9. Yes, he is now 9.
And, yes, he still tracks his birthday’s like NORAD monitoring an ICBM coming from Siberia. Certainly, things are evolving perceptibly – I did notice he’s not as vocal about the birthday, the excitement is not as unbridled. But unchanged is the underlying anticipation, & birthday related questions that casually arise 10 weeks prior to the event. “I wonder what Susieauntie will get me…” “That would be so cool to have a party when we visit Pappa and Momma in Atlanta, and Amma and Appa in Murphysboro, AND then have one at home.” “I hope Grant comes to my birthday…”
Sidd @ 9, © 2012, Abe Pachikara (Click for larger images)
So how else is Sidd changing?
- In the past year, some of the magic of his world, and the related initial cast of mystical characters, are under scrutiny. “Okay Dad, tell me, is Santa really real?” “The tooth fairy didn’t take my tooth last night. Maybe she only goes to see really little kids.”
- Computer Games are making a firm presence in his (and his older brother’s) life. Our parental defense is vigorous and so far keeping things in moderation. But computer games have the same remarkable, relentless urge of a cigarette, or shot of whiskey, or a slot machine. I am hoping Kodu and Digipen will channel this energy.
- His social side is increasingly pronounced. He continues to prefer hanging out with people more than visiting a museum or monument. Less expected: about 6 months ago, he declared that he would take care of getting everyone their juice, water, etc. Then came mixing mango juice with cranberry juice. Seeing the positive reception, he started tinkering with portions and names. “Would you like one of my Red Tornadoes”? That is 4 parts mango, 1 part cranberry. Keeping the party going, all good people in one happy room, that is his mission.
If there is one relentless anchor (aside from his brother, parents and extended family) it is Legos. The mythology of Bionicles, the trance-like immersion when using the actual bricks, the ephemeral ideas so vividly created so rapidly by each new contraption. On many mornings, I seem him up early, eyebrows furrowed in deep thought on how to create a new gizmo. It is humbling how something so seemingly simple can keep his interest. (Long overdue is the well earned induction of Legos’ creators into the Nobel Prize’s hall of fame.)
The other constant: his deep engagement with his brother, Paul. They wrestle together, increasingly chat about school, go round and round with fart jokes until they melt onto the floor from the exhaustion of laughing, and generally show support for each other. This may change as time goes on, but so far, its been a deep collaboration.