In customary fashion, we are conducting our birthday interview slightly late. Almost six months late, to be more precise. Nonetheless, here’s our eight year old boy.
What is your favorite animal at eight years old?
Every animal? Name them all. In alphabetical order.
I can’t name them…
What about your favorite animal? If you had to choose one, what would you choose?
I would leave the room.
Too many animals?
Yes, I like all animals. Even mice. People look at the down side of them…
If you could be one kind of food what would you be?
I’d probably be… burnt gasoline, because nobody would eat me.
(The other kids have been sitting on the bed behind Anson until now. But this was evidently too much for them to handle quietly. Erich tries to reign them in.)
No comment from the peanut gallery, please.
Oh, good point! I’d be rotten peanuts! Then nobody would eat me.
(At this point, we pause the interview to reassess the interview direction. We resume, but it still takes a while for us to get to some really good stuff.)
What are some of your favorite things to do at eight years old?
Ride my bike, play soccer, play more soccer after that, play basketball, a little more basketball, come inside to watch tv, do a little not-so-fun school, jump on the trampoline…
Let me ask you a little bit about school.
No. No bad attitudes about school. What is your favorite subject?
Oh dear… Maaa…. Grrrr…. Probably geography. Well, actually, my first is science, but not the human stuff as much. The animal stuff.
Do you have a least favorite subject in school?
Probably phonics or grammar.
You don’t like to label sentences much do you?
Not very much.
(But as his teacher, I must report that he does very well with them. On the days when he works with a good attitude, he zips through it pretty skillfully.)
I want you to tell me just one thing you love about each of your siblings. Starting with Eden.
She is so cute and she can crawl really quickly. And I hope she can eat food soon.
Because then she’ll be able to eat my green beans for me and stuff.
You’re going to feed her your vegetables?
I like Caesar salad, and sometimes I eat asparagus. But I can feed her black olives and stuff.
What about Simeon?
He’s funny and sometimes tricky.
What about Kieryn?
She’s funny. And now it’s Madeline.
Okay. What is one of your favorite things about Madeline?
Um… I like to play with her and she’s funny too.
We have a very funny family, don’t we?
You’re funny too. And I love mom. And she helps us and cooks for us. Well, usually. Yesterday we made breakfast – the kids did.
(They did, indeed. Every now and then, Erich and I wake to the sounds of clanking dishes. We smell breakfast smells. Then, the bigger ones send a smaller one into our room to make sure we stay put until they summon us. When we come downstairs, we find an empty, dark room. Suddenly, the lights come on and kids hop out of every corner shouting, “Surprise!” We have cool kids.)
What is your favorite book of the Bible?
Revelation. Or Genesis. Maybe the Psalms. I also like to hear about the kings.
Tell me about the tapes you like to listen to before bed.
(A college-age friend of our family passed on her set of Bible story tapes from her childhood. Our kids listen to them almost every night. It’s actually the primary motivator to get our kids ready and in bed by 8:30. If they don’t get into bed in time, they don’t get a tape.)
The one about Elisha and the army of Assyria. Their army was surrounding the city Elisha was in. Angels smit the army with blindness and Elisha took the Assyrian army into the midst of Samaria.
Is that your favorite story?
What do you want to be when you grown up?
Probably a police officer. Maybe I want to have a job at home. Something I can do at home that doesn’t take very long, but that I can get paid really well.
(He gets this kind of ambition from his dad.)
Tell me about what chores you do.
I clear the table, wipe the table, brush my teeth, and feed the cats.
What is your favorite meal?
Probably chicken fingers with Zax sauce. That’s reallly good.
What are your favorite colors?
Green and blue.
Tell me about some of the hard things have happened this year.
I remember school. It’s just hard. Well, some school. (Madeline whispers something.) Oh yeah. It’s been hard about Wild Kratts.
You have a pretty incredible testimony about taking authority over the enemy.
(He has a wonderful testimony of victory over the enemy, but he’s not ready to share it. Though we have explained that we all sin and that our God’s greatness shines forth in how He redeems us from our sin, he gets very sad remembering some of the harsh, untrue words he said. We were able to record his telling of the story for historical record, but for now, I just wanted to say here that our God is faithful and good. Anson is on his way to becoming a warrior for the kingdom.)
(Around this time, we get off track again. Erich says something about Anson’s favorite movie being How to Train Your Marsupial. Anson puts his eyelids inside out. And the children erupt into a wrestle-fest… We do another reassessment of the interview. This time, we decide to send the other kids out and to wrap up with just Anson.)
What are you really good at?
I’m good at soccer, and I’m good at thinking.
I’m good at… What am I good at?
Do you want me to help you think of other things?
You’re good at building things out of Legos and learning facts about animals or states. Actually, you are great at learning all sorts of facts. You learn memory work faster than everyone else. (He can rattle through bones of the skull, parts of the eye, and dozens of scriptures with ease.) You are great at Hebrew, especially making the “chet” sound. (Although when he gets exuberant with it, it’s a little scary…) You pick things up quickly and are a fast learner when you put your mind to it. (That seems to satisfy everyone, so we move on.)
What do you like to sleep with at night?
I like to sleep with Snoopy, Puppy, Bane, and all my animals.
Once again, things get off track. Erich and Anson end up getting involved in some kind of Buffalo game where Anson uses his head to try to shove Erich off the bed. This time, we’re not going to reign it in. We’re done for the night, and that’s probably a good thing.
You are a boy with immense potential, Anson. We are excited to watch our faithful Abba continue to grow and mature you!