there is no right way to be a boy

Hank tires of fishing and asks me to lay down with him to look up at the clouds. I try to ignore all the goose poop, try only to listen to his language of affirmation and amazement. Through his eyes, everything is fablious, fresh biscuits and bubbles, delivery trucks and rhyming words. He is president of the coalition of positivity, pointing at the faint outline of the moon during the day, at rain dripping from trees, at the flowers on my pants. I am delighted by these things too, sometimes I just forget to be.
Tucker is basically a sensitivity vending machine. He clears his plate after a lunch of reheated leftovers and pauses to say thanks: I know I don't tell you often enough but you're a really good mom. I believe him, but usually his love is delivered less through dialogue and more via some combination of eyes and arms and a lenient spirit. While Tuck is really good at acute compassion, we are learning too about chronic empathy, about the way long term caring can make disasters less damaging. I admire his instinct to step away from judgment, to rush toward peace.
Tolliver seems to have discovered the pleasure of reading enhanced by the part after reading, the social part, the part where we talk about what we learned and what we liked and didn't like and why.
Did you know that in some countries children creep into their parents' bedroom on Mother's Day morning to tie her feet with ribbons so that she can’t get up out of bed? Then her kids hold her hostage until she caves in and agrees to give them  treats and presents!
Also, the part after reading when we want to learn more, like rocketry Homer Hickman style.
Tols is going places, sometimes following instructions, but also looking up at the sky and following goosebumps too.


rht said...

You and Andy are showing those boys all the right ways to be a person! And we are grateful for the opportunities we have to watch them grow into good humans.

Poppy John said...

Jenni Baby,
I am 72 years old. Give that, the snapping turtle the boys found is the "smallest" I've ever seen! Have the boys research where snapping turtles (after hatching from eggs) spend the early portion of their lives. I believe they may learn how fortunate they were to find the little guy! So cool! They live 40+ years.


Linda K. said...

I so agree with your Mom. Your boys are so very fortunate! You and Andy are amazing parents...even on days when you may not feel it. 💗