William Tate Wittman, or Tate as he’s called, is turning 11 today: on 11-11-11, a momentary mathematical milestone he’s anticipated for years.
“Now it’s finally here. I’m hoping it will be the best day I’ve ever had,” Tate said in a recent interview at the Los Osos home of his mother, Suzanne Clover.
Tate, a soft-spoken and warm Monarch Grove Elementary School fifth-grader, is celebrating his “golden birthday,” a birthday in which one turns the same age as the date.
Tate’s cadre of 11-year-olds were all born Nov. 11, 2000, a day when Americans still did not know whether George W. Bush or Al Gore would ascend to the presidency because of disputed votes in Florida. Earlier that year, the
NASDAQ stock market had peaked at the beginning of the end of the dot-com boom, and Tiger Woods became the first golfer to win three majors in a calendar year.
Now that it’s 11-11-11, Tate might be too excited to get up early and read this morning, which he usually does because his mom won’t let him stay up reading past 11 p.m.
Music will be the focus of a much-anticipated birthday bash tonight. His middle-school-age brother, Wyatt, will be the disc jockey at Tate’s dance party filled with techno and dubstep music.
“It’s what we ‘glove’ to,” Tate said.
To “glove” is to don a pair of knit gloves with colored LED lights at each fingertip, darken the room and writhe one’s hands in such furious, sinewy circles that the world lights up in front of you.
Tate is the child of a new millennium. His favorite food is sushi. He has a cell phone, though he doesn’t use it much. His treasured possession is a digital camera, with which he makes movies of his dad, William Wittman, surfing off Cayucos.
But he’s also that timeless type of kid who uses magnifying glasses to set leaves on fire on his back porch.
His favorite subject is science, and he has only missed one science test question this entire semester.
Yes, he has a girlfriend, who is a middle child like him, and they like to jump on trampolines. Tate is not sure, but thinks he might grow up to be an artist.
His favorite number? Take a guess.