Jack decided to invite his whole basketball team to lunch. There are ten boys on the Jr Hi "A" team, and they finished their last regular game of the season undefeated this week. I am so thankful for this natural grouping for Jack, a healthy way to spend almost every afternoon with a core of classmates. I never dreamed he'd spend his 13th birthday with a basketball team, since he just learned to play a few months ago! They came down the hill shouting and teasing, very comfortable with one another, and thanks to help from my trusty houseworker Abigail and an hour-off from my trusty paeds team, I was ready. We turned ice cream, and ate chili and corn bread, then celebrated with a chocolate cake. Noisemakers, balloons, sodas, laughter, stories. It turns out that Jack was by far the youngest, 2 boys have been 13 for a while and the rest are 14 and even 15, even though they're all a similar size, there is a wide range on the puberty issue (sometimes I try to remember why we let him be an 8th grader, but it's complicated. Should have thought harder about sports). An hour later they all bounced off the walls and into each other and back up the hill to school. It was a fun party, and the first time Jack's had such a large group of peers to celebrate with. This evening we had a family gourmet dinner (Jack does love his food), much quieter than the wildness of the junior high boys. Phone calls from Grammy, the Bundi team, and Acacia. Emails from a CSB classmate (may you live to blow a thousand candles), and absent brother Luke.
Jack at 13: still growing into his body, reckless abandon in all pursuits, intensity, messy, curling up with a book, avid fan of premier league football, affectionate, teaser, handsome, attention-seeking, anxious at times, friendly, popular, loud, sprawling, adventurous, emotional, spiritually sincere, still mostly kid with hints of the young man shining through, sharp and creative with unanswerable questions because he sees things in his own unique way, smart and artistic, unsure of himself, low frustration tolerance, a drive to win. A remarkable person, who surprises and enriches us every day. I am thankful for that day 13 years ago when I walked into Kijabe hospital with Scott as my doctor and delivered him on the very bed where my patients today were born.