Sometimes the Differences Between Big Boys and Small Boys Isn’t All That Much

The reason that little boys have mothers is simple.

Mothers take the responsibility of guiding our little boys into adulthood seriously. We make sure that they eat green vegetables. We limit their sugar intake. We set strict bedtimes, to insure that they get enough sleep. We make them wash behind their ears, brush their molars, clip their nails, say their prayers, do their homework, memorize multiplication facts, and set boundaries for how many hours they can spend in front of the television sets. We interview their friends to make sure we know who they’re playing with. We send them to Sunday School. We remind them to say please and thank you. We instruct them on how full they may fill the tub, if they anticipate splashing around while they’re in it. Mothers are constantly busy, working from son up until son down. (My sister-in-law has that sign hanging in her living room; it’s appropriate for a home with a boy or two in it.)

We mothers dedicate our lives to raising our boys, so that they turn out to be fine, upstanding, respectable men.

Every now and then, though, one boy gets through, and everything that his beloved mother taught him doesn’t click just right.

I’m thinking, specifically, of a friend of ours. We call him PH.

PH and his wife, Amy, are in our small group at church on Sunday nights. Last night, as we all flocked to the church to eat desserts and laugh, our pastor asked us, “Are there any prayer requests?”

And PH, bless his heart, had a prayer request.

He said, “Well, I don’t know if you’ve heard about our dog or not, but I think I have a prayer request.”

I immediately looked across the room at Amy and mouthed the words, “When did you get a dog?”

Amy shrugged her shoulders at me and flashed some sign language which stated, “I have no idea where PH is going with this.”

PH continued by saying, “Well, our dog has been quite sick, actually, and we were really beginning to worry about him, so we took him to the vet. The vet told us that there probably wasn’t a lot he could do, but he had this new remedy that’s worked on some dogs before ours, so he smeared Crisco lard all over our dog’s chest and belly.”

PH paused here to collect his thoughts, and we were all wondering, “How on earth will we pray for this dog? This dog that we did not know about, because PH and Amy don’t have a dog?”

After a few seconds, PH continued. “We were a little skeptical about the lard being rubbed all over our dog’s chest and stomach, and it turned out we should have been, because he went downhill really super fast after that.”

It took us a few moments.

But eventually we all laughed, and Amy hung her head in shame.

And then, bless PH’s heart a second time, he told us, “Okay. So that was funny. But seriously, you can pray for my grandfather. He went to the ER a couple of nights ago, because he wasn’t feeling well, and the ER doctor rubbed lard all over his chest, and he went downhill really super fast after that.”

I’m sure PH’s mother tried. I’m sure she kept him out of movies with bad ratings, and I’m sure she made him eat his broccoli and use his manners and practice his spelling words and wash his toes, but something went wrong along the way.

And now Hubs? Well, Hubs thinks that this little joke was quite funny, and he’s giggled over it a few times now. Both of these big boys need some prayers, people.

And, if I can do a 180 degree turn here (which is how I tend to roll), I just have to say that Hubs has asked me no fewer than thirty-seven times today, “Hey! Did I tell you that Team USA beat Canada — HOCKEY NATION!! — in Olympic hockey last night?! We beat them at their own sport!”

There were some major whoops and shouts at our house last night, as Hubs cheered the USA to their victory over Canada. And then, even though the time was late, Hubs stayed up to watch Sweden play hockey, because he was concerned that Sweden would score more than five points, which would have given them an advantage over the USA. But no! It wasn’t to be! Sweden didn’t score a lot of goals, so Team USA is the number one seed, and Hubs couldn’t be more pleased with how that has all panned out. He has even decided that I need to buy him a USA jersey — a jersey without any sparkles, glitter, rhinestones, or bling.

I’m just glad that we didn’t have any hockey injuries in the Olympics last night. I hear that doctors might drag out the tub of Crisco, and we all know what happens after that.

You have a tendency to go downhill faster than the Olympic skiers.

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