Monday, May 23, 2011



Both T (the Boy) and L (our kitty) went to their yearly wellness check this week. The doctor couldn’t get over how tall T had grown. The vet remarked, quite enthusiastically, how long L was. Giving it some thought, I was surprised to find that these two share so many other similarities. In appearance, both are lithe with gangly limbs. Seeing them in the morning makes me feel as if they are made of taffy, having been stretched overnight. Someday all too soon they will fill out and take on a more grown up persona. At least we think so. This is what we tell ourselves as we are going through those growing pains of having two young adults in the house at the same time.

I find that they are alike in demeanor as well. Both love to sit on their perch in the loft bed and take naps. If you’re looking for one or the other, they are probably sitting on the chair in front of the computer, though not at the same time. Both hate to see a closed door or a conversation that excludes them. Each take the stairs two at a time. Due to extreme hunger, one races to the bathroom if he thinks someone is headed that way in the hopes of being fed (kitty); the other (boy) is more self sufficient when it comes to food. But his searches through the fridge seem constant, and he doesn’t always leave items in the fridge for his parents to eat. Most days there are often cries from each of them when in front of a “screen” for entertainment. The kitty calls out for someone to look out the window with him at Chipmunk TV, though sometimes he watches the Bird Channel upstairs. T frequently yells out in the hopes someone will come to check out his video game progress. We try to appease each by showing an interest. Sometimes.

Neither sits still for very long, and if I try to “smother” them with affection there is a look of “Oh I wish you wouldn’t” on their faces. Now that they are teenagers, they make me pine and long for the days when they wanted me to sit and hold them endlessly. Alas, those days are long gone. But occasionally, very briefly, there is a sweet, shared moment between us.

A long week of rain has made for a long lawn.  Chuck a gardening glove off the porch and you'll lose it in the jungle that is our yard.  I managed to plant grass seed in the horse paddock the day the downpour started (seven? eight? days ago) and I expect as soon as the sun manages to break through the cloud cover those seeds are going to develop attitude.  And altitude.

"Can I use the lawn mower?" T asked the other day.  "Can I mow the back yard?"  I'm tempted to say sure and show him where we keep the gas, but a whisper of parental doubt slaps a hand over my mouth.  "Let me talk to Dad," I answer.  I picture gory toes, bloody stumps where his thin tapered fingers were supposed to grow.  "I'm old enough now," he points out.  And he is.  How did my first baby get so grown up?  So confident and smart, so good looking and long?

He invites an equal measure of girls and boys to his birthday party.  They dance in the rain on our unruly lawn, not caring about hair plastered to foreheads and drenched clothes, just kids with nothing to hide from each other yet.  Long legs darting among the tulips.  I want them all to stay in the right now, rain and all.  But they slip away with their goody bags and their sugar highs.  My boys fall asleep early, tempers barely in check.  T stretches out on his bottom bunk, new Legos populating his pillow.  "Rub backings?" he asks.  Of course.  I lay down beside him, careful not to upset the various primary colored towers, and rub his back.  His long, straight back.

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