this boy is 17 years old today

I met this boy in 2008.

We took him to Nickelodeon Universe to celebrate the big 11.

We took him to Nickelodeon Universe to celebrate the big 11.

And then he (and his mom) moved in with me.

You know what’s a huge adjustment? Going from being completely single and only responsible for a dog that eats twice a day and needs to go outside from time to time to a living arrangement with an 11 year old. I’ve always known I’d be a parent in some fashion, but I didn’t think it’d start with a tween. Tweens aren’t bad, at least this one. In the first few months we were co-habitating, he learned things like this:

stuffashhaslearned

 

And really, the last six years have flown by when it comes to this kid. He’s grown into almost a man. I’ve learned to fight (not physically, but not for lacking of wanting to!) for him and make sure he knows I believe in him. We’ve had to learn to understand each other’s mood swings, which is still a process for both of us.

He just finished his junior year at a high school he transferred to in February and he has seriously been an all-star. I need to email his teachers and tell them to stop saying things like “amazing”, “you’re so articulate”, “you really know how to live your life”, “no idea where you could have improved” and “Can I keep your paper to use it as an example in other classes?”. Any more confidence in his schoolwork and I might cry.

He’s such a great kid and, although I frequently do not understand why he does things or what he is thinking, I know it’s because he’s 17 and he can’t doesn’t even know the answer to those questions most of the time.

I couldn’t have asked for a better 11 year old to pop into my life on a permanent basis. I’m so excited to see where his life continues to lead him and I can’t wait to watch him flourish. It’s still my favorite thing to go get him donuts and juice on Sunday mornings and I hope his future wife gets used to that. It won’t be too weird – I’ll just leave them on the porch. That’ll be cool, right?

Happy 17th birthday to this grown ass man.

ash17