Lucky 13

So, the big kids have moved into an apartment together, and just the little kids are at home.

And ZoomBoy turned 13 today.

Someone remembered when the blog was just started–ten and a half years ago, a couple of months after Squish was born.  We called Squish “Ladybug” then, because of a cardigan I’d made her when I was pregnant, and called ZoomBoy The Cave Troll.  

It’s from a moment in The Fellowship of the Ring, when the group is in the mines of Moria, and they’re overrun with orcs. Our heroes are outmanned and outgunned, and Boromir takes a look at the situation and comes back and says, “They have… a cave troll.”  Because dude–the cave troll is overkill, right?

That was our ZoomBoy.

He was bright, sharp, clever from the very beginning. (I think the word Mate used with the must venom was “cunning” when he escaped the living room for the umpteenth time after we’d set the place up as a big playpen.)  Among “Cave Troll” stories that I wouldn’t mind remembering are the following moments:

*  He used to scream outrageously whenever his “plan” of whatever had been interrupted. When the kids asked me, “Mom, what’s wrong with him NOW?” I’d reply, “He was born on November 15th, 2003.”  “So?” “That’s all I got. That’s the reason he’s being such a pissant–now worship the baby god until he stops!”

*  I was a little afraid of making the big kids “worship the baby god”, in case we would spoil him rotten. But in his turn, when Squish was born, he worshipped the baby god himself, and Squish, when presented with smaller children, knows the schtick. Apparently “worship the baby god” becomes code for taking care of people and animals smaller and more vulnerable than yourself and judging the big kids’ behavior, it seems to stick. (Makes you wonder who stepped on the Republicans’ balls when they were little, right?)

* When he was two and a half, Chicken dropped him on his head–literally–and he needed a half-inch cut over his eye stitched. We told them both that he got one shitty test to blame on her–but he had to choose it well. So far, he has not played that card.

*  When Squish was able to crawl, he used to use her to get into mischief. Once, when Chicken told him to stay out of her room, he pushed an ice chest down the hall and boosted Squish onto the top of it. And had HER open the door.

*  He and Dennis Quaid (the big orange tom cat we used to have) had a love/hate relationship. They loved each other, but he loved Dennis Quaid in ways the cat HATED. One of their best moments was when Chicken pretended to lay down on top of the cat. Watching ZoomBoy run around her, shoving at her shoulder and her head and trying to shove her up so she didn’t crush the cat was pretty hilarious–and also a nice lesson that, just because he held that cat upside down and squeezed him, it didn’t mean there wasn’t love there.

*  Before Squish was born, he didn’t talk. Like, didn’t talk. At all. When he was 2 1/2, about a month before I was due, I had a day set aside to start the ginormous snowball of phone calls that was getting early childhood intervention involved–I’d been through this before with Big T, and oh, shit, I was going to have to do it with ZoomBoy.

That day–THAT DAY–I was pouring him milk for snack. “Hey, Zoomboy, do you want some milk? We have chocolate milk today, would you like some?”

“Yes, Mama, I’d love chocolate milk. Chocolate milk is nummy!”


The little shit.

*  When he was five, he hid in the coffee table–it’s got a high level and a low level.  He did this while cable guys were going in and out of the house. We thought he was out wandering the neighborhood. (Some of you may remember there was precedent, which I used as an anecdote in Racing for the Sun.) I was cruising around the block in the car, trying not to LOSE MY FUCKING SHIT when I decided it was time to call the police. As I was pulling into the driveway, he ran out of the house shouting, “Mom! Mom! Mom! I was playing hide and seek and NONE OF YOU found me!”

I almost slapped him. I seriously almost smacked the living hell out of him. That I didn’t is one of the wonders of human nature.

* The ocean is his favorite place in the world. We have pictures of Chicken holding him to calm him down at the ocean, and I kept thinking about Hamlet–“as when the sea and sky contend together”–this is Zoomboy. Sometimes calm and serene and sometimes he’s the sea and sky contending for supremacy. That’s just my boy.

*  The famous “stop playing with your wiener” scene in Forever Promised… uh, yeah. If you’ve read it, you know what I’m talking about. Yup–ZoomBoy.

*  As he’s grown, he’s gotten increasingly interested in making us laugh. HIs older brother used to get discouraged. “He’s so funny. Sometimes, I steal his material for FB.”

Yeah, him and me both.

I could do this all night.

I could.  So many interesting moments–so many times he has stood out in my mind as an absolutely fascinating person.  (Hey– the Socrates award in 6th grade for thinking outside the box comes to mind.)

But he turned 13 today and everybody was asking him how he liked being a teenager.  “Well, I think it’s like turning into a cat. I expect to get hairy, have mood swings, and sleep all the time. It’ll be great!”

Yup– that’s my boy!

I cannot thank the world or the universe or the gods or the goddess enough for him. He’s wonderful.

Tonight he opened his present from his big sister–it was the journal from Gravity Falls. As soon as he saw it he went and fetched his Dipper Hat, so he could read the journal in the appropriate frame of mind.

Soon–much, much too soon, he’s going to be an incredibly interesting adult.

Right now, he’s my odd little duck, my quirky little buddy, my Cave Troll.

My beloved ZoomBoy.

Happy birthday, ZoomBoy. I hope all your stories get laughs and have happy endings.

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