If you look through this jar of moon jellies you can see the fifteen year old sitting on a bench by the fish tanks downstairs at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History.
We try to visit the museum at least once every vacation and whenever we've gone he's done what he did yesterday, spent the whole time downstairs doing what he calls "just sitting and thinking." While he's doing his sitting and thinking though he likes to chat with the docents and help them out with their lectures and demonstrations. He's always had an encyclopedic bent and been good at gathering and cataloging facts. These days his preferred field of study includes dwarfs, elves, and orcs. But for a long time before that it was animals. (Before that, it was planets. He was three.) He has a sharp eye, an empathetic nature, and a high tolerance for the grotesque and the gruesome among the less than cute other kingdoms and phylums. He can pick up a skate and look a grouper in the eye.
I'm only mentioning this because I started this year's vacation notebook with the news that he'd had his heartbroken by the discovery that his favorite bookstore here in town had closed over the winter. I didn't want to leave you thinking that his vacation has been all downhill from there.
In that earlier post, I reported that there were two bookstores and now there's one. I was wrong. There were three bookstores. Now there are two. The third bookstore was, he thought, a children's bookstore, but that's changed. And while Where The Sidewalk Ends might never measure up in his estimation to Cabbages and Kings, it has chairs and room for a six-foot tall fifteen year old to spread out while he's looking over the latest from Terry Brooks.