Saturday, October 8

Sweet 16

Eitan turns 16. This precious young soul has grown before our very eyes into the fine young man he has become. Sonnet and I could not be more proud of him.

Eitan's academic year brings forward the GCSEs, those dreaded exams that will determine the boy's future. Not to be taken lightly. 

In the British school system, a student's extracurriculars, school grades, teacher recommendations and personal essays don't count for college credit - only the exams, test-taker be damned if s/he has a cold or a bad day. US colleges extrapolate a GPA from the GCSEs so the results count in America, too. 

We have known about the GCSEs since, well, Eitan's birth since it is something anxiously discussed amongst parents and ex-pats from Day 1. The general consensus is that it is a pretty crummy thing to put a poor kid through. 

Until now, the exam has been a safe distance in the future, over some far away hill, that protected us from Eitan's inevitable departure from home. For surely once the test is done he is gone.

Me: "Sweet 16 and never been kissed."
Eitan: "What do you mean?"
Me: "It's an expression. Sweet 16 and never been kissed. So have you?"
Eitan: "What?"
Me: "Been kissed."
Eitan: "Why do you always have to do that?"