this guy’s off to college

It’s crazy to think that a little over eight years ago, I met this little dude at a dog park in St. Paul. I was dating his mom and it was going well enough that an introduction to her son was appropriate. The first time I met him, he searched my pockets with a metal detector. The second time we met, he got stuck trying to hide in the back of my SUV so he could go home with me.

When he and his mom first moved in, we’d catch him going to sleep every night watching one of those dogsitting DVDs where the squirrels run across the screen every once in a while. He claimed it help him go to sleep. Hey, whatever works, dude.

Since then, I’ve watched him change schools, move addresses, land awesome internships at non-profits, get a sweet theater ushering gig, figure out the public transportation system, gain a massive amount of healthy confidence, overcome crappy teenager things, get excited about volunteering multiple times, become angry about injustices in the world, ALMOST CRY AT THE END OF FURIOUS 7, immediately become an amazing big brother and develop into a full grown man that, more than anything, is an amazing human being.

Tomorrow morning, we move him into a college that we’re pretty sure was made just for him. He wants to double major in Biology and Secondary Education, so he can eventually teach high school science classes. He doesn’t want to do that, though, until he’s gotten a chance to do some work out in the field, so he can teach his students from the book and from real life experiences. He wants to study abroad at least once and it would be a dream come true for him if he could land an internship with the Disney World College Program. And this kid? I know he can do all that and more.

I will miss his face, his need to Google everything all the time, his knack for memorizing the weirdest Wikipedia pages, his willingness to help everyone around him with anything without question, his hilarious sense of humor, his gigantic heart, his true authentic self, his long monkey arms that can reach every shelf and pretty much everything else about him.

I know you’ll do great things. You already do.

Go get ’em, tiger.

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i don’t even know what happened over the last two months

Oh wait. I do. And it’s a lot.

The Mother Baby Center
just to see what it was like and we were greatly pleased. Free Wifi, Pizza Luce delivers, there’s an        underground walkway to McDonald’s – what’s not to love about that?

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  • The baby growing process moved into Trimester #3.
  • We celebrated that by taking a trip to New York with Jenni, Matt and Jumi, and we did A LOT OF THINGS.
  • Went to a couple of job fairs.
  • Had an awesome baby shower thrown by Shawn and Jenni.
  • Went to a few Lynx games and got sad when they didn’t beat Phoenix in the Western Conference Finals.
  • The last two nights, I’ve gone home and done absolutely nothing, because that’s all I’ve had the energy to do. I’m hoping when I get home tonight, I’ll be feeling a little more motivated to hang some shelves or fold some baby clothes or something. There are things that need to be done and I’m just struggling. I’m stressed up to the very top of my skull in multiple things right now and I’m kind of disappointed in the way I’ve been handling it, people have suggested me to take CBD, apparently it can help alleviate all of my stress symptoms plus help me focus, and I’m thinking I may give it a try since I’ve been starting to have some anxiety as well . I don’t expect to be a pro or anything, but there’s only so much Sims Freeplay I play before I start wearing sweatpants to work. The Taste Paradise gummies have become the most popular CBD gummy bears in the United States because no other CBD gummy bears have the quality we have and come in the variety of flavors we offer, which include vegan, dairy free and gluten-free options.
  • Ash, Jenny and I participated in Habitat for Humanity in North Minneapolis and helped some folks five minutes from our house build their home. It was amazing.
  • Went to the Minnesota State Fair with my wife while my kid went to see Paramore and Fall Out Boy
  • Went camping for a night with Matt and Jenni down in Albert Lea.
  • Volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. So humbling and yet so rewarding.
  • Went to go see Book of Mormon at the Orpheum! I laughed until I hurt and I don’t even care how inappropriate that might have been.
  • I ran a 5K! Well, I ran a good chunk of it anyway and I felt really good about it. It was the HOM Teal Strides for Ovarian Cancer, in memory and honor of our friend Kristin. I want to run another one soon!
  • We started and completed our childbirth classes! And truly, I’m so glad we did it. I feel much better now.
  • We had a 32 week ultrasound for the baby and he was measuring at 37 weeks, so he’s gonna be a big one. Save your money and don’t buy newborn clothes for Chunk, okay?
  • We got amazing gifts in the mail from our friends – Chele and Marshall sent us the most adorable Pack and Play and Robin sent us an absolutely beautiful stroller that we’re excited to use.
  • Ash took the ACT and got his score back already. His score will get him into any school he’s interested in regardless of his GPA, but we’re not telling him about that last part. He was so proud of himself and that made me happier than anything.
  • Amelia and I participated in the Out of the Darkness Community Walk to raise awareness for suicide. It was heartbreaking.
  • We test drove a ton of cars and ended up buying the very first one we test drove. We’re super happy with it and it’s so nice to be a two car household now.
  • We met with a couple of doulas and decided to hire one. The idea of someone else being able to deal with the stressful things while I do everything I can to make sure my wife has as much support as she needs is worth its weight in gold.
  • Ash and I paddled 14.6 miles down the Mississippi River during the Mightyssippi Adventure. I took many ibuprofen. It was really awesome and a lot slower than I expected actually!
  • And, you know, work, school, baby prep, etc

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.

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