Monday, April 06, 2009

16th Birthday!

16. Cody is 16! I feel very bitter-sweet about this. He, however, is so impressed..can't you tell? Actually..this was after a pretty long day. New drivers license (yay..yikes..both), lots of errands to run (by himself!) for mom,

usual co-op craziness at the house

and applying for a job. It wore him out!

I'm afraid that Brian and I have to take some ownership for Cody's lack of enthusiasm. We realized the other day that we had been out-of-town for his last 5 least.
The significance of this started to hit me the other day when I asked him What do you want to do for your birthday?
What do you mean? he asks.
Me: Your you want to do something? He has to be kidding, I think. After all, his brothers always have ideas..and we follow up on them! Have we really ignored him this long?
Cody: I have no idea what you are talking about.

Now don't get me wrong. We acknowledge his birthday. It's just happened to hit on the weekend of the OM state finals for the past several years. We have been sleeping at a Boys and Girls Club with about 13-25 other kids these past years. We sing him a song (all the kids over breakfast), we give him a present..and when we get home pick up an ice-cream cake from Dairy Queen. We ask him if he wants to do anything. He shrugs his shoulders.

We didn't always neglect him! The first year we took him on the road for his birthday..we were returning from St. Louis..we drove through Arkansas and spent the day at the diamond mines..per his request. Another year we took his entire OM team ice-skating in Houston...but then we sort-of just stopped. One year led to another..and then here we are. I have a 16 year old son who has no idea how to celebrate his own birthday.

Michael brings home a cake..Cody is busy playing with his GPS. Cody..I tell him as the VanBibbers and our family gather around his cake. You need to come join us.

Huh? You need to come join the party.
What are you talking about?
At the table Cody. You need to join us at the table. He looks at
me as if I'm nuts..and is studying his cake carefully. I have no
doubt he is inspecting it for strange ingredients. (you know..
chocolate, nuts, etc.)

Next comes presents. Has it really been that long since we actually
wrapped a birthday presents. Once again, I know his brothers
receive numerous wrapped presents every year. Cody has been
to parties with wrapped presents. But have we wrapped Cody's
birthday presents? Yikes. My guilt increases. He looks at the
present very cautiously. I think he is wondering if this is a trap!
Finally, Mason and Austen persuade him to OPEN THE PRESENT! tricks! Just some speakers for the computer. I guess the cards from grandparents and unwrapped stuff from his parents didn't have that element of fear. Now I really want him to do
something for his birthday. I want to do this for no other reason than Cody has unintentionally reminded me how long it has been since we really celebrated his birthday. Okay..never..because he doesn't like large groups of people. Still..I must try. After he plugs in speakers, hangs out in the hot-tub and helps me with some pictures..I ask him again if he would like to get together with anyone for his birthday...even if we do it late.

How about the movies, I ask. blank stare We could have a big party, I try again.. another blank stare
What if I invite your old OM team (the Cody's words) and your current OM team (now we are hitting familiar territory). They can just hang-out in the river and we'll make Sundaes or something.
I see/ hear a pause. A smile. That would be nice.


Sardine Mama said...

Awww...poor Cody. Hard to feel too sorry for him, though. He's a happy guy :). So will we be making a trip to Banderra soon?

grillledcheesechic said...

I know. He's just too cool for words..but I was being a bit emotional. My baby is 16!
So..yes..hope you will make a trip soon. E-mail me.

Andy Is... said...

it's so crazy that he's already 16! does he have his braces off yet or is that this summer? i can't remember. It's so strange for me to see him turn 16 cuz i remember playing with him and Brian when i was younger than that! Man, i'm starting to feel old now! haha!

grillledcheesechic said...'re starting to feel old? I just got bifolcals! Yup..he's braceless;)