This Special Moment

I tucked Tornado E to bed after he stayed late volunteering at school. His brothers were fast asleep.

Me: I love you.

Tornado E: I love you too.

Me: I’m so proud of you. I’m so lucky that you’re my boy.

Tornado E: I’m lucky to have you as a mama.

Me: You’re going to do amazing things one day.

Tornado E: Thanks, Mama. You’re going to do amazing things too.

Me: Thank you, baby.

Tornado E: Mama?

Me: Yes?

Tornado E: You need to brush your teeth. Your breath stinks.

Me:…..

Tornado E: …

Me: Goodnight.

Tornado E: Goodnight, Mama.

 

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Maturity

Tornado S and I have been reading Harry Potter together. We’re on book 4.

Tornado S: I’ve decided what I want to be for Halloween.

Me: Oh yeah?

Tornado S: Lord Voldemort.

Me: What?! (Come on. Still? Why? Why always a villain?! Why can’t you like heroes?! Honestly!) Really? How about Harry Potter? You would make a great Harry Potter. Or a student from Slytherin House.

Tornado S: I could go as a Death Eater.

Me: (Somehow that’s worse!) What? Why? Why must you always be a villain?

Tornado S: I went as the Emperor for years, and you were ok with it.

Me: Oh, honey. I wasn’t. I was just waiting for you to grow out of it.

Tornado S: I did grow out of it. I grew out of it to Lord Voldemort.

UGH!!!!

Mini

We were at a school function for the older boys, and Tornado A and I were trying to get through the crowd to the other end. We ran into two teachers from the elemenatary school. The 4th grade teacher had taught both the older tornadoes and had a son in Tornado E’s grade. The kindergarten teacher had taught Tornado A and had a daughter in Tornado S’s grade.

4th grade teacher: I don’t know. What do you think? A mini-Tornado E or a mini-Tornado S?

Kindergarten teacher: That’s a tough one. But I think a mini-Tornado S.

4th grade teacher: It is tough. I see both. But I have to say a mini-Tornado E.

Tornado A beamed, and I laughed. We left them to their conversation.

Me: What do you think? Tornado E or Tornado S?

Tornado A: I look like Tornado E.

Me: (leaning down to whisper) I think you’re a mini Tornado A.

Tornado A’s smile grew larger.

We are our own.

Philosopher Princes

I’m a sucker for intelligent, funny boys. While the humor comes from the bloodline, I blame the drama boys who easily linked their crazy sense of humor to philosophy, engineering, pop culture, and literature. And so it was just a natural step that I encouraged the same thing from my own boys.

I’ve written dozens of posts on their sense of humor, and dozens more to come, but lately it’s the intelligence that catches me off guard.

My boys do not seem to inherited the quick-witted, street-smarts, jury-rigged intelligence that haunts my family. Perhaps I should just drop a box of wood, gears, and tools at their feet and see what happens. Although, I do see glimmers of it as they build unique Lego structures.

But what my boys have inherited is my lust for knowledge, the delver of something in books, something hidden that must be found. We have “scientific” books on monsters. The boys fish for articles and videos on video games and their theories. The why stage never ended.

Why are they burning Nikes?

Why does Grandma get so mad?

Why did our President say that?

Why can’t you take me to school?

Why do we have to have spinach again?

Ah, life’s mysteries. (Because spinach is good for you, and I’m hoping the taste will grow on you. Do you need to hear the hummus story again?)

But my favorite part of this intelligence is the connections. The boys come up with a theory, work it out in their heads, and then present it to me in a mini-lecture. On video games, on movies, on characters, on history, on philosophy. Marvel, DC, Trump, classmates, teachers, 9/11, environment, racism, sexism, Hello Neighbor.

They want my input. Without asking, they wait for the judgement. Did they guess right? Did they put the pieces to make the right shape? Is it strong enough?

Hoping I’m doing the right thing, I ask questions, prod their theories, correct assumptions, help recalibrate their understanding. I marvel as they try to figure out human understanding, to figure out how to solve the world’s problems, remembering that at their age, no one would listen to my philosophies.

I look forward to the day of peer-to-peer discussions with my own philosopher kings.

A Punny Teen

He’s growing tall, my boy. Four inches over the last. Still more to go. And still very goofy.

I went after the Bookfair, where I left him, to pick him up. He was the last student to stay to clean up. He looked over at me.

Tornado E: Hi, Mama!

Me: Hi, sweetheart. Are you done?

Tornado E: I don’t know.

Me: Go ask what else you can do. Ask until everything’s done.

I want him to be helpful. I want him to be of service. I want him to stay until everything is done.

One of the moms: Thanks, Tornado E. Could you go get me my fan?

She was loading up her car with several tables. There was nothing for me to do. Tornado E came out of the school, carrying a large box fan. The mom turned and reached out for it.

Tornado E: This is my biggest fan. Be careful with him.

The mom burst out laughing.

She turned to me: I love his sense of humor. (She turned to him) I love those types of jokes.

He beamed.

The mom: That’s everything. Thank you so much, Tornado E. You can go home.

He came to me. I put my arm around him and walked to the car.

How did this kid get so much of me in him? I wonder if anyone sees anything else but me hanging out behind his eyes.

I kissed his head.

Nah. It’s all him. I could never enjoy math the way he does.

Maybe I’ll Think of Things Differently

At first, this blog was throwing bottled messages out into the ocean, wondering if my voice could be heard. Then it was a place to meet other parents, like-minded or not. Then it was a place to amuse people. It was a place for me to practice writing. Now I think I want it to be a scrap book of memories.

I look back and realize that I can’t come up with funny stories of the boys a year or two ago. But I can tell them all the ones I wrote about them. I can tell them first words and Penis Rules and little crazy adventures.

But now life is so hectic. Get up before the boys, get ready, get them off the computers, get them ready, help with breakfast, get to school, get freshman to learn something (ANYTHING), get home, get the boys to finish their homework, get them to eat, get them to do something (ANYTHING) other than computers, get them to bed, get the grading done, get the lunches made, get some writing done, get to bed.

That’s a lot of getting. Though that doesn’t count getting them to their practices and getting them to their clubs.

The weekends are not that much better. Now that school has started with grading to do and planning to do and homework and projects.

With Tornado E in his last year in middle school, I realize childhood is ending. Slowly. And I want to remember these moments. I desperately need to remember these moments.

And maybe I can use the blog as I did when they were toddlers. Finding the humor in their annoying antics.

And maybe one of these messages will help another parent struggling through this hectic, chaotic mess of a life.

So I’m writing for myself, even as I through the bottle into the sea.

The Awful Game of Bowling

I have probably mentioned before my dislike for bowling. I was forced to go bowling several times a week all summer long for most of my childhood. My mother is a bowler. And bowling was torturous. No bumpers. No granny rolls. We had to mind our hold, our steps, our releases. In short, I know how to bowl.

And my boys enjoying bowling. I blame my mother. She has grand schemes of bowling every week or every other week. She insisted that I sign the boys up for free bowling, which I did.

So a few days ago, we went bowling. While the boys have gone bowling with their dad several times, it became painfully obvious that no one has taught them to bowl. Then because they are my stubborn boys, they insisted they knew what they were doing and that they didn’t need any help. Sure, kid, whatever you say.

So this is the first time I have ever witnessed a ball being thrown in a way that it looks like an air hockey puck bouncing and rebouncing off the sides of bumpers. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a ball be thrown and it hit the bumpers to collapse the bumper and then slowly return to the bowler. I have never seen until that day a pin fly out 2 yards to get stuck in a bumper. I’ve never seen a pin land in a way that it shut down the lane. This was the first time I watched a ball spin half-way down a lane and then spin back to the player. I was highly perplexed.

It’s also the first time I got 3 strikes in a row.

Now my mom wants to go again.