Seven is a huge year to me. Six was too, as was five, and so on and so forth back to the beginning. Even so, seven feels so big. It seems the beginning of so many things, but mainly the first year I can declare Aleksander, my Aleksander, as a big kid, an official "kid." Perhaps I declared the same about six. I can't be sure. It may have been true then as well, but each year that he inches further along, I am struck by how much more true it is.
He is a kid. He is a kid that can read a little and ride on two wheels and visit neighbors by himself. He understands things and gets obsessed with things and can walk around and talk and need very little of me. He is getting closer and closer, by knowing so much, to being truly independent. It is astounding. We are further away from toddlerhood and the agony of three than we have yet been. It is amazing. It pumps my heart full of pride and awe. I stare at his face, his freckles, the crooked mouth when he explains things to me and the staring out the corners of his eyes and my mind just churns over and over, "Seven. Seven. Seven!" I am just so so impressed.
To honor this new year, we set up the tent a friend recently purged from her attic and made a campfire to roast hotdogs and s'mores. Then we slept on the hard ground in terrible humidity on one of the hottest days yet. And the kids loved it and Jon's insomnia let him rest because he's crazy and sleeps best on hard ground.
Then we had the cousins over for burgers and cake. Aleks demonstrated his two-wheelin' skills.
He found a toad too
which he showed to his cousin Emmalynn.
While Bastian showed the chickens to Braden.
The chickens took their chance and made a race for freedom and delighting in all the bugs and other tasty treats in the rest of the yard.
Aunt Lilly is taking a documentary class this quarter in school and decided to make her documentary on unschooling. She did an interview with me and filmed a bunch of b-roll of the kids. B-roll, as an aside, is just extra footage for illustrating the interviews and breaking up long periods of people talking.
The kids are always so cute together, sitting on the swing, eatin' cake and ice cream. Sigh.