The number 7 is a special number.
Seven is a prime number, and prime numbers are just cool.
There are 7 deadly sins, 7 days of the week, 7 hills in Rome, 7 colors of the rainbow, and 7 major oceans.
There’s 7-11, where I get my Slurpees nearly every day of the summer
There were 7 loaves used by the Holy Homeboy to feed the multitudes; the Holy Homeboy is said to have said 7 things while on the cross.
In Judaism there are 7 days of morning. In Islam there are 7 heavens. In Egyptology 7 is symbolic for eternity.
Seven is considered a number of completion. Seven is a perfect number, a symbol of divine abundance, a symbol of totality.
The number 7 is a special number.
It is also Hope’s emotional age. And as a reminder, Hope’s chronological age is now 14.
I often have to remind myself that 7 is a cool number with so much symbolism. I sometimes find the symbolism in stark contrast to my reality.
The distance between Hope’s emotional age and her chronological age frustrates me. I willfully forget it exists sometimes despite the constant reminders. I have expectations of Hope’s behavior and emotional abilities sometimes that aren’t fair to her emotional age. I struggle with museum visits that take all day because she is catching up on experiences she should have been having 7-10 years ago, but didn’t. I lose patience with her inability to “act” 14 consistently.
Then there are times when I remember that I originally thought I would adopt a child much younger than Hope, a child who might be between the ages of 7 and 10, perhaps. The irony that I get the experience of parenting a child who’s emotional age is in that range is not lost on me. I’ve read stories to Hope at night. We’ve been to a petting zoo, to children museums, to touch ponds…all experiences I know she missed when she was that age. I know that I’m trying to create those experiences for her because she is entitled to them, and she actually needs them, even if her body is much older than her mind.
I have to force myself to remember that seven is a special age. One of my sisters thought she would marry Luke Skywalker when she turned 7; she also thought that she would get her driver’s license at 7. At 7, I remember having one of my very first crushes but when the boy congratulated me on the birth of my youngest sister with a kiss on the cheek, I hauled off and hit him. I was totally in love. My little cousin is currently 7 and she is a delight; the things she says and does are so funny. Seven is such a precious age.
But it doesn’t seem as precious when 7 is housed within 14. At times it actually feels like it is: numerically half the fun. How’s this for fun…I’m 42. I am 6 times Hope’s emotional age…instead of just 3 times Hope’s chronological age.
Yeah, Hope and I are just factors of 7.
I remember reading somewhere that because 7 is the number of completion, the number 8 represents new beginnings and renewal.
I need us to get to number 8. That is my new goal, to get to 8. I can’t even say I remember the substantive differences between 7 and 8, but I know it will be closer to 14. That’s important to me right now.
I know that one day, Hope will catch up. It takes time, which is the one thing I don’t feel like I have sometimes. But time is the one thing she needs to make it happen.
I need that new beginning for her. I need the renewal for me.
I am so over 7.
July 14th, 2015 at 3:08 pm
I admire your willingness to give Hope the experiences she missed as a child and that she still clearly needs and wants. I admire your willingness to work through this hard stuff with hope that with time Hope will catch up. Keep doing what you are doing, and I believe Hope will catch up and you will also continue to grow.
July 15th, 2015 at 11:27 am
Thanks MPB. I’m working on it.
July 14th, 2015 at 10:52 pm
This post is amazing, I absolutely love this seven. I know you’re struggling, you’re doing great. You are inspirational and fun, you’ve got this mama!
July 15th, 2015 at 11:27 am
Thanks Mohave. I’m trying.
July 15th, 2015 at 11:08 am
If it’s any consolation, I remember 8 being the first time I recognized feeling “mature” or “responsible” and less like a child. I think I may have been picking up on agency or autonomy, even if it was fleeting.
Hopefully Hope has a similar development in the coming months!
July 15th, 2015 at 11:23 am
Heyyyy! You’ve giving me hope Caitlin! 🙂
July 15th, 2015 at 11:22 am
It is so important that you are giving her those things, and though they try your patience (girllll, i know the struggle!) it’s definitely going to push her closer to 8, 10, 12, 14, before you know it. Mary has the mentality of at 14 year old, but the emotional stability of a 4 year old. We have been giving her things she has never had: Santa (no presents under the tree until christmas morning), Easter Bunny (we chew up the carrots she leaves on the table, leaving bits behind, and hiding eggs all over the house), and as of late, the Tooth Fairy (i’ve never seen a kid get so excited about a dollar!). We have done our best to get her emotional age caught up to her chronological age for 17 months now. It’s getting there, slowly but surely. Hope will get there too! And you’re doing awesome!
July 15th, 2015 at 11:26 am
Thanks. It is trying, but there are those moments when the sheer delight on her face is charming. Thank the Holy Homeboy I don’t have to deal with Santa and the Tooth Fairy. lol I’m allergic to carrots! Hang in there girlie! 🙂 We can do this.
July 15th, 2015 at 11:40 am
This is now one of my favorite posts of yours-so thoughtfully and beautifully written. And I learned some things too:) It’s so hard for me to remember patience when the chronological and emotional ages don’t mesh-thanks for sharing and for the reminder that there are others who have similar struggles. Blessings in the waiting place:)
July 15th, 2015 at 8:19 pm
Oh wow, thanks. I’ve been really thinking about the emotional age bit lately since our family therapist gave me the new emo age estimate. It’s challenging, but it is what it is too. She’s such a great kiddo that I am just trying to stretch as much as I can.
July 29th, 2015 at 8:17 pm
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