Igey’s growing up – but not too quickly

As our series has attended to adult problems - from charter school facilities, to No Child Left Behind, to the impact of the economic crisis on refugee families - Bill and Igey have been growing up.

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    Best friends: Igey may be growing up, but pictured here chasing best friend Kieran Ferguson, it's clear he's still enjoying his youth.
    Mary Wiltenburg
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As our series has attended to adult problems - from charter school facilities, to No Child Left Behind, to the impact of the economic crisis on refugee families - Bill and Igey have been growing up. Somewhere in the madness of the past few months, Igey regained his two front teeth. All the time I've known him, Igey's had a squeaky, gap-toothed charm - as in this recording and photo from last summer . Now, the closing-in-on-8-year-old has a full complement of teeth. He's also shot up a couple of inches, rendering his whole wardrobe too short practically overnight.Not to worry, for those who remember fondly his marble-peeing and bed-jumping antics, or his terrific stall tactics at bedtime. When I visited his apartment over the weekend - if the giggling, and the hiding under chairs was any indication - he's still the same curious, hilarious little guy. He still calls my cell phone at odd hours to chat about not much; every call begins with a high-pitched: "Um, helooo?"But he's also a different kid than the taciturn, tantrum-prone boy I met last May. His uncertainty over what to call

himself seems to have subsided. And this year, for the first time in his life, he has a best friend - a Japanese-American fellow first grader named Kieran Ferguson.

Igey's been dancing around using the term "best friend" for months. Soon after the boys met this fall, the generous, playful Kieran became Igey's authority on all things fun and cool. Then, Kieran's house - with its wise older siblings and family dinners - became the gravitational center of his world.

Finally, the other week, when he called me to discuss plans to go see a basketball game, Igey announced for the first time with confidence: "I'm gonna sit by Kieran. He's my best friend."To become our best friend - or one of them - join us on Twitter for the latest Little Bill Clinton project updates.

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