Dear Mom, you were right
So the boys have finished another year of school and I’ve completed my right of passage into summer as well, the annual crash-the-boys’-bikes-in-the-rack-on-top-of-my-car-into-the-garage maneuver. You’d think after three consecutive years of doing this I’d learn, but no.
Fortunately, this year there was only one up there. After replacing the straps on the rack and getting the bike repaired, we now use the multiple Post-it note reminder method, in combination with the boys yelling, “Mom, don’t go into the garage!” as we approach the driveway. So far so good. (For the time being, we’re choosing to ignore the big dent and chip on the car door from the bike’s decent to the ground.) We’re planning to spend some time hanging out at the pool this summer, but you know me.
That idea may not last. After all those summers at the lake, I think I’m kind of over being wet and I can’t really be in the sun for very long, so maybe the boys will have to split their time between going to the pool and playing pool at Loaded Joe’s while I have coffee.
Perhaps the purchase of a Slip-n-Slide will fill the need for summer water fun instead. Surely it will be more pleasant in the warm summer afternoons of Edwards than the few Slip-n-Slide experiences of my Oregon Coast youth. On those few “scorching hot” summer days (“Oooo, it’s over 70 degrees!”), we’d head over to the Williams’ house and raid their yard with all the other kids for the only S-n-S in the neighborhood. It was a cold activity, and painful if we hit dry spots or slid too far and ran into the blackberry bushes at the end of the yard, but it made it feel like summer.
I’m excited about my new plan for the inevitable, “I’m bored.” I’ve made the Nothing To Do Box, filled with jobs and tasks and things to do. Any time they say those words, or any variation thereof, they have to pull a slip of paper and do whatever is on it. I’m thinking it will squelch the complaining and I’ll get a little free labor in the process. I know, it’s genius! I’ll keep them on their toes by slipping some fun things in there, too. Maybe.
And what would summer be without workbooks for the boys to do every day? Oh, yes, I am that Mom. Well, I learned from the best and look where it got me! They will not have the knowledge leached out their heads like a faded T-shirt left out in the summer sun if I have anything to say about it. Number One Son is not thrilled and protests every day for approximately the same amount of time it would take to do the work before he relents. Number Two has already completed his and asked for more. How can two boys from the same gene pool be so different?
In addition to the battle of the workbooks, we’re now having the, “Why can’t I have Heelys?” debate. Heelys are tennis shoes with a wheel in the heel. I think the phrase “hell on wheels” would be an apt description of my boys in Heelys. It’s just not a good idea.
First of all, how many times in the grocery store would I have to say, “Boys, stop rolling or you’ll have to take off your shoes?” I just don’t have the energy for that and then they’d be barefoot in public and that’s just gross. Secondly, and perhaps more important, these are my children. I am the person who sometimes falls over for no apparent reason. I am the one who knew instinctively, without even trying them, that Rollerblades and I were a really bad combination. I am merely trying to save them public humiliation and broken bones. I may have used your line: “When you are 18, you can buy them for yourself if you still want them.” Very effective. Thanks, Mom.
With the seemingly endless summer stretched out ahead of us, I’m off to the store to stock up on boy snacks. Hey, Mom, can I please go to sleep-away camp?
Linda Boyne is an Edwards resident and a regular columnist for the Vail Trail. E-mail comments about this column to firstname.lastname@example.org.