Little Buddies

Well.

We had some wind today.  I almost felt like I needed to grab my video equipment and get in my van, so that I could go chase the storm and get some film footage for the ten o’clock news tonight.

And then I remembered that during all the inclement weather, my favorite place to be is actually indoors, where there are fireplaces, lamps and mugs of hot half-and-half with just a splash of coffee in them.  That’s why I never became a storm chaser, and it’s why I never climbed Mt. Everest.

Well, that and the fact that I don’t enjoy being cold by anyone’s standards.  Plus, I’m fairly certain that climbing Mt. Everest would make me swear like a sailor that I had passed on all the Cross Fit invitations that have come my way, and never learned to do a one-armed pull-up.  Swearing uses up precious oxygen reserves that you can’t afford to lose, no matter how cute you look in your new North Face parka with the fur-trimmed hood, when you’re scaling Everest.

Which is only done in THE COLD.

So that, people, is why I stayed inside today.

Hubs and I were all set early this morning to load the Suburban with every item necessary to drive across a state with a baby, because the boy left town yesterday for the state science fair competition.  We were going down to cheer him on.

Plus, the state competition is in College Town, USA, which is where I spent a whole lot of time studying for exams, learning to cook Top Ramen in all kinds of different ways, and popping hard Jolly Rancher candies into Zima bottles.  I was all jazzed up to buy the family new collegiate sweatshirts to wear in this wind.

And then Thing 2 barfed all over the floor first thing this morning and exploded yet another diaper with poo, and that was that.  I informed Hubs that YOU KNOW I HATE TRAVELING IN BAD WEATHER, and also, THERE’S NOT ENOUGH CASH IN BILL GATES’ ACCOUNTS TO MAKE ME THINK THAT TAKING PUKE AND POOP ON THE ROAD IS A GOOD IDEA.

And that is how we came to throw the boy under a bus.  I called him on his cell phone and explained things to him, and listen.  He was having so much fun, he was fine knowing that his parents wouldn’t be there to cheer him on for the very first time in his entire twelve years.

I have it on very good authority that the boy and his buddies went hot tubbing with THE GIRLS ON THE TRIP last night, and that the raucous laughter coming from the pool area was enough to make cold statues grin.  Kellen’s mama is both a chaperone and a science fair judge on this trip, and she called to tell me, “It was all very innocent, but there may have been some cannonballs into the jacuzzi to impress the girls.”

And then, somehow, there weren’t enough chaperones to cover all the hotel rooms, so the boy, Kellen and Patrick ROOMED ALONE.  As in, there were three twelve-year-olds in the room and no adult.

I could tell by the boy’s exhausted voice this morning on the phone, that they went to bed at a very reasonable hour and got plenty of rest for their competition today.

You know, the West wasn’t won by men who got plenty of sleep and never demonstrated a cannonball jump for the ladies.

After two blown diapers and that one puke this morning, Thing 2 turned out to be fine.  We had the healthiest day that we’ve had in fifteen days today.

Excuse me while I throw celebratory confetti all over my home office here…

But truly, the boy is surrounded by five INCREDIBLE boys right now.  They are having the time of their lives, because they are together.  And because they all have a tablet with Mine Craft on it.  And because I sent plenty of junk food.  And because the hotel has a pool and a hot tub.  And because no one is telling the boy, “You may not order a Mountain Dew,” because only his mother ever tells him that.  The boy has incredible friends, and I thank Jesus for them all of the time.  They’re a pack of great boys… who are going to all succeed in life and burn their fingers off with homemade explosives before they’re fifteen.

I’ve been talking to Jesus a lot about Thing 2 being blessed with a precious little wolf pack of friends, too.  And?  Do you know what?  I’m pretty sure that Jesus has been listening, because Thing 2 already has some little buddies in place.  They’re little buddies from good homes… little buddies who will always have moms telling them not to order Mountain Dew in restaurants… little buddies who will grow up to be fine boys (and girls) themselves.

One of these little friends just happens to be Cousin H.

Sometimes we call them kissing cousins, because H has learned to give kisses, and she’s not discriminatory about who she doles them out to.  Thing 2 is not always an excited recipient.

But Thing 2 does love to help with the dishes, and Cousin H speaks that language as well.  They’re both monstrously good help in the kitchen.

And good help is so hard to find these days.  Especially right after dinner is finished.

And then there’s little Isaac.  Isaac (or Ike, as we all call him) is the boy’s good friend Ben’s little brother.  Ben and the boy have known one another since they met in pre-kindergarten at the age of four, and they’ve been inseparable ever since, even though Ben’s mom decided that moving to Small Ranching Community, some seventy miles down the interstate, was a good idea.  Thankfully, this isn’t the pioneer days, and we can still get our boys together frequently, because some fellow who stayed up late and did cannonballs for the girls invented the Chevy Suburban.

Ike and Thing 2 are both a little passionate about their binkies.

Even though Ike is seven months older than Thing 2, Thing 2 outweighs him.  Ike is built for being a jockey in the Kentucky Derby.  Thing 2 is built for hauling dump trucks on his shoulders.

And here’s Thing 2’s buddy, Gunnar.  He has some melt your heart blue eyes.

Gunnar and Thing 2 enjoy taking toys away from one another.  They also enjoy eating raisins and Goldfish crackers together.

And look!  There’s Thing 2’s friend, Benjamin.  Ben is extremely good at sharing.  In fact, he’s so good at it, he likes to offer the pink binky, that he stole from his older sister, to Thing 2.  Thing 2 is usually hesitant about all the pink, though.

“Ben, that binky LOOKS delicious, but my dad has some issues with me and pink.  I don’t think I should try it.  But I really want to.  But I shouldn’t…”

Also?  Thing 2 and Benjamin are sitting EXACTLY the same way.  One leg tucked under… one leg extended out.  It’s so stinking cute.

My friends, Katie and Bethany, and I got our kids together for a play date one morning, back when Thing 2 was healthy.

(You know, clear back in 1954.)

My very favorite in this picture is Benjamin, because listen… Don’t we all have moments when we don’t want to do something (like have our snapshot taken with the crowd), and we’d really love to just sit on the floor and bawl our heads off about it, but polite society and being a grownup mean that we simply CAN’T.  Kids don’t care about polite society and it’s rules of conduct.  Thank goodness!

And then LOOK!  There’s little Lincoln.  Lincoln is going to be racing horses against Ike in the Kentucky Derby, because Lincoln weighs about as much as a ladybug.  I’m pretty sure that the football coach will eventually tell Lincoln and Isaac, “Just get behind Thing 2.  He’ll plow the way for both of you with that barrel chest of his and those thunder thighs.”

(For the record?  If I ever win the lottery — the one that I never buy tickets for — I plan to buy a horse ranch in Kentucky and raise Derby winners.  Never mind that I don’t know two beans worth of stuff about horses.  I’ll PAY people with my enormous winnings to raise and train the Derby winners for me.  And then I’ll hire Ike and Lincoln to ride those winners to the finish line, while I sit in the stands, wearing a gigantic yellow hat and long gloves, looking like a supermodel.)

(And if one of the horses twists a knee while running, Thing 2 can just scoop him up with his bare arms and carry him back to the stalls on his shoulders.)

And then there’s Gavin posing for the camera with Thing 2, also.  This picture is a bit OLD, because Thing 2 couldn’t even sit up on his own when it was taken.  Gavin likes trucks and four-wheelers and fresh, mountain air…

…and so does Thing 2.  They’re going to get along famously all summer long, eating dirt and using sticks for swords.  There will also probably be quite a bit of roasted marshmallows stuck to their faces and mud in their Crocs.

So that, people, is tonight’s blog post.  All I have to say is that I’m powerfully thankful for the other children that Jesus has put in the lives of my boys.  We have been blessed, because we know some pretty awesome kids.

Y’all have a great Monday evening.  Do try to stay out of the wind; I hear it’s rather blustery out there.

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