We have another teenager and I couldn't be happier. I love having teenagers. The movies and TV shows that have snarky, disrespectful, unappealing teenagers do not get it right.
Because teenagers are pretty great.
All my kids' birthdays cause me to reflect on who they are and who've they been. Also I feel beyond grateful that I get the privilege to be their mother.
Here are some thing about Mark.
He is his own person.
He has self assurance for days. He's hard to talk into anything he doesn't want to do and he's pretty much against new things.
Except for when he isn't. He's this rare mix of being a stubborn creature of habit and then having a breathtaking amount of resilience to change.
I was never more impressed with Mark than on his first day of public school. He is suspicious of every new recipe I ever try but when he needs to do something new and scary, he pretty much says bring it on:
He misses this guy. A lot.
But Mark's OK with it; he just keeps trying to explain it to me.
It makes me happy to see the relationship between Emma and Mark grow. They can both be cranky and contrary but they take care of each other and laugh together every bit as much as they bicker:
What were we thinking moving Mark away from Gavin? He doesn't remember not knowing Gavin. They celebrated their December birthdays together and went trick-or-treating together and got into all sorts of shenanigans and trouble together.
It's been tough for Mark to make new friends. There will never be another Gavin. I am over and over impressed with his ability to dust himself off and try again though. I wish I were more like him.
Besides Mark-and-Gavin, this pretty much sums up his childhood:
Messy hair + white t-shirt + Legos. (His Lego sets sit mostly neglected now and it's a little sad but those little bricks probably needed a break. They've been used.)
Homeschooling him was one of the highlights of my life:
He's had 13 years to perfect the art, and that kid makes me laugh:
And has always been expert at melting my heart:
|This note was written on one of the many occasions he broke something.|
How could I not forgive him though? I mean, look at him.
Life with Mark has never once been boring:
Happy birthday, baby boy. I am glad you're mine.