January 20, 2012

HB, Mr. T

Today is my second son's 15th birthday. I was ready when my eldest turned 15, but this one feels... really weird. I can't figure out what it is. And I do think part of it is that he's getting his learner's permit to drive in the next few weeks, meaning I will have two drivers in the family soon.

In the last two years, I went from the 2nd tallest person in the house to the 2nd shortest and Bones is catching up quickly.

I was teasing T today in the kitchen. I was pretending to cry, "Ohhh... booo hooo hooo, you are 15... boo hooo... what is happening to me..." and as a joke, I flung myself at him and my head rested on his shoulder and I thought, "Crap. He really is taller than me now."

This has been an odd year for T and not necessarily in a good way. And odder still... I didn't see it coming.

Age 12 was a particularly brutal year for Ringo. We ended up in therapy. It wasn't until recently that I confessed to him that we ended up in therapy because I was afraid I was going to punch him in the face. He was in private Catholic school and the kids he went to school with were nasty. It was uncool to be smart. They were mean spirited and to say it toughened him up is an understatement.

I never knew who was getting into my car, Dr. Jekyl or Mr. Hyde. I was always stressed. High School was a complete relief for him.

But T? He was very popular in middle school and the kids in his class were really fun and great. It's not to say there weren't problems, but it was a small cadre. The vast majority were smart and good and they were a close knit group of kids. As a matter of fact, T still hangs out with them in high school whereas Ringo is only friends with ONE kid at his high school that he went to middle school with and even he is no longer a close friend.

It's not that T went from the king of the hill to the bottom of the heap. Quite the contrary. He completely fits in high school, hangs with great kids, and is learning a lot.

He just... does not love it. I'd not say he's depressed, but he's not happy either. He spends a lot of time wondering if he should be somewhere else, feeling trapped that he is where he is, wondering about his future.

I can tell he has insecurities about his looks. He was always my beautiful Celtic son, but he confessed to me the other day that he wished he looked like his Dad and his older brother. "Italians just look... cool, Mom." He wishes he had the dark skin and dark eyes of his half Italian heritage. He wishes his shoulders were broader and that he was just... not him.

And we ALL go through that. We all do. Growing up is learning to accept and to love what we bring to the table. One day, some little girl will tell him how much she loves his bright blue eyes and quirky smile, and he'll realize, that what he has is just as beautiful.

What we realized this year is... Mr. T doesn't handle change. It's not that he's in a bad place, at a bad school, or anything, but that it is just NOT what he had before. He doesn't like nor receive change well and having gone to the same school from K-8, it's not something we realized until now. It gives us a heads up about college. I realize now he'll have huge transition issues we need to prepare for in advance, that Ringo will not have. Ringo goes with the flow. He's laid back.

T is the opposite. He's uptight and likes continuity.

And I think we're realizing, he is going to be a small college kind of kid. He'll apply where he applies, but I suspect, in the end, he will thrive in a smaller school than one of the large ones...

... which is sad since he is such a HUGE Florida Fan. He loves Gator football, yet even he knows, it would not be a good fit.

How much of a fan is he?

I was in Joann fabrics with Bones and Bones said to me (pay attention to the wording...) "Mom! Mom! MOM! I know what WE should get Mr T for his birthday! WE could use this Gator fabric and WE could make him a quilt!"

Notice that we? That is used... a lot?

Later I got, "MOM! WE could use a Broncos fabric for the back. WE could order it online and WE could make him a quilt with Gators on the front and Broncos on the back."

I love that. WE.

But... I did it. (It was a simple venture. Notice I didn't have to piece together the top. It was laid out for me to just sew over.)

Here is T with the Broncos side.
Back with Broncos.jpg

Here he is with the Gators side.
Gator Side.jpg

He is happy. I'm still sewing the binding. I hand bind my quilts. And can you tell he loves Tim Tebow? The running joke now is that if Tim gets traded, I have to change the back of the quilt. Right.

In the end, T will be fine. He'll find his way. He's just in the bumpy part of his journey and there will be many bumpy parts. It's all about how you handle the bumps. Do you grow or do you allow it to paralyze you?

He's a good kid with a good heart and a knack for numbers.

And to my second son, Mr. T, on his 15th birthday I say, "Happy Birthday my 2nd son. Should all the children be so blessed to be as loved as you are… for if they were, I suspect the problems of this world would be so very different… We love you so..."

Mr T age 14.jpg
Mr. T with The Great Flambina (who is turning 3 next week, by the way)

Posted by Boudicca at January 20, 2012 08:46 PM

Happy birthday to Mr. T! May your blanket stay Tebow-ed, and your driving be safe.

Posted by: Mrs. Who at January 20, 2012 10:55 PM

He's my good Catholic kid. One day I should post on his thoughts about religion teachers and what he thinks God wants vs. what they teach. It's really funny.

I actually asked him if he wanted LHR Jesus for his room. He said no, but I think he secretly wants something called a big head or a fat head of Tim for his wall. I think Tim beat out Jesus. Heh.

Bones said to me tonight, "Tim needs a dance in the endzone." I said, "No he doesn't. He has God. That's all he needs." Bones is such a dork. He said, "OH! That's right! I forgot about that!"

Posted by: Bou at January 20, 2012 10:59 PM

Happy Happy Birthday Mr. T! Life will get better I promise. Just hang in there. :-)

Posted by: Teresa at January 20, 2012 11:09 PM

He looks Italian to me. :) Tanti Auguri, Mr. T!!!

Posted by: PeggyU at January 21, 2012 04:03 AM

Your boys are all so handsome. I would be glad to take T along to Ireland this year. He would melt those Irish lasses hearts.

Posted by: Jody at January 21, 2012 07:53 AM

Happy Birthday Mr. T. And he looks very handsome to me! The girls will definitely be noticing!

Posted by: Lori at January 21, 2012 10:52 AM

Happy B'day, Mr. T!

Maybe he'd adapt well at Stetson U in Deland.
Small and well respected. Just a thought.

Posted by: Jean at January 22, 2012 12:19 AM

Happy 15th Mr T

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at January 22, 2012 09:57 AM

Happy Birthday, Mr. T! Hang in there - it does get better!

Posted by: Mary at January 22, 2012 05:55 PM