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All Day Today Mr. Sinatra Will Be Singing in My Head*

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!

*It Was a Very  Good Year


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He looks like an interesting and talented young man. You did a great job!

he's a handsome boy. you must be so proud.

and that song makes me cry every time i hear it.

I love that song...Played it on my daughter's recent 17th.

Speaking of her, if the boy heads out west ot So Cal, I have his twin/soul mate waiting for him. As we visited colleges this summer, the first thing she looked for was the semester/year abroad info. She is begging for a break summer in Europe. Her love the is the food and visual so between them they should lick the plater clean.

Happy Birthday to your handsome and talented son. I feel your pain on the driving thing.

Sure seems to be along my line with the languages! You can surely be very proud of him. Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to this handsome, talented guy! Congratulations to you! You have some gorgeous kids! Creative too!

congratulations, both to you and your exceptional and wonderful boy! reading your post I immediately began to hum John Lennon´s "beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boyyyyy".
best wishes from Iceland

As someone who studied abroad in both Spain and Mexico, I can't even BEGIN to tell you what an amazing experience it was!

But yes, do it through the university!

Happy Birthday! Happy DRIVING!!!! YAY!

happy b.day!

Happy birthday to your handsome, talented son! Your description of his interests remind me so much of myself. Good luck to him!

Happy Birthday to my remarkable nephew :) I so clearly remember the first time I held him. We thought he was the coolest thing ever put on earth. He has just continued to get more amazing over time. I can't wait to see where the coming years take him.

P.S. I like to think he has inherited his love of languages and travel from his aunt :)

Happy birthday to A! He certainly sounds like a great young man to be proud of. While I'd certainly love for my bean to share his birthday, but I suspect she has her own ideas.

Happy birthday to the boy and best of luck to you! My mother commented that she wanted to kill me only during the year between 16 and 18. And you know what? She might be right as I am revisiting that kind of angst on the other end. Have fun with the driving . . . it is a certain kind of warmth sending someone else out to get the milk for a change, but they usually come back with a few pints of B&J just in case.

Wow, you have my ideal 17 year old son. Mine is still only 5, but I'm pleased to say he's showing some of the signs yours did - the interest in maps and language and people.

Congratulations to him, and to you, on the first 17 wonderful years.

And be careful on the roads ;0)

Damn K. This is fantastic. You are surely doing SOMETHING right. :)


A language nut after my own heart! Can you believe you are the mother of a 17 year old???

So cute, and talented too! I can understand his love of languages - I'm trying to absorb each and every one that I can, and next semester I'm hoping to take either Russian, Spanish, or Chinese.

Happy birthday to him and congratulations to you!
Studying abroad was the most difficult yet worthwhile learning experience I ever had. I went for a year in both high school and college. (I'm still amazed that my parents let me go to Europe for a year at 16!)
I hope he decides to go. Best of luck :)

Wow.They grow up so fast don't they?My oldest will be 17 in October.She has had her license for 4 months now and I love it!No more quick trips to the store.And she doesn't mind taking her younger siblings places.So far.
Best wishes A!

Happy Birthday to your awesome guy!

Happy birthday!

Happy Birthday!!! What a handsome kid!

My daughter turned 17 on Thursday and yep...we just finished up the driver's ed routine last week. Dubious here for sure too :)

Happy Birthday to him! He sounds like a wonderful son and an amazing person.

My husband lived in Austria the summer after high school through the Rotary Exchange Program. Without a doubt it changed his life. We've wanted the same thing for our son, but unless we see some serious maturing we may have to consider our daughter! ;-) (They're 9 and 5... ha!)

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