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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Why does age 7 sound so much older than age 6?

I don’t know why, but it does. Of course, I said the same thing about age 5 and age 6, and probably the years before. But the observation stands.

In some ways, I look at my “baby,” my newly minted 7-year-old and think, “Wow. He’s 7. How did that happen?” In other ways, it’s more like, “He’s only 7?” He’s only been the one who had to be a little older than his years at times, with a big brother who is younger than his years. It’s the role, so many times, of the sibling of the child with special needs, and Sam has fulfilled it admirably. He can be patient, and helpful, and as strange as it might seem to say of a child his age, the rock on which his big brother can lean.

And then he goes into gales of laughter at some silly first-grade joke and he’s 6 again.

We called him Oscar the Baby when he was an infant, with his perpetual scowl and disinclination to sleep. That grumpy newborn has turned into one of the most happy-go-lucky boys I know.

He often hates to sit still, but he will draw or read for hours. He’s a goofball, but he’ll be driven to tears by the plight of a lost pet in our neighborhood. He’ll ignore people trying to get his goat with the poise of some much more mature, but he’ll stand up to bullies twice his size for a friend.

And I can see the face of the teenager he’ll be, even the man, emerging from the face of the baby he was and the boy he is.

It’s eerie.

We celebrated the anniversary of his birth (8 days after his due date) with a trip to Fantasy Island and the Buffalo Museum of Science, a cook-out and a cake patterned after a Minecraft creeper. (His request for mom the baker this year.) It was a good time.

And now he’s 7.

Oh, how the years go by.

I don’t usually tend to delve into these sorts of things in this space, but sometimes it feels necessary.

I spent much of Friday smiling, reading the explosion of joy on my social media feeds after the Supreme Court ruled as it did on the topic of same-sex marriage. (Can we just call it marriage, now? OK?)

And I thought of the one time the topic came up with my  kids, the notion that two men or two women could fall in love and want to get married, just like Mom and Dad are married. I acknowledged this matter of factly. Sam considered it for all of perhaps a second.

“Oh. OK!”

And he ran off to play Minecraft.

Yeah, that was difficult.

In the “things to do with your kids that piqued my interest this week” category, I discovered that the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is playing at Artpark again this year … and one of the concerts is the music of John Williams.

My family loves Mr. Williams’ work. My husband and I were introduced at our wedding reception to the tune of “Raiders March.” The boys grew up thinking the Imperial March was a lullaby, we called the Superman theme Jim’s theme song when he was a baby and Sam can pick up the music from the Harry Potter movies in a matter of notes. Weather permitting, we’ll be there.

The concert takes place at 7 p.m. July 11 at Artpark. Visit for more information.

+Jill Keppeler’s hands are still green from coloring all the fondant necessary for that darned creeper cake. Follow her on Twitter @JillKeppeler or email her at

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