He came running up the driveway yesterday, after getting off the bus, his backpack bouncing behind him.
"MOMMA!" he yells, a big grin on his face. "I GROWED!"
I embraced him as he chattered on excitedly, "I used to be the second tallest in the class, and now suddenly today I'm TALLEST!"
This doesn't surprise me. At 6 years and 364 days old, he weighs over 50 pounds and is over 4 feet tall. He wears a size 3 shoe.
Long gone are the days of his cute little accent, where Rs were Ws. We called it his Boston accent. I miss it.
He is quick with a smile and a joke, and seems to make friends wherever he goes. It doesn't matter if we're at church, the supermarket, the playground or just any old store, he always whispers to me "look over there, Momma, I know her!" For all of his gregariousness, he's shy. Kids rush up to give him a hug, or a hello, and he giggles and hides behind my legs.
Despite his size, he's still a snuggle-bug. He manages to curl up all 50" of himself into my lap and rest his head on my shoulder with regularity.
He inherited his impishness from his Dad, and his love for shortcuts from his Mom. He is the King of "it wasn't me!". I can literally catch him in the act of doing something wrong, like putting his feet on the dinner table, and he'll peer at me over his grimy bare toes and say with as much innocence as he can muster, "I'm NOT doing it, Momma!"
He has a huge heart, always looking out for a kid who seems nervous, shy or anxious. He's loyal and reliable, always quick to give people the benefit of the doubt.
He loves to laugh. This morning I wished him a Happy Birthday, and he told me about a dream he had last night where he opened a huge present and it was a box full of gold. Then he threw his head back, laughed and said, "but that's not likely to happen, is it?"
Yesterday he said, with a sly grin on his face, "There's some sort of smell situation going on in this house, and I'm trying to get to the bottom of it."
I wondered, when he was born, if I'd be able to raise a boy with as much confidence as I raise Greta. Well, at least I got her, even when my parenting skills feel rusty.
But it turns out I get him, too. He wears his heart on his sleeve, so quick to love and laugh, and I feel like he's the one teaching me, most of the time. How to take things in stride, not make more of anything than I need to.
He loves to rub my arm and say, "Everything's okay, Momma. I promise." I look into his big, grinning face and I know he's right.
Everything is just the way it's supposed to be.
Happy 7th Birthday, Finn. We love you to pieces: