Sunday, April 03, 2016


The birthdays are starting to run together. I still haven’t gotten around to doing a recap of Chloe’s celebrations and now it’s Spencer’s birthday. This past week or so has been a blur … it was spring break and we did a few things but nothing really and I was on holidays but I was still working. It was even more frustrating and annoying than it sounds. It was the first spring break in a few years that we haven’t gone anywhere and I didn’t like it. But we’ll leave all that for another day because my baby boy turns 15 today!

When I look at pictures from a year ago, I can hardly believe he’s the same boy. He has shot up in height and it seems like I’m running out every other day to buy him longer jeans. His hair has grown, his tastes have changed, and his knowledge and experiences have blossomed. Different school, different friends, new independence.

Spencer is hard to explain. I’ll come right out and say it: the phase he’s in right now is not my favourite. He is sullen and difficult to communicate with. He doesn’t want to hang out with anyone, least of all his family. He hides behind his unruly mop of hair and hopes no one will talk to him. He is not physically active or socially engaging.

However, the good far outweighs the bad. He is not skipping school or hanging out at the school’s smoking doors with sketchy characters. He does not stay out til all hours or steal money from my purse or sit glued to his gaming device. He doesn’t hit his sisters or speak disrespectfully.

His teachers tell me he is “brilliant” (there is sometimes a “however…” attached, but that’s okay). He gets good marks, he’s on the Improv team and does well in Reach for the Top (a quiz competition club). He seems to have friends, even though he never makes an effort to see anyone outside of school. He despises cell phones and only uses his iPod for music, so his social interaction is limited (just how he likes it). He has been so diligent about his snow-shovelling job this winter and zips (okay, trudges) out there every single time it snows. I’ve never had to remind him to do his homework. Ever.

His interests are varied. He knows facts and trivia about almost everything. He reads non-stop and is rarely seen without a book. Based on what he reads and hears and researches, he forms strong opinions but doesn’t put down others’ point of view. He loves music and spends hours searching second hand music stores for records of his favourite artists. He taught himself to play piano and drums. He writes songs. Our house would be very, very quiet without his music contributions.

My two favourite things about him are his sense of humour and his soft heart. He loves to laugh. He loves The Office, Jimmy Fallon, The Simpsons, and Brooklyn 99. It’s pretty fun to joke around with him and it reminds me of when he was younger and lighter and didn’t keep his emotions so guarded.

And my very favourite thing is his sensitive heart. He has a tough time with injustice in the world and has a gentle soul underneath his ruffian exterior. He thanks me for things that no one else would think to thank me for. When he sees that I’m busy in the kitchen or cleaning or something, he’ll often ask me, “Is there anything I can do to help?”

Suddenly it doesn’t seem like such a big deal that he runs away when I ask him a question.

Or that this is his favourite face to make when I want to take a photo.

I love that kid like crazy and can't wait to see what the next year will bring!


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Spencer. (Note there are no smiley emoticons or other things on here to express any emotion whatsoever).

Shannon Silvestri said...

I miss him.

Anonymous said...

Is this pic just before he crashes the Minibike?!? Jim

Daniel said...

Awww, he's a good lad!

someone said...

Aw, Ellen, this kind of made me tear up. I get it - the sullen attitude can be annoying. But I think this young man will be just fine. The only real concern if is something is going on and he doesn't want to tell you about it (like, in general - not because he is sullen). So, I think if you can be confident he will open up when needed, it's all good. The fact that he literally walks to the beat of his own drum in this world is to be commended. He is not your "typical" teenager and I think that's truly awesome. He is going to be something pretty special when he becomes an adult - he already is. The 14 year old I looked after a few weeks ago was OBSESSED with his iPhone and had it taken away from him because he was failing grade 9. He had NO idea what to do with himself as a result so he read Archie comics, ate candy, and wandered aimlessly around the house annoying his little sister. I know you don't need convincing that Spencer is a good kid, and I KNOW ALL kids have undesirable phases, and he's probably not all that pleasant to have at the dinner table, but, I love that he is who he is.

xo Sio