Eight / by Susie Lubell

Eight is not too old for a tickle from Saba.
Eight is not too old for a tickle from Saba.

Hi kiddo,
Well it's true what everyone is saying. You're eight. Eight years old. EIGHT. YEARS. Just like that. Well, not exactly just like that. A few of those years were pretty rough because, let's face it, you are not an ordinary boy. How does my friend Sharon refer to it? High persistence, low distractability. Yes, that's it. You are like a flash flood. Every day. Heading down the most direct path toward your natural destination. The Apple Store. For this has been your obsession since the day you put a shoe to your ear at age one and said alo?

But I know there is more to you than your ability to recite the apple device price list starting with shuffles all the way to MacBook Pros, though that is certainly impressive. For instance, your incredible memory has also helped you to learn from your mistakes, more this year than other year. Could it be that you will one day soon be a rational human? I'm not holding my breath but the signs are there.

When I think back to last year at this exact time, I am astonished by everything that's happened and how you have managed through it all. You moved to a new country where you learned to read and write in a new language at a new school in a new town. You made new friends and endeared new grown-ups to you. You learned to play piano and read music. You learned how to dress appropriately for the weather. I don't know why this is such a big deal, but it is. You learned how to DJ and now the whole neighborhood knows your eclectic taste in music. And all this without your kitty. I'm still mourning the loss of your kitty on the British Airways flight from New York. You were fine after a day or so and was still calling the airlines weeks later.

You know what else? You discovered Star Wars and now the force is with you. This has also opened up a whole new realm of acceptable birthday presents. Because buying you office supplies was getting kind of old. Although a laminator would make a nice addition to our household.  

About a month after you started school here your teacher used the word נבון (navon) to describe you and I had to look it up. She could have said you were just smart, and no one would have disagreed. But she said you were clever. And wise. WISE. She understood what we've known about you all along. That you have been around the block already. You have lessons to learn still, to be sure. But you are mostly here to teach me and Aba a thing or two. And we're old dogs so I hope you'll cut us some slack.

all my love, beautiful boy,