Sunday, May 06, 2007

what do you do when your kid turns 17?

Alex is 17 years old today. The day he was born the cherry blossoms were in bloom and I called into work sick. Well not actually sick. I called in "birthing." It was a Sunday, so the boss had to come in to supervise the rec centre (Sundays were my job). I apologized for the inconvenience, but the baby was 10 days early. He was a considerate baby, arriving a week ahead of Mother's Day, rather than three days after, as scheduled. This gave me my first Mother's Day as a Mom one year earlier than otherwise.

Since then we have enjoyed 17 years of better, and better and better. Now that he's 17 it's not acceptable for me to blog baby or toddler stories (too embarassing). For anyone craving a baby or todderler story, here's a link to Matthew Baldwin's blog. His 3 year old boy, the Squiggly, did something really cool.

Our 17 year old was an amazing baby and a wonderful toddler. As a growing up kid he has astonished us every day, and makes us proud on a pretty much continuing basis. Most importantly, he's growing into a happy young adult with great future prospects. This summer he has his first paid job, working in the kitchen at the fish and chip shop at our city park. He's managing to make it through Math Principles 11. He'll soon test for his driver's license. He's been practising Karate for 8 years. After graduating next year, he hopes to attend the film program at Capilano College. (He picked his high school for its multi-media program, and is enjoying his film courses tremendously.)

Today he may or may not wake up in time to go to church (being sung to at the beginning of the service is also embarassing). After lunch, he'll drive to Playland for his first roller coaster ride of the year. Later we'll have a family supper at Grandma's place. A trip to the movies with friends is in the works when everyone can find a night off together. That's another thing about 17, Mom no longer arranges a birthday party for you.

When your kid is born you focus on survival. In the early years, it's pretty much overwhelming in both wonderful and awful ways, by turn. Then the pre-teen and teen years come, and you wonder, "Will this person be okay?" "Will he be happy?" "Will he find love?" "Will he find kindness and fulfillment and joy in this harsh world?" because by that time, as a parent you realise it's going to be up to the child. You can't choreograph adulthood.

Today I am more sure than ever that the answer to those questions is mostly yes. And that's a birthday present for me. Thank you God. Thank you family. Thank you world. Thank you cherry blossoms. Thank you Alex.

Happy birthday.

question: What stories are you allowed to tell about your little ones?

mompoet - breathing out, (but leaving the candles for the birthday guy)

1 comment:

Lynn Valley Girl said...

Happy 17th birthday to Alex who has grown to be quite a remarkable young man.
Enjoy the roller coaster!