Worst & Best Things About Almost-8-Year-Old Boys

Mom Moment 6

My son is going to be 8 years old in August. Eight! As my oldest, he has the dubious honor of being his own uniquely wonderful person, and also living proof of the inexorable forward march of time. To me he represents the point when my life took its careening, shit-flying-out-the-windows turn into parenthood, and every birthday is both a celebration of his life and a private mind-boggle over just how long it's been since I paced outside a bathroom door, waiting the requisite minutes before I could see the test results, emotions twisting my already-queasy stomach into knots: hopeful terrified anxious happy scared excited nervous CANICHECKYET??

As I gear up to say goodbye to 7 -- for now, that is: my 5-year-old seems to be on the same high-speed Heartbreak Express out of little-kid territory -- I'd like to reminisce about my favorite things about parenting an almost-8-year-old boy ... along with a few of the less savory aspects.

Let's start with the not-so-awesome parts:

• Skid marks. Look, I'm not saying that picking up a brown-streaked pair of Ninjago underwear with your bare hands is as gross as changing a fully loaded diaper, but it's not exactly my favorite thing in the entire universe either. (Someone should totally sell a special set of tongs for this purpose. "Hello, Shark Tank? I'm offering $250,000 for 10 percent of my business and --" Sharks, in unison: "WE'RE OUT.") Maybe 7-year-old boys are always in a hurry because they've got a busy schedule of leaving a variety of painful and/or terrifying toys around the house for people to accidentally step on, but in my experience, their attention to detail when it comes to wiping is occasionally what you might call lacking.

• War noises. Pew. Pew pew pew! KABOOOOOOSH. Pow zap zzzzzzzzzkapooosh. Nnnnnnnnaaoooow! Blam blam blam blam. Pshew! ETC. What is with the near-constant air-ground combat noises? Whatever's going on in his head, it's a full-blown assault with lasers, explosives, and missiles. During a five-day road trip recently, I turned around to record what the kids sounded like during a long afternoon stretch of driving -- please note the 5-year-old placidly "feeding" his stuffed animal while his brother conducts some sort of complicated military operation next to him.

• Obsession with farting/burping. I mean, come on. Nothing's THAT funny, Child Who's Rolling Around On the Floor in Full-Blown Hysterical Laughter Because His Brother Ripped a Tiny High-Pitched Toot.

The good parts of 7 have far, FAR outweighed the bad, though. For instance:

• Spontaneous hand-holding. I know the days of my boy randomly reaching out to clasp my hand are coming to an end, so I soak it up whenever I get the chance.

• Random moments of legitimate humor. You know when your kid says something that's actually funny for REAL, as opposed to just being adorable or inappropriate or fart-focused or whatever? Seven seems like the age when this starts happening more and more frequently.

• Politeness. No longer a shy little kid, not yet a bershon pre-teen. At 7, my kid is staggeringly polite and offers an impressively manly one-pump handshake when meeting new people.

• Bravery. My sensitive, anxious boy is constantly meeting his worries head-on lately. A Ferris Wheel ride! A leap into the river from a towering rock! The creepy Dementors in that Harry Potter movie! Over and over, he shows me that he won't let fear stop him from the things he wants to experience.

• Overall awesomeness in almost every category. He's self-sufficient, generally upbeat, has a great gap-toothed smile, loves to give hugs, is best friends with his brother, shares my enthusiasm for Ren & Stimpy, plays a mean game of Connect 4, and tempers his obnoxious cavechild tendencies with a wonderfully caring soul. He's growing in leaps and bounds into the amazing man he'll eventually become, but thank goodness there's still so much little boy left to treasure.

Oh, 7 has been pretty much perfect, and I can't wait to see what 8 will bring. Do you like this age too?

Image via Linda Sharps



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Angie... AngieHayes

My kids are 3 and 4, and I must say, I am enjoying 4. Although I still wipe his butt, and get most of his drinks, he does say some pretty funny things all on his own and loves to hold my hand, of course. He does make those crazy sounds when he plays, I would miss them if he didn't make them.  He is pretty nice to his sister too and talks about the baby on the way often. I can't imagine him being 8 one day, it seems so far away, but so did 4, and here he is...

Tracys2 Tracys2

Mine is 8 and I agree with a lot of what you said. 5-8 are my favourite ages so far, and I have 2 (soon to be 3) kids in that range.

He'll sit on my lap sometimes at church still <3

And he's smart as all get-out and is starting to have good taste in internet gaming videos, budgets his money, and still loves to share

ILove... ILoveAsherAthan

My little boy just turned 8 in May. And although I see him becoming independent and confident, i still feel great because he still needs his mommy. This made me tear up... I love my little Asher.

nonmember avatar Alyssa

My boys are 4 and 6 and I feel like the good stuff is just starting. I love this age so far.

Survi... Survivingthe2nd

This is so sweet!!! Thanks for making me look forward to my little guy's future :) oh and happy early Birthday to tour gorgeous kiddo!!!

katboo01 katboo01

This made me tear up.  My son is 8 now and it's the best age yet.  He still wants to hang out with me and cuddle but yet has an independent streak to him that I am astounded by, like making his own breakfast.  I don't want him to get older!

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