The past few months have seen dramatic changes in Angelo as he continues to grow into his own person. Even physically, I can see his fingers getting longer, losing that stubby and chubby doll-like feel when I hold it in mine. Better yet, he can now reassuringly hold my hand in his as we hold hands whenever I indulge his request for me to ride in the back of the car with him.
His animated expressions are becoming more complex and dramatic and funnier. Often, he would try to get on Mommy’s soft side by tucking his chin into his chest faking a forlorn look to show a sad face. Then a smile would creep up and you know he’s pulling your leg just doing a last ditch attempt to get you to agree to what he wants.
He takes great pride in his work which is plastered all over Alan’s office. I, unfortunately, don’t have the same space or luxury as I am on a floor that requires a certain restraint in terms of decor. There’s a piece or two tucked in a discreet corner, but I have to be creative in terms of displaying his precious work.
I still have most of his works from his day care days from age one on. I have them in a box in the attic, and I’m hoping to incorporate them into a scrapbook I can show him when he’s all grown up. Even now, he has a twinkle in his eyes when I show him things he cannot remember anymore as he had made them when he was a little boy in his “Prepper” class.
Sometimes I feel like I can do a better job of staying on top of his learning and exploring phase, but at the same time, I give Alan and myself a pat on the back for the way we have nurtured his individualism and creativity as a whole. He’s a happy child. That he is incisive and smart is a plus. I still shirk away from having him tested as a gifted child because I’m afraid to drive him too hard. I feel that if indeed he has that special spark in him, I can bring it out without pulling it out of him so to speak. I was never pressured as a child which worked for me in some ways and which led to many daydreaming days, but I had always enjoyed school, something I can clearly see from the way he relishes Mondays and schooldays in general.
We are truly fortunate that we live in a city which is rich in culture and learning. Angelo is no stranger to museums, having had his first taste of crowds before his second birthday at no less than the Museum of Modern Art which he refers to as the “museum with the Helicopter” — in reference to his favorite installation: Arthur Young’s “Bell-47D1 Helicopter“.
He seems to have inherited my penchant for crayons and other instruments of color. Markers, pencils, watercolor, fingerpaint. So now we share a box of 96 which I had so carefully hidden in my craft closet but which I now use with him. (What’s the use of storing a set? It’s just crayons. So what if I have only 92 now? That’s still 92 different colors to play with..) I have stocks of playfoam shapes which I grab from Target’s Dollar Bin and they have been very handy in terms of putting together home projects for school and the like. I have a stack of 11×17 card stock paper which he has access to at any time so over the weekend, he put the heart foam shapes and tiny eyes together into this card which has a simple inscription within: “I love Mom”.
Precious. Like schoolwork, I just let him draw, let him paint. He likes to see his sharpened pencils all bundled up neatly in his pencil case. He does his homework and he gets his stars and the occasional smiley face (which is “Very Good” compared to the “Excellent” of the star) or a check (which is equivalent to “Good”). He is also showing a love of reading which I hope to continue to nurture through the years. It is almost always difficult to pull him towards setting aside a favorite read because we need a new entry in his book log, and there are still dozens of books on the shelf he has yet to open.
Here’s a proud mom showing off his latest masterpiece which I am seriously considering to be the front cover of our next Christmas card.