18–but still my ZoomBoy

 I mentioned this on FB but ZoomBoy has new goings on in his life! For one thing, he’s got a job–it starts on December 2nd, and it’s in fast food (Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, which is new for our area) and he’s so excited! He’s currently volunteering to help his dance teacher, and while she says he has to learn to be more engaged before she pays him, that’s exciting too.

He’s also planning to get his drivers permit. Woot!

And he was freaking out a little. “I’m going to be a grown up! It’s so scary!”

And I shit you not, the day after he had this freak out, he was about to leave the house in his black dance pants. 

“Zoomboy? Are those on inside out?”


“Don’t worry about growing up too fast!”

I mean, obviously not.

Anyway–he turned 18 today and when we asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday, his answer was very… him.

For years when he was little, we’d tried to do the big birthday parties. Grandparents. Zoos. Skating parties. Whatever. Every damned time he picked one or two kids and said, “I just want to do something with them.”

“Something like what?”

“Fun. We could play Legos.”

“O… kay…”

And then, that’s what he’d do. Have the kids over to play Legos. And eat cake. That was it. Nothing big. Friends to play with. Whee! I remember one birthday party when he ended up under the kitchen table with one kid playing with his new toys. All the other kids were outside with a piñata, but ZB had his bestie, and they were happy.

We stopped with the big parties after that btw. 

Anyway, this party–this most prestigious of ages–was no different. 

“What do you want?”

“I dunno.”

“Dinner out with Grandma and Grandpa? A trip to the movies with friends? Pizza at our house with friends–“


“That’s all?”

“Yeah. Pizza and ice cream cake.”

“You don’t like ice cream.”

“No, I don’t eat it because it’s bad for my digestion and I want you all to live, but once a year is fine.”

“Okay. What ki–“

“Cookies and cream ice cream cake.”

“Done! Pizza! Your D and D buddies–what are you going to do in our crappy house, pray tell?”

“Play PS4. Watch Arcane. It’ll be fine.”

And it was. 

Of course, in the kitchen, I got to hear the story of how Big T and his fiancĂ© got engaged–and here I’m at a conundrum. They sent me pictures right after he asked, and she’s sporting the ring–which is a sunburst of opals–and it’s adorable. It’s a selfie and it’s all the things  a mother wants for her child during a milestone like this. They are so happy–makes me tear up.

But it’s not my picture to share. It’s theirs. And while they probably wouldn’t mind, it just wouldn’t feel right. But I’m so happy and proud for them both. I could have listened to their engagement story all night.

Or I could have watched ZoomBoy and his friends talk in teenager nerd, perfectly happy in each other’s company, perfectly relaxed as long as none of the rest of us were in the room.

Or watch ZoomBoy, Squish, and Chicken decorate the kitchen with a streamer featuring flags and realize that ZoomBoy has a secret fetish for flags and can name most of the ones on the international waters banner that I got for a con event.

Or hug my husband and go, “Hey, we managed another milestone, and they seem to be okay. For the moment, they’re all okay.”

I could do all of that forever. I mean, T is going to be 29 in December, so that’s nearly 29 years of crossing my finger at every heartbeat check and thanking the powers that be that all hearts are accounted for. 

What’s another eternity and counting?

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