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Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Julian is SEVENTEEN.

Julian turned seventeen with little fanfare. We woke up in Nashville and spent the day driving towards Texas. We finally crossed the state line around sunset and Julian drove us most of the way to Austin on the very congested and dark Texas highways. He is so close to having all the hours he needs to get his license. After years of being a one car family, we are planning to get a second van so he and D'arcy have more access to a car this summer.

Earlier in the week, we did attend Spiderverse at Clowes Hall with a few of his buddies. The movie was accompanied by a live orchestra. Spiderman has been bringing him joy since he was a toddler. He confessed to me recently that many of his dreams are comprised of him using webs to swing through the air. 

Although both spiderverse movies are some of his favorites, Julian likes all kinds of movies. He wanted to see Barbie and Oppenheimer back to back, but the best we could do was seeing them within twenty-four hours of each other. He said that he cried during Barbie, and he convinced his cousin to see it with him a second time. 

Stephen and I watched Lady Bird with him one evening. It's my kind of movie, funny, quirky, and heartwarming, a coming of age story that focus on the relationship between a daughter and her mom. Not long after, I overheard him mentioning that it was his favorite movie. I think it shows his tenderness. I like that we like the same thing. 

He and I started to watch Haiku together, finding common ground between his love of anime and my love of shows that highlight sports. We only made it through a season, but we will hopefully pick it up again over break. I appreciate that we are finding mutuality, hopefully building a foundation for ways we can spend time together in the future. 

Julian has spent the year learning to advocate for himself. He is figuring out how to care for his mental health and how to trust himself in the face of anxiety. I've appreciated seeing him be introspective and hearing his insights. 

He stepped away from tennis this fall when he got a lead part in the Mean Girls musical. He played Aaron, Kady and Regina's love interest. I really hadn't heard him sing before. Rap, yes. Sing, no. I was blown away by his stage presence and voice. He had to kiss the girl playing Regina on stage a couple of times each show, and her dad joked every night that he had his eyes on Julian. The musical was funny, thought provoking, and SO much work. He spent loads of long evenings and nearly a month of Saturdays working alongside his cast and crew to make it all come together. 

Julian is still playing trumpet and piano. He began a two year, diploma program music theory class. He is interested in listening to and playing jazz. He also listens to a lot of rap music. He asked for an album entitled "Scaring the Hoes" for Christmas. My knowledge and appreciation of rap is growing as I ride along in the car with him and so that title no longer scares this hoe.

Julian convinced us to let him move up into the attic when D'arcy is at school. For nine months out of the year, he and Schroeder will effectively have their own rooms for the first time  in their lives. I was nervous about them being lonely, but they have gotten along just fine. 

Whenever D'arcy does come home, Julian moves his gaming computer and monitor, a computer he earned by working hard to walk with his whole foot, down to his brother's room. He sleeps on the top bunk now that Schroeder has claimed the bottom. 

Seventeen. I feel emotional just saying it. Months away from being an adult, this beautiful, funny boy of mine. 

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