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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Schroeder is FIFTEEN!

Schroeder is a freshman at Shortridge High School. He and his brother roll out of bed and head out the door before the rest of us are up, taking the redline to school. 

Julian and Schroeder have a few overlapping teachers, band and theatre, who were surprised to find out they are brothers. They bring a different presence to the classroom. At Parents-In-Touch day, Schroeder's teachers didn't have to be reminded of which kid he was. There were lots of comments about his intelligence, energy, and... phone use. 

His energy extends to sporting events. This is a photo a parent in my network sent me of him cheering on the girls volleyball team. I tell my kids I have spies everywhere. It's hard for Schroeder to hide much (including girlfriends) when I'm friends with his friends' parents. 

He made the JV soccer, swimming, and volleyball teams. I felt a lot of anxiety during try outs, nervous he would be cut. I'm proud that he continues to put himself out there and works hard to build his skills. He is often outside in our very small backyard or upstairs in his room kicking a soccer ball around. 

Once he made the team, I also felt anxiety about injuries; broken bones, twisted ankles, concussions. He's playing for an independent soccer club this spring. Stephen called me from the car one night to say that Schroeder's tongue was stuck to his braces and he was planning to take him to the ER. 

"What? Bring him home, surely we can get it unstuck by ourselves."

I pulled out the pliers just in case I had to cut a wire. His tongue wasn't budging, though, and we eventually headed to the ER. We were a unique case and not top priority so it took a minute (four hours) to pull it off.

Fourteen was a good year. He got his own room (sort of) and travelled abroad for the first time. We went to France and England last summer. Once he recovered from the jet lag, he made a point of jumping and doing a heel click at every location. 

The only souvenir he wanted was a football jersey. (I'm stopping to look up whether a soccer jersey is called a kit or if that refers to the whole uniform.) We stopped in the Paris St. Germain store, and I was overwhelmed by the price of the MbappĂ© jersey. I was underwhelmed with the idea of buying a Messi jersey from the vendors who set up on blankets around the Eiffel Tower, though. As we sat waiting for our flight home, I broke down and spent the money on the official kit from the St. Germain online store. It has proved a good investment as it looks nice and he wears it often. 

His clothing style is simple. Soccer jerseys, jogging pants, Crocs, and a hoodie. He doesn't want weird graphics and brand names plastered over anything. When we go shopping, he often looses his voice, intimidated by the selection and sizing. Unlike juniors for girls, teenage boys have limited selection at stores.

Schroeder is a committed Tottenham Hotspur Football Club fan. He wears his kit, a Christmas present, on game days often getting up early to see those Europeans play. Julian teases him by chanting, "What do we think of Totenham? SHIT! What do we think of shit? TOTENHAM!"

Once, at church, our pastor revealed that he is also a Tottenham fan. Schroeder looked at me with big eyes, his attention finally caught. 

He has a collection of PRIME bottles, a syrupy energy drink that come in different flavors. It's become fun to check a store to see if they carry any new flavors and surprise him with a new bottle. 

I'm planning to run the mini again this year and he's one of my biggest encouragers. He will be getting up early to run the corresponding 5k that morning. His miles are about 7 minutes faster than mine. 

He's still in that Duolingo grind, well over a 300 day streak.

We celebrated turning fifteen with a cousins trip to laser tag and pizza at Mother Bears in Bloomington. A week later, he organized a group of six boys to come over for tacos, park soccer, dairy queen, video games, and two AM water pong. I am grateful that the planning is in his hands now even if six fifteen years old boys in the house is a bit overwhelming.

We love this march madness bracket winning, napoleon costume wearing, Fanta drinking, newly minted fifteen year old. 

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