Thursday, July 14, 2011
Our boy is fifteen today. Fifteen. Don't know how that happened. The days go by slowly, yet somehow the years fly by.
Could he have been any cuter? I remember holding him in my arms for the very first time just after he was born and thinking, He's handsome. And at fifteen he's a pure lady killer. Dimples to die for, nice teeth, twinkly blue eyes, sandy blond hair with natural blond highlights, gorgeous hands, tall, slender (alright, skiiiiiinnny).
The boy that couldn't, then wouldn't, converse, is Mr. Social now. He is my dad at his best, all over again. It's got to be pure DNA or some encounter in the In Between, because they never met, but Rojo has many of the same mannerisms as my dad did, and it makes me smile every time I see or hear them.
Now Rojo rides his bike over to the neighborhood school just down the street from our house (you can actually see it from our house), all by himself. It started with me telling him to ride on down and I'd follow with Flicka. He would beat us by five minutes, and that would be all the time he'd need to find or make a friend. By the time I got there he had the full 411. "Mom, I just met a boy named Garrett. He is five. He.... " blah, blah, blah.
Now I've got him riding his bike down there without me. He rides in circles around the black top and chats people up if they're there, or just sings and raises his arms in praise if they aren't. If he's still there after fifteen minutes I walk on down and check it out. Sometimes it's painful to watch, not that he's doing anything wrong or that anyone is being less than kind - the opposite. People are exceedingly kind and patient, and some seem to actually be enjoying themselves. I forget that in small doses he can be delightful. He is just so not 15 when I observe, and as long as I've been at this, that still sweeps me at the knees at unexpected times.
We told him for his birthday we'd get him a cell phone and teach him to text. "No, I do not want a cell phone," he protested, as expected. That's why we started the soft sell months ago, warming him up to the idea. We want him to have a phone for safety reasons, and for my convenience when I pick him up from school in the fall, since it's not as cut and dried as it's been for the past nine years. We also want him to be able to ask for help from his tribe, should the need arise.
Got the phone a few days ago - walked into Verizon and explained the situation. Got the perfect sales person that didn't try to sell me a bunch of stuff I didn't need, but did get me sold on the need for insurance and an extra hard carrying case to withstand dropping. The phone has pretty big keys and "flips," which was all that Rojo insisted upon. "Mom, make sure my phone flips. I want a flip phone. Make sure it does not slide, like yours, make sure you turn it this way (horizontally) and it just boom, flips right up." Got him just the perfect one - way nicer than the cheap-o one I have, but what are you going to do?
Knew he'd be obsessed about getting the phone all day if we didn't give it to him 2 seconds after he woke up, so that's just what we did. Doesn't everyone have their family birthday parties at 6:15 AM? Woohoo had to be up any way to go to work, so it was perfect. By 6:30 I'd received four texts from him. By 8:15 I'd received over 20. He is an awesome texter. Remembers to say, "please" and "thank you." Remembers to say, "goodbye." Remembers to say, "I love you." I do realize that 2 hours do not a trend make, but I'm very encouraged.
I had pre-programmed all his tribe into the phone before he opened it, and before wrapping it I'd sent everyone a text letting them know what his number is and warning them they'd be hearing from him on Thursday. He did not disappoint.
Then the nicest thing evolved organically this morning, his three favorite tribe members: Kathleen, Nancy and her husband, Tom, all let me know they'd like to come by after he gets done at work. As it turns out they are all free at the same time and so we are all going to get frozen yogurt and celebrate our favorite boy.
It's cliche to say it takes a village to raise a child, but that doesn't make it any less true.
Here's to Rojo's village, which happens to be mine.
Here's to texting.
Here's to Rojo.