5.5 pound pickerel
Our biggest boy keeps getting bigger! We have particularly noticed it this summer at the lake. Calder has been playing a lot with a buddy, Ben. They ride bikes, swim, build forts and skip around from our cabin, Ben’s campsite, Calder’s grandparents and Ben’s aunt and Uncle’s (Grandparents and Aunt/Uncle live 4 cabins apart!). The pair have been nearly inseparable.  
Calder has been more into swimming on the boat than we’ve seen. He loves to try and splash people as he jumps in and has really gotten into diving in off the boat as well. Lawson has been a water bug from the get-go, but Calder really is giving her a run for her money this year for time spent in the water. Calder also enjoys tubing, particularly behind Ben’s boat as it can make the big waves! We recently convinced him to give the knee-board a go and now we can’t get him off the water!

Above all else on the water, Calder LOVES fishing. To date he has caught 36 fish. Near the end of July while on the boat, Calder turned to me and said, “Fishing is my #1 and the lake is #2”. I told him that was really cool and asked him where hockey fit in his list. To that he responded, “Oh, yah, hockey. Hockey is tied for #1 with fishing.” He had forgotten about hockey. Pretty cool. There are many people that judge the spring hockey season. Calder would tell you that last year his favorite team was his spring team, and following that was the Atom team he AP’d on. This is not saying he didn’t love his novice team, because he absolutely did, but to quote his description of why he likes those teams better, it’s because “It’s harder”. I am sensitive to all the spring hockey critics which is totally on me, but Calder’s statement about fishing and his love of spring hockey season are indications we are doing the right thing for our son. He has a break from hockey, which I truly believe in and he also gets to play the kind of hockey he loves for an extra couple months. Win-win for our boy and our family. (We had to pick Calder's position for spring hockey at Christmas. Hugh and I thought he was a winger or a d-man, but because of a couple of minor factors were leaning toward defense, so that's what we picked. After Christmas he played a number of games with the atom team and they played him at center, which Hugh and I would have sworn was NOT going to be for him. Needless to say, we were wrong. He did great on D, but he loves to score goals and may just be a center-man yet!)

Calder started the summer on fire with reading. We had went to the public library and picked up a couple of Dogman and Diary of a Wimpy kid. The first night he was really excited and since it was the end of the school year, Hugh brought home about 15 more of those books from his school. Calder was excited. He did so much reading that first part of July. He would read UNPROMPTED! This is not to say he didn’t before, but the only time we saw this happen was before bed when he was avoiding going to sleep. He has tailed off on the reading as the summer has progressed, but we are pretty pumped we saw a spark of a love of reading him. He has also done some unprompted reading to Boone at night. #pumpedparents

Calder is a great eater. We BATTLED him for years about tasting a bite of everything and trying to get him to eat his meal in a good amount of time. I can now say he is a phenomenal eater. Like the best. He may complain the odd time about what we are having, but he always eats it. His favorite foods are anything in a wrap, pasta, peanut butter chicken stir fry, and perogies.
We have spent the summer helping Calder to focus on kindness. He was really struggling to do nice things for anyone in our immediate family. He is pretty good with his friends and younger cousins, but was rarely able to show us the same treatment. It came to a climax on the first leg of our trip to the coast. We wanted to leave him in Calgary. It was feeling like every interaction with him was negative, because we were having to correct behavior. After the dust from the meltdowns (Hugh’s, Calder’s and mine) settled, we had a really good talk. Calder felt like we were picking on him and we explained what our job was as parents. Our job is to get him ready to be an adult. Adults show kindness. It is our job to teach him this. He often feels we are easier on Boone, but the part he wasn’t understanding was that Boone doesn’t need to work on kindness. He needs to work on his letters. And so because of this how we parent Boone and what we work on with Boone is different. I think the conversation ended at a place where we were all understanding each other better. Needless to say, we have had our ups and downs, but Hugh and I agree that Calder has made some pretty great improvements on showing kindness in our home.
Calder loves to build! He spent a number of days this summer creating a new Monster Jam ramp at Grandma and Grandpa Fritshaw's.
Calder is developing a love of cards and doing puzzles. We have had some not so ideal weather at the lake and we have taken advantage by getting our game on. Grandma Hamilton is amazing at playing cards with the kids and they played a lot of war and go fish when she came to visit.
Emotions are hard for Calder. On Brad’s last night at our house at the end of hockey season, Calder complained of a stomach ache. We informed him that was love! He hates talking about anything emotional or even seeing anything that contains emotion. Just this week was the first time we were able to get Calder to watch a movie without having a meltdown before we even pressed play. We are pretty excited as he has watched Beethoven, A Bug’s Life, and The Great Outdoors to date. We might be able to have the odd movie night if this continues when we get home for the summer.

Last, but certainly not least, Calder’s hair. Last fall I suggested he get a trim. He wasn’t interested. I obviously suggested it a couple too many times because it came to the point that he told me “STOP ASKING ME TO CUT MY HAIR!” Well, that was that. I stopped asking and he never mentioned it. It kept getting longer and longer, but Calder and I battle a lot and I wasn’t going to battle the hair. Well, other than brushing it when he came out of the tub. That I was willing to battle.  This spring Brad was looking at our family picture from the fall and mentioned to Calder that he liked the length he had there. For a few weeks, he said he was going to get a trim and then just as quickly he changed his mind and he wasn’t getting a cut again. Hugh and I left it. His hair was crazy long. In fact, every hockey tournament we went to this spring multiple parents on our team would come to us with a story about how someone in the stands was asking if Calder was a girl. We would relay the odd funny one to Calder, but he seriously didn’t care. Finally, at the start of June he said he wanted to cut it when school was out. Not surprisingly, he didn’t want the attention that he was going to get when it got lopped off. I immediately made an appointment with someone I trusted. When the hair cut day came, he wasn’t ready to go really short, so Erin cut about 6 inches off. Calder decided at that point he wanted it shorter and described a 2 inch bowl cut to Erin. We both veto’d it. In the end we found a picture of a haircut he liked and he was so excited with how it turned out.


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