Jonah at nine

Jonah turned nine yesterday, and I worry that I’m a little out of practice capturing things in writing, somehow I’ve gotten away from doing this, but I want to get some notes down about who he is right now.

His favorite pastime is still building things, engineering, figuring things out. He still loves LEGO more than most any other toy, but gets excited about nearly any building kit. He loves to figure out how things work, notices details, and still has a memory that amazes us. For his birthday he wanted to go to The Air Zoo and while watching a short video about Curiosity he told me before each part of the space contraption changed/separated what was about to happen. Supposedly he knew from a book how the entire thing was constructed and built to land safely.

He still reads more than just about anyone I’ve ever met. Right now he adores both the Wings of Fire and Keeper of the Lost Cities series. Fantasy with a heavy dose of grave peril seems to be his genre. He loves anything dark purple, rock music (he’s especially enamored with the LEGO Ninjago soundtrack these days), and along with his siblings has fallen in love with a playground game called Gaga Ball this year.

He loves my chocolate chip banana pancakes, and requested both pizza and Indian (palak paneer specifically) as meals on his birthday. He asked for a purple tarantula cake for his birthday and I’m pretty pleased with how it came out.

In the last year his commitment to karate seems to have deepened. That doesn’t mean he always wants to go to class – he isn’t great with transitions and getting him out of the house on time is always a struggle – but when he’s there, and especially if Mrs. Thompson is there, he works hard and does very well. He’s the most advanced kid in class at this point, with two stripes on his yellow belt and working hard on green belt skills. He can’t wait for ski season to begin this winter. His spunky friend Lucy is probably the friend he sees the most these days, but it seems he gets along with just about everyone in his class (according to his teacher). She says he doesn’t have a judgmental bone in his body – he either doesn’t notice, or doesn’t care, whether someone is cool or not. She raves about how helpful he is (and jokes about how he reads ALL DAY LONG, and that she knows by now that she needs to say his name twice to get his attention – she’s a patient and loving soul and we’re so glad he has her this year). He got into the Academically Talented program for both Math and English and while it’s only been a few weeks he seems to enjoy it.

He’s the kid I clash the most with, the one who is the most challenging to figure out how to parent, how to gain cooperation from, how to meet where he is and not squash his spirit while still teaching him how to do the things we need from him. His anger is explosive but his love burns bright. He’s brilliant and beautiful and sometimes a total enigma. He’s still incredibly affectionate, and last night after birthday cake he asked if he could sleep with me, and so he did (a rarity these days) and I soaked up all of the cuddles, never knowing how long it will last. I always tell him that I hope he’s never too big to want to sit on my lap, and he laughs and assures me that he’ll always want to.

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