if you look to the left of this screen you will see a cast of characters. if you have any familiarity with this previously, you will notice that something has changed with the duke's status.
he is NOW 12!
and, as i previously mentioned, now that he is becoming his own young man i have vowed NOT to use him and his antics as fodder for this blog any longer.
i know, it sucks right! he's some of my best material! but i must think as a mother and not a writer on this one and respect the idea that he indeed has a choice what to share with the world at large and what not to. and that i can't make that choice for him.
it doesn't mean i won't ever write about him again, it just means i have to be respectful of his privacy and gain his permission to share him and his life with you.
i cannot just make that switch without sharing one last story!
per his request, for the duke's birthday yesterday we went to dim sum and the zoo in the big city.
so we're sitting in the same big, formally grand, and charmingly shabby restaurant we have been going to for years. since he was a baby and really only ate rice.
and we are settling in and choosing the dishes off the dim sum carts when a waitress comes up to ask if we want more tea, soup, etc.
she takes one look at wingman and says
"oh, he so handsome. so cute. how old, 7?"
then she looks at the duke and gives him cursory glance and says
"what he? 9, 10?"
"um, actually he's 12 today!"
"12? really? so small. oh. big teeth, huh? like bunny rabbit."
and then she opens her mouth and points to her own teeth.
you know, just in case we didn't understand.
at this point we're all just sitting there like, okay, WTF is this? but you know, politely and pretending she's not completely insulting the duke right in front of his face on his birthday.
so the lord of the ring says
"well, he'll grow into them!"
and we hope that's that. but, of course, it isn't. she goes on and on about how when her daughter was small she had big teeth like the duke and when she was an adult she got braces, etc. etc. etc.
as you can imagine, as uncomfortable situations often will, this whole scenario went on waaaayyy too long.
the duke does have big front teeth. his jaw is still small and he will grow into them. but, he also needs braces. and the thing is, right now there is no way we can afford the cost.
to his credit, he just let it roll on by. he didn't get all upset and let it bug him.
i think he understands in this world that sometimes people feel the need to point out the obvious. like you don't know or something. or they are just filling space. or they haven't learned manners. or it's a cultural thing.
one time we were coming back from a home school activity with some other people. we were on the ferry and just tired from the activity and resting.
and this one girl, i want to say she's the duke's age but i think she might be a year or so younger, just kept staring at the duke. mind you, we've been part of the group awhile, so it's not like it's the first time she's ever seen him. and she's staring at him and then she says to the duke in front of everyone else
"you have really big teeth. like a rabbit."
and again, to the duke's credit he just stuck out his teeth exaggeratedly and started mimicking the twitching of a rabbit's mouth. and that was that.
what he didn't do was let it bug him.
and what he didn't do EVEN MORE TO HIS CREDIT is point out the fact that this little girl had terrible manners, chewed with her mouth open, was loud and obnoxious and sassy and unkind, and literally looked like she carried a beach ball under her shirt.
which is what *i* wanted to say back to her. as loud as i could and in a sassy and unkind way.
because i'm not as evolved as my (then 11 year old) son.
and i have no problem admitting it. in fact, i think that's why reproduction exists. making up for the sins of the parents and all that. you know, as long as i raise decent and respectful individuals then i can be as big of a bitch as i want and it's all canceled out. you know, like buying carbon credits. only in human form.
so happy birthday to the duke of fun!!!!
may he continue to take the world in stride. (and may i continue to learn from his example. or, you know, should i fail at that, at least appreciate him as the great equalizer.)