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BIRTHDAY BOY
Friday was Martin's birthday...his fifteenth. Normally I don't think of 15 as being any sort of "special" birthday...it's just another year past 14. It's not the first time he's in double digits or the first teen or a legal milestone like 18 or 21. But here in Sweden it's both the age of consent and the age of criminal responsibility, meaning that 15-year-olds are old enough to have sex and also to be punished for any crimes they might commit, though I'm not sure if the punishments are equal in severity to what a legal adult might receive. Martin called it byxmyndig and straffmyndig, literally "pants responsible" and "punishment responsible".

It took me a minute to understand what he was talking about when he said byxmyndig. "What? You're legally allowed to put on pants now?" ...that got me the hairy eyeball and a "Think about it, Mother". The old saying about being out of short pants flashed through my head. :D

15-year-olds in Sweden can also drive mopeds (with a license, of course) as well as carry a passenger on the moped (or bike) if the person is less than 10 years old) and they can get into adult films at the theater.

We woke him up extra early on Friday morning before school to sing to him and give him his presents. My niece, who turned 14 last week in the US, thought it was very unfair that SHE had to wait until after dinner to get her presents, while in Sweden, people get theirs first thing in the morning.

Martin's birthday doesn't fall at a very good time for being on vacation. Karin, whose birthday is in the middle of July, has celebrated hers in Scotland, America and Iceland, while Martin usually has to celebrate his in school.

At 15, though, I am starting to see glimpses of the man he'll one day be and not just physically, though those markers are more obvious all the time: he's taller, filling out more in the shoulders, his voice is deeper and there's a faint shadow of facial hair beginning. He's lost the baby feet completely but he still has the same big brown eyes and sunny smile that he started with.

It's both terrifying and wonderful to watch your children grow and to see the milestones pass by. It goes so fast, and no matter how many times you're told to enjoy it while it lasts, one moment they're holding your hand looking up at you and the next they're striding away, into their future selves.
 busy
mood: busy
music: Judybats—Don't Drop the Baby


Comments

One mom once told me that she wished we could all be elves and stop aging in our prime, or at least slow it down drastically. She was sure all relationships would heal and we would be better from it. I'm sure she said this in relation to her own kids growing.

I often feel like that, but really which is the best age, in that case? Biological prime? Or when they were REALLY CUTE and manageable...like around 5-ish? :D

Happy (belated) birthday to Martin! :)

pictures!!

OMG. 15. Where did the years go?

15 does sound like a gateway age of sorts there.

I wonder sometimes, where and how these various ages of change of limits or imposition of limits come from?

I mean, how to "they" decide what is the age of consent, responsibility, etc? And who decides? Originally I mean, before lawmakers get into the picture. It seems so arbitrary sometimes. And so different from country to country.

Yeah, and who decides what time of day you get your presents?! That's even more important. I say first thing, if you want 'em.

Poignant last paragraph Liz. So true.

(Anonymous)

Happy 15 to Martin!

julia@kolo

(Anonymous)

I wish I had been so thoughtful when all of you were young, but I'm not a writer. You put into words such wonderful statements as the years pass that will be wonderful memories for your offspring. It always make me smile, laugh or reflect. At least Martin will be celebrating a belated birthday party when he arrives in the US this month. Love, Lizardmom

(Anonymous)
From Megsie

You are making me weepy. Your writing is so powerful and beautiful.

And, also? My kids open presents in the morning on their birthdays too.

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