Today He’s 12. Tomorrow He’ll Be Buying Centrum Silver.

I may have just reached a new low in my adult life.

I just read an online article entitled, “Mow Like a Pro.”  Obviously, at some point this week, I aged a hundred years.  I was actually INTERESTED in what professional lawn mowers had to recommend to all of us who don’t keep gardeners and yard boys on retainer.  In college, I faithfully read Cosmopolitan and Glamour.  Tonight I read a piece on different lawn-mowing patterns, tips for trimming the edges of your yard, and when to change your lawn mower blades.

Not that I would ever be the one at our house to actually… you know… CHANGE the blades in the Honda mower.  You can pretty much place actual money on me choosing to just go on ahead and mow with a sub-par edge, instead of digging in Hubs’ toolbox to find some tool to remove the blades so that I can hold them next to a grinder and sharpen them up like a Viking axe.

Also?  Yesterday, while I was sitting in the salon throne, getting my hair done, my stylist and I discussed the DIAMOND OF ALL HOUSEHOLD CLEANING PRODUCTS.  It’s the rags from Norwex, that you wash your windows with.  I can honestly say that no homemade window solution… no vinegar… no ammonia… no store-bought formula in a spray can that costs upwards of twenty-two American dollars… no wads of newspaper that leave black ink smudged on your hands… will EVER be able to produce the shine that the Norwex rags can achieve with ease on your windows.  You can take that solid brick of gold fact to your safety deposit box.  We chatted on and on about HOW FUN it is to actually wash windows now, and then I had to go on ahead and admit that I hadn’t seen a single episode of The Bachelor, so I had no idea which girl he picked.

Clearly, I am settling into old age well.  Stay tuned to Jedi Mama, Incorporated as we talk about first-round draft picks for shuffleboard teams next week, and the pros and cons of a daily aspirin.

No matter.

Do you know who else is aging these days?  Well, it’s Cousin B.  The fellow turned twelve entire years old almost two weeks ago, and I still haven’t gotten around to throwing confetti here on the blog yet.

This is Cousin B.  He’s ALMOST as cute as my boys are.

Cousin B plays hockey.  And by plays hockey, I mean that B lives and breathes and dreams hockey.  He could hold a hockey stick before he could walk; he could skate before he could talk.  On his actual birthday, Cousin B went to watch the Colorado Avalanche win in a big way, while Hubs sat at home, watching the same game on our TV screen and hoping he could catch a glimpse of the little rascal in the crowd.

And then Hubs moaned, “I didn’t get to go to an Avs game for MY birthday!  How come B got to go?  Why do you hate me so badly?  Why didn’t you send me to Denver when I had a birthday?”

Sometimes Hubs is very dramatic.

When B returned, bearing game pucks and snapshots and memories, his parents threw a little birthday party for him.

There was some gaming at the party, because apparently every boy in America is currently playing Mine Craft.

(I would just like to go on record and state that Mine Craft makes me want to poke a toothpick in my eardrum.)

The boys all swapped gaming devices and created new things in one another’s games, blah, blah, blah, ad naseum.  My theory on video games is simple:  If it isn’t Words With Friends, it isn’t worth playing.  Or losing.  Because everyone seems to beat me by ridiculous scores in that game.

(Also?  Well, Thing 2 and Cousin W are good buddies.  They have all kinds of talks together.)

Miss A chased Thing 2 around and around and around.  We don’t call her the Nanny for nothing.

There was a pan of brownies, in lieu of a cake, because B likes a good brownie covered in vanilla ice cream.

Bless his heart.  He has good taste.

Because he’s twelve, the family thought he could FINALLY use the fire by himself to light his own candles.

There was a very off-key and loudly sung version of Happy Birthday belted out by onlookers.

And of course there were presents, because that’s what a birthday party is really all about.  You give your guests brownies and vanilla ice cream and cheese pizza, and they leave you with some really cool stuff.

Like Under Armour hats.

And hackey sacks.

Sometimes your guests play with the tissue paper from your gifts.

Sometimes your guests put plastic bags on their heads, even though the bag is printed with the words THIS IS NOT A TOY AND SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN TO CHILDREN.

Sometimes your guests hang over the bar stools and wonder how on earth you’re going to use ALL THAT HOCKEY TAPE UP before the Apocalypse.  (Cousin B has a passion for the hockey tape.  His birthday gifts included a Costco-sized package of tape that might last him part of a season.)

Some of your party guests are so stinking cute, their mamas can’t help but snap their photograph.

Sometimes your guests will take your hockey sticks away from you and push them all over the house.

And THAT is where the family debate comes in.

Cousin B is a HOCKEY PLAYER.  As evidence, I would like to present this next snapshot as Exhibit A.

(I didn’t take this picture; B’s older brother, thirteen-year-old Cousin W, took it.  I think it’s an awesome photograph, and I keep encouraging him to just ENTER IT IN A PHOTO CONTEST ALREADY!  He told me that I could post it on the blog tonight.  I kind of like Cousin W.)

The boy is a GOLFER.  He can’t imagine a life filled with rolls of hockey tape, but he adores a good sand wedge and pitching iron.  As evidence, I would like to show you these next snapshots, which will be called Exhibits B and C.

So, when Thing 2 grabbed Cousin B’s hockey stick, B encouraged him to CHECK MY SISTER!  SLAM HER INTO THE BOARDS!  SHOOT THE PUCK!

The boy was on the other side of Thing 2, hollering, “Plant your feet!  Smack the ball!  Line up your putt with the flag!”

Cousin W, who is a goalie, was encouraging him to KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PUCK!  BLOCK THE SHOT!  THROW YOUR BODY ON THE ICE!  DON’T LET THEM SCORE ON YOU!

I’m pretty sure that this is why Thing 2 has invented his own sport, which we call Golkey.  In Golkey, Thing 2 hits golf balls and checks opponents into the wall.  He putts and he does slapshots.  He claps quietly on the green and screams loudly on the ice.

He’s one confused baby.

Happy birthday, Cousin B.  Welcome to twelve.  In no time at all, you’ll be reading online articles on how to make your grass look like it has been professionally mowed by a yard service.  I hate to tell you this, but it’s true.  Old age is the pits.

Y’all have a happy Tuesday evening.

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