Saturday is Mr. Cynic’s birthday.
I was talking with my friend Joe the other day. He has known me since before I had kids, and seemed just about as thrilled to hold the newborn who became Mr. Cynic, as I was – even as he grumbled, humoring me about washing his hands with anti-bacterial soap.
I was a new mom, whaddya want?
Anyway, Joe said, “17?! That’s no joke!”
Thanks, Joe, yes I am old enough to have a 17 year old. Older in fact, he didn’t make me a mom until I was 29.
This Mr. Cynic business was always a part of him. 1996, in Maine, flipping the bird, oh so subtly.
But he really always was a beautiful and sensitive boy. Later, 1996, at grandparents in Connecticut, the house where I grew up.
Just don’t tell him I told you he is sensitive. “Mom.” 2003, Massachusetts
A couple of elementary pictures from Massachusetts days. See what I mean? Beautiful and cynical, or is it skeptical?
There was a long long-haired period that started after the 4th grade pic on the right.
This is basically what I see of him now:
Only usually wearing a black rock band tshirt.
17 things about Mr. Cynic:
1. When it comes down to it, he’s really got a big heart.
2. Just don’t mention The Bush Years around him.
3. He claims to be doubly cursed with short genes. It’s probably true, but he and I both still hold some hope after his recent bone age test. My father grew taller after he graduated high school. Mr. Cynic may, too.
4. He goes about accomplishing things in his own way and time. Take his Driver’s License for instance, still in the permit stage, since he was 15.
5. But he does pretty much kill it academically.
6. We’re exploring braces. He doesn’t really seem to care one way or the other.
7. There is only one path he is considering: rock star. And he is serious about. Very serious about it. Berklee College of Music is his only college consideration at the moment. I have tried to broaden, but nope.
8. But when he was 4 he wanted to be a world famous marine biologist and paleontologist and discover the largest prehistoric whale remains somewhere in a desert.
9. He takes bass lessons, is self-teaching guitar, writes songs and is about to embark upon teaching himself keyboard. Yes, that is his birthday present.
10. He has also been writing books and worlds since he first imagined fighting dragons or riding them as a little one.
11. He shoots zombies. a lot.
12. He is quite erudite.
13. But silly, and likes cute bunnies. Mostly tigers – White Siberian Tigers – and wolves. He seems to identify with those cool-headed, ruthless canines.
14. Grudgingly does what he is asked, but always does it, eventually.
15. Has a few really good friends and gives everyone a chance.
16. Mr. Cynic roots for and defends the underdog, even his brother, Captain Comic. except when he is annoying.
17. He has a special bond with Toots. Who knew having kids 13 years apart could work out so well for them?
I am proud to say that he is my kid. I think I did alright with this one.
Happy Birthday, Kiddo. I love you.