Dear Charleston,

As I type this, you are sitting across the dining table from me. Poking up from above the back of my computer screen is the Cars baseball cap that perpetually sits atop your head—the hat you tell me is your BEST FRIEND, that you’ve named Hut, and for whom you created a customized triple-decker bed for nighttime (even though Hut is usually still on your head when you sleep). You smile widely, exposing a mouth full of missing-and-half-grown teeth, your eyes betraying a mixture of uncertainty about this mini-interview and pride at this chance to be the center of attention. There’s a sense of mischief there, too, as you contemplate how seriously you want to take this and how much humor you can toss in.

I can hardly believe that six months have passed since your seventh birthday, that you are closer now to eight than six. This half year has brought few external changes for our family, yet you have grown and changed so much. You are maturing, growing in independence and knowledge while beginning to test the limits of our family rules (and also forming clearer ideas of what those rules should be). You are always up for an adventure, but will also happily spend hours in your room creating games and crafts while listening to Adventures in Odyssey, or camped out on our couch with a book.

You are a GREAT kid—thoughtful, creative, curious, and polite—and (almost always) a joy to be around. . . even if it does get pretty loud and we do need lots of reminders to keep you focused and on track. I simply love being your mom, sharing conversation and adventures and our love for all things Jesus and games and books. And I had fun conducting this traditional biannual interview. Some of your answers were completely on brand, others surprised me.

What has been your favorite memory so far of being 7?

It’s hard to say. Probably when we went to Indigo Play for the first time with Oma and Opa. And when me and Daddy played Lego Star Wars. Also when we went to Little Land (I’m not sure if that was when I was seven or six). And reading Harry Potter.

How are you different today than you were one year ago?

Huh, I’m one year older. I can’t think of anything else.

What is the best part of life these days?

I can’t seem to know what it should be. . . I have a lot of friends. But they’re not somewhere I see them every week.

What’s your least favorite?

My least favorite what? Anything? Consequences. I don’t want to say what kind, you can just imagine your own.

What do you wish were different?

I wish that Grandma and Grandpa had more video games. Hmm, do you think they’ll give me a half birthday present? Also that I got to have a longer screen time limit.

Describe your perfect day.

Perfect day is when I get to Indigo Play and make a bunch of new friends and play soccer and tag and get to play with them and also the video games there. Then go to McDonald’s and get a slushie and french fries. . . no, erase that, I only want the slushie from McDonald’s, then I want to go to Burger King and get a burger and french fries with barbecue sauce and, ooh, have cotton candy and pretzels for dinner and a giant bowl of caramel for dessert. Mom, turn that into a book!

What are you most proud of?

That I do? Once at Sports Day my team tied and I couldn’t ever remember us winning or having a tie, and I was really proud then. And I won’t tell you anything else I’m proud of, until YOU tell me what YOU are proud of about you.

What is something you’re great at?

I’m good at . . . ooh, ooh. . . I’ve got a good one: Having fun! And telling on the twins. (By the way, Sully just hit me.) I’m really good at a lot of things. I’ll give you one more: also, being a good son I think.

What is something you want to work on doing better?

Making friends.

What is something you’re curious about?

I’m curious to see if there’s a separate dimension.

Do you have any goals?

My goal’s kind of to be president, then to be a police man —I mean a police officer—after.

Tell me about what your life will look like in twenty years.

I’ll probably be moved out of the house and I’ll be in college. Kali and Sully will, too, and I’ll probably have different interests in different things, and probably new friends.

What are you looking forward to?

Being a police officer. And being eight.

What do you talk to God about?

Having a good future, and knowing what I should do in the future. And I think my answer is that I just shouldn’t worry about that quite yet, I think that’s the answer He’s been trying to give me.

If you could give a message to everyone in the world, what would it be?

I’m not absolutely sure about this, but maybe: I want their opinion of if JJ Heller is a good singer or not. [Me: Really, that’s what you would tell everyone?] Yes, come on, mom, it’s funny!

You are a funny one, Charleston, and I sure do love you. Here’s to a great second half year of seven. . . and on to eight!

Love Always and Forever,


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