|Last day of 7th grade.|
Look at that face! Z is 13. I can't believe this boy who arrived at 15 months old is now a teenager. That's just craziness. He may look tough, but he's still my teddy bear. I'm not sure I'll ever let him grow out of that.
Z was first to make friends in our neighborhood and is starting to allow some of the youth group kids into his inner circle as well. He's much less socially demanding than H, but he does appreciate having people who like hanging out with him.
For the first time in his life, we see him riding bikes less and less. It's very strange and a little sad. He still loves all things cars and trucks, but he collects Hot Wheels more than he plays with them these days. He knows all kinds of random facts about vehicles we see on the road and it's fun to hear him rattle off details and even just the names of certain cars that I couldn't guess if I tried.
He has always been a natural storyteller and has just a really easy sense of humor, but his latest undertaking is making up his own quirky sayings. I'm not sure what has spurred him on towards this, but most of them are too funny. He can't seem to just complain that it's too hot outside, he has to say, "It's so hot outside that if penguins visited, they'd turn into penguin soup."
I called him over to see if I could get him to share some wisdom for this post and he was trying to toss something into the trash can behind me and missed. He said, "That shot was so bad, if Lebron James saw it, he'd quit his team just so he could teach me how to shoot."
Where does he come up with this stuff?! It's seriously like 20 times per day. Funny kid.
He is also getting more into reading than ever before -- maybe something he read led him to all these funny sayings. He's read a number of classics this summer like Treasure Island, Call of the Wild and is currently reading, White Fang and My Life as a Book.
His interest in birdwatching was sparked this past year. I think it helps that we live in a major birding area, so we see a wide variety of them. But his attention to detail is very helpful and he often points them out to me as often as he points out various cars. He was asking me to come up with a hobby for him like H's bracelets -- but not that -- and I said, "I think you are getting really good at birdwatching ... you could journal your findings and stuff..." and he cut me off and said, "Well, I can't sell birds now, can I?" I didn't realize he meant he needed a money-making hobby. How could I be so silly?
He loves the beach and has tried fishing from our local lakes recently. He had a hook go through his upper arm and that was it for awhile. He said, "I think God wants me to be a crabber, not a fisherman." But he hasn't really gone crabbing yet, even though it's very popular in these parts. He has gone fishing again though. He doesn't catch much of anything, but he likes the quiet solitude of the process it seems.
He also has been getting into constructing things. Legos don't come out much anymore for any of the kids since there isn't a community spot to share them in this house, but he walks to the nearby hardware store and picks up free wood scraps and comes home to build. None of it is very pretty or precise, but I like seeing him tap into that creative side of his brain. Banging nails with a hammer is probably therapeutic as well.
He's one of our best lizard hunters and catches them with no problem. Bugs, too. When the other kids call attention to something crawling on their bedroom wall, Z comes running to help them out. He was great at getting those giant American cockroaches, too. Then the other day, he felt really bad about squishing another one. He said, "Mama, I killed that roach because it was big and scary and my reflexes took over ... but I was reading about them and I think they're pretty interesting now. I don't like killing them! They are pretty smart and are built like tanks." Great. Ha. I love his heart for God's creatures, but please, feel free to smash those roaches!
For so many years, Z was all about wheels and puppies and nothing else. I love that he is beginning to diversify his interests and try new things. I don't know what will stick and what will be a passing phase, but in the meantime, all of it is good for his development. All of it is keeping him busy and out of trouble most of the time. These are good things. He is a good boy.