*Edited to add pictures*
Last night we had Jack’s tenth birthday party. We had a Nerf war in the park, followed by a movie projected on a sheet in our backyard. Ten 10 year olds.
The Nerf part went actually fine – we just sort of threw them into an area of Audubon park bounded by some trees and let them run, and they more or less did.
Nobody shot anybody in the face, there were a few disputes over fairness and rules but mostly they got handled by the boys, and it actually looked like a lot of fun. We then drove them all to the house for grilling out and a backyard movie.
But once we got home, our neighbor – a 14 year old girl who is the type of neighbor who can just come in our house without knocking and pull food out of our fridge any time, she’s one of the family basically – came by to have some burgers.
And OMG the tween hormonal SOMETHING that occurred made all of these children lose their damn minds. They weren’t flirting exactly – more just hollering really loud to try to get attention, and then there was lots of chasing and poking and throwing popcorn and attention-seeking nonsense. The 14 year old went home briefly and I sighed a sigh of relief, but then she came back with bright red lipstick on, and I was like – oh dear.
Long story short we sort of lost control of the boys. Since they were contained in the house/yard, no humans were in danger, though I did fling myself in front of some furniture at points to save it from destruction. But it was an absolute nightmare for about a half hour there, and I have never prayed so hard for parents not to be late to pick up their kid, and been so thankful for my wisdom to not host a sleepover.
A few more kid stories:
Craig, out of nowhere, mouth full to bursting with half chewed waffles, speaking extremely loudly: MAAAAHM, when I was in yer belly, did you every say ‘WOAH, this belly is SO BIG!’
Liam, who has been dancing around avoiding doing dishes for twenty minutes but finally buckled down: Well, if I’d just focused on this to begin with, I would’ve been done by now!
Craig, yesterday walking through the park amid the tress: Mom, you gotta DUG when I say dug, ok? Ok, dug! Dug your head! [ducks theatrically under a branch at least three feet above the top of his head] Good job dugging, mom.
Craig this morning, in a wee, small voice: mom, do you think I’m going to die?
Me: not anytime soon, bud. why are you worried you are going to die?
Craig: my belly hurts.
I turn and see littered at his feet two banana peels, a discarded juice box, and three Nutri Grain Bar wrappers. He also had a bowl of applesauce.
THERE’S A LESSON HERE SON, WHAT COULD IT BE?
(On the way into school he burped, then laughed and said ‘I just went BRAAAAP and now my belly feels better!’)
Craig recently learned roshambo (rock paper scissors), and makes us play incessantly. According to him, a fist 👊 = rock, a flat hand 🤚 = paper, and two fingers ✌🏼 = a silly dog that bites the paper. 😍😍😝😝
Craig, hollering at me from the other room: Mom, there’s a crawfish in here!
Narrator voice: It was a cockroach.
Jack doesn’t often say cute things anymore, because he’s TEN DEAR GOD WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN, but he did very sweetly let Craig open all of his birthday presents this year. He still has some struggles in school with academics, and we’re finding him a tutor who specializes in learning difficulties, but in terms of friends/relationships, he’s stellar. Everybody loves Jack, and Jack loves everybody. For this reason, although learning will never come easy for him, we don’t worry about his future too much. He’s got it sewn up with just being a sweet, open, loving, humble kiddo.
Last “cute story” – this one’s about me. I fell hard in the street while walking out of church Sunday, scraping knees and hands and also, horrifyingly, shouting a panicked involuntary ‘Jesus Fucking Christ!’ as I fell.