We walked out of the building. It was dark outside. And slippery, because of the ice on the ground, turned from the melted snow.
“I got something in my (Valentines) bag that can help us.” Randall started searching in the paper bag.
“What do you have? A cane?”
“No. A flashlight!”
Back when the kid had been even younger, there had always been a mix of unbearably adorable moments and even more unbearably bad meltdowns. I’d think the meltdowns would last forever, as well as the cuteness. Yet at this point I came to realize that this cuteness and sweetness of a 7-year-old is going to drift away. Soon.
From a few feet behind, I was watching him go down the sidewalk, holding the flashlight. The beam was going about everywhere. For whatever it might be shining at, it clearly did not light up the ground in front of him. But it lit up his mood, as well as mine. It was freezing and normally I wouldn’t want to stay out any longer than I had to, but somehow at this moment I wish I could freeze time, freeze the sweetness in this cold air.
We having dinner on the Patio.
Randall went to stand up on the swing, peeking over to neighbor’s backyard.
“Hi” from the other side. It was Libby.
Silence. Not a word. From this side.
He hopped off the swing, wiped his mouth, and said, “Now, I need a mirror.”
“I’ve got a bean here (in my food).”
“Ok, just put it in the bowl.”
A few seconds later, Randall realized something was missing from his mouth, and started searching in a bowl of edamame shells. And this is the story of his first fallen out baby tooth.
Out of all this craziness, we finally made a summer trip, to Nebraska, to stay with our lovely friends. Our longest road trip so far — 8-hour drive — crossing Illinois, the Mississippi River and then the state of Iowa, passing numerous corn fields and wind farms. Randall did surprisingly well on the way but was just too excited to get even a minute of sleep time.
The entire time the parents had been left alone. Yeah, the kids were too busy to bother us! Highlights of the trip: 1. Arbor Day Farm, esp. the tree house adventure; 2. Omaha Zoo; 3. Here comes the best: the beat-the-parents game! Can’t imagine the parents could’ve tried any harder to be beaten 😀
This robotic kit was a gift from his grandparents a year ago, when he couldn’t do much of it without our help. Then I put it way and decide to wait for a few more years till he’s ready. Just the other day, after I accidentally mentioned it, he asked us to cut out the pieces for him. And the next morning, he came back with the first model.
This ostrich is the fourth in the series.
A new world is opened to him.
Third practice and he made it! By day four Randall was riding on the street, and everyone was cheering for this new biker!
Despite all the whininess and crankiness, Randall can be surprisingly good and flexible sometimes, like today when I couldn’t find a parking spot near the restaurant and decided to settle with a lot that was only for bank customers, thinking the passenger wouldn’t find out. But then I heard him say,
“You can’t park here. If the police comes, our car will be towed away.”
“It’s probably fine. It’s just for a few minutes.” I tried to convince him, knowing he would collapse if I couldn’t.
“You can park there, mom.” he continued, pointing to the square across the street, “There’s a lot of space over there.”
I looked. Indeed.
The graduation was not quite graduation. The fun went on into the summer — the field trips, the water play, the fitness sessions. We moved here a year ago. Randall probably doesn’t recall how he struggled to recognize the simplest words. Now he has become such a good reader. And after shifting from the police team, to the polite team and eventually to the space team, Randall is all ready to take off, to move on to kindergarten. But this is no time to say goodbye.