A Year of Parenting Dangerously

"Drive faster, Dad!"

“Drive faster, Dad!”

January is a classic time for people to review the old year and make plans for the new year. The image of the head of the Roman God Janus comes to mind. Janus has one face looking into the past and on face that gazes into the future.

I am not a god. I am a middle aged woman with a questionable memory. I have very little confidence that I can walk into a room and remember that I came in there to put out a fire, let alone remember what happened to me 12 months ago. Fortunately, I have something that the gods do not have: a Facebook account.

I scanned the posts over the last year and found an interesting trend in my parenting diary. I have 2 boys living at home: a 15 year old and a 21 year old. The 21 year old is not home until evening. Often, he eats leftovers and then settles in to chat with the family. This is why so many of the brotherly activities happen late at night.

The boys are just far enough apart in age and interests to get along quite well. They bring their friends over to our house and both age groups end up hanging out together. Perhaps I should amend that first statement. They get along unconventionally well. That is an odd turn of a phrase but as you read the sampling of posts below, you will take my meaning.

  • 10:30 pm – The brothers decide to have a chest pounding, exercise ball battle in the living room. Nothing broken so I stopped cringing. The boys are very pleased with themselves.
  • The yelling and rowdy laughter must mean that the boys are done with dishes. I am not sure what all the stomping means.
  • Oh, fun. The brothers are practicing kicking each other while holding a cat. How do these things even cross their minds?
  • Just another Friday evening canning tomato sauce as the boys stomp around in the living room putting each other in head locks and then threatening each other with swords.
  • Came home from a party to a household of kids. All seven of them seemed to be engaged in totally different projects. The guitar and the harmonica playing was nice. Every one was happy. Seems like a good evening to tuck in with a shot of brandy and good book until the chaos subsides.
  • I am unclear as to why 10:30 on a Sunday night is a good time for 3 teenaged boys to loudly discuss exploding golf balls as 4th plays a concertina.

I thoroughly enjoy being a parent. Being a mother to boys was originally something I found daunting. I have never been a teenaged boy. When my daughter did teenaged girl things, it never gave me pause, no matter how weird the activity was. No so with the boys. There are times when they mystify me with their ideas.

My daughter gave her brothers horrifying haircuts, used 5# of birdseed as confetti in the bathroom and used magic marker on the walls. Kid stuff. I get it.

My sons tried to ride down the stairs in a plastic laundry basket, cut themselves during a pocketknife throwing contest in the back yard and put things in their ears that required a medical specialist to extract. Compared to other parenting stories I have heard, these incidents are mild.

I am not complaining, I am just puzzled. There is something about a brother bond that just magically causes crazy things to happen. This leaves the god Janus and I sitting around, reviewing the year and shaking our heads. At least, we are smiling.


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