My son turned 7 today. I feel like it was just yesterday when he was still only 2 and we had just moved to Japan. He spent from 2 to 6 living in Japan so I guess one could say that he "grew up in Japan." Which was an amazing experience for him.
This past year alone two very distinct characteristics have emerged. His love for sports and his love for music. Everett has always loved sports and music since he was a toddler (dancing around a year old in diapers to Beyoncé's "Single Ladies...) but it was really this year when it started to become who he is.
Sports. He went to Baseball Camp in Florida (thanks to Grandma and Grandpa) over the summer, played his first real season of flag football in Japan, finally learned all 32 NFL team names, plays football and basketball with me at our house whenever we can spare a few minutes, graduated to the 8-10 year old gymnastics class here in town, and just seems to have a natural talent for throwing or catching.... anything, really.
Music. What started with liking random one-songs by bands, has turned into liking "the band." In an odd turn of events, the first band that Everett liked (and by that I mean, he didn't like a song, he had an entire album, listened to it all the way through, and liked every song) was Antemasque. When their debut album came out, I pretty much listened to it non-stop in the car. He learned every song on the album and sang loudly in the backseat. Stephanie and I had gotten the kids mini iShuffles and he asked me if I could put Antemasque's album on his. This was where he learned that band's have full albums, and not just random songs on the radio. His second album that he loved from start to finish was The Who's "Tommy." He would walk around the house singing mash-up choruses from the entire album. (One night I even got the movie from Netflix and we watched it together, him singing along with the characters.) The Who's entire discography made its way onto his iShuffle. Then came Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and "Bad" albums. Then we went to Karoake one night as a family in Japan, and I did Faith No More's song "Epic." Everett quickly picked up on the "What is it? It's it!" chorus and had a blast singing with me. That was the first time he had ever heard Faith No More, and from that moment, started a long love affair which would eventually entail hanging out with the band in NYC. In the car in the following days, Everett would ask to hear the "What is it" song. I would happily oblige. Then Faith No More announced they were coming to Tokyo with Antemasque as the opening band and I got tickets to go with my friend Cameron. When Everett found out, he was disappointed that he couldn't go. I started playing more Faith No More songs in the car, and there wasn't a single song that Everett didn't like, from any album. He started learning the lyrics and singing along. Finally, Faith No More's entire discography wound up on his iShuffle. That was the beginning of the end of listening to anything else for him. We found out that Faith No More were playing NYC and I got 2 tickets to see them, one for me and one for Everett. We all know how that night went: backstage passes, hung out with the band... Now we are living in NC, Japan is behind us, and because of the movie Pixels, he discovered Queen. He asked me to put Queen's entire discography on his iShuffle, which I happily obliged. So now he switches between Queen and Faith No More.
This birthday all he's wanted was a drumset. Ever since that Faith No More show in August, and meeting their drummer Puffy after the show, he has been drum-driven. This morning, I woke him up for school by playing his shiny new red drum set, with a Faith No More banner draped over it, which he can use as a dust jacket for the kit when he's not playing it.
I loved that I got to see his sports and music side become focused this past year... it'll be interesting to see how much more he grows from 7 to 8.