Age is just a number!?

 

Garrett is 6. 6 and a half and a month if you ask him. And he’s going to be starting Second Grade in July. If that sounds a bit off, it’s because it is.  If you see Garrett on the street he looks more like a Kindergartner than a Second Grader. But then you hear him speak and immediately you feel like you’re watching Benjamin Button — is he actually 30? No one knows, but I often suspect…;)

As most of those closest to us know, Garrett started Kindergarten at 4. He was extremely bored in preschool and we had no choice but to test him in early. Now in the Gifted Program and thriving at a First Grade level, his 7-8 year old peers may see him as an equal but we struggle with the balance between intelligence and maturity on a daily basis.

Garrett really wanted to play soccer this last winter. He had never tried before so I was excited for him to attempt a sport other than golf. (Even though he is a miniature Happy Gilmore). We went through the online registration and were faced with the ongoing issue of “What is your child’s birthdate? What grade is he in?” And then an error message because the two don’t match. To the phone I went to explain to the powers that be that although he is technically 6, he’d prefer to play with his 7/8 year old friends. We got approved and the season started. Per usual, Garrett was the smallest on the team. Even though his heart was in it 100% he still cries when a ball hits him too hard and he’s still a little afraid to “get in there” and really tussle for control. We decided for summer to take a step back and let him play with 6 year olds, but then the concern is, how will he interact with them? Time will tell.

We were not so kindly told by many parents and teachers that we may run into this issue at many points in Garrett’s life, and we were not oblivious to it. He can hold a conversation about the atmosphere on Mars or the configuration of stars at different points of the night with Astronomy experts at Lowell Observatory (yes this happened) and then turn around and spin in circles until he nearly passes out ten seconds later. Because he’s only 6. And that part of his brain that tells him to calm down hasn’t kicked in yet. But we want him to be challenged and we went with our hearts and figured pushing him ahead was the best decision. Was it the PERFECT decision? Probably not. His friends will all drive before him, he will always be one step behind in physical growth and development but he will be on their level scholastically, so that’s good right!?

We’re parents and we aren’t perfect. I am totally winging it most days, and are unsure of who he will best gel with as he grows, whether it be younger kids, older kids or adults (he totally loves adults) — I DO feel like we did the best we could with the information we had and we will continue to make decisions based on the vibes we get from him in each situation.

I will say that when he comes home from school and the first thing he tells me is that he had a stimulating conversation about the differences between Death Adders and Boa Constrictors with some boys in his class, I can’t help but smile, take a breather, and then laugh when his next sentence is, “And fyi, I just tooted.”

 

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