I wouldn’t normally post a Dear Connor letter for your half-birthday… but I didn’t post one for your ninth birthday, and 2020 was definitely NOT a normal year, so I don’t want to just skip it.
I suspect that someday, when you’re older and you look back on being eight years old, Second Grade will seem like a big blur of video games and remote schooling, with the occasional, “Wait, that happened when I was eight, too?”
I can remember pretty clearly being eight and nine years old, and it’s weird thinking about how I perceived myself when I was your age, versus how I see you now. You have a lot of the same curiosity and know-it-all attitude as I did, but you’re way crazier and more outgoing.
In the fall, you took a test that qualified you for the gifted program at school. You said that the 90 minutes of testing was a “nightmare,” which amused the teacher who was administering the test. It was a standard, old-school Scantron multiple choice test… but you’re used to tests on the computer, and you’re NOT used to testing for a couple of hours straight.
Now that you’re in GATE, you wish you weren’t, and you want to quit. You see it as busywork that takes you away from the things you’d rather be doing, like being social with your classmates. Luckily, once you qualify, you’re never disqualified; even if we decide that the enrichment activities in the elementary grades aren’t for you, you’ll still be able to enroll in the accelerated classes later on — and that’s really what matters to me. I wish they offered accelerated classes in the elementary grades, like I had at your age, but the program is what it is.
You have a very defined hierarchy of Things You’d Rather Be Doing. Most of those involve television or video games. Eating is pretty far down the list, but riding bikes with Dad used to be on the list (until you wore out your training wheels).
Reading for pleasure is something you only do when you have no other options: before bed, or during your scheduled reading time in the afternoon. This is completely foreign to me, as I read voraciously when I was as a kid — to be fair, though, I did love going to my best friend’s house to play Atari, and I would have done more gaming if I’d had my own console.
I know I tell you this a lot, but I’m really proud of you. You’ve stuck with karate for 2½ years. You always want to make people laugh. You’re secure in who you are.
You’re still only 9½, of course, so you still have a lot of growing and maturing to do… but you’re pretty awesome, all things considered.