Today he is celebrating his birthday at school, the last day before they get out for spring break. Sunday we will be having his birthday party (Nerf theme and I am having WAY too much planning it. I think it is going to be epic and I apologize in advance for all the posts and pictures I am sure include on my blog. And yes, the planning of said party is the primary reason for my absence in the blogosphere/Facebook/Twitter as of late.) Anyway, as I was saying - Monday Jake will be 8 years old. I can keep saying it over and over but it continues to be very surreal to me.
So what is Jake like at this age? Well there are things he is into that are not my favorite - all the guns and military and shooting games, interests that have carried over to his wardrobe, which now almost daily includes camo shirts or pants, dark sunglasses, sometimes a beanie or camo cover and gloves with cut out fingers. It is the first time he has wanted to participate in his clothing choices and so I am trying, although it is extremely hard for me, to let him exert his independence in this way. And he has becoming increasingly independent in other ways too. He wakes up and gets ready in the morning with literally no help or reminders from me. He comes home in the afternoon and likes to "do his own thing". However, since I have tried to become more involved in the things that are important to him, I am happy to report that I have gotten my snuggly "little" boy back and I couldn't be happier that we can cuddle up while reading a book (Magic Tree House, Super Diaper Baby, Bad Kitty, Skippy Jon Jones are among his favorites) or watching a movie (Puss in Boots, Hop and The Muppets have been in heavy rotation lately).
Jake is still very athletic. He has decided that soccer is his favorite but with this being in second year playing machine pitch baseball, he is enjoying it much more then last year and has really found his groove, hitting really well and actually fielding the ball. He always gives it 100% and is extremely competitive. The downside to this of course is that he can be kind of a sore loser but I think that is pretty typical for boys of his age (and maybe of any age, LOL!).
Jake is also still very math-oriented. He loves to build and solve puzzles and he always does his math homework first. Sometimes it blows my mind the things he can figure out without my assistance. But even though he doesn't love to write, he has the neatest printing I have ever seen for his age and now that I have found books he enjoys and with the encouragement of the accelerated reading program at school, he is reading at almost a 4th grade level. While very smart and generally a good student, he still doesn't "love" school and typically only does what he has too. Again, I think pretty typical of many boys his age.
Jake has NO patience whatsoever (and I have no idea where he got that from, haha). He never can seem to save his allowance for big ticket items, choosing instead to spend it every chance he can get. He always WANTS and I wish there was a surefire way to stop that but I truly think it is just part of his personality. On the flip side however, he can be so giving and thoughtful at times that I can't help but just smile. Case in point yesterday Jake and I went to Wal-Mart and he decided to spend reward points on a treat - a small box of colored goldfish. When we got to the car I asked him if he wanted to eat his treat and he said, "No, I want to wait until we get home so I can share them with Jadyn". And he does little things like that ALL the time. It's just so sweet.
Jake only likes to do things that he can do well. He is sort of a perfectionist (again, no idea where he got that from either, haha). This was apparent from a very early age when he didn't really start coloring pictures until he could stay in the lines and do it well. He also tends to over think things and I think this is the downside to his thoughtfulness. Sometimes those thoughts can get the best of him and make him reluctant to try anything new.
One of my favorite things about Jake is that his smile can light up a room and his laugh is infectious. Nothing can make me happier than to listen to him giggle and luckily for me, he likes to have fun, be silly and laugh with friends and family as much as possible. His thoughtful and friendly personality is evident by how many friends he has, at school, from sports teams, he even makes friends in the brief time we might be at a park or other similar outings.
I feel incredibly blessed to have a son that is as thoughtful and smart as Jake. I am extremely proud of the boy he is and love him with all of my heart. I can't wait to see where this journey of life will take him and as we get ready to celebrate his 8th birthday, I just have one request from him. Can you please stop growing up so fast?