Our oldest son has turned seventeen.
It's amazing how many things change in a year; it is amazing how many things stay the same.
Where there used to be Tonka trucks and Legos, we now have a focused effort to get his daytime and nighttime driving hours completed so he can get his license.
Our pediatrician warned us that a boy with a talkative older sister could be delayed in his language development. He somehow missed out on that message, and he went on to talk sooner and louder than his older sister. Now that articulate nature is being honed into a debater who has logic and insight and the ability to persuade. His rhetoric makes my heart sing.
Water, cold or hot, fast or slow, inside or outside, has always been important. Bath time was never fought, playing in a sink of soapy water was a guarantee of quiet for the house, and any chance there was for swimming was pounced upon. We had a hammock in our yard when he was two, and underneath the hammock was a water source. The puddle that accumulated there was the perfect location for him to sit, undisturbed by others who thought twice about the mud and the cold water, and he poured water over his head .... for a really long time. This was his idea of bliss.
Swimming pools still call his name, but water also means canoeing fifty miles, swimming across Lake Natomas, jumping off cliffs, and other water adventures that I probably shouldn't know about.
This summer I was informed by my son that he had never had a birthday party. Never? Never. Well, we'd had family gatherings and presents and general frivolity, but we had never had a fete with friends.
Well, that has all changed now. We somehow made room in our 1750 sq. ft. home for fifty people, friends with parents and siblings, to magnificently celebrate seventeen years of life. After three hours at the park, playing football and volleyball and swimming in the American River, they arrived here to eat buckets of taco salad and swing dance and play games, with plenty of loud talking and laughing throughout. It was a joyous evening, and well worth the seventeen year wait. We've let him know we'll be ready for his thirty-fourth birthday.
One thing that has grown stronger over the years is the love and respect we have for this amazing young man. I can hardly wait to see what the year brings.
Happy Birthday, son!