My youngest son is eleven and I'm discovering it's an age of surprises. You might think I know all about eleven year olds, having just had two other boys travel through this age recently, but it's just another reminder that every kid is different.
This summer it has taken him two months to read half of one book. Then today he read an entire novel in four and a half hours.
I discovered that he does not let a language barrier inhibit him in any way from talking to people.
When he was away at camp, he missed my cooking more than anything. And true to his promise, he is devouring anything and everything I make. With compliments.
He recently went to a Catholic mass and learned about the symbolism behind the Eucharist. Today while grocery shopping with me he saw some thin little cookies and asked me if those were the "body" cookies. I didn't understand what he meant at first, but he was right, they looked very similar.
At camp his cabin won the Golden Sponge award. I did not know he was capable of being so clean and organized.
The other morning he did a load of laundry, his own clothes, by himself, without being asked.
He really likes Santa Cruz and hasn't been there much this summer. The other day, we visited briefly. He stood in the sun, breathing deeply and looking around, then said wistfully, and with a real tone of sincerity "Ahhh, Santa Cruz; the sweet smell of ganja, the ice cream trucks, and the crusty old RVs." I really don't know any other eleven year old who could describe the sights and smells so accurately.
While getting a trim, he tried to persuade the stylist to give him a mohawk. OK, that one didn't surprise me.