Festive Friday

The night before Noah’s birthday North popped into his room to say good night and to wish him a happy birthday in advance, because they would not see each other on his actual birthday. North would be leaving for school before he got up. From there they would go to El’s house, from there to the prom, and from there to after-prom, and they’d be home after midnight.

North started reporting a few days before prom that their teachers kept saying they didn’t expect any of the seniors to show up at school on Friday and, surprisingly to me and Beth, there was similar sentiment on the parents’ Facebook page for North’s school, with people saying they didn’t see why prom had to be on a Friday and that they wouldn’t make their kids go to school that day. What are we not getting? Does it really take that long to get ready for prom? I wouldn’t know. I didn’t go to my prom and neither did Noah, but Beth went to hers and she seemed just as mystified. Anyway, we made North go to school, though they are angling to stay home on Senior Skip Day later this month, and we’ve said we’ll consider it.

Beth, Noah, and I are all home most weekdays, so we went about our usual business until two p.m. when we took a cake-and-presents break. The cake was chocolate with strawberry frosting, a family favorite. Beth had made it the night before. It was delicious as always. Noah opened cards with checks from both grandmothers, plus new headphones and a few books from Beth and me—Leigh Bardugo’s The Familiar, and two books from the Discworld series. Over the course of the day, he talked to my mom on the phone and his boss from his internship in Los Angeles last summer also called to wish him a happy birthday.

Several hours after opening presents we went out for pizza and gelato at Mamma Lucia, at his request, and then we came home and watched the first half of Tetris (we’d finish it the following evening). Beth said it would qualify as a movie North wouldn’t want to watch and when I told them the next day that he’d picked a movie about Tetris they didn’t look impressed. When I qualified that it was actually about the licensing of Tetris, the blank look on the face seemed to convey, “You just made it worse.” It’s more entertaining than it sounds, though.

Beth had an unexpected work crisis and had to work a little after the movie, but we weren’t up much past our bedtime. After I’d fallen asleep, though, I kept waking up, maybe because I knew North wasn’t home yet and except for Cappies’ shows, they don’t often stay out late so I’m not used to it. Then around 1:40 a.m. I could hear them in the hall outside my bedroom door impatiently trying to get Noah out of the bathroom so they could use it and go to bed. It reminded me of how the kids would often wake me arguing over bathroom access when they were little, except then it would have been several hours later, and it would be the beginning of their day and not at the end. But the upside was that I knew North was home safe.

The next morning I asked how the prom went and North said the first couple hours were fun, but it went on too long and it was too loud. Dinner was served buffet style but there wasn’t much for vegetarians, so they ended up eating rice, salad, and cheesecake. Luckily, they’d had pizza at El’s house before arriving at the prom. Apparently, even though North attended school neither of them needed even the few hours available to primp because they found time to watch Scream before leaving. Later North said that was more fun than prom, but they also liked bowling and eating funnel cake fries at after-prom.

Later Saturday North gave Noah a gadget to attach his camera to his camera strap (it was on his list), and we continued to eat the cake. By Sunday night we’d polished it off. So now our eldest is another year older and our youngest has passed another end-of-high-school milestone. In the month and a half since North turned eighteen there have been a few of those, more related to being a legal adult than finishing high school:

  • They voted in the Maryland primary.
  • They got a tattoo of a compass on their thigh.
  • They now call their own Lyfts and ride alone (unless it’s somewhere I need to go with them).
  • Depending on the appointment, they sometimes go into the doctor’s office without us.
  • They explored a dating app and have had three dates with someone they found there (Not El. North and El met at school and are not exclusive).

One thing eighteen year olds cannot do, however, is pet a baby goat at a school Earth Day celebration without parental permission. (This was a couple weeks back.) I signed the form, though it seemed kind of funny that I had to do it. Chances are, though, that was my last time signing a school permission form. And that in itself is a kind of milestone.