PhotoLife has been busy around here lately. We took a family trip to California, our first time all loading up on a plane together and travelling across the country. Two football seasons came to an end. We started to wrap up the school year and T1 made a fairly big decision about where he was going to spend the next couple of years of his educational existence.

There have been a lot of things I could have written about, I’ve just haven’t felt like doing it. That laundry list of stuff aside, this is also the time of year when we, collectively as a family, prepare for the boys to leave for California. It’s a fun time, because we are active and the weather is nice and the end of school put everyone in a good mood. It’s a sad time because C and I are aware that in a short while they will be gone for a couple of months.

I have gotten very used to having them around. It’s not the big things that I miss when they aren’t here, it’s the small ones. It’s not the trips or the games or the events, but it’s sitting around the dinner table, or walking to the movies, or tucking them in at night. It’s when the boys are quintessentially them.

One of T1’s friends, a kid who lives across the street from us, recently got hurt at school. This kid, who is extremely funny but who hasn’t hit his growth spurt yet and so is also one of the smallest kids in the 8th grade had some sort of altercation with another student, one who is really big and who T1 describes as “A complete asshole. Sorry, but he is.”

The altercation ended with the neighbor kid sporting a broken collarbone.

T1 didn’t witness whatever happened happen, but the next day he apparently heard about the situation through the school grapevine and arrived home in what can only be described as a high dudgeon (only, that is, if we live in Scotland in the 1600s). He tramped out to the back porch, where I was sitting, and began to be righteously indignant.

“It’s ridiculous! This kid is huge and a gigantic jerk. He’s just a bully. I know (neighbor kid) can be mouthy sometimes, but everyone says that he didn’t do anything to cause this!”

And so on.

“Well,” I said, “you want me to call (neighbor kid’s dad)?”

“Yes!” he said.

“It going to cause you any trouble,” I asked, “inserting yourself in this?”

“Naw,” said T1. “I dunno. Maybe? I don’t care, this isn’t right.”

T1 has teenage issues but he also as a rapidly developing sense of justice and fairness. I always like it when he flexes that particular muscle.

Last night, T2 and I were sitting on the couch. I had been sitting on the end, but T2 pushed himself between the armrest and myself and then started playing with his iPad. I was channel surfing and stopped briefly at a comedian doing a standup set. She was funny and so I watched for a minute or so. During the last joke of her set, she explained that a lot of comics employed catch phrases and that she was annoyed because she lacked the confidence to use the only catch-phrase she could come up with.

She then demonstrated the application of her catch phrase, standing with her legs spread, pointing towards her crotch and yelling “TELL IT TO MY BALLS.”

It was funny. Not as funny as T2’s reaction.

He never looked up. He kept on tapping away at his iPad. However, his shoulders were shaking. His mouth was clamped shut, his lips just matched together, and his whole body was bouncing up and down. I heard a little snort and a single tear dripped down his cheek.

“T2,” I said, “you are never allowed to say what she just said out loud.”

That made him lose it. Contained giggling switched over to full blown laughter, which made me break up laughing, which made him laugh even more. We leaned against each other laughing like idiots. Every time one of us would get it under control the other one would set off another round of guffawing. C sat across the room wondering what was wrong with us.

“How…” he would gasp, filled with wonder at this woman’s comedic genius and process, “how did she come up with that? It’s….it’s amazing.”

It wasn’t amazing, but laughing with him about it was.

I’m going to miss them both.



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