Ding Dong, it's barely 9:00 AM on Saturday morning I'm feeling pretty good thanks to a little extra sleep and some quiet time. I open the door to a round faced neighbor boy, "Hello, can your computer, I mean, Game Cube...oh.. uh...your WII, umm...#5 play?"
"Hello Frequently Visiting Neighbor Boy, the computer, I mean, Game Cube...oh.. uh...my Wii, no wait, I'm the only one around here without a Wii... oh The Nintendo Wii, umm... #5 is still sleeping?"
"Oh, um... ok, I'll come back later."
Fifteen minutes later, Ding Dong, "Hello Frequently Visiting Neighbor Boy, everything... er, I mean one, is still asleep."
Nearly every afternoon there are six or seven extra boys hanging out at Boy House. As I fix dinner most evenings another neighbor boy, we'll call him, I'm Hungry I'll Start With This Bag Of Chips While You Make Me Two Ham Sandwiches Without Mustard, Oh and My Brother Wants Some Too, comes in the kitchen and opens the fridge.
"I'm Hungry I'll Start With This Bag Of Chips While You Make Me Two Ham Sandwiches Without Mustard, Oh and My Brother Wants Some Too, would you mind terribly staying out of the fridge while I'm fixing dinner?"
" Oh and have your brother call your Mom and find out what she's fixing you for dinner." Notice my subtle hint.
He runs to the play room, yelling, "Hungry Brother, Boy Mom just invited us to eat dinner here, will you call Social Life Mom and tell her we're staying for dinner." Adorable Hubby is right, boys don't do hints.
Then there is 16 Going On 11 Year Old who has adopted Adorable Hubby as the dad he's never known, nearly every night he shows up to watch a show and get invited to dinner. He often needs a Mom hug, I can always tell when things aren't going well for him at home because I get a big pimple faced hug. Guess what, as seen on TV product, 16 Going On 11 Year Old is getting for Christmas from his adoptive Mom and Dad.
I often walk past the toy room to find, Frequently Visiting Neighbor Boy and I'm Hungry I'll Start With This Bag Of Chips While You Make Me Two Ham Sandwiches Without Mustard, Oh and My Brother Wants Some Too, watching TV with 16 Going On 11 Year Old. They're all sharing a box of crackers which looks suspiciously like the one I bought this morning at Costco, can I get a boo-yah for Costco.
From 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. each evening, on the street in front of our house there are 6 to 14 boys playing a rowdy game of street football. They reluctantly move to let cars pass once the down is finished. They brag, argue, trash talk and swear a little, they jostle and push and slap each other on the back, male bonding hovers over the street like a testosterone fog. Everyone knows where the first-aid basket is, unless it's arterial bleeding or a compound fracture, neo-sporin and a band-aid is all you need.
Everyone knows it's cookies on Friday if I quadruple the batch they might last until Saturday. At noonish on Saturday and on school breaks many sandwiches are made, many, many sandwiches. Usually PB&J sometimes, if it's on sale, ham and cheese. If you're here you're invited just don't ask for special orders, "Do I look like the Burger King? "No, then you don't get it your way."
From time to time one or two pink and gigglys show up. They're pink and well... giggly I'm not always sure what to do with them. The one doll we kept on hand for such events has long ago disappeared. They seem adaptable though and soon find, as I have, that boys for all their loud and rowdy ways want to be noticed, need to be talked with and love a hug.
One day I came out of my bedroom laughing at the fit of a new t-shirt I'd bought. It looked fine on the hanger at the store but, turned out, it was way to tight. #1, #2 and two of their friends stood in the hall and wondered what the laugh was for. "This t-shirt is ridiculously tight, guess I'd better start that diet" I said.
After a cursory glance my sons mumbled something supportive like, "Don't worry Mom, once you're married no one expects you to look hot" then headed down stairs.
The two friends stopped on their quest to be the first to the video game dual and gave me the reason I love all the male madness around here, "Mrs, Boy Mom," they said sincerely. "You shouldn't talk bad about yourself, you are a really beautiful women, really." Their unexpected sincerity was touching and teaching.
What makes a women beautiful to boys is love, tolerance, humor, generosity, confidence and vulnerability. I'm learning that from all these wonderful, beautiful boys in my life, may I learn it well.