Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Happy 12th Birthday

It seems blogging has taken a backseat to birthdays; we celebrated three in the span of a week!

Caleb bypassed a home cooked meal in favor of a birthday burger out.

 As an added perk, the restaurant staff sang to (and embarrassed) our 12-year-old birthday boy.

 We were still digesting Caleb's birthday cake when Connor's birthday rolled around the next day.

Per our family's tradition, birthday breakfast is best paired with presents.  (Thanks Grandma Wood for the Legos!)

Then the adults enjoyed a night out at the Counting Crows concerts with friends.

The whole gang moments before the concert started.

What to do when two sons have a birthday a day apart?!? This year we celebrated together.  This is Caleb's sixth grade bunch of friends.

Connor's fourth grade pals!

The sixth and fourth graders segregated themselves for dining purposes.  Sixth graders claimed the kitchen table.

A livelier fourth grade bunch snagged the dining room table.

Thanks to Costco for making a cake big enough to feed a group.  Boys weren't thrilled with the rainbow, but I assured them icing taste the same whether shaped into a rainbow or a superhero.

A few days later, the birthday merriment continued.  Chris is last in our string of celebrating.  I had the boys go around the group and tell their dad why they loved him.  Cooper said, "Because he's gone through puberty and wears deodrant."  It's the little things, right?

Sometimes these are the best photos I can snap!

 Chris celebrated his birthday at the kids' Christmas concert.  Cooper appears to be taking his vocal performance seriously.

At one point, he even moseyed up to the front of the stage and added his instrumental skills to the performance.

Connor belted out Christmas hymns with his fourth grade class.  (Unfortunately, we didn't snap any pictures of Caleb and Collin in action.)

My oldest celebrated his 12th birthday last week.  I was hit with the realization that I'm on the cusp of having a teenager.

This isn't news to me.

For months, I've seen little signs.  He's exhibited outward symptoms that he's shedding layers of his youth and inching closer to adolescence.  For example:

He wears men-sized shoes.  He no longer wears light-up sneakers with action figures smeared along the sides.  Velcro is a distant memory.  His footwear is practical, solid colors.  His last pair of loafers, purchased for a band performance, made him appear as if he could shoot off to the office with a briefcase in hand and a Starbucks in the other.

He orders off the adult menu.  He's vocal about his graduation to the adult menu, and he is deeply offended if you hand him the children's menu.  He feels his dignity is intact when ordering an adult entree, even if he selects the same exact chicken fingers featured on the children's menu.

His voice has deepened.  We're officially in the Peter Brady stage of voice transformation.  He ping pongs between a more youthful and mature sound, but he's gravitating  towards the voice of a man.  Sometimes, he'll answer the phone, and I'll pause for the moment and assume I dialed the wrong number.  His voice is unrecognizable at times; I still expect him to unleash the chirpy sounds of a boy.

He's done with Disney, Matchbox Cars, and Trains (at least while I'm watching).  He'll scoff at suggestions to watch a Disney movie or dig out his old Matchbox cars.  He's quick to mention his age, and the fact he's graduated to more mature entertainment.  But every once in awhile, I'll catch him clutching a car, or I'll watch him engrossed in a movie appropriate for his five-year-old brother.  I'll realize at those moments, he feels the tug too.  He's teetering between two worlds: childhood and adulthood.


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