Today Lucas is nine years old. Nine on the 9th! His golden birthday. Lucas was only two and a half when I started this blog. Where has the time gone?? This past year was a good one for Lucas, although it has been an odd year with the pandemic. Thankfully he has continued to grow and thrive, even in these extraordinary times. This morning we headed to Kensington Metro Park, one of Lucas’s favorite destinations, for a picnic. During the car ride, I told him that I write a blog post about him every year and asked what he’d like me to say. Here are the things about himself that he wanted to include:
- Color: Yes, still orange!
- Song: Butterfly by Twin Peaks
- Top two animals: Cats and coyotes
- Book: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Sport: Soccer, naturally! 🙂
- Foods: Quesadillas and homemade breadsticks
- Snack: Fruit snacks
- T.V. show: Wild Kratts
- Movie: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
- Fictional Characters: BB8 from Star Wars, Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia, and Gandalf from The Hobbit
- Little Baby Bum. (This was a show that Alena used to watch. It has nursery rhymes and other learning songs geared towards babies and toddlers and Lucas HATED it. He is much happier now that Alena has switched to Sesame Street.)
- Getting his nails clipped
- Alena destroying the scenes he sets up when he plays
Lucas’s most enduring interest has been animals. He has amassed a large collection of animal figures over the years and he plays with them almost daily. This year he spent a lot of time doing “Who Would Win?” battles with various animals. He loves nature shows, Wild Kratts, and making us feel ignorant with this vast animal knowledge.
He is genuinely excited to see any animal in its natural habitat. He will yell, “Mom, come quick!” I’ll run into the other room expecting to see a bear in our yard, and he’ll excitedly point out the window at a squirrel (as if he hasn’t seen hundreds in his lifetime!). He loves the zoo but his favorite is to go for a walk in the woods and on trails at parks to look for critters and animal dens. His favorite bird is a blue heron and he was thrilled to find one in a pond just a few miles from our house, hunting for fish. We visit regularly now and he has named it Blue Fisher.
Lucas still greatly enjoys writing and drawing. One of his biggest laments when he found out he couldn’t go back to school this spring, was that he wouldn’t be able to retrieve his quiet time book, a blank book that he filled with writing and drawing during free time at school. Luckily I was able to find a similar book for him to use at home and he’s filled up two already. He also wrote his own Magic Tree House book (entitled The Deed of the Dodo) as a birthday gift for a friend this summer and learned to draw a bunch of Star Wars characters from a how-to book I found. He spent many happy hours making his own Star Wars encyclopedia on PowerPoint during the strictest days of our COVID quarantine.
Speaking of Star Wars, he got very interested in those movies this past fall. He watched the eight movies that were out before the holidays and then saw The Rise of Skywalker in the theater during his holiday break. After getting Star Wars figures for Christmas, he remade and performed all nine movies for us including some aspects of the original stories and adding his own details and variations. Once we were quarantined at home in March, he and Jaime built a plethora of the space ships and other vehicles by repurposing Lego bricks that Lucas had from other sets. I was impressed by what they came up with (and very happy not to have to buy a bunch of new sets).
He loves fantasy stories and fell in love with The Hobbit after reading it this summer. I suspect we may be treated to a Lucas remake of that epic tale at some point too.
Lucas enjoyed soccer again this year. In the fall he played for King Cobras, his school team, and Michigan Tigers which is the club where Jaime coaches. He got to have Coach Dad for both teams! He continued to play indoors over the winter but the spring season got canceled. This summer he has started up again with his Tigers team, however, it looks much different as he is only able to do training exercises with his team in a strict, socially distanced, outdoor environment. There are no player interactions, scrimmages or games but he is still thrilled to be back on the field!
And of course, now that he is a big brother, Lucas spends a lot of time with his little sister. It’s been fun to watch their relationship evolve from wide-eyed watching to all-out playing and tumbling around together. No one can make Alena squeal and laugh more than big brother! He reads to her, chases her around and wrestles with her, and keeps an eye on her for me if I need half a second to complete a task. He is very loving and attentive and only rarely gets mad at her when she steals his toys, drinks out of his water bottle, pushes her way into whatever he’s trying to do alone, or any other number of pesky little sister antics she pulls. She is lucky to have him!
All of these hobbies and activities are part of Lucas, but what we love most is his heart. He is sweet and considerate. He is loving and kind. Nearly every time we make a meal he likes, he tells us that it is the best we have ever made. He asks us how our day is going and listens to our response. He notices if we’re sad and tries to comfort us. He has already promised that when we get old he will stop by as often and he can and that he will take good care of us. He really is a gem and we love him so much!