- First kid to get their driver's permit, and take a driving lesson (Iz)
- First time one of our cats gets attacked by a bobcat (our TacoCat, she's going to be OK)
- First time we leave Iz and Mali home together (So I could go to the emergency vet, see above)
- First time Leelo has a full dental cleaning without anesthesia (thanks to years of hard work on his and his dentist's part)
- First time our dude learns to run the bleachers (video at bottom)
- First time Mali gets a yellow belt in Karate
- First time Leo and his stylist insist on me sitting down rather than hovering while our guy got his lid did
- First time Leo and I have bit parts in a documentary you can buy (Citizen Autistic)
- First time Seymour produces a series for PBS Digital (Pygmy Seahorses pilot is great, watch it!)
- First time I turn 45. That was fun.
(Speaking of house guests: If you're one of ours, remember to lock your door. Especially if you and Leo get along. Because he might come looking for you -- might jump into your bed to snuggle with you -- at 3 in the morning.)
I asked Seymour if regular folks like me could go see the pygmy seahorses at CalAcademy, and he said nope. Which is a fairly standard question-answer sequence between me and the person who constantly text-teases me about the amazing behind-the-scenes things he witnesses at various science-oriented facilities and that I will only get to see by watching his orgs' videos.
|Iz getting her permit picture taken
[Image description: teen girl with beige skin and long
curly light brown hair, wearing a blue long-sleeved jacket,
looking away from the camera & partially obscured
by the maroon wall behind her.]
She will be grateful to drive, as she had been in limbo as an Uber user. Though I'm grateful for the ability, when I'm stuck and she's stuck, to tell her "please Uber home." Whew. Of course another solution would have been to live in a home where she could walk places. So think twice about moving with kids-who-would-eventually-be-teenagers to a remote house on a hill. Especially since the very first thing she had to do, as a n00b driver, was drive down the rather terrifying road from our home to the bottom of the hill. If you've been to my house, you get the eep.
She has gotten to that place in teenagerhood where occasional revists to little kids things are amusing rather than mortally embarrassing. Like sitting in a cart at Costco and having her mom push her around. Always happy to oblige silliness, me. She is struggling a bit with competing access needs re: her brother, though. He can be loud, she is loudness-averse. It's not pretty when they set each other off. We're working on helping them co-exist.
He continues to kick butt. There's that successful dentist visit. Also the first time he was willing to look in the ophthalmologist's eye-measuring devices (no glaucoma!), and get a haircut without me being right there next to him. And his running -- he is doing well, and staying healthy (which is a relief). And sometimes we find him playing DJ in his room, rocking out to CDs of his favorite tunes, with headphones on, dancing. As teenage dudes so often do when they think no one's watching.
Her sex-ed immersion plus her myth-loving ways also result in conversations like this:
Mali: "Is sex the only way to reproduce?"Her general info-sponge tendencies also lead to conversations like this:
Me: "No, asexual reproduction is a thing, one kind is called parthenogenesis."
Mali: "That makes sense. The Parthenon is the temple of Athena, and she was the result of asexual reproduction."
Mali: "What is a sex tape?"And yes, she has her karate yellow belt. It's the first step in belt-acquiring, and she's ever so proud. My oldest brother, who refers to her as Moriarty, asked if I thought that her having those skills was really the best idea? I asked him how he thought I felt, as the person he frequently hung upside down by the ankles and/or randomly threw in the pool, about him becoming an Army Ranger and learning to dispatch people with his bare hands. He said it was a point well-taken. But I'm enjoying they way Mali now narrates shows like Xena and Agents of Shield, and identifies moves like "Spinning back kick" etc.
Me: [describes in general terms]
Mali: "So it's not bad by itself, it depends on how people use it? Kind of like GMOs?"
I'm also enjoying this very last month of having a single-digit kid in our lives. She still calls me Mommy and holds my hand in public. Cherishing that for as long as it lasts. Cherishing them all.
Speaking of cherishing, I never did say what happened with my birth son, sorry. That's because his story is not mine to tell. But, as far as things on my side go, I am content.