Jan 15, 2015

Celebrating 16

1/15/2015 — cori

This is Gavin being thrilled with the special cake I made him for this milestone birthday.  Normally, the kids tell me exactly what kind of cake they want and I try to comply to the best of my ability.  But this year I didn't give Gavin a choice.  I told him I had something special for him that I had been planning a long time to make.  It was a huge hit. He couldn't stop smiling or looking at it or commenting on it.  118 mini cupcakes all color coded.  I didn't have room to add the atomic number. But that didn't stop him from knowing exactly what it was.  I obviously did not create a key, but this is the periodic table I copied:

It took my Mom, Dad and me 4 1/2 hours to create this.  It was all about teamwork.  Dad ran off on a mission to get plywood big enough to hold all 118 cupcakes.  I baked the cupcakes.  Mom frosted every single one.  I mixed the frosting to the exact color as the chart and wrote all the element names. We rocked the teamwork.  Dad even created an encoded message using the exact placement of candles in certain elements that Gavin had to later decode before he could indulge in the cupcakes. And none of us could eat a cupcake unless we could name the element on it first.  Thankfully we had a hardcopy with all the names written out or Hydrogen, Helium, Carbon and Oxygen would have been the only cupcakes eaten.

I'm so thankful Gavin loves science as much as he does because we have all come to a greater appreciation of it due to him.  The last science birthday party he had was when he turned 7.  We had experiments going in every corner of the house and in the backyard.  Luckily, this time we didn't have to do chemistry experiments.  The only experimenting going on was seeing how many cupcakes we could fill our tummies with.

Gavin is growing into such an intriguing young man.  All of his loves and interests have always been there, they are just now coming out in more noticeable ways.  He still loves all things math related. Matter of fact, the day after his birthday we were lounging in the family room and he comes up to Chuck and me and says, "Mind if I show you some of the stuff I'm learning in Pre-calc?" He excitedly grabs pencil and paper and starts walking us through a problem.  He is just so excited about it and Chuck and I are equally dazed and confused but giddy that our son wants to take the time to explain what he's learning to us.  What's important to him is important to us - even if we only get 30% of what he's saying.

His goal this year is to build his own computer.  I was going to tell you why until it just now dawned on me that I don't know why.  Why build one when you can go to the store and buy one?  I guess some people find that fun.  He's one of them.  He's also excited about finding his first job.   Lastly, he wants to complete his black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

His love of learning is contagious; always has been.  This has been his 'thing', his sweet spot.  He is a complete sponge and soaks up information for the pure joy of it.  He doesn't brag, he has a hilarious sense of humor and he is so incredibly considerate and polite (disclaimer: not to his siblings).  I had no idea what to expect for 16, but he has exceeded any of my expectations.  He is fun to be with, likes to hang out with us , still laughs at our jokes (or maybe he's laughing at us, I don't know) and will sit and have deep conversations with me about a multitude of topics.  He is also incredibly quiet, serious and opinionated.  However, he only speaks his mind when asked and even then, he thinks very hard about what he's going to say before he says it.  I admire that in anyone since it's a skill I lack.  He is not bothered by quiet or being alone.  He knows who he is and is extremely comfortable in his own skin.  

I am lucky to be his mom.  What a gift I was given.

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