No, not that creature ... the fact that the young man inside that costume is sixteen. Sixteen. 16. He can't possibly be, but somehow he is.
Good thing I told him he's not allowed to drive until he's 35. I'm not sure I could handle one of my children driving. Driving. Being old enough to drive. Sixteen.
I've been preparing myself for this number for a year and it hasn't helped. It's still shocking when I think about it.
He's not your typical sixteen. He's himself. He's not embarrassed to watch VeggieTales with his siblings, while at the same time enjoys being treated as an adult member of the household. He's an encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to Magic the Gathering and other things that hold his interest. He revels in being taller than his mother. He has an awesome sense of humor and every once in a while allows his mother to sneak in a hug-like show of affection.
That means I get to kick him out of the house in two years.
He tells me that I can't do that, because if I don't let him drive until he's 35 he'll have to live with me that long. I tell him he can walk. Or ride a bike. Then I remember that that would take actual effort and require going and being outside for extended periods of time and realize that, except for the magical Camp Calumet, the young man is seemingly allergic to being outdoors. Perhaps I'll have to shave a few years off the driver's license thing.
I'm not sure when I'll get over the shock. Perhaps in eight days when the number forty becomes unusually significant in my life. Maybe not.
How is it that sixteen years have passed since this quiet, funny, intelligent, kind, remarkable young man came silently into the world? Sixteen years since my heart started to exist outside my body. This child has taught me so much in those years - how to be a Mama, how to be a Mama to children with Aspergers, about the joys of breastfeeding and babywearing and unschooling and knocking on your teenager's door and then whacking him over the head with a cardboard tube.
I love you, Alexander. Even if you are taller than me. We'll talk about the driver's license thing, but really, if you can't steer a wheelchair without threatening to jettison your own mother ...