Sunday, January 10, 2016


As of last month, we officially have another teenager in the house. He's so proud of it too, while I am just proud we all made it through his childhood! He is our Michael, the guy that is always ready for the next thing, even when he doesn't know what that entails. Adolescence is no exception, because he's been ready for a while.

His childhood has been interesting. For a long time he wanted to live in a cave and take care of bats and lizards; a few years later he wanted to run away and become like the boy in the book "My Side of the Mountain." If his desire to live on his own wasn't my concern, it was the accidents and jack knife cuts, walking too close to danger, or falling off high places (remember the fence at the high school, Michael?) that would get to me. He always had smashed up toes, and the hair on his legs was always worn down to a short prickle because he was so hard at play, or so serious in his outdoor exploration. I think most of his childhood was spent on his knees in the dirt finding bugs and mushrooms and reptiles. Now-a-day I have to keep an eye on the lighter and matches, the fire in the fireplace, and the propane torch. Maybe it would be more accurate to say I have to keep an eye on my son because a curious, over-confident boy + fire = trouble. Come to think of it, maybe I should save my pride till we  all make it through his teenage years! (Ha! Girls and cars could be more dangerous than matches, but thank the Lord he doesn't give us more than we can handle at any given point!)

Michael has always been a little man of sorts, kind of like a man that likes to act like a clown. We've recently laughed through videos of his serious antics as a pre-schooler. He was very serious about his beetles and lizards, serious that his soccer team should be called The Blue Battle Snakes, and serious about having a quiet birthday as a little boy. He's still the same now: extremely not-funny at times, and other times just so funny. Seriously funny.

When I took him to the doctor for his 3 year old check up, the doctor looked at me and said, "Yep, he's average in weight and height... for a 5 year old!" I should have known he was going to grow up fast. He passed me up at the age of twelve, right around the time when I discovered he needed a size 12 shoe!

Sure, I could lament the fact that he is growing up much too fast, but I'm loving this age very much! He's off to a good start as a teenager, and I think so simply because he still comes up to me at random and gives me a very boy-ish sideway hug, telling me, "I love you!" And he calls me things like "wombat" at random. For a boy his age, this is being affectionate!

There are a few fun changes at this age. Awkwardness and a changing voice are some of them, but we all have a blast calling that to attention! Testosterone, so far, has brought a whole lot of fun to our home! Actually, Olivia gave him this funny gift for his birthday. She'll be sure to tell him the instant she thinks the peach fuzz is getting too much!

This year, once again, we took the day off school and went skating during the day. He tells me he loves Canada, and if it weren't for his love of the ocean, I'd think he'd prefer to live in a cold climate. His first speech at school was "How to Build a Quinzhee" and he looks forward to having another chance to snowboard.

My birthday picture with him this year: It's not the best, but I like that I'm laughing! Too bad the picture didn't record what he said.

Mid-December birthdays can be a little tricky. Apart from it being a busy time of year, I've always felt a little awkward about having a party (and imposing another event and a gift on friends), but I really wanted to do something for him this year. He liked the idea of having a game night. We invited guys and girls, and they all played games together for several hours. The dads congregated in our living room when they came to pick up their kids, so the games just kept going. (I am learning that the secret to successful teen group activities is food and a plan!)

I didn't have any more pictures to choose from than these. Despite how it looks, Michael was having fun!

He agreed to come out with me one afternoon for some birthday pictures, but this year I knew I needed to let him express his own preferences for this little session more than in years past. I didn't insist on particular clothes, or locations, or facial expressions and poses. I just made simple recommendations that I thought would help him feel at ease, since this age can leave a boy feel awkward about posing and silly about toothy grins. How does a mom help her first-born son convey his masculinity and developing maturity? I'm learning to be a help and not a hindrance. 

We just hopped in the car and drove around our area, stopping whenever we saw something that interested him. We happened to spot several old cars, then he wanted to go down by the tracks, and over to the tiger mural. 

Wow, do I ever love this boy! And I am thankful for him in my life. I've always been in the position of learning with him-- about parenting, about praying in faith, about myself... about loving someone that seems so different from me in practice, yet so similar in essence. I am EXCITED to see what the Lord has in store for him! I have a feeling it won't be something regular.


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