Tyler, you have always been content to putter. As a toddler, you had the fabulous ability to entertain yourself in quiet, productive ways. You were still a very busy, mischievous child, but I have enjoyed watching this trait grow and mature with your age. At seven, your quiet, thoughtful pursuits included drawing, building with Legos, reading, and working out riddles. You kept long books and travel games by your seat in the van so that even if we were only driving for five minutes, your brain was anxiously engaged. You were thrilled with math fact wrap-ups, the Highlights magazine, and Math Mania puzzles.
This personality trait obviously transferred nicely to your school work. You LOVED school. You loved learning and trying new things. You grasped concepts quickly and liked to stretch yourself. Your first grade teacher, Mrs. Castro, spent a lot of extra time preparing work that was appropriate for your learning level. Your third grade reading teacher, Mrs. Ferris (also Zachary's classroom teacher), had the same challenge in your reading class! You were very easy-going at school and happy to complete your copious homework at home. Some days you had five worksheets after school, but you nearly always completed them quickly, correctly, and without my prodding.
You were fascinated with Dad's Nook, a digital tablet that he won at work. You loved playing games, of course, but nearly every night you got to read digital books on the Nook. You started learning about historical figures like Abraham Lincoln and King Tut. You also began reading the Percy Jackson novels after Zach became so excited about them.
In spite of your calm and quiet interests, you were going through a phase full of loud outbursts and anger directed at your siblings. It seemed like a cry for attention and an attempt at being more significant in the world. We were mystified about a solution, however. A common consequence for your screaming fits and hitting fests was chores around the house, so you were learning to clean! You and Zach were also responsible for dish duty every night (under Dad's direction), so you also knew how to handle dishes, wipe counters, and sweep the floor. You weren't thrilled about this development.
You had always battled eczema, but that winter your skin was just painfully dry. Areas around your eyes and ears, in the crooks of your arms, behind your knees, around your ankles, and across your knuckles were scaly and cracked. A special cream helped as long as we remembered to use it! You still chewed your fingernails. You were sad that it was taking so very long for your missing top tooth to grow in. You also started asking why your hair wasn't flat in the front like Gavin's. You didn't like your cowlick very much! At least Zach had one, too. You were growing a lot at that age. You started wearing size 8 shirts and pants. Your newest shoes were size 2.5. You were still adjusting to tying laces every day, since most of your shoes up to this point had used Velcro.
Three of our neighbors had seven- and eight-year-old boys. Two of them were named Tyler! You and Zach played pretty well with the neighbor boys. You were very glad for after-school and weekend playmates. When you had free time, you also loved to play video and computer games and watch television. Of course I preferred your other pursuits!