Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Eight is Great

Gavin-is-8-002

“Hi, my name is Gavin.  My favorite color is blue.  I love pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, hamburgers, and bananas.  My favorite thing to do is draw and design video games.  White and Nerdy by Weird Al Yankovic is my favorite song.  When I grow up I want to be an inventor, design robots, make movies, and be a cartoonist.  Today is my birthday.”

I can’t believe my little guy is 8 years old already!  Each stage and age has always felt normal and natural to me.  I’ve never really looked at Gavin and thought that the time has flown by.  Until now.  Maybe that’s part of the charm of him being the oldest.  Everything made sense until this birthday.  I’m really not ok with him turning 8 years old.  It helps that he is still hugging Ted E. Bear, the stuffed animal Gavin claimed as his own in infancy.  All these years later that bear is still wearing the tiny little outfit given to me by a coworker at my baby shower.  Gavin wore that outfit.

He is still a young boy even though it feels like the end of an era for him to turn 8.  All my years of child development classes taught me that the pre-operational stage of childhood ends around age 8.  For whatever reason this is my favorite stage of childhood.  In college I found it very interesting to learn that there is an actual chemical change in children’s brains at age 8.  The window for this change is anywhere from a month or so before the 8th birthday to a month or so after.  Children have better reasoning skills and concrete understanding.  I remember hearing that and having an a-ha moment.  My religious beliefs are that children are blameless until the age of accountability, which God has determined is age 8.  This is why we don’t baptize babies or young children.  We believe that once a child is 8 years old they are mature enough to understand the decision of baptism and be responsible for their choices.  Click here to read more about what Mormons believe about baptism.

Most mothers miss being needed by their infants.  I am starting to feel a sense of loss now that Gavin has reached the age of accountability.  I hope I have taught him well.  The good news is that he’s not being “cut off” in any way.  This is just another step toward maturity.  Heath and I have the philosophy that you raise adults not children.  I think we’re doing ok. 

8 thoughts:

Becca Jane said...

Wow, 8!!!!! I can't believe that. I forgot our boys all have July birthdays, that's right!! Can't wait to hear about his baptism, I bet it will be such a special day for him and your family!

sugarpierdh said...

Happy Happy Birthday Gavin! i hope you have a great year!!

Grandma W said...

Happy Birthday, Little g. Well, you are not quite so little anymore. We sure hope we can make it to your baptism. You are such a special young man. We love you.

The Piquant Storyteller said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes ladies. He had a fun day. I'm really hoping his baptism day can be shared with family. Apparently the stake is strict about making special accommodations. We'll see what we can do.

Amy said...

I have a 6 1/2 year old, and I know 8 is coming soon. I always felt like students I had in my afterschool program changed to little adults around then. I guess it makes sense...

The Piquant Storyteller said...

Children are fascinating to me, Amy. I'm sure in about 5 more years I'll be amazed at the changes kids go through between childhood and adolescence.

TxMom said...

Great to be eight! I love the excitement and fearlessness of kids. Must be the reason I've always worked in Primary most of my life.

Congrats to Gavin! Remembering my boys at that age, they grow up so fast. One is speaking in Portland this weekend, topic is on creating video games. Another is working on his phd at U of U, mechanical engineering/robotics. One on a mission in Oregon. Another finishing up his research at VA Tech. Gavin would fit right in.

The Piquant Storyteller said...

Thanks Heidi. Gavin is definitely looking forward to being baptized next month. It looks like you've raised some very successful and smart boys.