Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Will Report: 5 1/2 Years Old

[This is the first and last time I'll ever be able to say: I have five kids, ranging from five-point-five months to five-point-five years, so I had to write it just once.]

We toured Will's elementary school yesterday and it was a BLAST. He was the poster child for kindergarten orientation: skipping through the halls, calling out to preschool friends who are one grade ahead of him, lecturing current kindergarteners about his preschool circle time routine authoritatively...

Will is still very much our little engineer (perhaps mechanical instead of electrical?):

He loves basketball and soccer AND his cheering section:

His reading has gotten amazing; he can read Magic Treehouse books to us with no help from grownups anymore. The whole watching-a-human-learn-to-read process has been incredible to me, and Dave and I sometimes turn to each other and whisper, "Did he just read 'chrysallis'? Did he just sound out 'disbelief'?" That last example is a true one, but it's also perfect to describe how we feel about this milestone: disbelief--and a lot of pride, mixed in with some happiness that it has been something that comes naturally to Will. I'm sure it won't be as easy for all our kids, and it's nice that they'll have not only parents but also (more importantly?) an older brother to coach them.

One day, Will decided to make a Magic Treehouse museum and construct dioramas of each book he'd read so far:

He has a wonderful imagination and loves to tell us stories about the buildings he creates:

Here's a sort of missile/marble cannon type thing that he made when I wasn't paying attention:

I love the description of this water/land/space plane: "Sometimes it leaks."

A helicopter he made, again with zero help or input from an adult, after painstakingly cutting up separate pieces of paper to make the propeller and...landing gear? I don't even know what the base of a helicopter is called! Clearly these are Dave's genes.

When I pick him up, he laughs and says, "You can hardly lift me anymore, right?" 

He gives me the report from the backseat of the car: "Anders is sleeping but Hads isn't. Oh! Nope, now Hadley's eyes are closed too."

I told him the other day how proud I was that he was the kind of person who could figure out what he wanted--in this case, to become better friends with some boys in his school--and then try for it and (again, in this case) achieve it. "A lot of people can't use words to describe what they want, and I love that you can talk about what you're trying to do." He's still so competitive, takes losses hard, so it won't be easy for him to rebound when hard work doesn't pay off--but I think he'll still work hard the next time, and that's a quality I truly admire in my little man.

We took the training wheels off his bike a few weeks ago and I pushed him through the initial phases of learning to ride: the balancing, then the braking, then the pedaling, and finally the pushing off, pedaling and braking. He kept getting frustrated and shouting about how he COULDN'T DO IT, so I steeled myself and said "Every time you shout about not being able to do it or how much you hate it--anything negative--I'm going to make you practice it five more times." This vow made him more furious, but he knew I'd follow through, so he'd grunt as he got back on the bike, pedaled again, scowling while Finn and Bridget biked and scooted in other corners of the parking lot. And when he got the hang of each phase, I'd jump and cheer and high-five him, and then we'd move on to the next skill. It was not fun, really, but it was still wonderful, if that makes any sense. I think he'd say the same.

When we were headed to our tour yesterday, I told Will I had butterflies in my stomach because I was so excited to see what his school would be like next year. "Mom, I have WOLVES in my stomach!" he said, laughing. It's going to be a big year for him and for the rest of us!


The Welsien Family said...

So very sweet. What a guy!

Kerry Mahoney said...

AMAZING! Love the pics of Will and Mom.

John Noon said...

Will, it was great to hug you this weekend! You are growing up so fast.
Love, GM / GP