Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Project 16 to 16: Day 16

I had always planned to take this photo for our last day of this project. It was planned to contrast with our last post from our P15-to-15 last year. As you can see, we have traded places in the car ride to and from school.

The Boy got his learner's permit back in January and starting in earnest this summer, has worked very hard to be ready for his driver's test. Due to the upheaval in our schedules, it will be another couple of weeks before we take him to the DMV for his test, but he's ready.

On the other hand, *I* am not ready! Yes, I have every confidence in his driving, but I do not trust everyone else on the road and it's like a knife in my heart just THINKING of him pulling out of the driveway without his dad or I at his side.

However, I have a couple of more weeks and I'm going to push the thought from my mind and enjoy the status quo while it lasts.

In our look back, we see one of my all time FAVORITE photos of Wonder Boy! He's always been a bit of an adrenaline junkie, but I think white water rafting may just deliver the biggest rush he's had to date!

Even though he was tossed from the boat, got stuck underneath it, and nearly gave me a heart attack waiting for him to reappear, he L-O-V-E-D it! He loved it so much that he begged us for another day on the river after this excursion, in a more difficult class of rapids even.

I am thankful we got to share this wild ride with the Boy (though I would have preferred he stayed in the boat the whole time). I know the day is coming when he'll be off on his own for this kind of adventure.

And it is on this note, that I close out this project for the year.

As happens every year, as I look back, I simply marvel at how far our Boy has come, how much he has grown, and fast he has changed. He is my all time favorite nearly-16 year old in the WHOLE HISTORY of 16 year olds!

And I hope he knows how much he is loved and cherished!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Project 16 to 16: Day 15

Our dear Papi (my dad), passed away today.

So please forgive the lack of a photo for today or even a look back to 2015, which is what we were due to post.

Our hearts are just too heavy.

Instead, here is a snap from 2009 of Wonder Boy with Papi. We love him and miss him and ... well ... words fail.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Project 16 to 16: Day 14

Here on Day 14, I wanted to show the Boy's stack-o-screens. And of course, this doesn't count his computer at home or the ones used at school. But at any given moment of the day, it's a pretty fair bet you'll find the boy on one of these screens. I'm actually a pretty big fan of the digital revolution (thus far). For the boy, this little stack of screens means that information is always at hand and he uses it fairly wisely. It seems he's always researching something or another.

Of course, he's not ALWAYS learning. He also loves watching videos of just "random stuff" (as he puts it) - things that make him laugh. And I'm glad he has access to THAT material as well.

In looking back to 2014, we see the Boy with perhaps his favorite family on the planet outside of our own. These kiddos are as close as family for him (and for the rest of us).

There is so much I love about this snap. It was taken on the day we first got to meet their new baby brother, born 2 months prior. We had a great meal and then made a quick stop at Buc'ees before we had to part and head back to our separate corners of the great state of Texas. It was a good day and looking back on it always brings a smile to my face.

But what I love most about this snap is seeing the silly side of our Boy - IN PUBLIC!

Everyone needs someone (or someONES) with whom they are so comfortable that it's OK to be silly, even when out and about in public. And I'm just glad the Boy chose this particular group to let his silly side shine!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Project 16 to 16: Day 13

For day 13, I wanted to hit the lighter side of things when examining our Wonder Boy. And honestly, this is something that tickles my funny bone on a daily basis.


Yes, I'm serious. Bath time. Or, more specifically, shower time.

Not a day goes by that the Boy doesn't put up a fuss when we tell him it's time to get clean. We get the stereotypical exasperated sigh, usually accompanied by an eye roll, and the ever constant question "Do I have to...". Every. Single. Time. *sigh*

But once he's in the shower, he steps into another world! We don't really know what is going on in there - some kind of one man play is the best we can guestimate - and it's probably best that we DON'T know what is happening. Even when we warn him to "be quick about it," his showers rarely run less than 20 - 30 minutes as he sings and chats and who knows what else the time away. And while I am so pleased he is squeaky clean, it's something that makes me shake my head and giggle just a little every day.

In our look back to 2013, we see they Boy and his dad on the hiking trail - one of our favorite places to be! This particular snap was taken on Good Friday that year when we visited the Huntsville State Park.

If you were to ask Wonder Boy straight up, he would tell you that he doesn't enjoy hiking. But his actions on the trail usually speak louder than those words.I find there is something really wonderful about unplugging and spending time outside. And while he may not want to leave his screens behind, he always seem to relax and have fun once we are out and about. I hope that, as he matures, he will understand that these trips are the kinds of memories that feed our souls.

And who knows, maybe one day, he'll drag a reluctant teen of his own on the trail as well.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Project 16 to 16: Day 12

Day 12 has been a pretty sedate day around here. The first grading period is over for the boy and as such, he came home with only a few minor assignments for this weekend. So we have taken the opportunity to sit back and relax most of the day.

Just before we called it a day today, I caught Wonder Boy and his boy snuggled up on the couch with the grey blankie. They both love this blanket. It's soft and comforting. Sometimes, when they've been cuddling under the blankie and the Boy has to get up, he'll swaddle Wonder Mutt in the cover to keep him warm and toasty until he can return.

In our look back to 2012, we see the boy again working out his creative juices, this time by putting together a Harry Potter Lego set. That year, he spent his spring break working on all of the Harry Potter Lego sets he had received for Christmas. By the time spring break was over, he had all of Diagon Alley put together!

He doesn't spend much time with his Legos any more, but we kept some of his favorite sets and we hope to share them with his children some day.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Project 16 to 16: Day 11

In years past, I've talked about the Boy's "uniform." On any given day, you'll find him wearing just about the same thing: khaki cargo shorts, t-shirt (blue, red, grey, or black with very little decoration), black crew socks, and athletic shoes.

I've got no problem with this "uniform." He's comfortable. He makes sure his things are clean and well cared for. And it makes getting dressed a quick affair since there are not a lot of decisions involved.

But I *DO* have a problem with one article of this uniform ... his shoes.

Since he was very young, the Boy has always hated getting new shoes. Like his uniform, once he finds something that works for him, he doesn't want to put in the effort to find anything else. So he will wear his shoes out until they could get up and walk to school on their own.

Now, let it be known, he HAS many pairs of shoes from which to choose. We like to have at least a couple of pairs to cycle through to keep the shoes fresh and make them last longer. But even with a closet full of shoes, these are the only ones the Boy wants to wear.

His orchestra is doing a shoe drive as a fund raiser for their trips and this particular pair will most certainly be in the donation pile before all is said and done!

In our look back today, I couldn't resist sharing this little snap! That is my sweet little Wonder Boy snuggled up on the couch one frosty morning with his Sack Boy. For those that are not aware, Sack Boy is the hero of the Sony Playstation game "Little Big Planet." LBP was *B*I*G* for Wonder Boy when it came out. He fell in love with the game and with this adorable character, Sack Boy.

This photo was taken right as the game makers released the sequel, Little Big Planet 2. Wonder Boy was *so* excited that he saved his money and paid for his own "special edition" copy of the game that came with this prize, a stuffed plush version of Sack Boy.

Wonder Boy took Sack Boy everywhere with him (that we would allow - sadly, Sack Boy was not allowed at school). But in the mornings before school, he would crawl out of bed and snooze on the couch before breakfast and I routinely found him cuddled up with Sack Boy just like this.

This little Sack Boy came into our lives as Wonder Boy was moving away from being drawn to fictional characters like this. He was pretty much done with his super hero phase. And he didn't want us to pick out backpacks, lunch boxes, school supplies, or even t-sirts with any characters on them. But Sack Boy was an exception to this new rule. And as such, it served as a reminder to us that, despite the fact that he was trying so hard to grow up, Wonder Boy was still a young man. It was a chance to hold on to that part of him and I, for one, held on to it for as long as I could.

And in some way, I'm not alone in that... even today, Sack Boy is one of the few plush toys from this era of his life that STILL has a place of honor in the Boy's room!