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Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
A (don't kick the) Bucket List - 2014-10-28
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8:35 a.m. - 2009-07-27
The boy with kaleidoscope eyes.

And so it begins.

Took ourselves and the kid to the county fair Saturday night. Watching him in the in-laws' pool earlier that afternoon I realized again that my 'baby' is rounding the bend toward being a teenager. Though still hairless and stick scrawny there's really nothing of a child left about his physical self. The long shank bone with the sun bleached mop I 'saw' three years ago, the lean boy-man trotting down a sandy sidewalk toward the beach with a boogie board under his arm is here.

Before the leaves fall this year he will be sporting the spacers and wires and begin the process of correcting the only awkward mar on his preternaturally beautiful self. An appliance to correct the messy crowded overbite inherited from his orthodontically challenged father. If he'd gotten my gapped, but otherwise perfect bite I think it would have pissed off the Fates. So, my beautiful son has strong, healthy, cavity-free, but badly aligned teeth.

Despite his scrawn he isn't gawky. Graceful as a gazelle. When he runs he defies gravity and sails along skimming lightly over the ground with none of the lurches and jerkiness expected from someone his age. Oy, I can tell adolescence is going to be very, very kind to my son. Passing over and through him in a buoyant wave, lifting and floating him forward into manhood and sparing him the ugly churn of zits, pits, splotches, outsized hands and feet, bobbing Adam's apples, and the like. For all that people think my eyes are so pretty, Wolf's are prettier- pale and clear like sea water, sometimes grey, sometimes green. This kid was gifted with every bit of beauty that could be wrung from my DNA and his father's and has something of his own on top of it, a something that when he passes by makes even grown women sigh like love-struck school girls.

At the fair our little trio was in line behind another family of three- a mother, a father, and a daughter who looked to be around 13 edging into 14. A pretty, pretty girl with dark curly hair and long coltish legs. We were waiting for our turns on the giant ferris wheel, it and the wild mouse roller coaster being the only rides popular enough to even have lines waiting to get on. This line moved slowly, as the line for the ferris wheel always does, what with having to unload and reload one gondola at a time and having to spin the wheel a half turn to do the next set of passengers and keep the load balanced. We'd finally moved up off the ground and onto the ferris wheel's deck and begun snaking our way through the serpentine of railings meant to keep the crowd in a tidy line when Mick frowned and muttered that the guy in front of us kept giving us dirty looks. I'd seen that too and had the giggles over it. I pulled Mick aside as best I could and hissed into his ear that the grouchy guy in front of us was being a father and for Mick to stand down with his dopey macho turf warring. Look! I said to Mick. Watch the daughter.

After a minute Mick was giggling with me, fascinated by the mini-drama playing out in front of us. There was Wolf- oblivious to everything except getting on the ferris wheel, bopping around unable to keep still, darting forward to read the posted rules for passenger safety and reporting back, craning his neck to count the wheel's spins and trying to guess how long it would be before we got our turn. There was the father- glaring at my boy and sometimes us (as if any of this was our doing) and turning back to his daughter trying to engage her attention and failing miserably. The daughter answered him readily enough but it was obvious her attention was wholly elsewhere. Namely she was doing everything short of setting her head on fire trying to get Wolf to notice her. She, too, was bopping around, wrapping the stuffed snake she was carrying around her neck like a feather boa, pulling it off to twirl it by the tail, throwing it into the air, and then wrapping it around her shoulders again, tilting her head, pushing out her budding chest and posing like a glamour girl, all the while her eyes glued on Wolf silently begging him to see her.

Mick was astounded. "That girl is older! And she's…she's…and Wolf isn't…but she's…wow." I nodded. I knew what he meant. Shrugged my shoulders and told Mick it was only going to get worse from here. "Guarantee by the time he's 15 his girlfriend will have her own car. Better not be a teacher. Any predatory Mary Kay Letourneau comes near my kid and I'll make pedophile guacamole out of her. Let's just be grateful Wolf doesn't notice any of it yet. I'm in no hurry to clue him in either. He'll twig to it soon enough on his own."

Mick looked at Wolf who was staring up at the gondola at the top (it was swinging back and forth in a big arc the occupants rocking it hard and screaming happily), then at the girl who was still twirling that snake and semaphoring her interest in our boy, and shook his head. "I don't know whether to envy him or feel sorry for him."

"A little of both, I guess. In any case we're all in for a hell of a ride…and I don't mean the ferris wheel."


I wonder how Brad Pitt's mother handled this? ~LA

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