Ian is one of the happiest kids you've ever seen. His smile lights up a room and there is a lightness about him. He is full of energy and enthusiasm. He is quick to stand up for his friends. I was touched when I heard a story of him defending a friend that was getting picked on. This has now been told to me on multiple occasions by different kids in different situations. I am proud of him for doing that and I hope it never stops. Ian shows so much compassion and empathy. He really puts himself in someone else's shoes to see how they are feeling.
When Ian wakes up in the morning, he likes to linger in his pajamas for as long as possible. Sometimes I think he is going to run out of time in the morning and head to school in his PJs. So far, this hasn't happened.
When Ian goes to the bathroom and washes his hands afterwards, it's like he is prepping for surgery. He is very thorough and the hand washing involves going up to the elbow and lots of soap. I don't want to discourage this, but it is time consuming. I can only imagine what others must think when they see this in a public restroom.
Ian enjoys getting dressed up for school pictures. Him and his friends rallied together and said they would each wear a button down shirt and tie for school picture day. I was worried Ian would be the only one dressed up and held my breath that all the other boys would come through on their word too. To my relief, they did.
In December, Ian volunteered to tell the kids in his class about Hanukkah and what the holiday means. This turned into a big presentation! Ian took the initiative and went to his school library and got books to help with the explanation. Ian took responsibility with me to help with the presentation. He did a great job!
It's not been all sunshine and roses. This past year, Ian has started cracking his knuckles. It became more of an obsessive, nervous habit. We've been trying hard to get him to stop. It's not always easy.
Also, Ian started questioning things and getting a bit of an attitude. Like telling us not to look at his homework or correct him. He is no longer as easy-going as he once was. It's like he is finding his voice, but sometimes picking the wrong battles to use it.
Ian has been continuing with gymnastics this year and will stay on the pre-team for another year. It was a difficult decision on whether to move him up to team, but the coach and I feel its in his best interest to let him have another year at the developmental level. It is a huge leap and big time/financial commitment when doing team for gymnastics. Ian does not need the added stress and pressure, just so soon. We will see what happens in a year's time and if he is ready then.
Ian is a very creative writer. I love reading the stories he writes in school. There was one in particular where he wrote about Tom the Turkey. Tom lived on a farm and was supposed to be the main course for Thanksgiving that year. But he didn't want to be cooked, so he got made into a football and helped the Redskins win the game that year. It was a much longer story than that, but you get the idea. So creative and it was full of humor too.
Ian's love for sports has grown over the year and he is a huge baseball fan. His favorite team is the Washington Nationals. In fact, for his 8th birthday he asked if we could makeover his room into a Washington Nationals room. Ian started collecting baseball cards and has a binder with over 1,000 cards in it. He lugs this binder back and forth to school everyday to trade cards with his friends.
I am madly in love with my big boy. I can't call him little anymore. :) I wish him the happiest 8th birthday ever! May this year be filled with love, endless questions, and that devilish smile that comes on his face when he gets the joke and can't contain his laughter.