I love this picture so hard.
Nathaniel will be seventeen years old this year. He’s a junior in high school, and he’s in full blown teenage boy mode. Not chasing girls mode. Not checking in and trying all of the drugs and alcohol mode. He’s just a teenager. Everything we suggest to him is lame, and everything that everyone else suggests is awesome. Even if it’s the same exact thing we suggest.
He wins with this photo though. This photo is from an event at his school called Dance for Life. It’s put on every March, and for the last three years, he’s been a choreographer in some form or fashion. Dance has been his outlet since he was a wee one in elementary school. I remember how lanky and uncoordinated he was, and now, he’s more coordinated and even more expressive than usual.
Because I’m his parent, I can honestly say that he has improved so much in so many areas – especially being an older sibling. The last two years were TOUGH. The ladybug is a little sister that sits and marvels over all of the things that her big brother gets to do. They are a litmus of sorts for her. To see what she has to do in order to do all the cool things that he does. We’ve told him how much she looks up and studies him, and this year seems like the year he’s understanding just how much.
This is what I wrote on my personal FB page this morning:
There’s a lot that I can say about these two, but I’ll leave it at this.
The ladybug absolutely loves her big brother. He is her dance idol. She looks up to him in a way that I’m kind of jealous about. I don’t have that older sibling dynamic, so this is new to me. She LOVES intermission during the annual Dance For Life program because it’s the one chance that she gets to get on stage.
Big brother surprised her by coming out and dancing with her, and it made my heart happy.
Having a teenager is a mixed bag of emotions. A rollercoaster if you will. At least for me it is. I know that there are some people here who don’t have the slightest bit of a problem with theirs, and I think that’s awesome.
Mine is stubborn. And intelligent. And sullen. And full of life. He shares A LOT MORE with us than I EVER would have shared with my parents, so there’s that. It shows that even when he thinks we don’t know anything, he knows we are here. Even if we don’t agree with every choice, or action that he takes. We’re here.
It’s nice to see him available to his little sister. That joy on her face speaks volumes.
Now, I’m just going to go and look at baby pictures and cry. Good day.
I’m not sure if I’m in my feelings so hard lately because he’s so close to 18 or she’s so close to 10, or the twins aren’t fat roly-poly babies anymore. I have no idea. I know that anytime I have to see a loved one go through the age of 18, I hold my breath. It’s the last age that my sister made it to. I know that it may seem irrational to some, but it’s very real to me.
Nathaniel is also going to Germany in a few weeks. This will be his first trip without any family members, and I’m worried. Sure, he’ll have chaperones, but no matter how great they are, they aren’t ME. I worry about my black boy traveling now. I’m worried he won’t be able to get back in with his dark locs, and aloof demeanor.
While I do my best to push these types of thoughts out of my mind, I have this photo to keep me focused. This photo that shows that for but a moment, life was simple. Big brothers are awesome. And dancing is good for the soul.