I thought I would share some pics of T growing up. He turned fifteen this year and my fear and anxiety about posting his pics on the internet is decreasing. He is such an amazing young man and he makes me so proud. He wants to be an Environmental Engineer and has worked hard his Freshman year to make that dream come true. He lettered in Cross Country and has continued to run in the off season to maximize his chances at making the varsity team. He is still working on figuring out the girl puzzle, but as he gains height and after his voice changes, I think he will find the playing field has changed in his favor.
So, to be warned, there are a lot of pics coming. You don't have to go through them if you aren't interested. I think he's amazing and wanted to post an anthem to him.
T was a serious collector of stuffed animals. I'm sure he had almost a 1000 of them.
Snowshoeing at almost three. He didn't last long.
This was a sled that he snuggled into. It worked like a travios, with two long poles fitted with a hip harness that pulled him behind me. We used it the first winter we took him cross country skiing when he was eight or nine months old. His face was the only thing exposed on that trip and he slept through the experience. We had a great time at Glenwood Springs.
About four years old with Joey.
Four and a half with Red at two weeks old.
T started Tae Kwon Do at four. He advanced to Low Blue by the time he was seven.
Then he started second grade, his instructor moved away, and I started work.
He never went back to it.
He has always had the most incredible eyes.
Fifth birthday. Carriage ride downtown with the Grammie
Grumpy. Estes Park with Grammie.
Not trying to look Amish. Kind of freaked the boy out though.
T was doing an exercise in Tae Kwon Do and slipped while running, landing on his forearm. There was bruising and some pain, but no swelling. He was able to use the arm normally and it didn't keep him awake. He went to Kindergarten the next day like normal. When I showed up to pick him up his arm was discolored, swollen and obviously broken. I asked him what had happened and he said he went to pick up his backpack, grabbed a strap and yanked and something in his arm snapped. He spent the rest of the day with his head on his desk, crying. He had a greenstick fracture of his left ulna. He was much happier once it was cast.
He loved hanging out in the dog crate with Joey. Broken arm and all.
His Darth Maul phase.
You can see the beginnings of his Padawan braid behind his right ear.
Yellowstone. At six
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone behind us.
The reason I finished the ride after my very serious back injury.
We were not offered helmets at all.
Christmas 1st Grade. He cleans up nice.
Spring he turned seven and the day my best friend packed her truck and left for Oregon.
T's Godmother (one of two)
Estes Park, 2007
Learning to Fly
T was about one the first time he saw a kid on Heelies (shoes with wheels in the heel). He asked and asked and asked. We told him when his feet were finally big enough we would get him a pair. He was five when we found a pair of size ones that fit him and he learned to skate on them. At seven, we got him aggressive inline skates. He took to it like a fish to water.
He talked at one time of becoming sponsored, but inline skating does not have the following that skateboarding does.
He really loved to skate.
Self-taught and absolutely fearless
The bar he is jumping is at least twelve feet from the edge of the bowl. He had asked if he could try it and we had said no (images of shattered body parts floating through our minds). I looked over at his run and he jumped the darn thing.
And then he jumped it again and again. I have a video somewhere of him jumping it doing the Flying Squirrel (touching both skates with both hands behind your back)
He was amazing. Then he got an Xbox and the skating stopped.
Brown's Canyon, all day rafting trip. Absolutely Boss!
This is one of our all time vacation high points. T was so great on this trip. We high sided the raft and he did exactly as he was told to counterbalance the raft and get us out of the hole.
He went through the long hair shaggy phase. You can see the braid hanging on his right shoulder.
When we went to Disney World, he got picked to fight Darth Maul. The padawan that picked him stopped and asked him about the braid. He proudly answered that it was real.
He also went through a phase where his hair was dyed red. It really made his eyes pop.
Camping at Tarryall. See how long his braid is?
Stopped off at the Grand Canyon on our way home from my Grandmother's funeral. Seemed a fitting way to say goodbye.
Oregon Coast, with dark red hair.
He originally wanted to die his hair black, but because he was pre-adolescent, it turned out blue. The school threatened to expel him, even though it was an accident, so we took him to the salon. They applied orange to the blue (counteracts the color) and then dyed it dark brown. He ended up with blue, orange and brown streaks in his hair.
This color, however, was awesome. We died it the weekend after the end of school and let the color fade over the summer. This was the Oregon Coast in June.
Our last camping trip with Red. 2011.
In honor of Red, T cut off his hair and his braid.
Some day I will get it framed with a picture of his girl.
With the Xbox came a new obsession. Halo.
Cosplay Assault Rifle from Halo 3.
Our first attempt at a Master Chief/Spartan cosplay costume.
And then we upgraded the look.
Great for the Halo Midnight Release party.
Talk about making an impact with gamers. He rocks.
After that conversation, I started looking into Donor Sibling Registry. I got registered and one day in Joann's I got a phone call from a woman who had a lifetime membership with the Registry. We discovered that T has seven half-brothers and one half-sister. He met five of the brothers on line and his sister through email. When he was twelve or so, his brother Zachary (T's middle name is Zachery) came to the Denver area and they got to meet. They were so much alike, it was kind of scary. They hit it off really well.
Then he stopped.
I think Ashke still misses him.
His interest did not last long. Although he is still willing to listen to wait we are working on.
Especially when there is Xbox to play.
I must say, it is easier with him being big enough to stay alone, or entertain himself. He has become so self-sufficient in that department.
He was not happy. His first two days were horrible, but then it settled down and he found that he really likes being in High School. He likes that he has classes with students from all four grade levels.
Getting hit on by the Senior girls didn't hurt, either.
He wants to be an Engineer, save the world from ourselves, and use the money he makes to run an animal shelter for abandoned animals.
I think he may have found his niche.
We are still making him run and race in the off season, trying to help him find motivation is hard.
Especially when Xbox is calling.
He liked it but it was really the only time he went all summer.
I can't begin to tell you how incredibly proud I am of the young man he's become. We are managing the rocky shoals of puberty and increased demands on him in school with humor and love and trying to forgo the anger. He has stepped up to the plate in the best way. Our life is filled with so much joy, because of him. I struggle between sadness at watching him grow up and away from me, to know that soon another woman will be first and foremost in his life, but I also feel such awe at the man I see coming out in him. Someday, not too far in the future, I will watch him drive away to college, or walk down the aisle with his chosen love, and I will let him go try out the wings that we have taught him to use. It's humbling and terrifying and amazing all at the same time.
Happy Bday, T. Love you so much.