Today my third child turned the magical age of seven. And that iconic age made me think about the series "7 Up", a documentary that tested the premise that "if you show me the child at seven I will show you the man". I adored the documentary, waiting every seven years for the next instalment and on the whole finding that the original premise proved true.
Watching my own newly minted Mr7 today I crossed my fingers and hoped that there is more than a grain of truth to this maxim. As he unwrapped his presents he celebrated every gift with equal enthusiasm, from the $1 microphone through to the much coveted Star Wars lego. On more than one occasion he spontaneously declared "I am a very lucky boy". That positive outlook alone, an inherent optimism, is such a gift. It doesn't mean that he exists in a Pollyanna like bubble but I think that at his core there is a tendency to look on the bright side.
He does not live in a family of inherent optimists. We are a mixed bunch and I like to think (call me Pollyanna) that there is worth in both approaches. Deep thinking and creativity seem more closely linked with a melancholy bent, as does the ability to maintain some fiscal restraint. Recently at dinner, as I bounced in my seat with excitement over something, my husband wryly tapped on his beer mug to indicate "half full". I groaned and kept bouncing, but this more (arguably) realistic approach is why we have not as yet been declared bankrupt.
We all have our highs and lows, but for some the lows far outweigh the highs, and the constant downward incline in mood and outlook makes those crazy big dreams seem just that, crazy. I am going to sit at the optimists table today, alongside my Mr7 who is nothing if not a crazy dreamer.
Tonight, as Mr7 prepared to blow out the candle on his birthday cake, his big brother and sister commanded him to stop and make a wish. He sat and thought hard, puffed out his cheeks and gave one almighty blow.
"What did you wish for?" we sang out in unison.
"I wished that I can fly."