After rescheduling (on account of the Army, of course), Alan and I had our engagement photos taken on Friday.  It’s not like they were taken six months after the actual engagement, or anything. …

He posted a few photos on the blog.  You’ll never guess what two outfits Alan wore.

T turned 14 yesterday.  He started off the day by sleeping in until some time past 10 (even though he was in bed by 8:30), and then we took Maddie and Shooter for a walk.  About 300 yards down the road, C decided he was tired of walking Shooter, so T walked both dogs.  Because he’s all manly and tough, now that he’s 14.

The day went really well – the only incident occurred when C asked T not to push him in the water (he had already jumped in, once), and T said he wouldn’t – and then promptly pushed in C, justifying it by saying he hadn’t promised that he wouldn’t.  So, we had a little chat on lying and then T not only apologized to C, but imposed a one-hour grounding to the couch on himself as soon as we got home.

I thought he was sulking over the incident, but then C came into the kitchen to tell me that T had grounded himself from doing anything for an hour, and was simply sitting in the living room.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to carry out his full sentence, as half an hour later, we had to rush off to the mall to meet Alan.  However, T decided to fulfill his sentence by not talking during the car ride.  I went from being incredibly disappointed to being incredibly proud and impressed.  We stopped at Taco Bell (T’s favorite) to order lunch for T, since he skipped lunch at the house.  I had originally planned to stop there to treat T, but then reconsidered after the lie.  In the end, I decided to do it anyway, since he had been mature enough to deal with the issue himself.

Alan took T to a local driving range so they could have some father/son bonding time, which was T’s idea (Alan originally suggested going to the batting cages, but T wanted to spend time together).  Apparently, Alan received a phone call from the first sergeant and T told him to get off the phone because he needed more father/son time.

Meanwhile, C and I stopped by a local Christian bookstore to pick up a new Bible (NIV Revolution: The Bible for Teen Guys), God Guy: Becoming the Man You’re Meant to Be and Boom: A Guy’s Guide to Growing Up.  I have “God Girl” and enjoyed reading it, so I hope T finds the guy version just as helpful.  “Boom,” on the other hand, addresses issues like drugs, alcohol, music and movies, friendship, sex and other topics that may become a bit more intense now that he’s about to enter high school.  Now, if only there was a way to ensure he’d actually read those books. …

I also picked up a book on connecting with teenagers, The Back Door to Your Teen’s Heart.  The irony was not lost on me – for months, I’ve been saying that maybe the age difference between Alan and me would benefit us because I could better relate to the boys.  Not.  True.  I’ve found myself reprimanding or internally questioning why T does certain things, only to eventually recall that I did similar things when I was a teenager … a whole two years ago.

And yesterday in the car, I finally asked C what he thought of his dad and me being married.  I received a chipper, “I’m fine with it!,” which left me stunned, because I was expecting a long, drawn-out conversation.  I wondered if he perhaps wasn’t telling me everything, but then he asked what parts T and he would have in the wedding.

Later, he mentioned that he wanted to sell his golf clubs (he’s currently obsessed with selling things and making money) online.  I told him to ask his dad, because he’s a minor and needs a parent’s or guardian’s permission.  The moment the words were out of my mouth, I was hoping he wouldn’t catch on to the fact that I had added “or guardian.”  Too late.

“But, you are my guardian.  And you’re going to be a parent.”

*Insert self-satisfied smirk that looks remarkably like Alan’s self-satisfied smirk.*

“Well, next year I’ll be your stepparent, but I meant that you should ask your dad, because I don’t want to give you permission to do something without having spoken with him, first.”

*Insert a continued self-satisfied smirk.*