Step right up and be a man

If you read my blog, you will no doubt find yourself reading about my children because I am like every other mother who ever lived and my children are a big part of my life and have been since their arrival. I’m not one of those annoyingly gushy types and I do have a life outside the momming gig but we’re still a package deal. When you get me, you also get them.

I used to write stories about them because when they were younger they provided great fodder, and having these stories often kept my from laughing in their faces in damaging ways they would have been confiding to their therapists ten years later. Since I still have this stuff sitting around on my hard drive, I thought it would be fun to use it to introduce them to you.

First, meet …

My boys

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David then

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Ricky then


David is big. Ricky is little.

That’s because David is thirteen years old, lounging awkwardly into surly adolescence.

Ricky, on the other hand, is only four.

They are brothers, and all their perceptions of each other are skewed in the way that a brother’s vision of his brother is, I am told, always skewed. And at least part of that vision has to do with the fact that David is big and Ricky is little.

This same phenomenon exists between my daughters as well but to a lesser extent. There are only five years between my girls … although everybody knows that at ages eleven and six, five years is a lifetime.

But there are ten years between the ages of my boys and that is an eternity.

Of course, the way in which they view each other, skewed and all as it is because of their relationship, is really very simple. To Ricky, David is a wondrous creature. To David, Ricky is a pain.

Every now and then, as I sit here working, I glance out the window into the back yard to watch them. David is mowing the lawn. It’s a relatively new chore for him and he’s pleased to take it on since his dad is paying him to do it. I can see him every time his path crosses the window, plodding behind the power mower.

If I keep watching, I’ll see Ricky cross the window in his wake, pushing the unpowered mower that is a relic of the previous owners of this house. He’s got it upside-down, so it takes no real effort on his part to push it around. David is working, so Ricky has to work, too.

Of course, you could never tell him that he’s not really working. If I were to go outside right now, he would stop for a minute to dramatically wipe his brow and say, “Whew! This is hard work!”

And if you suggest that he might be getting in David’s way and that he should put the lawnmower away, he’ll look at you with great big, tearful brown eyes and say, “But I have to work with David!”

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Ricky now

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David now

The last time he said that to me, I could only exchange a resigned glance with my husband. “Hope David doesn’t mow his toes off,” I muttered, returning to my desk.

“If he does,” said my ever-practical spouse as he followed me into the house, “I’ll dock his pay.”

I guess that was one of the rules Dad set up when he handed this job over to David. No mowing your siblings.

Makes sense to me.

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