Eight years ago, this very minute, you were just two hours old. You had the puffy face and corkscrew head of a hard-born baby, but you were beautiful to me, precious, fine and mine.
Fast forward eight years, and in an act of treason against me and the body I carried in my body, you own a skateboard. You are eight. Your body really is yours now (well, somewhat more yours). Your maiden voyage in the driveway went off well enough: no broken bones, all of your big, funny teeth intact.
It is scary to see you rolling unsteadily away from me, on pavement or otherwise. But I know that you may break your bones (and will certainly break your heart), and no amount of padding can shield you from the growing up that lies ahead. Here are four big things I know about you that give me confidence you will be fine, pads or no:
You are kind. I see it in your concern for others, your willingness to give up your cookie or come to someone’s rescue, your deep sensitivity when you watch people.
You are funny. Even before you could actually read a joke book, you’ve had a sense of wordplay and comic timing. Who could forget “Knock knock. Who’s there? Owl. Owl who? Owl be seeing you.”
You are smart. Your big brain shows itself in the way you speak and the connections you make.
You are a world-builder. Whether it’s an elaborate marble run or a game whose rules keep changing, your narrative imagination and engineering brain astound me.
In addition to these qualities, you are still precious, fine and (only a little bit) mine. Skate on: being eight is not a crime.