Six years gone by

Behind my desk sits a tall white dresser. It's not an expensive dresser. It's not an old dresser. It is a spare dresser, however, and it's loaded to the gills with photo albums and loose photos I've yet to get into other photo albums.

One weekend not too long ago, we pulled some of the collection out. Logan spent well over an hour marveling over how tiny he had actually been.

And I spent the same duration marveling over how tiny he no longer was.

In just a handful of hours he'll wake up. He'll rub the sleep from his eyes. He'll blink until the clock comes into focus. And then, deciding it's an acceptable time to let free his proclamation, he'll wake up the rest of us with the news that he is indeed an official 6 year old.

In the hot days of summer 2002, Logan spent a lot of time clad in a simple cotton onesie, lying on his back admiring clouds and blades of grass. Today he spends hot summer days mastering the latest video game, trying to perfect his "underwater hand stand" and striving to solve the ever-baffling mystery of riding a bike without training wheels.

Back then he took the world in through those big inquisitive eyes that seemed to dissect the unknown into small manageable pieces. Today, well today he's the same - the unknown just got bigger. Confronted with something new, Logan will study it with a fierce intensity. Sometimes the hands start to move - mimicking the motion of an item's internal mechanism or the way an insect moves. He may even whisper a particular math problem or phrase to himself over and over. When he's done that film of concentration leaves his eyes and he refocuses on whatever else surrounds him. He may have left "the zone" - but whatever it was that got him locked on is now etched in that little head of his.

Logan spent those early days visiting Grandma at her office - a non-profit organization in town. Perhaps the place rubbed off on him. Logan's a regular volunteer by his own desire. He gives time to everything from Meals on Wheels to fundraising walks and food bank collections.

He's an adoring brother who will also, at last from time to time, readily wish his sister would take a permanent vacation to someone else's house. He says this, often with a growl and a rage in his eyes over something or other she's attempted to do to him, but he'd be lost without her. He's always there with a pep talk or a hug when she needs them most. He's her champion and her best friend. Her "Brubee."

He's a good friend, not just to his little sister, but to any kid that comes into his orbit. He's the sort of kid that stops his own race to help another up from the ground. He's the one that's on the bench cheering his team mates even when he's having an off day. He's a kid that doesn't let a little thing like "language barriers" get in the way of some good play time. His philosophy is, "English? Spanish? French? Hey, a Lego is a Lego. Just smile nice and build."

He's a perfectionist and sometimes that's really hard. Things come easy to him and sometimes that's a road block. When something doesn't come easily he's quickly discouraged. There's a tight rope walk we work to master - bolstering his esteem over the tasks that need a little extra work on his behalf while keeping him level headed and realistic.

When Logan was a baby he discovered certain sounds and actions could trigger a cascade of laughter from the grown-ups around him. Little has changed. Logan has a sense of humor and enough self-awareness and confidence to apply that sense of humor wisely. Usually.

Sometimes he struggles to meld the two contradictory aspects of his personality. He can be reticent to change...almost to the point of unease. Yet he's terribly adventurous and curious. He's a serious soul that is a jumble of nerves as he leaps into new situations. He tends to lean back on reserved to almost rudely silent when walking into new places or meeting new people. Yet, he yearns to discover and explore. He looks forward to new opportunities with zeal and he relishes the chances to grow from them. He happily stand before a classroom full of peers and their assorted grown-up types to perform magic trick after magic trick. Moments later, however, he'll stare down an adult he does not know well refusing to speak more than a few words and most certainly not willing to shake their hand.

He loves numbers. He loves to tally up columns of them and then slash that total by subtracting even more digits. He likes to challenge himself with multiplication and he's decided that division might be worth his while. For fun he plows through pages of math workbooks levels ahead of what he's expected to have mastered. And he wants even more.

He's downright enamored with science. He declared himself a future doctor well over 4years ago...and he's sticking to it. Sometimes he even challenges his own doctor. And sometimes he's even right.

He's reader that lacks confidence in his own abilities. He reads well. He reads with inflection and even in varying voices associated with different characters. He doesn't always realize he's doing it. He sometimes doubts he can. He's a phonetic writer that has been known to slam down his pencil and declare "those people that made up the spelling rules" tremendous poop-heads. I struggle not to say "Well sometimes I have other names for them."

Above all else, however, he's my little boy that's not really so little any more. He's six. Just six. Little, although I'd not tell him that. He's just six and the proud owner of two, count them with him, two "grown-up" teeth. His face already slightly more mature for having sprouted them.

There are certain times the light catches his face or a particular way he smiles and I can see that small 6 pound, 13 ounce baby he once was. There are other times, even at this young age, when the shadow catches his jaw just so or the small furrow of his concentrating brow creases a particular way that I see a hint of the man he'll some day become. When he burrows his head into that hollow just above my shoulder and below my chin each night at "tuck-in", I know that even when that very routine becomes passes, the light and creases will still play these tricks on me. Who he is, who he was, who he will become - they'll all reside in that same face, under that same red hair every day I see him.

And, I also know that who he was, who he is and who he will be, will always move through this world as my hero. My inspriration. My masterpiece - who took the reigns and helped to sculpt himself.