Tomorrow is Finnian's 11th birthday. Yesterday he had a small get together with some friends--a good mix of ages and genders (hooray for homeschooling and the way it allows children to mix with all kinds and not form ideas about who they are supposed to like or dislike!). They dueled with Yu-gi-oh cards, a sport that is entirely beyond my comprehension in its intricacy and attraction. They used stamps to make cards and they almost to a person rejected the ice cream cake that I made. How, you ask, could children, nay, anyone of any age, reject an ice cream cake? We are talking Julia Child's recipe here, not some Carvel whale of a cake. The answer lies within--at Finnian's request one layer was coffee ice cream. Hint to parents: most children hate coffee ice cream.
Finnian is not most children.
And that is what makes him so wonderful and so frustrating. I think I have written more about Lucy because Lucy has embraced what I embrace (at least for the time being - believe me I am enjoying every moment knowing it may be short-lived). But Finnian and I often clash. He knows his own mind and does not want or need me to interfere. Being of a rather controlling nature, I like to interfere, or as I prefer to think of it, help out. We frequently find ourselves looking at each other thinking "how in the world can you....?"
I have noticed in other children that their 11th year is an interesting year. No longer children, not quite teenaged, definitely not adults, they wander between all those states: dipping a toe into adulthood, dangling their fingers into teenage life and then plunging back into childhood (how's that for a watery metaphor?). Finnian has been working his way there. One moment playing with his toys, one moment discussing Zeno's paradoxes. We see flashes of the person who he may become--someone who is a very caring, thoughtful person with a strong focus of mind and a killer sense of humour. I really like that guy and I look forward to seeing more of him.
I know he would not appreciate a photo of himself here, being of a rather private nature. Instead I will share a drawing he made for his cousin for Christmas. Please don't ask me what it means.