Hey Silas. How old are you today?
How does it feel to be 8?
Just the same as it was to be 7.
Did you do anything fun for your 8th birthday?
Friends over. Got lots of presents.
Can you tell me one really cool thing you got?
Two Bionicles. They’re actually just like action figures made out of LEGOs. They’re really neat.
What is one really fun thing you did when you were 7?
Wow. I did a lot of really fun stuff. Wow. I don’t know. I did a lot of stuff. My Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit party. We went to Michigan and I really missed my friends. Coming home from Michigan and meeting my friends was fun.
Did you see any good plays this year?
Yeah, like three… Antony and Cleopatra, some random Shakespeare stuff, plus some random singing stuff [he means the student performances we attended at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp], and Digging Up Dessa.
Can you tell me one thing that you hope you’ll do while you’re eight?
Play. And play some more. And do some fun stuff, and play…
Are you scared of anything?
Did you see what Jack was like when he was 8?
Are you scared you’re going to be like Jack was when he was 8?
What was he like?
He was trying to run away from Terrific Tuesday all the time. He was trying to run away from it, like, just walk down the road, without knowing how far it was.
So you’re concerned you might do some silly things like that when you’re 8? How can you prevent yourself from doing that kind of thing?
Well, trying to have fun.
Trying to have fun and to be fun? You can make choices. Jack didn’t do that stuff because he was 8. He did that stuff because he’s Jack.
He still does that sometimes.
Not as much as he used to.
What is a special thing about our family?
Well, us. We have a family and stuff. Here’s an example: It’s a kitten. We foster kittens. That one’s name is Lumina.
Can you tell me what is the hardest thing about being a big brother?
Getting blamed for stuff all the time. Oh, hi Corsica. This is another kitten.
Do you mean getting blamed for stuff that you actually do?
Uh-huh. And stuff that I don’t do. Like Petra pretending it was me, and me pretending it was Petra, which I do often. Very often. And it usually works.
Can you tell me the best thing about being a big brother?
Having a little sister. Even if she really doesn’t like to play with you that often. Want me to go try and find my little sister and show her to the camera?
Your little sister is in bed right now. She plays with you a lot.
Yeah, but sometimes she hates my games. That’s happened like…over the past years… thirty-two thousand, I think. Or maybe more. It was probably about a hundred thousand or more. Maybe a little less.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
What kind of adventures do you want to go on?
Like, exploring around the world.
Oh, that sounds very exciting. You know, my grandpa did that. Grammy’s dad. He went to 90 different countries in his life.
Coooool! Did he get sued any times?
What? No, I don’t think so.
Or put in jail?
I don’t think so…I’m not sure.
Or take souvenirs?
Yes, he had lots of souvenirs. His whole house was full of souvenirs from his travels.
Cool. Do you have any that he gave to you?
I have a couple.
Are there any in this room?
I don’t think so. Remember that scary wooden face mask? That was one of his.
Somewhere in South America. Columbia maybe? And you know those little moccasins upstairs? The little leather moccasins? I’ll show you later. Those are his, too.
Oh. Is he dead?
Yeah, he died before you were born.
I’m sad that I didn’t get to meet him and see his house full of souvenirs.
Tomorrow, if you remind me, I’ll show you some pictures of his house.
Did he give you any photos from his adventures.
No, I don’t know who has all of his photos. He had a lot of photos. Probably one of my aunts has those.
Is there anything in particular you hope you will learn when you are 8?
How to not get blamed for what I did not do.
Any skills you would like to acquire? Do you want to learn to ride a bike or draw with perspective?
What does draw with perspective mean?
You actually do it just fine. It means the things closer to the viewer are bigger.
What’s your favorite book, or book series?
Captain Underpants! And Dogman.
I thought you said Amulet.
Captain Underpants and Dogman and Amulet.
Which one am I going to make a quilt square of?
Captain Underpants. [evil laughter]
You are such a little troll.
Can you tell me who some of your friends are and what you like to do with them?
Well, there’s Jack and Max and Lillian and Noah and Elisabeth and James and Sam (who’s in another country right now) [state]. And…Jumping Bean Juji.
Who’s Jumping Bean Juji?
A made-up friend. And Jude and Esau and Arthur and James.
What kind of things do you like to play?
Wars. Cutelopes. And Pokemon. And all sorts of other things. And there’s also my little sister is my friend.
Is there anything else you want me to remember about the day you turned 8 or what you were like when you were 8?
We did not end up playing Cutelopes. But me and Esau joined up in a team to save the kittens.
Maybe you’ll play Cutelopes next time.