Things are a just a little bit thrilling at the Stevenson household these days. I suppose it isn’t obvious on the surface. On the surface, daily life is what we’ve got: the boys to school every day, Emma to school every day, Bill to work. Soccer practice and games and a chorus concert for Emma; work and friends and final exams for the boys. On the surface of things, the cars come and go from the driveway, carrying one or more of us here and there, just doing the daily.
But the actual calendar tells a different story: one of Everett’s high school graduation on the horizon and Will’s wedding in British Columbia not terribly long after that. Which means that inside the house, in addition to the dailies of meals and chores and the writing and editing that I should be and absolutely am doing (right?), I am planning parties and going through photos and–only occasionally, of course–sighing deeply over How Very Fast a childhood–even three of them–flies by.
Somewhere in the process, I came across this post about Everett, and I’ve decided to re-post it here for posterity, for joy, for the beauty it is to know him now and to have known him when he was six-and-a-half. Read it, if you’d like.
When you are six and a half, you might have two new front teeth that have just broken through the gums and are making their slow and steady descent.
When you are six and a half, you might go to bed on Tuesday night with your animals in a bed of their own. Yes, you might, very carefully, have made a bed for them On your bed, using a pillow from the sofa for their heads, and the throw blanket for a cover. You might have placed Injury there, a green beanie baby bunny that you’ve had forever, so named because he gets hurt a lot; and an unnamed yellow beanie baby bunny that Mr. Howard gave to your little sister; and a blue beanie baby dog that you named Abandoned because someone found it on the trail; and a small stuffed seal, that you might refer to as a Beaver, because that’s what you think it is.
When you are six and a half, you might go to bed on Wednesday night with a full arsenal under the covers including a yellow water gun (empty) and a cap gun that no longer works, and a Very Noisy blue plastic machine gun that came in a police set for Christmas and is Not To Be Used On The Main Floor of This House. You might also have two sticks to be transformed on the morrow into a bow and arrow, and a small plastic paintbrush that looks like a paintbrush but is really a magic wand. And right before your mother kisses you good-night, you might pull from under your pillow the bit of white rope, the end of which is tied into a lasso, because you wanted to be certain you didn’t lose it.
When you are six and a half you might spend hours with your big brother building Star Wars ships out of Lego pieces, and you might use them to frequently recreate the Battle of Hoth on your bedroom floor.
When you are six and a half, your cozy blanket, your thumb, and your mother might be Very Important to you.
When you are six and a half you might, with Readily Measurable Confidence, wave a cheerful good-bye to your own mini-van, and have a Really Splendid Time at your friend Peter’s birthday party, and come home with a kind of swagger, and say it was fun.
When you are six and a half you might be able to Run Really Fast and only ever run that way, Never Slower.
You might… if you are Everett.