Sam is almost seven. Seven!
I've always been daunted by seven. One of my favourite authors says a person's character is more or less set by age seven.
I don't feel at all like I've done enough or prayed enough or led by example enough to build in him a strong character in these brief and precious years.
And every now and then I worry a bit. He doesn't like to talk about his feelings, he'd rather learn from watching another kid than listening to an adult, and does he really know, deep down in his soul, how much I love him?
Yesterday, his friend, E, came over to play. At lunchtime, Patrick asked him if he plays any sports.
E said, "hockey and sockey."
Having heard E struggle with the "er" sound before, I knew he meant soccer.
Patrick, not noticing my frantic eyebrow-signals, asked, "is sockey an indoor hockey game?"
E squirmed, unsure of what to say.
And Sam spoke up matter-of-factly, "E has trouble with saying "er." He plays soccer."
And the conversation rolled on.
I was so proud of my boy.
He was kind and forthright. He didn't tease, and didn't ignore the confusion, but he set it right and moved on.
I love my Sam.