Thursday, October 4, 2018

Project 17 to 17: Day 17

Well ... it happened, and way too fast for this momma ... the countdown to Wonder Boy's birthday has reached the final day.

As always, it has been a fun 17 days. I have been treated to an extended trip down memory lane as I dig through photos and memory books. I pull out the best and most fun moments to share here, but reflecting on both the good AND the bad days is a treasured part of this annual experiment.

The good days and sweet laughs from times gone by warm my heart and bring a much anticipated joy when I look at my ever growing Boy and especially when I notice aspects of his personality that have persisted through the years.

But I also enjoy seeing those reminders from the more difficult days as well. Those days are like badges of honor. To see how far the Boy has some since those early struggles. To be able to see just how far he CAN go when he sets his mind to it ... well ... those are some of the sweetest recollections of all.

I look at the two photos here and I know that there is a lifetime of good and bad days and everything in between just waiting for the Boy to experience.

As his mom, I hope that the high points far outweigh the low ones. And I hope that he continues to forge his own unique path. I hope he continues to sharpen his mind and push to understand the world around him. I hope that he not only finds his tribe, but that he becomes a leader among them.

I suspect most parents feel as I do when I look at my nearly-grown child. I see this 5'11" tall, walking, talking, thinking mass of potential and I know he will move mountains if he so chooses. He is an amazing person both inside and out. He can bring a smile to my face like no other and I am so thankful to have been blessed with the role of his parent.

This little project is a yearly celebration of not just another birthday for the Boy, but also a recognition of the special blessing that he has been to Wonder Dad and myself.

Tomorrow we unwrap the gifts and sing the praises of another year lived well. May there be many, many, MANY more to come mi amorcito!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Project 17 to 17: Day 16

As we near the end of this little project, we're going to focus in on a little viola love!

Last night the Boy got an early birthday present from his Dad and I ... a new bow for his beloved viola! We researched and then searched high and low to find just the right bow - our local supply is a bit lacking, so mostly this took place on-line. We had a little scare that it might not be delivered in time, but the stars aligned and his package arrive with a few days to spare.

Normally, we wouldn't dream of letting him get his hands on a present days early, but the day AFTER his birthday is his Region Orchestra tryouts for this year. And we wanted to make sure he had a few days to "break in" his new equipment before the big day.

As a special gift, the Boy treated us to about an hour of viola practice! It is always nice to have him play for us. Recently he has primarily opted for his guitar when he's in the mood to perform, so getting a viola concert was a bit of a treat for us! And to top it off, he brought it out again this morning for a quick practice run before he had to leave for early sectional rehearsals at school. I'm a very lucky lady indeed!

In our glance back at 2016, we see the Boy just a couple of days before his first concert of the school year. I used the fact that we had to verify that his tux still fit properly to squeeze in a little photo shoot on the back porch.

The concert that followed was truly beautiful, as they have all been.

It amazes me how far he has come as a musician since picking up his first little viola back in fifth grade. It was joining the orchestra that ignited his desire to learn to play the piano and eventually the guitar as well.

I do not know if I can ever express to his orchestra directors the depth of the gift they have given to him; to the whole family really!

I'm going to soak up the music while it lasts and hope that he will continue to play long after he has moved on past high school!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Project 17 to 17: Day 15

I love this snap of Wonder Boy taken this morning.

If you have read this blog long (or known our family for any length of time), you will understand what an understatement it is for me to say that Wonder Boy is NOT a morning person.

So it has always been a surprise to me that this Boy, who would be happiest if his day started after 10am, gets himself up every school day by 6:30am. He sets the alarm on his wrist watch and that's it. We don't have to knock on his door. We don't have to double check that he is up, dressed, packed and ready. He's got it covered.

He doesn't do these things quickly. And there is no bounce in his step as he goes about his preparations for the day. But he gets it done.

So I cannot begrudge him 15 minutes sprawled across the love seat playing some mindless phone game. Plus, he looks really cute, if you ask me.

Looking back, we see him on a chilly school morning, cuddled up on the couch snuggled up next to him is his trusty cuddle buddy, Wonder Mutt... both of them trying to prolong the quiet time before the hustle and bustle of trying to get out of the door for school and work.

Like the photo above, I don't resent him taking some "me time" in the mornings like this. I know my own mother had days where she had to work a lot harder to get ME out of the door on time and I am much more likely to be labeled a morning person than any other member of this family.

But regardless of who is or is not a morning person, the Boy has a routine and it seems to work for him. I'm glad he has worked himself into this morning schedule. I think it will serve him well when he leaves home.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Project 17 to 17: Day 14

Holy cow! We're already at the 2 week mark of this project! Only a few days to go!

Today I want to show you all my world:

Oh these two! These two characters are my everything!

A lot has changed since that snap from 2014. Wonder Boy now has over an inch in height advantage over his Dad, for example. But there is so much about these two and their relationship that has not changed. I love to hear them laugh and tease one another. They crack jokes at the other's expense and love to pull pranks on one another as well.

But despite their buddy-buddy attitude, Wonder Boy knows his dad is so much more than someone to pal around with. Wonder Dad is our safe space. He has always taken the job of protecting and providing for his family as a super serious endeavor. And he has never let us down in those respects. Wonder Dad sets a great example for the Boy. And every day I see Wonder Boy picking up something else from his Dad, in addition to his sharp wit and easy smile.

Wonder Dad would move heaven and earth for our Boy. The Boy, in return, is the best at coaxing those giant belly laughs from his Dad. I'd say they're a matched pair for certain!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Project 17 to 17: Day 13

OK. So the last couple of weeks, the Boy and I have had a running ... I dunno ... not really a joke, but a private conversation that made us both giggle along the way.

You see, I've been pestering him to get a hair cut. And though he doesn't like his hair long by any means (I could support that, if that was the case), he just hates the process of GOING somewhere to get his hair cut. He ALWAYS resists it and he's been that way for as long as I can recall.

So the "joke" went something like this .... I would catch his gaze and make scissor motions with my fingers when Wonder Dad wasn't looking. The Boy would then point at the calendar telling me "not yet." I made him commit to a date and then I teased him in this manner all the way up to that fateful day.

As I type it up, it doesn't sound like much, but it kept us both giggling for several weeks! I don't mind simple humor, I guess. And it was fun to have this little back and forth with him - usually that is more commonly done with the Boy and his Dad.

So the kick is this ... we were SUPPOSED to get this done yesterday, but we had several other appointments throughout the day and one ran super long, so we had to move it to today. So in the end, even though he committed to a particular day, he got a reprieve and got to hold out for yet another day. But at least it was for a good reason!

This morning, we packed into his car and he let me ride with him to the salon (so I could pay for the whole affair). I'm glad I got to tag along. He doesn't NEED me to come. I literally don't do anything but keep him company and pay the bill. And I could give him the funds to take care of it on his own. But I am thankful he doesn't seem to mind my company on these little excursions.

In our look back we see the boy and I just a few short years ago. Look! I was still taller in this snap! I'm pretty sure this is the year he passed me up though, by the time we crossed off the last date on our 2013 calendar we were at least looking eye to eye and I'm pretty sure that he was already a smidge taller that year for our Christmas photo. But this was another day when we were off on a little excursion together.

Wonder Dad was under the weather and needed some peace and quiet around the house on his Sunday afternoon. So I packed up the Boy and his favorite book of the day (a "Far Side" collection) and we went exploring the gardens near the George H. W. Bush Library. It was one of the first warm days that spring and we enjoyed sitting in the sun, finding comics that made us literally laugh out loud. The boy consented to letting me take some photos of the two of us together. And that summer, we framed a few of them for Wonder Dad for Father's Day.

It's a day that stays burned in my memory. A truly great day!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Project 17 to 17: Day 12

In our look back to 2012 today, we see the Boy a few days before wrapping up his 4th grade school year. This was the last year for him to attend our neighborhood elementary school. His school's motto was "Live. Learn. Soar!" and I have always thought that was an exceptional gift to give the kids attending their program!

I was nervous for the boy as he flew from the safe little nest of his neighborhood school on to intermediate school. But he was ready. His school had set him up for success and he has really taken it upon himself to keep pushing for more, academically speaking!

For today's photo, you get a glimpse of just how far he's trying to fly when it comes to his studies!

On most weekends from September to the end of May, Wonder Boy gives up a few hours of his Saturday to attend math lectures at the university in town. This particular week, they were discussing mathematical properties of reflections or something to that effect. They were taught the properties and then worked through a proof as a group. But while everyone else was following along, our Boy set out to prove it for himself and came up with another way to look at the problem all on his own. And then, to top it all off, he programmed it all in so he could see it graphically represented on his phone!

I've said it before, I'm 100% certain I'll say it again and again, but I just LOVE the way his mind works! And I'm truly thankful that he shares these problem solving triumphs with us!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Project 17 to 17: Day 11

Another signature aspect of Wonder Boy's personality is his constant creativity.

These days, most of the time, he expresses his creativity at the computer. Sometimes that involves working through some math problem, other times it shows in the program he's writing. But I'll confess that I love it when he takes the time to put something down on paper.

In our shot for today, I wanted to share something the Boy made for ME! He knows I love all things sugar skulls and Day of the Dead, so he sat down one day and knocked out this awesome sketch for me!

I'm working on bringing his drawing to "life" on the plaster skull in the background. He seems pretty proud that I would take inspiration from his work. But the truth is, he inspires me daily in a million different ways!

In our look back to 2011, we see him working away on yet another creation. This was Wonder Boy's "city of the future." He had received the building blocks as a gift and practically tore the packaging apart, he was so excited to get started!

It's rare that the Boy is not working through something. I love that his mind is seldom quiet. And the best part is watching him piece through things. Seeing him problem solve is a sight to behold. His mind works in mysterious ways, far beyond my comprehension, but it's still quite a thing to witness!