As he approaches the ripe old age of 12, JT is a bundle of contradictions. I suppose that this is the story of adolescence. He's strong and tough, capable of carrying heavy things right up the stairs and eager to demonstrate that strength. But he's sometimes surprised to discover that he is no longer a little peanut, as when he bangs his head climbing in the car. He can't quite imagine that he really is that tall. He's not entirely abandoned the pleasures of being a little boy; but when he flops into my lap I feel every ounce of his 5' 2" size. When I tuck him into bed each night, that's not a little boy under the quilt.
For Christmas, JT received an alarm clock. He's been thrilled with it, setting it to awaken him each morning, and generally treating it as evidence that he's on his way to adulthood, a process he welcomes. Today, in the ultimate act of adolescence, he got braces on his teeth. This too has delighted him as a rite of passage. When those braces come off, he'll be 14 years old; preparing to enroll in the 9th grade.