Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Pyrate Turns 13

So, on this past Friday, the Pyrate turned 13... I am officially the mother of a teenager.  Wow.  There have been moments over this last year when he spoke to me and that newly acquired deep toned voice shocked me... made me feel pangs of longing for the squeak I was so accustomed to.  But as life would have it, things do indeed change... My son, sweet, kind, funny, patient, and super-smart... is becoming a young man, facial hair and all.  Yikes.  

We spent the entire weekend celebrating with family and friends, starting with Friday evening.  I made his cake during the day... an organic creation: vanilla cake with bavarian cream and fresh strawberry filling, with buttercream frosting and a skater dude theme, made from scratch and decorated by hand, like I do every year!  (recipe will come in a later posting this week) 
The cake was a big hit when presented at the end of dinner!   I know there'll come a day in the near future when I won't be able to do this for him because he'll be off somewhere on an ocean somewhere saving a shark or something... so I'm enjoying these times while I still have them...

The evening's dinner celebration included 35 family members and close friends, and both the Pyrate and I were so moved by how many showed up.  The chain of tables the restaurant put together was so long you had to either call via phone or actually get up and walk to the other end to talk to someone there.  We had good food, lots of laughs and fun all around. 

The night was highlighted by the Pyrate reading a speech he wrote about coming of age, and his views of his life past, present, and future.   I've included it below because it was too loud in the restaurant for the people at the other end of the table to actually hear what he was saying, and also there are others who couldn't be there who the Pyrate would love to share this speech with.  So at the end of this post is that speech.  My son, he amazes me... to no end, how thoughtful and conscious he is.   

That night, three of his closest friends slept over and we got up early the next morning and went to a really cool skate park where we met up with the Pyrates cousins.  We spent the whole day there!  I made sandwiches:  turkey/avocado/spinach, curry chicken salad, and salami/sopressato with cherry preserves vinaigrette, (all recipes coming later this week) on artisan breads bought at a local bakery the day before... organic kettle chips, kashi chocolate chip cookies, and a fruit punch I made from cranberry juice, cherry juice, and fresh squeezed lemons. (recipes later this week). 
The boys had a ball, skating their butts off.  It was interesting to watch them overcome their fears and try tricks they hadn't tried before, and how they supported each other, cheering each other on, making sure no one got left behind.  Very impressive.  I am blessed that my son has such cool friends as these young men. 

All in all, it was a fantastic day!  The sun was shining, there was a gentle breeze, the spring flowers were blooming... The grown ups played frisbee and entertained each other with silly jokes.  I think I might be doing a few more picnics during the warm seasons this year... I had a lot of fun!  That is, until the gangsta squirrels decided to eat our precious leftover birthday cake!!!!!  ARRRRGH!
So, that's how it was.  I survived this better than I thought I would.  I only cried once, and that was out of the pride swelling up inside me as the Pyrate read his speech at dinner.   Another birthday past.  The weekend was over... his friends gone home...  back to life... open house at school tonight.... 
Meanwhile, the Pyrate's coming of age speech :

Maxim Abraham-Klaus Feltus Adamec Recke

    March 19, 1997. Appx. time: 13:00 Pacific Time. I was born. I am the child of Brigette Ruenette Feltus and Andre Recke. This was the beginning of my life. My mother’s cultural history, African American and Native American in heritage, dates back several generations here in America… the last two here in Los Angees.  My father’s story is new to this country, since he moved here just before I was born, and he grew up in a small town in the country side of Bavaria, Germany.    I think that I represent the American part of my heritage more than my German side, one of the largest reasons being that I live in the U.S., so I do not speak much German. I haven’t spent much time there, so I don’t know much about the rest of the German culture.
    I was born into a family filled with creative people. I have relatives that have a myriad of professions, from muralists to singers in bands. My mother was the latter of the two, was also once a makeup artist and hairstylist, then a singer/songwriter, and soon an author of her own cookbook!  My father is a manager in the music industry, where he has helped many artists to go after their dreams, and he is also a very good bass guitarist.  My grandparents are also artistic.  My granny plays piano, writes music, and teaches young people to play.  My paw paw is an amazing cartoonist, sculptor, and landscape architect.  Both of my great grandmothers were creative, one played piano, and was a sought after seamstress, the other a poet and writer.  Even my Opa in Germany is pretty crafty with his hands, having made many of the toys my dad played with as a boy… My family’s creativity encourages me to express my talent like the rest of my relatives. It was inevitable that I would be a very creative person. I love music, art, and science. I wish to create and advance the worlds of all three someday.  I am on my way now in my everyday life while I draw, practice guitar and saxophone, and study the field of marine biology.
    I think that I have some good qualities as a human being. I can see from many different points of view, yet I have a mind of my own and can think for myself. I also think that I am very intelligent and a fast learner. I think that I am fun to be around. I want to be honest, too, but sometimes I worry about what people will think of me if I tell the truth.
    I wish to be the one that doesn’t blend in, the one that doesn’t bend to the seeming force of peer pressure. I want be original, authentically me.  I want to do the best that I can, even though sometimes I don’t show it. But now that I look back on my mistakes, most of them could have been avoided. And I don’t want to be the one who had a lot of potential, but never gets anywhere. I believe that that would be a sin.

I love many things. I love my mother, my father, my stepfather and my stepmom Andreas and Shauney, my family, my best friends. I love the ocean, and everything in it. I have no idea why I love the ocean so much. I guess it’s one of those things that is just branded into your brain. I guess it might be because the ocean is the closest thing to pure life and harmony that we can get here on this planet.  I think it’s interesting that we know more about outerspace than we do about something on our own planet, the ocean.  Most of the earth’s organisms live in the ocean, including a lot of the oxygen producing plants on earth.  I plan to explore these things for the rest of my life.
I love my parents. They have stuck with me through hard times, especially my mother. I think its because she knows what its like to grow up mostly without a father in her home. She has always taken care of me, making sure to raise me right. She is always there when I’m feeling down. I love my mom.  I love my dad too.  He’s a really good person, fun to be around, and he works hard  so that I can have a good life.  I love my dad.
     I believe in many things. I believe in peace on earth, and an end to world hunger. I also believe that some religions do not truly grasp the entire concept of the universe, and teach everyone that if it isn’t mentioned in whatever holy book that religion might follow, its not possible. What about the flight of man? A few hundred years ago, Christians thought that the flight of man was blasphemy and anyone who tried to achieve this feat was a devil-worshipper. But now that we have planes, we all know that the church isn’t right about everything. I do believe in God, but I do not believe anything about  the corrupt aspects of any organized religion.
Today is just the beginning of another chapter in my life. It will be hard sometimes, but I want to make it through with a smile on my face. I want to be that kid who stood out, the one who refused to give in to negativity. I believe that I will succeed in changing the world, in some substantial way.
When I get older, I want to change the world. I want to try and open peoples’ eyes to pollution and the fact that the human race will cease to exist if we continue on this path of destruction, along with the rest of our fellow organisms. There are many living things suffering in the world. I also want to help to save the ones who need help. I want to be a part of the revolution that changes how people think about the earth in general forever.
    I owe the fact that I have such a good life to a lot of people. For example, my teachers and my whole gigantic family. They are the reason that I am who I am today, even though I might think they are just giving me a hard time. I know I’ll look back and thank them all. So I’m just gonna get it over with now while I have the chance.  Thanks to all of you and those who are not here for all the ways you have made my life a good one so far.  I am blessed and I thank God for you all.
My mom always reminds me that today, already while I’m still very young, I can already make a difference by setting an example with my friends, by being kind, helpful, productive, and thoughtful.  Sometimes it’s not easy to be all those things, especially when you come int contact with so many people not trying to be those things.  But I try anyway.  It’s challenging because there’s a price for all of this.  I often stand out like a sore thumb and kids sometimes make fun of me.  But I just try to remember what everyone who really matters tells me… No one can define who I am, but me.  There is a poem by William Ernest Henley called Invictus.  My mom shared it with me recently.  Apparently Nelson Mandela would recite this poem daily to himself when he was all those years in prison work camps.  Maybe this will help me like it helped him to remember that I am the captain of my own destiny. 

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

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