Happy Birthday, kid.

The Red-headed Menace turns sixteen today.

It’s scary and bittersweet for me, and I suspect for him, as well.  He is becoming an adult before my eyes, filled with gravitas and determination.  He always did have a serious side, seeming older than his chronological age.  In some ways he is simply catching up to himself.  At the same time, he is still the funniest of my children (albeit not when he is trying to be).
For dinner tonight he asked to be surprised, to be taken to a restaurant serving a cuisine he has never had.  This is completely in character. Not for him the safe and familiar.  
He is motivated by interest, not by outside rewards. He takes track even though he is by his own admission bad at it.  He runs because he loves it, not because he wins accolades.  He writes for much the same reason.   Yet of the three of my children he is the most likely to stress out about his grades.
I wish I could adequately convey what an awesome human being he is becoming.  I am looking forward to the next few years with bated breath to see how he turns out.

Here’s looking at you kid.  My world has been a much richer and more interesting place because you are in it. 
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