We learned that Chai Tea is dyslexic/ADD when she was 8 years old after a pretty rough year and made the decision to hold her back in the second grade, placing her and Frappy in the same grade. When we brought them home to homeschool after 3rd grade we decided to keep them together. We were pretty excited last year when Chai Tea and Frappy were able to attend an early college program where they were high school seniors taking college courses for college credit. This put Chai Tea back on the "right" time track and Frappy ahead. My father, who hadn't been real keen on the whole homeschooling thing, was pretty happy and impressed so he bought them laptops.
Chai Tea had always been drawn to the computer. We kept our computers side by side in the kitchen for several years so we could keep an eye on things. She would often get in trouble for changing things around or downloading stuff without permission. We couldn't figure out how she learned how to do things so quickly! She has a natural aptitude for it.
Sending the girls off to school and them having their own laptops changed things quite a bit. We did not have the control we once had. Chai Tea has always been very independent. She's never cared if she was ready or not for the things she's wanted to do. She marches to the beat of her own drum and relishes being different. It wasn't long before she met a boy online. Fly Boy.
Fly Boy was 21 years old and a cadet at the Air Force Academy. Chai Tea was 18. And she was smitten. We weren't quite sure how to handle it. Seeing as we were going to be sending her to a college six hours away the following fall... we decided to let it play out. I am a... Mom... with super sleuthing skills... and knew about him before she told us. Interestingly, she told her Dad first. We said that we wanted him to come spend some time with us, as in come over for dinner, before we could let them go anywhere alone.
Fly Boy needed to be picked up from the Academy so Mr. Macchiato decided to get his car washed. Even though Chai Tea had her own car, he wanted to be the one to pick him up and bring him to the house. He cut it a bit close on the time and I'll never forget Chai Tea grumbling about it on the front porch as she anxiously watched for him to come down the street. They left almost immediately.
It was the first week of December. Frappy and Double Shot had a great time planning out how they were going to embarrass Chai Tea. Frappy, whose hair was nearly waist length at the time, had put her hair up into these two large and ridiculous looking Princess Leah buns. She also heavily lined her eyes and put on a mini skit with multi-colored striped tights. Double Shot dressed normally but was giving his face a workout as he practiced his many looks. Frappy ended up ditching the tights before he got there, which took longer than we expected. There were many false hollers of, "He's here!" which sent those two into peals of laughter when I saw that he was not.
When they finally did arrive it was... awkward. He walked in and it was... awkward. He was very handsome and very polite. Good Ole Benny came to the rescue and started jumping all over him. He wasn't a year yet and we were horrified to see that he piddled on Fly Boy's feet. We quickly got him outside and Mr. Macchiato and I frantically whispered to one another in the kitchen as he grabbed some paper towels. And we said nothing about it. It is possible that it was just melting snow... but, uh, probably not.
The kids headed down to the basement, with the door open, of course. I continued to work on dinner. I was also baking cookies. I did go down a couple times to see if they wanted anything to drink and to be friendly. Mr. Macchiato? Glued to a football game in the family room. I made sure to give him the stink eye whenever I walked through, to which he would lift his hands and say, "What?"
Double Shot would not leave them alone. He'd creep down the stairs and then sneak up behind the love seat. His father ended up having to make him sit upstairs and regularly point his finger at him when he saw him making an attempt to escape.
I made a cranberry/chipotle pork loin and, much to Chai Tea's horror, served sparkling apple cider in wine glasses. I wanted to use the china... she nixed that! Fly Boy is not a Christian so it was awkward again when we prayed. He's pretty quiet but I could see he was making an effort to be outgoing. Then it happened. He had put salad on his plate and dumped half a bottle of dressing on top. He just looked at it like he couldn't believe it. Mr. Macchiato took his plate and brought him a clean one while we all laughed.
Mr. Macchiato... Oy. Sometimes... He got up from the table and went back to the game! I was mortified. I even said something and he was, again, all with his hands in the air... "What?" Men.
I rode with them to drop Fly Boy off that evening. I even gave him a large tin of Christmas cookies to share with his cadet friends and thanked him for his service. Yes, it was dorky and I felt like an idiot. As we watched him walk away I wondered if he'd be back... and hoped Chai Tea wouldn't hate me if never called her again. She did go on about how embarrassing I was to which I lifted my hands and said, "What?"
He did come back and ... there was one time when I was introducing him to a lady at our house and my mind went completely blank... and I called him Fly Boy. Then I corrected myself... ooooh. I embarrassed myself big time and my face and ears felt hot for a long time afterward. Chai Tea couldn't believe it.
Fly Boy made the decision to leave the Academy last February and transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi. He is still going to be entering the Air Force. He and Chai Tea are planning on getting married when he graduates, although it is not official yet. We hope to see him over spring break and get to know him better.
Today marks the one year anniversary of the day Fly Boy asked Chai Tea to be his girl. Happy Anniversary kids!
And Fly Boy... I do like you.