Have I mentioned that the 8th grade starts for us, in TWO WEEKS, MINUS ONE DAY? The boy and I aren’t terribly excited about this. I think it has to do with the fact that the boy will have to, once again, resort to an alarm clock waking him up at an unholy hour in the morning, and I’m going to be at home without the luxury of saying, “Could you take your little brother outside for a few minutes, while I fold this load of laundry?”
Oh. And then I will be back in the gym, teaching PE, and informing Johnny that throwing our tennis shoes at Joey is not something that we actually DO in my class, while I remind Jane that UN-inviting Jill from her birthday party is not extending kindness toward others, instead of being at the park, with good friends and their kids and a cup of love from Starbucks, which is where I PREFER TO BE.
So… we’re just trying to soak up these next couple of weeks, and keep the good times rolling, before we’re back to PLEASE HURRY, BECAUSE YOUR BELL RINGS IN FIFTEEN MINUTES, AND I’D LIKE TO GET YOU TO SCHOOL ON TIME, WITH YOUR TEETH ACTUALLY BRUSHED.
(This is where Katie and Natalie and Ellen and Theresa all tell me, “Um… HOMESCHOOLING! We start school in our pajamas, and brush our teeth over recess break.” The thing is… the boy has no desire to be homeschooled, because he’s uber-social and needs forty-eleven children to talk to, all day long, and because his mama can no longer figure out ANY of the math equations he brings home, without a tall glass of wine beside her and the Google.)
We kept the good times rolling on the boy’s birthday, because… after a round of Birthday Golf in the morning… the boy had a little get-together that evening. The thing about boys is that THEY’RE SIMPLE.
A pile of squirt guns, the garden hose, a Rubbermaid tub, and nine pizzas will make them feel as good as if they’d just won the lottery.
(I have two potted trees… one on each side of our front door, because symmetry soothes my OCD. I’ve had them for four years, and they’ve thrived and been these little, lush trees that embodied good health and screamed, “THE LADY WHO LIVES HERE KNOWS HOW TO GARDEN!” And then during the last week of July, those two potted trees, in an apparent suicide pact, BOTH up and turned rust-colored. I tried every form of tree-CPR that I knew… extra water… extra vitamins… extra love… and they completely ignored my nursing care. And then they died. I’ve been meaning to take their beloved carcasses out of the pots and replace them with something less dramatic, like mums, but I haven’t gotten to it yet.)
(I apologize if the carnage of dead trees in pots makes your stomach churn. Perhaps this blog post should have come with a warning of DISTURBING IMAGES before you started.)
Thing 2 joined right in, because our toddler THINKS he’s a teenager. All of his best friends are teenage boys, and he can never quite understand why HE can’t play on the junior high soccer team, scribble in the Algebra textbook, or attend the 9:00 movie at the theater. But… when one of the boys hands him a squirt gun, he’s good to go. He’s a force to be reckoned with, and he’ll fight to the bloody death in the battle with all the big boys.
The battle raged on outside for quite some time. Ambushes happened in the front yard… and the backyard… and in the neighbor’s yard, because the fight wasn’t localized to just one piece of property. Through it all, I tried to stay right on the patio with my camera, because it was just too dangerous to be anywhere else.
Can anyone else quote the movie, Date Night, with Michael Scott? I’d call him by his real name, but he’ll always be Michael Scott, from The Office, to me. I even forget that Steve Carell HAS a real name.
Hubs and I loved the scene in the movie where Phil and Claire Foster are on a date, and they get held up by some thugs in the alley behind the restaurant. One of the bad guys points a gun at Phil, and Phil yells out, “OH, MY GOSH, NO! HE TURNED IT SIDEWAYS!! KILL SHOT! THAT’S A KILL SHOT!!”
I think that Ben might’ve had a kill shot going on last Friday night, because HE TURNED THE GUN SIDEWAYS!
… they all walked through my house, and left a better trail behind them than Hansel and Gretel could ever have hoped to do with mere bread crumbs.
I fed everyone pizza on the back deck, because pizza is a boy’s love language.
He may THINK he’s thirteen years old, but he’s short… and he gets mowed down when there’s a pack of big boys running zigzag patterns around him, even though he has the spirit of warfare inside his heart, and will fight to the bloody death with them all in a gunfight.
The water table was Mama’s compromise from removing him from the front lines of war.
This is Cousin L. She’s sweet and beautiful, and when the camera comes out… she smiles her best Sunday grin.
We also seemed to have an eating contest going on that involved boys hollering out, “I just ate six pieces of pizza! I think I’m the winner,” while someone else yelled, “Nope!! I ate seven pieces AND three donuts!!”
I should have sent them all home with Tums as party favors.
Yes. Yes, we had some pizza left, because Mama understands how quickly the pizza slices disappear when they’re set before a pack of junior high boys.
I just couldn’t believe that there were still hunger pains after ONLY five slices of pepperoni pizza and two chocolate donuts.
(DEAR PARENTS OF THESE BOYS, I APOLOGIZE FOR THE CAVEMAN-LIKE EATING THAT TOOK PLACE ON MY DECK LAST FRIDAY EVENING. THESE WERE CHEAP, CHEAP PIZZAS, AND I CAN ONLY IMAGINE THE GUT ACHES THEY CAUSED, AFTER YOUR BOYS CAME HOME.)
And then… just like that… the boy’s little birthday party wrapped itself up, because moms and dads were picking boys up.
Afterward, the boy gave me a spontaneous hug and said, “Mom, thanks for all the golfing and the party. This has been one of my best birthdays ever.”
I love that kid.
Y’all have a merry Tuesday night… and stay tuned. I still have MORE pictures from MORE birthday festivities to come. We’re the celebration that doesn’t know when to stop.