Sunday, August 06, 2006


In attempt to hold onto this last month of summer, I've been spending as much time outside as possible. Yesterday, I took my young cousins to the park. You may remember Boy of Eight and Boy of Five from WHY?! fame. Well, Boy of 8 is now Boy of 9 and Boy of 5 is now Boy of ALMOST 6!. (Unless you have absolutely no brain at all, you will not forget that and Heaven and Earth help you if you make the mistake of forgetting).

Since age has brought these two so much wisdom, I, the non-parent, somehow assumed a little more maturity would come with it. Not so. Instead, it is further proof to me that we (boys and girls) forever stay the same youthful, genius souls we were at birth and the only thing that changes is our ability to hide it and the scars from the times we couldn't.

Just the walk to the park was eventful enough for me. What with the dragging of the dog by one leg and the pulling flowers out of other people's yards, how much more damage could be done?

A lot.

The park we walked to is in a school yard. It's a magical place filled with activities to stimulate and exhaust young minds and bodies. There are maps and puzzles, swings and slides all bolted to the ground and waiting to challenge any kid that might come along. I'm sure they had the best of intentions but this little school yard never saw Boy of 9 and Boy of ALMOST 6! coming.

Did you know there's a place called Titicaca on the map? Did ya? And would you believe, your voice echoes off the building? Really, the louder you are, the louder the echo is. Ah, the miracle of sound waves. Oh, look here, you can spell out c-r-a-p on this puzzle. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

At first, I wanted to scold them. I wanted to tell them not to spell inappropriate words and stop the screaming. Something stopped me though. Something about watching a kid go up the slide instead of down took me back about twenty years. I remembered the times I screamed just to hear my voice bounce back to me. And it was fun.

Sometimes, when I spend time with these boys, I feel like all I do is tell them no, and stop. I mean, they are young and they will push you and I know I have a responsibility to teach them and help them. Other times though, they help me. They remind me of what it's like to discover something new and giggle at the obvious. I still have some of that kid in me and they help bring it to the surface again.

And I remember it well because, of course, I did already know about Titicaca.


backofpack said...

Oh,yeah. Mother of two boys here. It gets better. Burping the alphabet for instance. Armpit sounds. When they grow taller than you and pick you up and whirl you around, or hug you so hard your ribs creak. Boys are fun!

Bre said...

I'm so immature that I was giggling through this whole post! Little boys are certainly .... spirited... like that!!

Runner Girl FL said...

It's important to take kids somewhere they can be the playground!! I don't undersand people who want their kids to stay inside and play quietly and entertain themselves all the time. You have got to be the "fun" person to visit.

justacoolcat said...

Oldest of 5 boys here and you speak with wisdom.

Ginger Breadman said...

Your post is a great reminder to let kids be kids and refrain from saying no sometimes when you really want to.