Baby’s First Job

So Vincenzo got a job because apparently they give 11-year-olds licenses and jobs here in Washington State. Or it could be that I’m losing track of time and actually have a 16-year-old man-child on my hands now.

Any guesses what kind of job King Sticky Fingers got?


That’s right! He’s in the bubble tea biz now, working at Bobae, where they call him Big V. Now instead of making messes at home, he makes them at work and gets paid to clean them up!

He’s gone a lot now, but I see him more. He works 5 to 10 then stops at the grocery store to pick up mac ‘n cheese because no matter what I cook for dinner (unless it’s mac ‘n cheese), that always sounds better. He makes his dinner and we chat, and we actually have things to talk about now that he leaves the house.

For the first time since his flying fighting secret service ninja turtle days, Vincenzo is excited about something. He gets his homework done without nagging, he shaves without being asked. He went to the mall and got shirts with buttons on them, and he wears them even though it’s not Christmas. (Also: Vincenzo knows how to do buttons!) He goes to Bobae on his days off because it’s fun and he loves it there. He brings me boba tea in the middle of a Saturday and says, “Today I brought you a Sapphire Moonlight. It’s our lavender tea that we brew it in house with organic lavender. The blue on top is our pea flower tea. It doesn’t have much of a taste but it is an antioxidant. Be sure to mix well and enjoy!”

It’s changed him in other ways, too. When we went to a restaurant in Hawaii, the first thing he noticed was everyone in the kitchen, toiling away washing dishes and doing all the prep work. “That’s like me!” He opened the menu and his eyes bugged out. “Well I was going to get the steak, but that’s like four hours of work!” At the gelato place, he said, “I’LL TAKE THE NUTELLA AND SALTED CARAMEL PLEASE,” in a clear, confident voice.

He’s excited. I’m excited! I’m here clapping and smiling, as happy for him as the day he took his first steps. Of course, I was also a bit sad back then, thinking how each step took him farther from babyhood. But here he is 15 years later, still taking his first steps. It brings me just as much joy to hang out with Big V as it did to hang out with Baby D.

Although I was wrong about the kitchen messes.


Noodles with Beijing meat sauce
Kale salad with shaved parmesan

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