Ben is eight

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If you’ve seen Ben in the last month or so, you probably already know that today is his birthday.  He has had a mental countdown for weeks, and could quickly re-calculate the date with reference to other days — “Mom, after we go to the store next Thursday, then it will be 11 days until my birthday.”  He even told the cashier at Rite-Aid yesterday that he had one day to go.He is willing to share his superior mathematical reasoning with others as well.  The other day he casually mentioned, “Mom, I taught Jon (who is in kindergarten) to multiply and divide.”  Whew.  Glad that’s done.

As Mary is rapidly approaching the “terrible twos,” I’ve thought often of Ben, who was by far our toughest toddler.  Some of you will remember his great fondness for toilets, which was disturbing, embarrassing, and the cause of many, many tantrums.  It was particularly exciting if the toilet a) was an interesting color — my mom has a brown one, and I bet your grandma has a powder blue one; b) had a very strong and/or automatic flush; or c) was in someone’s house who I was really trying to impress.  He was pretty easy to potty train, needless to say.

When he FINALLY outgrew his toddler-ness, Benjamin became a bright, lovely child.  His teachers always love him, and I’m pretty sure his brain is wired uniquely, as he seems to have some unusual talents.  Most recently, he has won several “How many ____ are in the jar?” contests — one he guessed exactly.  Even he doesn’t know how he figured it out.

Tender-hearted (which is both good and bad) and endlessly creative, Benjamin keeps himself and the rest of us busy, busy, busy.  Our kids get to choose a restaurant for their birthday, and he has slyly chosen the snack bar at a “fun center” where he can roller skate and/or play video games after his meal — a little too clever for his own good, no?

When he was accepted into a gifted magnet program this year, we agonized over whether to send Ben to a different school than his brothers, but I ultimately felt that he would thrive amongst other kids like him.  I’m feeling great about that decision — not only does he love chess club, and other activities at his school, he also has a young teacher who looks just like the princess in “Enchanted.”  I’m serious and she’s single if you know anybody.

Happy, happy birthday to my beautiful boy.

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