Here in New Jersey turning seventeen means one thing. The man/child is jubilant, the mother is dubious.
At 1:00 pm we visit the local DMV. Am I ready for this? Forget about him - he's more than ready. At least I'll have someone to send to the store for milk or coffee when we run out.
When I sat down to write my boy's birthday post I realized I had so few good photos of him. Usually he is darting out of the camera frame, or giving me a look that could kill. So I decided to recycle some that you have already seen.
These photos show him pretty well. He is either bleary-eyed with coffee in hand, jumping around playing a guitar or headed off to explore the world (also with guitar).
I'm proud of my boy. He's smart, funny, kind. He dreams of a life that allows him to discover the world, it's diverse languages and cultures. His trip to Iceland this summer only served to strengthen his resolve to find a career that allows him to continue this quest. This is no recent interest. At 4 he would pour over atlases, he had a notebook with maps of nations and lists of their languages and foods. At 5 he memorized hieroglyphics and stunned us when he started identifying the characters on the Egyptian art at the Met. At 6 he had a collection of flags and could identify each with its country. Now he collects languages. He wants to learn as many as he possibly can. He has thoughtful conversations with anyone who is willing about alphabets and language structure. English and Spanish remain his strengths. But the drive is there so there will be proficiency in others I am sure. He has been begging to spend a year abroad. But we insist he waits until he's in college. For now a few weeks every summer are the best we can offer.
Happy seventeenth birthday A!