15 on 15
Mr. Cynic, my first born, arrived on April 28, 1995 at 12:41PM at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA. His arrival was nearly as eventful as the rollercoaster pregnancy that saw my weight drop from 98 pounds to 78 pounds with biweekly IVs -up to 4-5 bags worth of fluids and nutrients- during the first 5 months; and then ballooned up to 147 pounds largely because of the 16 ounces of water I had to drink per hour for the last 2 months just to keep my Braxton-Hicks and then some contractions 7 mins apart rather than 2 minutes apart. Anytime it dropped down to 2 minutes apart necessitated another trip to the hospital for monitoring, and you got it, more fluids. We thought he was going to arrive too early, but he bungee jumped his way into the world with the umbilical cord figure-eighted around his neck and under one shoulder, 9 days late.
He is still rather all about numbers and facts.
Here are fifteen facts of my fifteen year old:
1. When he was 4 years old, he became the grocery store budgeting calculator. He added every item price we picked up into the budget allowed, until we shopped, essentially to the penny, with enough left over that he could have a candy from near the cash register.
2. He makes lollipops last longer than any lollipop maker ever intended, longer than humanly imaginably. He should be in the Guiness Book of World Records for longest lollipop last. The old owl in the Tootsie Pop commercials ain’t got nothin’ on him.
3. He is a very empathetic and compassionate person, but you would probably not realize this through his liberal use of deadpan expressions and sarcasm. As a toddler, he was the kid at the park, who, when someone else fell, ran over to pat them on the back, ask if they were okay and kiss their boo-boo. He has been known to give his last dollar to a homeless person on many occasions.
4. He is an absolutely beautiful, though slight and skinny young man. Yes, I know I am biased, but there is a load of objective evidence to support this foregone conclusion.
5. He sings in the shower. About two years ago, the soprano became a bass literally overnight, and I wondered, who is that man in the shower whose singing vibrates the house?
6. He is a genius LARPer. And has been since he was kissing boo-boos way back when. He can show up at any gathering of kids, now teens, and the next thing I see, the entire group is on some covert mission, embattled with giant aliens, or whatever else has popped into his head. Parents everywhere are amazed at his ability to involve even the most generally reluctant of personalities. This happens spontaneously.
7. He writes songs. The lyrics are heavy on broken hearts and bloody ends, but they are quite well-written. He also writes books, big on the lone wolf personality with some kind of science fiction powers, and again, big on blood and guts and clean-bladed decapitations. But they are well written, and I’m glad he’s working out that aspect of himself on paper, while remaining a somewhat gentle soul in life.
8. He took up playing bass in September, with the intent of starting a band he has been devising for a couple of years. His bass teacher says he is a very quick study.
9. He took flute in elementary and quit when his asthma got harder to deal with, especially for parades. Music appreciation is a big part of his life.
10. His 10th year was a medical doozy, including 3 major emergency hospital visits for getting asthma, Lyme’s Disease Bacterial Spinal Menengitis, and the discovery that he was largely blind in one eye due to a retinal tear that required immediate corrective surgery to prevent it worsening. “The Big E? What Big E?” (looking at an eye chart with the other eye covered)
11. He’s very funny in a very dry way.
12. He’s very smart, but still has plenty to learn. He’s a self-motivated, planning type of student.
13. He has a special way with Toots who absolutely adores him. Actually he has a pretty easy way with kids of all ages and though he can act like a know-it-all, at times, generally finds it very easy to get along with everyone. Mostly. Unless he disagrees on a matter of principle.
14. He has a strong moral fiber, and wants to right all the wrongs of world and domestic politics.
15. He is my son, the one who made me a mother, and when I first held him in my arms, though I knew nothing, and was going to learn it by him, everything, and I really do mean everything, suddenly made perfect sense.
And one more for luck:
16. He is his brother’s archnemesis, while conversely, his greatest defender. You better not mess with Captain Comic when Mr. Cynic is around.