SW is seven years old, today. Actually, celebrations began on Sunday, with a party of 12 friends at a local craft centre. They were booked in for a session of découpage, before tea at SW’s house. The calm of creative concentration before the storm of multi-coloured dogs, cats and dinosaurs that would follow. Then, as the still-sticky animals dried amongst the cupcakes, cookies and sandwiches, a kind of calm descended. Of course, it was short-lived. Someone needed the loo, and before you could say pass the parcel, there was a queue halfway down the stairs, that would rival Next on the first day of the post-Christmas sales. Luckily, SW’s dad took charge of crowd control, and there were no ‘incidents’.
But that was Sunday. Today it’s for real, and it got me thinking. About the world SW is getting to grips with. It’s as big and full of promise, possibilities and imperfections, as it ever was, yet I have every trust in her ability to embrace it, and I’ll tell you why. She has a quiet confidence, an uncommon generosity, and an empathetic attitude to others. She has a smile that, as her teacher put it, “lights up the room.” Pretty good for starters, eh?
I’m not just a proud grandfather, I’m a born optimist, too. And if my tribute sounds a little too sugary sweet, rest assured this optimist is also a realist. I know that for SW to have continued happiness in her life, she’ll need family, friends, and a helping of good fortune. Good fortune arrives when we least expect it, but she has a close, stable family. Friends, though, are a little like the découpage animals. They're not always easy to identify, unless you've had a hand in making them, yourself.
SW and her peers are on the same journey, discovering their own strengths and weaknesses and, in turn, their parents and grandparents will be thinking, if not saying, ‘what a little star!’ And, like me, they’ll all be right. I mean, is there a better age to be a star, than seven?