Matthew is nearly seven. What's so great about Matthew being almost seven?
-Self monitoring. Helpful, since he has always been a morning person and for years required strict supervision. Now he helps himself to cereal and plays with lego while awaiting his other 5 night owl, sleeper inner family members to wake up.
-Chatter. Some of it is actually interesting! He pays attention to EVerything, and talks about all of it, so sometimes we miss interesting bits in a fog of telephone pole counting and litter counts. But he has quite a few interesting bits to note, such as motorcycles with airbrushed flames, or scaredy squirrel book plots.
-Taking life less seriously. Matthew is this mixture of sensitive, perceptive, and wildly energetic. He no longer faints when he's upset, he can talk about his feelings, and he generally doesn't act like the sky is falling when we're mad at him. Which is success, in my books.
-Emotional intelligence developing at warp speed, and his ability to empathize, which I think is greatly enhanced by his:
-Relationship with his sister; this has brought out a softness in him I've not yet encountered. When he was a toddler I had to watch him like a hawk when there was a baby in the room because he always wanted to stick his fingers in their eyes. Now he's finely attuned to Amarys' every move, mood, and state of being, and his adoration for her has changed the way he approaches the world. So cool.
[those last four were always there; but they are more enjoyable with someone who is nearly seven and no longer falls apart when he misses a nap]
Seriously, the older this kid gets the WAY more fun it is to be his parent; his personality is so strong that the force of it combined with the work of caring for a small child made the younger years lots of uphill struggle, but as he emerges its more personality and less work. SO GREAT. Seriously. You have no idea (unless you're close to me, and then you do).
I remember the first week of kindergarten I dropped him off and watched him run in and hang up his backpack, plunk down at circle time, and raise his hand to answer a question, and it suddenly hit me hard that we made it. He was five, he was at school, he was a socially well adjusted happy kid who fit into kindergarten well, and I laid my head on the window and sobbed. Sobbed. Talk about a marathon run. Another few heartbeats and he will graduate high school and I'll be all He's all grown up. And he even uses a napkin.