March 03, 2012

HB, Ringo... 17

My son turned 17 today. Actually, he turned 17 about 23 minutes ago, looking at the clock.

I'm not sure where time is going. But it is going too quickly.

There have been big changes in the last 12 months. He's been getting ready for the SATs. Mr. Procastinator, Mr. Mellow, pushed me to get him an SAT prep class. He never misses a class, he's always ready, and his teachers email me frequently. He is slated to do, 'competitively', which is good since his grades are not really.

It's not that they're bad grades, but he's just not great. He's never hit full stride in the classroom, although this is the year he's been putting in far more effort. And... his teachers like him.

He seems to have accepted more the fact he is not going to get taller than he is, which is not big. He seems to have accepted more the hand he's been dealt, but every day is a new day and I think being a teenager, is more about learning to accept who you are and how to handle it in life.

In the last year I've seen some odd personal growth I didn't see coming.

He's really into playing football with his friends. He's a receiver. His friends are big big kids and Ringo is evidently fast as hell and very agile and he's smart, so he fits in and they're good to him... they WANT him on their teams.

He's more of an artist than I expected. I think he may be more 'evenly brained' than I am. I'm not very creative. A few weeks ago, I learned he sings and sings well. Last month I found his sketch pad for his Drawing elective and found this:


I know, nothing fancy, but the kid has never picked up a pencil to draw in his life, and in taking an elective 'because it was there', two weeks into it, this is what I find. Thankfully, it wasn't a naked woman, something I know his father was prone to draw at that age, something I don't press as to how or what he knew of naked women at 17, but I was surprised at how it was pretty dang good considering... the kid doesn't draw.

This semester the drummer had to drop out of Jazz band. Ringo volunteered to fill in. He's miserable. He's 8 shades of miserable and counting down the days until the end of the semester so he can hand the sticks back and go back to playing bass.

He's tired of being yelled at. I don't get involved in the relationship between him and the band director. That's his to figure out, but although it's been a learning experience, what he's really learned is he never wants to play drums in a ensemble. He just likes to play for him.

His grades are better than ever before. I am attributing it to a maturation. He's struggling as to what he wants to study. He waffles between Finance and Medicine.

He'll probably study neither. I have spoken to him of enlisting until he feels more comfortable growing up. He says no, but I know he thinks about it. He'd probably go into the Marines if he did anything.

He's my thinker, the one content to be alone, OK with silence.

He's my son that people are starting to love. He's the son that people say, "He's got a great sense of humor" and I say, "I'm glad you see it..." and the reply is, "How can you not?"

A kid slowly coming out of his shell. A kid that his SAT prep teachers told me leads the class in discussions, for which they are thankful.


A kid whose math teacher says to me, "He's so smart and I get so aggravated. I could shake him!" and I reply, "Me too! We're getting there! We are!"

I don't know what's going to happen to him. I don't have that crystal ball, although I wish often I did, moreso for him than my others. In all honesty, I think I worry about him the most.

He's the kid... that looks the most like my family, with the dark tendancies of his Italian father's, a combination of my mother's side and my paternal grandfather. Odd how genetics work.


And so... to my son, Ringo, on his 17th I say, "Happy Birthday, Ringo. Should all the children in this world be loved as much as you... I suspect that there would be far fewer problems and this world would be a much better place."

Posted by Boudicca at March 3, 2012 09:51 PM

What a beautiful tribute to your son! Happy birthday to him, and may he embrace his challenges with humor and determination.

Posted by: Mrs. Who at March 3, 2012 10:37 PM

Happy birthday to Ringo. I take such comfort in these lovely tributes you pay to your boys when it is time for each of their birthdays. I like that you always end it with the same "Should all the children in this world be loved as much as you..."

Posted by: Erica at March 3, 2012 10:38 PM

Happy Birthday Ringo! :)

Posted by: pam at March 4, 2012 07:03 AM

As you said, and Erica emphasized, "Should all the children in this world be loved as much as you..."

Yes, the world would be a better place.


Posted by: DogsDontPurr at March 4, 2012 09:07 PM

He's such a good kid. I pray for him so much. I want him to realize his potential and surpass it.

After listening to him complain about how much he hates learning the nerve system in Anatomy, I'm thinking the brain doctor thing is not happening, which is fine. He's not THAT smart...

Posted by: Bou at March 4, 2012 11:04 PM

happy birthday ringo!

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at March 5, 2012 09:29 AM


Posted by: Quality Weenie at March 5, 2012 10:17 AM

Happy Birthday, Ringo!

Posted by: Jean at March 5, 2012 01:45 PM

Handsome boy, Bou! :)

(Every drummer I have known has been a troublemaker, so maybe it's good that Ringo is eager to rid himself of drums ...)

Posted by: PeggyU at March 5, 2012 07:45 PM

My boys called him... just a few days late to sing to him. ;-)

Posted by: vwbug at March 5, 2012 09:00 PM

A very late Happy Birthday to Ringo - I hope this year is wonderful for you!

Posted by: Teresa at March 6, 2012 05:55 PM