Friday, May 19, 2017

Asher: 7 years old

Running the 1-miler for his school
He's only been 7 for a month and a half, I'm not THAT late!

Asher is a typical first-born, even if he only beat Benjamin into the world by 12 minutes.  He is mature, helpful, and bossy.  He is an excellent big brother, who wants to take care of his siblings.  He is a conscientious student and hopefully a good friend!
Being a good big brother to his little sister
In the past year, I have really enjoyed my time with Asher as a friend.  We have a lot of interests in common- running, amusement park rides, walks, shopping, and talking.  He always jumps up to go with me on whatever adventure I might be heading out on. He has a never-ending curiosity about the world and how it works; on our walks, we have talked about marriage and divorce, mortgages, insurance, and how to save money.  I adore his sense of humor. Like me, he can find something so silly so funny, and fall to pieces laughing. His laugh is infectious, and I can't help but join in.  I think Eric gets annoyed with us when we get carried away (often at bedtime, which is when I tend to get hysterically laughing myself) because he thinks I'm winding Asher up.  Maybe I am.

He has continued to run, and takes his running series races very seriously.  Together we ran the 1-miler for his school, and just this week he rain the nature trail at Haverford College with me- 2.2 miles. I cannot tell you how much joy it gave me to run with him- he keeps a good pace, and we were talking the whole way.  I am in disbelief at how quickly he has grown from a baby into a friend, a person who I truly enjoy spending time with (and not just because he is my son).  He is so strong and determined, and I am so proud.

After the run, we stopped at Trader Joe's, and he picked out a bouquet of flowers for me, because he had given me a coupon for flowers for Mother's Day.  I loved that he remembered and wanted to follow through. Then, on our way home from the run, we were talking about whether he likes or loves school- he says he likes it, but doesn't love it. He said he would love it if he had more time spent playing and less time spent "learning." I acknowledged that was a fair point. I asked him if he liked or loved running, and he said he loved it.  It does thrill me that we share that love together.
Before the 1 mile race
Running his 1/4 mile race at the Running Series
Asher and I also share a love of amusement park rides.  We went to the local church "fun fair," and he accompanied me on the Ferris Wheel and then a ride that was like hang-gliding.  Eric hates rides, and Benjamin and Charlotte are still scared of them, so it is just the two of us getting our adrenaline fix.  Now that he is over 48", the amusement world is his oyster!
On the Ferris Wheel
Asher has been a fairly diligent student this year.  He seems more preoccupied with following the rules and being social than with academics, but his work is consistent and he is careful with it.  I have had to encourage him to read, but his abilities have grown by leaps and bounds in the past few months.  I bribed him with a book from the Scholastic order from his school and he read every night for a week.  He seems quite competent at math and has no trouble doing his work.

Asher's social skills are quite impressive for a young boy.  He is charming and polite.  Every time he has a play date, the parents report that he is excellent company. One parent said, "Asher is my next husband!" He isn't always charming and polite to his parents, but he knows how to work his charms outside the home.  It is hard to believe that our toddler who received speech therapy is now so articulate.
Asher practicing his meditation at our hotel in DC
His likes and dislikes- he continues to be extremely picky with food.  Over the course of the past year, he has had a few sessions with a psychologist to help him with his fruit phobia- after sitting alone at lunch at camp all summer, I was worried he'd be isolated at school.  He learned some cognitive-behavioral techniques that seemed helpful, and the school year started fine, but in November, a classmate showed Asher a mushy apple at lunchtime and Asher threw up in the cafeteria.  We went back to his therapist for a refresher and he seemed better, but he will still avoid being at the table when we eat fruit at home, and recently lost his mind over a grocery store croissant, so I would say food is still an issue.  He still loves his carbs- bread, cereal, crackers, pretzels, waffles, and desserts- but he eats a variety of non-fruit items as well.  He likes proteins like chicken, turkey, and some beef, and he eats almost every vegetable I cook (although he doesn't like salad). He likes hummus, and has gone back to eating the occasional Polly-O string cheese.  For dinner I make one entree and that is their only option, so he has eaten and enjoyed tofu, vegetarian curry, and various other adventurous foods.  The doctor didn't seem concerned given his consistent growth and overall good health.

Asher likes playing on the iPad, watching TV, and playing outside. He loves to have play dates with friends, and I always encourage him to have friends over after school on the afternoons I am home. He likes to explore new places, and I allow him and Benjamin to roam free while we are at the park.  It makes me a little nervous, but I remember doing it as a child, and the memories of the imaginary worlds I created with my friends are still strong all these years later.
I was suddenly in the mood for squid for dinner...
I do feel, if it wasn't already apparent, that Asher and I have more in common than I do with Benjamin and Charlotte- at least at this point in time.  This doesn't mean that he is my "favorite," because I am passionate about all three of them.  It is just a recognition that their personalities are all different, and at this point, Asher and I are more similar.  This has changed over time- I remember when Charlotte was a newborn I felt that we were in some way almost divinely connected- and I am sure it will continue to change.  But if my description of Asher appears more detailed or of a different quality than my description of Benjamin, that is why.

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