Dex is 15½, so it might not come as much of a surprise to you that he's getting really independent, but it sure does to me. If he weren't still required by Montana state law to have a parent in the car while he drives, he might not need us at all. He can cook his own meals, plan and execute his own social engagements, do his own laundry, handle pretty much any household task—not to mention take apart a computer and put it back together again, if that happens to need doing.
Most importantly to him, he's got all the gear and skills he needs to safely go rock climbing with a friend, and he that's just what he's done maybe half the days this summer. When he came home from another expedition at around 8 last night, he commented that his hands were really trashed. How, I wondered, could they not be toughened up by this point? Oh, he said, they were really tough. "But I've been out so much this week that I wore the callouses off, and now they're just…disintegrating."
Once again I'm a bit jealous of my firstborn, who's found a way to play outside in the sunshine all summer long until his hands disintegrate.