Oh, shit! You're 12!

Science says your neurology will change. Your ability to empathize can be expected to diminish while the rest of your metabolism shifts to making you taller and voice deeper and other things that will cause you to think "What the heck is going ON?" the next few years. Or sometimes think "What the heck is NOT going on?"

Those frights will go away. At least it will be a while before you ask your body "Why isn't this working?"

I like that you are getting older. I like your observations. Your questions.

I like your curiosity about music we sang to you. I like hearing you start to quietly sing back.

I like walking with you and chatting about cartoon violence, or politics, or Lord of the Rings, or school, or the politics of the Lord of the Rings and that you still grab my hand when we walk together. Or when you run your arm through mine. It usually shifts to tug-o-war where we contend which is the mightier (which I still win for now).

I like biking with you, and your keen memory, and the animosity you still bear toward the Screw You Bridge that bit into you twice. I like when we stop after crossing the bridge and yell taunts at it.

Even though you're becoming less of a boy, you are still very much my son. And I am proud of you and glad to see you get to twelve.