Creature of wonder, man-child of mine.
You look like a puzzling and impossible blend of genetics,
of his eyebrows and her nose,
a mix of the boy who you have always been and the man you are becoming.

You look like the preschooler who lined up his blueberries around the rim of the breakfast plate,
like the one who kicked off his shoe in mutiny when he was tired of being in the stroller.

You look like your dad, the man he was when I met him,
an age that’s somehow only a decade¬† away for you.

You are a wonder and a conundrum, adolescent boy.
You sound like the slam of the screen door – again.
You sound like the opening of the refrigerator door – again.
You sound like the cracks in your voice as you straddle the awkward and transient space between octaves.
You sound like wrestling and arguing and battling with your brother antagonist in the basement,
But also like creating and scheming and giggling with your brother accomplice in your bedrooms after bedtime.
You sound like, “Mom, I’d rather sit with my friends, if that’s okay,”
and “Mom, can you come up and say good night one more time?”
You sound like belches and farts that could be avoided or contained or quietly excused,
but they are none of the above.
You sound like perpetual middle school humor and then alarming quick wit.
You sound like laughter filling the room as you experiment with comedic timing and then land the joke and become genuinely and delightfully funny right before my eyes.
You sound like big ideas and crazy dreams and theology and worship music and cuss words.
You smell like deodorant and face wash, like shampoo and sunscreen,
like the dishes you left in your bedroom and the soda you left in my car.
You smell like a whiff of hope and history, like suspicion and trust.
You taste like the sweetness of my memories,
the plethora of layers and flavors that have made us who we are, you and me.
You feel like muscles and peach fuzz, like man shoulders and – somehow, still – sticky hands.
You feel like you lassoed my heart on the very day I learned about you,
And now I’ve hitched my wagon to your star
and everything is getting bigger and bolder and deeper and louder,
and the stakes are higher and the love is fierce.
You are a mess-maker and a problem solver,
A shepherd among your friends and a wandering lamb in your heart.
You are wonderful and complicated,
Layered and unpredictable,
Textbook definition of wayfinding your unknown.
You are a specimen of splendor, adolescent boy,
Perpetually hungry in every single way.
A creature of wonder, man-child of mine.

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