This boy, who was given a diagnosis of Extreme Cuteness about the time this photo was taken...
...is now this boy. This handsome 12-years-old-as-of-today boy.
We are going to spend his birthday -- and much of the weekend -- doing exactly what he wants to do. Eating cupcakes in his class. Going to his favorite Indian restaurant for dinner. Going to see "a movie!" if we can squeak it in -- possibly Wreck it Ralph, as certain folks appreciate its neurodiversity message. Staging a Quirky Kids takeover of a local jumpy house palace to celebrate the Leelo-ness of Leo. With pizza. And his requested "chocolate cake!"
And I will continue to marvel at how the sweet, cute boy above -- a boy who will not put up with a "boy" label much longer -- continues to defy the klaxons of doom that so many experts set off around him when the first photo was taken, who continues to grow and mature and gain skills and ... need us less. (*sniff*)
At 5:30 this morning, I heard his bathroom door slam and walked over to see light streaming out from under it. Leo was standing nearby in his bedroom, looking groggy. I stomped over to knock on the bathroom door and grouch at Iz for waking her brother up -- except lo, there was no one in the bathroom, because the light-turner-onner and door-slammer was Leo, who had needed to pee and just wanted to go back to bed, Mom. Leo, who didn't see why door slamming and leaving lights on were such a big deal. Who thinks I should know by now what 12 year old boys do as they wander around their natural environments. Who was giving me an sincere, bleary-eyed WTF look. Who did indeed go back to bed until it was time for his birthday blueberry pancakes.
Happy birthday, sweet boy.
(I can still write "boy," damn it.)