27 November 2008

Sixteen Cakes. I Mean Candles.

Today Male Offspring turned 16. He was born on Thanksgiving Day. He was overdue, and a big baby, so I'd been wanting him to just get on with it already or start paying rent. We'd been invited to Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's house. For the first time in my adult life, I didn't have to cook! Or do dishes! I was bursting at the seams, had a gait like a defective Weeble, but I was about to be pampered! The night of the 25th, I told the future Male Offspring to hold off until Friday. The whole feast and no-dishes thing really had me going.

Later that night, I felt the first contraction. I spent Thanksgiving day in a hospital bed. At least the ex and the girls smuggled in some food, but I wasn't much into it at that point, after five hours of back labor from my just-shy-of-9-pounds bundle of joy.

So that's how Male Offspring made his grand entry on Thanksgiving Day. And I've been (mostly) very, very thankful for him ever since. Love that kid.

Sixteen years old. It was weird when the girls hit that number -- The Bohemian because she was the first, and Teen Demon because she was the first to drive. But it's weirder when your "baby" hits 16. I don't have kids anymore, I have young people. Next year, I won't have a single Child Tax Credit left. It's an odd feeling.

Teen Demon made him a chocolate cake with a big "16" spelled out in chocolate sprinkles. That was in addition to the multiple cakes, cookies, and brownies that accompanied him home from school. There was a donut cake, a miniature round cake, a giant cake with some kind of food-color-swirled glaze, a heart-shaped cake, and the aforementioned cookies and brownies. "Hey, where'd this cornucopia of cakes come from?" I inquire. I'm informed that they were kindly provided by his "awesome friends". Namely Sophie, Kristen, Hannah, Lindsay, Trinity, Sylvia, Hailey, and Kiahna.  

His cynical aunt queried, "Ask him did any boys make him a cake."

See, this is what Hungarian schools do for a kid. Seriously. In Hungarian school, students moved together as a class from 1st through 8th grade. Like a cohort. For the first four years, Male Offspring and his classmates were even in the same room, with the same teacher. In 5th grade, you get different teachers for each subject, but you still move as a group to each subject. Classmates are seen more as cousins than as potential love interests. Crushing on a classmate? That's one step away from incest. Eeew. By the time 7th and 8th grade roll around, students look to the other classes for their crushes and to their own class for support, friendship, and bickering.

There was none of this "Girls have cooties!" or "Boys! Eeeeew!" business. Male Offspring used to go to sleepovers at his little friend Viktor's house, where half the attendees were girls. No big deal. Girls and boys changed for gym class together right there in the classroom. Even in 8th grade, the Bohemian and her classmates would change into their dress clothes for choir performances all together. Zsuzsi has pink panties? Who cares, she's like your sister, dude. The kids watched out for each other. It really was similar to familial relationships.

Fast forward to 2003, when a very un-American Male Offspring hits US school for the first time in his life. Being a naturally social and adaptable kid, he makes friends easily. Since he was unaware that girls have cooties, he made friends with girls too. The other boys started to notice. In 6th grade, he'd hear from guys he thought were his friends, smirking, "Dude, are you gay or something?" He kept being nice to the girls. They thought him adorable.

Fast forward to 2005. Middle school. The guys, exchanging their smirks for scowls, no longer threw around the G-word. The girls thought him really adorable. Once, I was sitting in the stands for a wrestling match, and heard a gaggle of girls behind me.

Oh.My.God. He.Is.So.Cute.

Yeah, but he's super sweet! It's so funny he's like, a killer wrestler!

Ohmygod, I KNOW!

Is he coming out yet?

Okay, seriously? We have to yell, like, really loud, so he'll see us.

Ohmygod, I know! It's going to be so funny!

He'll be so surprised by our sign!

Ohmygod, I KNOW!

How cute, I think. Young crushes. Poor guy won't know what hit him. Back to the match. Male Offspring's turn, he's out on the mat. Suddenly, the gaggle of girls behind explodes into a cacophony of girlness.


Oh. Oh! Is there another Male Offspring on the team? There is not. I turn around to see them furiously waving their glittery sign at my son. Then they're looking me, wondering why this white lady is staring at them. "I'm his mom," I tell them. They blanched. (no one ever suspects I'm his mom. I get to hear all kinds of interesting tidbits that way.)

Fast forward to the present day. He still has tons of girl friends (as evidenced by this year's cake-fest), and has had three serious girlfriends since 8th grade. Well, as serious as it is at that age. He's kept his head about him, for the most part, and continues just to be a kid who's very sweet to young women. Which they find adorable, lord help me.

That's what Hungarian schools will do for a kid. Being handsome, sweet, smart, and living in a household of women doesn't hurt either. Lord help me.

So the boy fell hard via sugar crash last night. He said it felt like everything just slowed down. Like the Matrix but without the badassedness. You don't feed an athlete's body that many cakes with no repercussions.

Happy Birthday, Son. Still thankful for you.


  1. you did such a great job...you have 3 awesome kids...i really like them..tell him happy birthday from texas.

  2. as I read your blog, and think of my own kids getting older (12 and the son will be 15 in 3 weeks) I wonder how we can have kids THIS old?? Come on... we are just too young (wink wink)

  3. Happy T-day and give Male Offspring my best regards on his birthday.

    It's scary when your kids get older but I've just had to deal with the granddaughter turning 15. I feel ancient.

  4. Those dang babies just have no consideration when it comes to being born, do they? My youngest wanted to be born on Christmas day, but I held her off. I had stuff I had to take care of!

    Oh, your last baby. That is a kicker. He sounds like an absolute gem, though (other than that back labor). There are times that I love no one knowing the twins are my kids. How fun is it to eavesdrop on the whispers!?! Hope your T-day went well.

  5. Happy Birthday to Male Offspring!! How cool for him to have all those chicks bring him sweets...I am jealous.

  6. Happy birthday buddy!
    So many girls,so little time.

  7. Happy Birthday Male Offspring! Now go clean your room and make your Mom dinner. Do you know how long she was in labor with you? She missed Thanksgiving dinner 16 years ago! Don't you roll your eyes at me!

    So, has he got his driver's license yet? hahahahahahaha

  8. damn kids....growing up and becoming adults. Happy, happy male offspring.....you are blessed with a pretty cool mom.

  9. Third time is always the charm.

  10. Congratulations on a job well done there Mom!

  11. Happy Thanksgiving, and a very happy birthday to male offspring! You have so much to be thankful for, and so do your kids.

  12. YDG: THanks, they are pretty good brats, aren't they?

    CityMouse: I know! I often say, I'm not sure whether they keep me young or make me old.

    Evil-G: Oh come come now ... how is it possible for Mr. Hot Dom Top Daddy to have a 15yr old granddaughter?

    Elizabeth: Good for you, Mom, way to hold that baby off! She'll probably be very glad not to have a Christmas Day birthday. MO gets a Thanksgiving birthday every so many years ... I can never remember how many because of leap year.

    Sageweb: No kidding. I told him, no being a chick magnet until you're in your 30s, but does anybody listen to me? Noooo.

    Sling: That's why I keep him busy with sports.

    RG: Thanks, looks like you have a talent for nagging. Next time he gets in trouble, I'm sending him to you.

    Rosemary: That's what I keep trying to tell the boy -- Son, you have a very cool mom.

    JP: I would, if there were any cake leftover.

    JP: I would, if there were any cake leftover.

    JP: Don't tell him that.

    Doralong: It ain't over 'til the fat mom cries uncle.

    Tater: Tater! Yay! Yes, I do have much to be thankful for -- they're good kids, all my sarcastic posts to the contrary. THe stretch marks were mostly worth it.

  13. That's such a sweet tribute to your kid ... and having met him, I can vouch for his total heartbreaker-ness. And it's good to know that he's a nice boy, as well ...

  14. Red: Yes, he's a sweetheart alright. And a good boy. Such a good boy. (Do I sound like one of those completely naive moms yet?)

  15. My mum was in the hospital with me on Thanksgiving. She always tells me about how she had to eat her dinner in the hospital lol!


I've got a fever ...