Fourteen -Virtually a Teenager

Nothing about this year is what I imagined. We bought all of the school supplies, fully intending to send the boy back in the fall. But, then the news grew worrisome and we decided to keep him home.

I thought – no way can this kid do work at home. But, he surprised me.

Nick’s grades are better than they’ve ever been. He’s learned how to scan text for answers, manage frustration, break projects down into parts. He keeps track of his assignments better. There are no lost papers in a locker or the bottom of a backpack.

He got into a routine and seemed to thrive. So, we decided if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. With Michael home full-time and me part-time, we got to spend more time together than ever before.

It hasn’t been without it’s share of tantrums and procrastination.

He sometimes wanders off from Zoom meetings – but who doesn’t?

I’ve treasured this extra time with him. He takes long walks with me and calls me if I’m late from the office. I think he might actually still like me.

That – or he’s nice to me because I’m a Taco Bell delivery service.

The boy is growing like a weed. He’s taller than me (which isn’t saying much). But, after being the shortest kid in his class for so long, it’s kind of nice.

He looks long and lanky, but still with his boyish features.

Nick’s going to high school in the fall – which seems insane. He’s excited to go to the Media Arts program for half the day.

We’ve seen a lot of TV in the last year, for lack of other things to do. He spent an entire week obsessed with Planet of the Apes and we watched all three of the newer movies. I didn’t mind it.

Some of the things he likes I don’t understand.

He likes YouTube videos where people scream and fall down. He makes up fake curse words like “mother trucker.” He says I’m “so cringe.” It seems pretty typical middle school boy, though.

He calls being home all of this time “being in solitary.” But, he spends a lot of time on the phone and computer talking to friends. He’s a social boy. I think he will readjust.

What I do know is big changes are coming – braces, puberty, high school are all right over the horizon.

For such a difficult year, the boy has been the flower that grows up through the concrete.

I can’t wait to watch him bloom.

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