.” I was so taken aback by your maturity and genuinely wanting to be a better person. You’re wise beyond your age, little man!
7. You love animals. When we wanted to get a dog, you fought us. You were so apprehensive about getting a dog and everything it would require. You were worried about your friends stepping in dog poos, you said. Once you met Jack you fell in love as hard as we all did. The same with Daisy and all our bunnies. You are such a dog person – you’re always looking for Jack and opening the doors to let the dogs in for a play. I have so many pictures of you two asleep on the couch together, playing on the bed, running around the house. I usually take the dogs with when we fetch you from school, too. Thinking about it now, Jack should be with us until you’re about eighteen. Oh I really hope so!
8. While you’re quite serious, tidy and responsible in so many ways – you’re still just a silly kid looking for a laugh or a new game. Your charismatic, silly and goofy side has us in stitches on most days. You love making other people laugh! You like a good trick, tease and fart joke just like the next little boy.
9. You’re loyal. An odd thing to say about a kid, I realize. You have a few close friends that you love very much. Particularly: Gia and Anna. On Valentine’s Day you made each of them a card and bought (mommy bought) them a chocolate. You insisted, and it was so sweet to help you with all of it. Anyway, I often tease you about your friendships with the girls and sometimes I’ve prodded about your little ‘girlfriends’ or asked “who do you love more” and you just won’t. You refuse to ever choose one friend over the other. “They’re both my favourite” you always say. In a world where kids can be mean and friendships are flippant and fleeting, I really admire how loyal you are to all your friends.
10. You never take no for an answer. Frustrating as it is to parent this trait of yours, I also really respect it. You’re always asking for a compromise or trying to find some wiggle room on any rejections that come your way. No doesn’t mean “no” to you, and I think that’s something that’s going to take you quite far some day. Are you reading this as an adult Noah? Tell me… Was I right? Are you happy? I really hope so my boy.