"Your face just lights up when you talk about your boys," said the nurse at my annual checkup.
I'm not surprised. I'm crazy about those boys.
Still. They are absolutely my favorite boys.
Can I brag about what they're up to?
Robbie is in Revs this year. That's the Cedar Rapids Washington High School Revolutionists Jazz Ensemble, the top jazz band at Wash, the best H.S. Jazz band in town, and probably one of the 3 top H.S. Jazz bands in the state. They practice thrice a week, and go to lots of festivals, contests, and concerts. He had to buy a suit, of all things, to wear to concerts! Hard to find a suit for a skinny teenage person who wears a 38 Jacket and 30-30 pants. Need to get a picture of him in it--he looks very handsome.
But music isn't all he does. The other day, Robbie said, "I need a new hobby that doesn't involve math." When he's not playing trumpet or hanging out with his Magic: The Gathering-playing friends, he's doing weird math things on his computer or his TI-84 calculator. No facebook for him (he just uses it to send messages to his buddies). He uses a program called "Nitro-tracker" to make electronically-sampled music. When he's not doing that, he's writing programs that will create fractals, or do his math homework for him, or he's contributing to (or even creating) websites that index home-brew programs or Nintendo DS games.
I told him that he needs to practice talking about what he does for his math hobbies. "Colleges will be interested to hear about this," I said. "They'll be able to tell you if there are professors who you could work with on similar projects."
(This photo is one of very few that exists of Eli NOT making a face)
Eli wants to take an extra science class next year. I am not crazy about this idea, but he persists in his dream of becoming a neurosurgeon someday. Where did he get that idea? He's doing pretty well in school--he's certainly impressed his Bio teacher, who thinks an extra science class would be a great idea.
He's not in any extracurricular activities at school, but he volunteers once a week at the Humane Society. His volunteer job is "socializing cats," which means playing with them. I call Eli "the cat whisperer." The first day we were there, he captured a runaway cat under some cages.
He also just started an evening class in ham radio operation with his friend Ben. Yes, Ham Radio. The day of the first class, he asked me "What do you think the demographics of that class will be?" (yes, he uses words like "demographics" in conversation). "Well, sweetie," I said. "I'm guessing there won't be too many other young people other than you and Ben. It's kind of an old-fashioned thing to learn, so there'll probably be just you and Ben and a bunch of grandpas." "Good," he said. "There might be some boy scouts," I ventured. "I hope there are no boy scouts," he said.