Today my oldest kid is eight years old – a terrific Lego builder, an even better big brother, and he gets funnier every year.

His latest project is – and I’m not making this up – learning all the words to “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”

We have one of those Echo devices with a screen, so he follows along with the lyrics as it plays.

There are a lot of words there, but he’s got nearly all of them already, which is pretty impressive for a fellow who’s eight.

I don’t have even half of the words, and I’m, well, much older.

But then the eight year olds of the world are pretty awesome.

Take the story from last week about Tanitoluwa Adewumi, an eight year old who last week won the New York State K-3 chess championship.

He came to the US after fleeing Boko Haram in Nigeria and had been living in a family shelter, and had only taken up chess a year before!

Or Tessa Puma of Northfield, Ohio, who has taught herself how to dance on a prosthetic leg after losing her original left leg to an infection.

Or Tilly Farmer in the UK, who decided to raise awareness and money for homeless families by sleeping on the floor of Gloucester Cathedral for a night.

Or Coleman Drake of Horry County, South Carolina, who helped his twin brother during a seizure by calling 911 and telling the dispatcher everything she needed to know to help.

All of these kids are invited over to my house tonight to celebrate my eight year old’s birthday, by the way.

Should I have sent them invitations? Probably. Ah well.

Since I mentioned my eight year old is a great Lego builder, I thought I’d also mention this: the Memphis Zoo is now home to a set of giant Lego sculptures of animals and habitats, including a Lego sculpture of a polar bear and her cubs that weighs 625 pounds.

I would not want to step on that Lego.

The heart-warming tale of the 8-year-old chess champion is quintessentially American (Washington Post)

8-year-old dancer refuses to give up after losing her leg (CBS News)

Why an inspirational eight-year-old joined more than 100 people swapping their comfy bed for a cold floor (Gloucestershire LIve)

Horry County 8-year-old praised for emergency actions after twin brother has seizure (WMBF)

Giant Lego Brick Sculptures (Memphis Zoo)

Photo by duncan c via Flickr/Creative Commons