Thursday, March 10, 2016

I Wish Every Home Had an Eight-year-old Boy

They're the best.

Yes, they are.

They are mischievous and funny (even if their humor relies heavily on fart jokes). They are forgiving and kind (except when encountering their sisters' Barbies. Too, too tempting). They have a dozen passions that are relatively cheap (Legos and Nerf guns, bikes and scooters).

They love their Mamas.

Yes, they do.

They love their Mamas.

Now in the interest of full disclosure, they have their moments, these eight-year-old boys.  I find John's socks everywhere. Everywhere. The idea that they can be deposited in a single place that never, ever changes, a place that ensures they will one day be returned (clean! fresh!) to be worn again -- well, this concept is wholly lost on eight-year-old boys.

They breeze through snack food like ants at a picnic. In a moment of candor, John looked at me and said, "Look, Mama, You really need to find a better hiding place for the cookies."

"Or we could all develop a bit of self-control," I countered.

No one can match John when it comes to an expression of shock and disbelief, of incredulity and stupefaction. I'm pretty sure he's triple-jointed and can raise one eyebrow so fast and so high, I'm surprised it doesn't land on the wall behind him. Develop a bit of self-control? Surely you jest.

And speaking of walls . . . John admitted to me that when he dons his bathing suit for swim team three times a week, he tends to fling his underwear. That just might explain this:

Here's the zoom:

But he loves his Mama.

We spent some time in the yard yesterday afternoon mowing this and raking that. I gave the kids advance warning. I assured them we wouldn't be out there for hours. When the time to work drew nigh, the conversation went something like this:

What I said: Okay, let's go tackle a little yard work before dinner!

What they heard: Down in the mines for the lot a ya.

As I dealt with deep sighs and dragging feet, mild irritation morphed into anger. I chewed the lot of them out, set down my rake, and went into the house to grab something. I glanced at the To Do List sitting on the desk. Earlier in the day, I had a reality check when it said this:

When I came in from the yard, it said this:

i love you mom 

My first note in cursive (or as John used to call them "curse words").

His socks may doubt the existence of a hamper; his underwear may be hanging from the chandelier; he may be one highly unenthusiastic yardman.

But he loves his Mama.

Yes, he does.

I think of my my mother-in-law -- she who birthed four sons who went on to father eight grandsons in a row before Ainsley added a jolt of estrogen to the gene pool. She once shared story about her youngest son, Dave's brother Jeff.

She looked over at him at age ten and fervently wished time would just. stand. still.

She knew the storm that was lying dormant, that under that pleasant face was fomenting a toxic combination of hormones and attitude, that late nights and charming facial expressions were coming her way. Been there done that three times, she had. And, of course, she was right.

As for me, when John sprouts his first pimple or whisker, I intend to drape the house in black crepe and invite my Jewish relatives over to sit shiva with me.

It will be a dark day indeed.

As for today, I plan to savor this:


claire said...

Totally agree; I have one and they are the best! (But then again, so are 1 year old boys, 8 month old boys, etc.)

Kelly Dolin said...

Claire, well said!