Look Who Turned 13!

It’s Rocco! Rocco turned 13! Which means it’s time for his 13th birthday blog post!


If there were one word to describe Rocco, it would be wordy. If there were a sound, it would be the shhhhhlck of Lego bricks being rifled through. If there were a taste, it would be preceded by the words “five alarm.” If there were a color, it would be the blue of this blasted sweatshirt he won’t take off this summer.


And then in the winter, he refuses to wear anything but shorts!

But because Rocco loves to prove me wrong…


In some ways he’s still smooth-brained (can we please get away from answering everything with “yo’ mama?”). In some ways he’s brilliant (he’s already solved global warming in his head. Twice.).


Rocco comes home from school with his planner filled out, tells us his plan for homework, writes a note to himself to talk to the teacher about a wrong answer he got on a test, makes a schedule for the evening, and plows through it. Afterwards, he studies our calendar, makes a few phone calls, tells me that he’s arranged a five-day sleepover with his best friend, and hands me a grocery list.


He’s more likely to defend himself than apologize. (“But I thought Leo wanted to be sprayed with the hose.”) If you tell him you don’t feel like making fettucini alfredo for lunch, he’ll make it himself. He refuses to drink boba from any place other than Bobae, where Vincenzo works, even if we’re at a different boba shop and everyone else is ordering something. If I yell, “WHO ATE ALL THE CHOCOLATE CHIPS?” Rocco hops on his bike and rides to the store to buy more, even though we all know Vincenzo ate the chocolate chips.

He’s good at both time management and micromanagement.

He’s not good at holding babies.


Whenever a Nerf gun breaks, he and Kevin take it apart to fix it. They watch tutorials, order parts, unscrew things, and 3-D print pieces. They solder things in the kitchen. Not once in all the years have they successfully fixed a Nerf gun. But then, they also have not burnt the kitchen down, so that’s something.


We sometimes have to yell, “NO ROCCO!” just like when he would sprint-crawl to the wine glass rack. He pushes farther and farther still. It’s not that he’s trying to be bad. It’s just that he’s still as intrigued with the world around him as he was then, ready to learn something new, wanting to see what happens if he pushes this button or touches that particular wine glass.


Rocco is a buoy that always pops back up. He’s the question mark at the end of a sentence. He’s the kid wearing a penguin suit in a rendition of The Tempest. He’s a triple scoop of ice cream when you asked for a sample.


It’s a good thing we love our ice cream.

Sticky finger ribs
Mac ‘n cheese
Baked beans
Blue cheese coleslaw
Mix ‘n match ice cream sandwiches

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