Ben is 8!

They say it goes fast and gosh, they are right. Ben’s eighth year has been an absolute delight. Age seven for Ben will go down as one of my all-time favorite years so far. This age felt particularly wonderful because it felt like so much clicked for him as he transitioned from a little kid to a big kid this year.

Ben’s stats:

  • Weight: 50 pounds
  • Height: about 50.5 inches
  • Clothing size: in between kids small (6/7) and medium (8/9)
  • Shoe size: kids 1
  • Number of teeth lost: 3!
  • Favorite foods: pasta with green sauce {spinach + roasted garlic!}, tortellini with mushroom sauce, egg in a hole, Dad’s fettuccini Alfredo, pizza from school lunch, Dad’s pizza, mac & cheese from The Old Mill
  • Favorite activities: playing outside, climbing, running, watching car videos, riding his bike, doing art projects, skiing, dancing, spending time with friends/family, jumping on the trampoline, reading

This year it felt like all the pieces started really coming together for Ben. Academically, Ben absolutely flourished this year. He built a very solid foundation in kindergarten and it was scaffolded upon beautifully in first grade this year. Mid-way through the year we walked into his room to find him reading a chapter book in his little chair. The absolute best! His math skills are impressively sharp, too.

He started last summer in swimming lessons and flew through the levels as he built strength and swimming skills. I’m so excited to watch him as he joins the swim team this summer.

Soccer season last fall was an absolute joy in the sense that Ben was *finally* into the game! He was the highest scoring player on his team. His spring soccer season just wrapped up and, similarly, he was focused and engaged in the game and had a wonderful time.

Biking is one of Ben’s favorite hobbies. He not only has a natural knack for it, he’s practiced and taken several camps throughout the years. At this point, I can no longer keep up with him in speed or ability on the mountain bike trails. He and Alex have been going out and riding together a bit lately and they are great riding buddies. At home, Alex built Ben and Hannah a mini pump track in our forest, and Ben can often be found riding it or up and down the driveway. Of course, he still *loves* riding the pump track.

Ski season last winter was, unsurprisingly, a particularly spectacular one for Ben. His Nordic skills are really improving – his skate skiing technique improved leaps and bounds from the year before. And gosh, downhill skiing with Ben is a sheer delight. He is such a good skier.

One of the most profound observations I made of Ben this year is his emotion regulation and emotional awareness. Ben became a lot more even keeled in his emotions this year and the most common emotion was, of all things, calm. Sure, Ben is still the same active kid he has quite literally always been, but his demeanor is more often than not calm.

Throughout this last year it felt like so many things we’d been working on with Ben for years have finally clicked. He has an incredible emotional intelligence and ability to regulate his emotions most of the time. It is so impressive. I have a clear memory from late this winter where he didn’t have the vocabulary to describe how he was feeling (he had just accidentally knocked over Hannah’s marble run that he knew she worked *so* hard to build) so he asked if we could spend some more time learning about emotions.

The love Ben has for his sister is incredibly heart warming. Ben is an excellent big brother. He is so thoughtful, helpful, patient, protective and caring. His patience with Hannah is wildly impressive. This is where that calm demeanor comes in and saves the day. Their friendship is so deep and filled with love.

question/inquiry into life

It’s been clear more recently that Ben is giving a lot of thought into his future. He talks a lot about some of his intentions for where he will live, and I know he’s trying to imagine what his home will look like. Thankfully it’ll be close by and he and Hannah will be next door neighbors. Naturally, he knows exactly which cars he and his partner {whom he’s already selected} will drive.

A few years ago Ben formed a deep adoration of cars. He has an encyclopedic awareness of most modern vehicles and is incredibly passionate about learning more about cars. We have some friends with some really fun cars, like the brand new Sequoia, the Rivian S and the gull wing Tesla and they have all been so incredibly gracious in allowing Ben to explore their cars. Amazingly, when Ben hops in it’s he who is giving the tour and generally points out a feature that the car owner didn’t even realize was there. Ben actually just informed me that I do, in fact, have a CD player in my car {not sure he even knows what a CD is, but he knows I can play one!}.

His interest in cars is very focused on modern cars, and he has a particular affinity for off-roading vehicles, as well as luxury vehicles. He is very often disappointed to learn that his parents will not be purchasing a luxury vehicle, despite his persistent pleas and recommendations. Alex is in the market for a new car later this year, so it’s been very fun for Ben and Alex to chat about it.

Ben is a very creative kiddo. He loves art, design, constructing magnetic tile/block/lego houses, putting together beautiful wildflower arrangements, and rearranging his room. He’s recently become interested in home designs, both from a style perspective as well as an architectural.

Ben is an absolute joy as a human. He is kind, so sweet, loving and just a delight to be around. It has been one of my greatest pleasures watching him turn into the incredible big kid that he is. I’m so excited to see what Ben is like as an 8-year old!

{it was particularly fun looking back on “ben is seven” to remind myself of how much he’s really grown up this year!}

Ben is seven

Ben is six

Ben is five

Ben is four

Ben is three

Ben is two

Ben is one

Ben is born!