|12 years ago, what an exhausting, scary, amazing day|
|Reuben, one his second day of external life.|
I am figuring out how to be tougher than I knew I was, more vulnerable and open and changeable than I ever have been and man, has this boy blazed the trail in teaching me these things! I don't know how it would have gone if I had started with sweet, little complacent child as my first but I am pretty sure that I wouldn't have learned what I needed. God knew I needed this spitfire of an action figure with a taste for leadership in my life. I needed my world rocked, I needed skateboarding and baseball and graphic novels, to pet more dogs and ride more horses and hear more knock-knock jokes than I could ever have prescribed myself. I am a different woman. I sure love this kid. I love who he is, what he brings to our family and whatever it is he is about to show me about his adolescent make-a-difference, live-an-adventure self.
Here is a little peek into his world, on his second day of being 12 years old.
- Babies: He's always loved babies but the older he gets the sweeter it is that he hasn't lost his love of holding them, making them smile and knowing just what little things they need. He's a fantastic older cousin and will make a top drawer babysitter someday.
- Baseball: He's played steadily in Little League for years now, never missing a season and I am amazed to see that he still is wistful over winter when there are no trips down to the ball diamond. He's a sports kid for sure and baseball has been his game, although interestingly he has no real interest in following professional games or players.
- Greek mythology: He has drawn up his own family trees, read oodles of legends and stories and can tell you all the details of each of Hercules' labors. This inclination made him great fun as a fellow tourist in Italy. So many stone reliefs were unveiled before our eyes because he recognized the stories.
- People: He loves groups, laughter, conversation, friends and even strangers. Always has, always will. Card carrying extrovert.
- Avocados: He's always loved them but now that we live in California, the land of fresh avocados and can even get them at our farmer's market it seems like a legit part of him. We regularly split on together as a snack...half for him, half for me...although these days Pom in horning in too.
- Swimming: We are about to gear up to go back to swimming lessons like we did last year before summer. Ru can hardly wait! He regularly needs two or three scoldings to get him out of the water after lesson has finished. He loves to swim, loves water and has great facility as a swimmer too. Fun to watch him learning to dive and perfect the trickier strokes now.
- Monopoly: This is his favorite board game. We have the original and two other variations and he loves them all with equal fervor. I think this one may be genetic, it was my own mad love as a child too. I may have infected him.
- Zinnias: They are always his favorite bouquets at the farmer's market and he plants them every year himself. He can never have just one variety and he's always totally impressed when they bloom. They look good in the packet, but even better in the flesh. He's already got a couple of varieties ready to grow this year.
- Audiobooks: We are always listening to at least two together as a family and Ru is always my ready reminder to remember to turn it on during long drives. He's always loved story, hearing, imagining, telling and reading....its in his blood.
- Mowing the lawn: This has become one of his personal chores over the last year. Its pretty cute to see him relishing the mowing of our teeny little postage stamp of a front yard. He sometimes mows it before it really needs it again just for the joy of the experience. I have just begun to experiment with having him string trim as an extra connected privilege.
- Cooked squash: All the varieties get the miss. I have to say, I try to make sure nobody knows in our household but I hated cooked squash as a kid. I eat it some now but I always thought it was so squishy and far too sweet for my liking. Not sure what gets him about the whole family of squashes but he sure does skip them all preferentially.
- Editing papers: This is his second year writing papers for me and although he enjoys the craft of putting down his thoughts he really doesn't like editing and drafting the next rounds. I drag him through the process of polishing the piece and adding the next layer each time, he'd much rather just bang out the story and be done, fussy he is not.
- Star Trek: We showed the boys the Star Wars movies this year and so we thought as a compliment it might be fun to experience a little Star Trek too. Nope. Nope. Nope. We showed Ru the first episode and it freaked him out so much that he can't even calm his skeeves down enough to consider discussing the show. Way too scary. Ooops.
- Origami: His younger brother's maddest passion completely drives Ru bonkers. He can never stick with the pattern long enough to get all the folds right or crease the corners evenly and he doesn't really care to. We are all given things we love, precisely folding paper is not one of his loves.
- Saving money: He loves making money, he loves spending money, he doesn't really enjoy or value saving money. Hopefully, this will come with time but at least we don't need to worry about any miserly tendencies!
- Home days with no exciting plans: His least favorite days are the days when we have nowhere to rush off to and nobody coming over. Homebody he is not.
- Snakes: Something about moving Out West to the land of genuine rattle snakes has made him very nervous about the whole family. Of course, a few tweeking younger brothers have exploited his aversion and perhaps deepened it with their repeated surprising faux rattle sounds on hikes.
- Wearing a helmet: He loves to ride his new bike and still enjoys skateboarding along with playing on his new ripstick he got for his birthday but he hates wearing a helmet. He is a devil-may-care child and doesn't see the point of a lot of fuss so we have to be vigilant for him and keep on the reminders. He also runs warm and I'm sure a helmet doesn't help keep him already toasty temp down.
- Early bedtimes: He loves to stay up late and has no natural inclination to sleep and going to sleep early because of some scheduled need drives him batty. He'd rather flip back and forth in bed for an hour than actually go to sleep early! Total waste of time.
- Scary movies: He still really doesn't like scary films although he is slowly easing away from his previous jumpy relationship with any plot tension. I am not much for encouraging scary movies anyhow to I feel like his tenderheartedness can just stay right exactly as it is and I won't mind at all.