Eleven blustery years ago, Paul Sebastian Allessandro Pachikara came barreling into this grand world, bristling with ideas, observations, a hearty laugh and a big heart. I am so very proud of how he is growing up, but a bit wistful at the speed of time.
- He is pure muscle and sinew still - when he raises his arms up, his entire back comes alive with ripples. He can run 20 mins after school, walk 1/2 mile home and then go for a solid hour of soccer practice on a high school sized field with the only result being a flushed face.
- He is a prolific creator - Minecraft is his current tool of choice. Concoctions range from a Greek styled hotel, to a dream house perched on a mountain top surrounded by a moat filled with lava, and a train system that zips from this perch, to his hotel, to another villa across the bay. Architecture and design swirl in his head. Dubai airport and the gadgets in the Emirates Airlines 777 were as head spinning as the rest of the trip to India this past December.
- “Dad, I want to be a polymath, like Da Vinci.” Paulito is fluent in Lego Mindstorms (just built his first "Sumo-bot") and dabbles in Kodu and Khan Academy coding exercises, and has expanded this year from Piano to also learn Clarinet.
- He’s self-aware. He truly understands temptation and how it can be easier to avoid it than challenge it, and has gracefully grokked the growing demands of school, adjusting accordingly.
- He’s active yet detached. He ran for treasurer ("something told me in my heart to do more, dad") including making a humorous poster & speech video, but was not too set back when he lost. "Dad, Rotum won, she's super nice and everyone knows her. Oh well."
- He’s filling in the gaps. He has methodically addressed each part of schooling that was a gap. God bless JK Rowling and Rick Riordan’s for making reading fun.
- He is still a vivid, engaged compadre. Paul is still a very active brother to Sidd, knows and easily chats with extended family, and keeps a loyal friendship with a couple of other kids, particularly his long-time buddy, Will.
I don't know where the future will go as 6th Grade means no more daily meandering walks home with Sidd (Paul needs to now take the bus), more workload, more juggling. But I am deeply blessed by the chap he is turning into. Life is full of blessings and surprises, and Paul and Sidd are the most humbling yet.
Paul @ 11, © 2013, Abe Pachikara (Click for larger images)