Summer Life with Boys


Dear readers: Today’s post is more tongue in cheek than my usual fare. Being home with teenagers this summer is both a joy and well, strange. A lot has changed now that my youngest is 16 and my oldest is leaving for college. Long gone are the days where I could read about 101 fun things to do with your kids over summer break and they would humor me for a day or two. Those ideas never worked anyway on my boys. No, my boys want adventure, they want daring, they want food, they do not want cutsie crafts and nifty games with tin cans. They want to hunt, gather, blow up things and chase girls. Me personally, I just want a nap.

Times have changed, have they not? This photo above – shows two young boys getting caught shooting off firecrackers. Today all a family has to do is march down to City Hall and buy a permit for $20 and you are allowed to play with things that have the potential to blow off fingers and more. 

Let’s face it, boys are born wanting to blow up things, watch war movies and ask for bacon for dinner.

At least mine are. Granted they are 16 and 18. Blowing up Army guys, watching movies like Defiance or SAW and having Bacon and Eggs for dinner, is for them the perfect guy day.

Problem is, I’m a girl in a house full of men.  I don’t like any of those things. If I had my way, we’d be planting a vegetable garden or going to the museum, or something safe. Jeff warned me that if I did not allow the boys to be boys, I would “permanently scar their psyche.” As if the scars they received from trying to toboggan over the creek while it was partially frozen last winter aren’t bad enough I have worry about emotional scars as well.

Let’s face it, for the sake of my sanity I’m pretty much a don’t ask, don’t tell kind of mom when it comes to this guy world. I won’t ask what you’ve been doing and you don’t tell me how high the creek was when you broke through the ice and we’re good. Better yet, don’t tell me you broke through the ice or even that you tried to jump it – just sneak through the back door, put your clothes in the dryer and run through the house naked. I promise not to say anything.

My youngest hates the don’t ask don’t tell compromise of neurotic mom and wants to include me in every horrific detail. I can either breath deep and pray long, or go on Prozac for my nerves. I choose breathing. I also choose to join them, sometimes, on these adventures.

I know how deep the creek is because we’ve explored it during the summer.

I know the cliff down to it is about 20 feet – and that you cross over the ravine on a fallen oak tree.

I know where the rabbit hole is and where the copperheads hang out.

I’ve held many a frog and lizzard, a python, hugged wolves, fed tigers and lions (from behind a BIG cage), bottle fed a baby bear, and blown up Gi Joes.

I know that it takes only one firecracker to blow up an army guy and that model rocket fuse plugs need an electrical current to light and should not be used to blow up GI Joes – I also know those fuses plugs will NOT light with a simply firecracker fuse and I thank heavens for that lest Joe permanently be implanted in the side of my chimney. Rocket launcher fuse plugs need the rocket for stability. I knew why it wouldn’t lite and I know enough NOT to tell my son.

I know that my husband and his brothers played “war” with Roman Candles and trash can lids when they were young and unsupervised.

And I know that as long as I’m along for the ride, I at least do not have to worry about that.

I also know that unwinding at the end of the day with a good glass of wine and a book of poetry does help restore some sense of femininity in my spirit. And that is a good thing too.

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