Friday, May 3, 2013

"The Plan"

Marci handed me these the other morning.  "Blog Fodder" was all she said, the twinkle of a wink in her eye.  Once you've been encouraged to look for it, the easier it is to find.

 Once you've been encouraged to look for it, the easier it is to find.

I think I was talking about grist for this blogmill, but, that's a pretty deep thought.  Look for kindness and you'll see it everywhere; look for love and you'll notice it abounds.  Have twins and see them everywhere.  Let's take it further - the more you look for truths the more there seem to be, the more you search for answers, the questions make more sense.  What about the opposite?  Yeah, look for hate, hate.  Look for hurt, well, there it is...

Already I am off track, and, I am trying hard to remain on track.  You see, lately I've been questioning the...

Dammit!  I am not sticking to the plan... wait, of course, that's the intro I needed to get me to "the plan" thing I had lined up.  I am that good.

Nick and Zack made these the other night, changed them a little in the morning, but, well, here ya go:

 Zack's is on the left there, his number four is "cior," a playful spelling, Olde French I think, of choir.  "Big Ball/Qqest" is interesting there as number five, the rest is self-explanatory.

In Nick's " Plan for the day," number eight there is slipped up between three and four and, if 'quiet' is spelled thusly, then 'Choir' is "quier."  As perfect a misspelling as I have ever seen.  Nick's plan also involves "Big Ball/quest" not a "Qqest," more a straightforward quest.

What, I know you are dying to ask, is "Big Ball?"

Well, in the interest of your greater understanding of the growth and depth of the marvelous upbringing our boys enjoy - and, to use as explanation in the ER, as in: "they were rolling around in this giant ball thingee, together, uh, well, pretty fast, I'd say... what's that?... oh yes, both of them, together, at the same time, wait, I can show you" - I took some photographic evidence pictures:

Well I feel that the inherent danger and fun is pretty clear here.  I was thinking about something the other day as I watched the boys play so casually on the roof of the shed.  I should've, probably, said something like, I dunno, "be careful up there" or "don't fall off."  But then I got to thinking about my childhood.

We wandered pretty far off out in the country where I grew up.  We played in mucky ponds and gravel pits and abandoned barns.  We climbed insanely high in giant trees and up and down working - not running - stone crushing machinery, and gravel sifters.  We pretended on farm equipment, like harrowers and combines and the like.

In fact, one summer, my older brother stripped the engine and push-bar off a derelict push lawn mower, so it was just the deck and wheels, and rode it down a hill, like a wheeled sled in summer.  And, the race was on.  We all found old mowers, abundant in rural areas, stripped 'em down and we were all riding like idiot gladiators down the hills of humid Ohio like a miniature cavalry. It was insane, fraught with danger - so many sharp, rusted edges I cringe at the thought - and, beyond exhilarating.

What I thought of, as I was about to say be careful was, well, it wasn't necessary.  Boys have to be crazy, insane and dangerous.  In our minds, we were being careful, I mean it was just a short hill, or we didn't climb to the top of the tree.  We knew the limbs got too weak for us, we knew we could only go so fast, we knew the pond had mud a foot thick that trapped your feet when you jumped in it, a foot of water over your head.  We knew and understood our limits, our parameters, and we knew we had to stretch them.

Will my kids get hurt in the Big Ball?  Maybe.

Did I get stuck in the mud?  Yes, but I wiggled out.

Did the tree branch break on me?  Yeah, the ground knocked the breath right out of me, but I learned how big a branch would support me.

Did I run into a disc in a barn and slice my shin?  Sure, it healed, with a few stitches.

Did I fall of that stupid lawnmower at about twenty miles an hour and twist my arm back funny as I rolled about twelve times head-over-heels down the hill?  Yep, it was epic.

You know what?  No one was watching us.  I do not, I repeat, do not, mean to imply that someone should have been, that's not the point.  We had to find our limits, stretch ourselves, be crazy, on our own.

Marci was watching the boys and said, "Do you think they'll get hurt?"

"Yep," I said.  "Just don't watch."

She went inside...

Of course there is a little more to the story.  First, and I relate this with great trepidation, after dinner he boys went out for some more big ball and, just as they were almost out of sight, N said to Z, "Wanna play Mommy again."

"What the heck is Mommy?" I innocently asked.

"It where we both get inside the ball and wait to be borned."


And, as you might have noticed. they deviated from "the plan" because "pirate101" was supposed to be after dinner.  Later Nick pointed this out to Zack and Zack replied:

"Well, you don't always have to stick with the plan."

No, no you don't, boys.  Be as safe as you can, make a plan, and do some serious dumbf***ery.  I got your back...


  1. Live and learn. Let 'em figure some things out through experimenting.
    Do they always make lists - very organized children you have there.

  2. Ah yes. Our childhood. That of which I've set the bar for my own children. Except maybe dialed down a few notches ha.

    There's one memory I keep referring to recently. I grew up in a small, rural, mountain town, located somewhere in the foothills of California's Sierra Nevada mountain range. We lived on a quiet couple acres butted against a small canyon. Our days were filled with riding things (three wheelers, dirt bikes, and riding mowers) catching things (small scorpions and large snakes) climbing things, jumping on or off things, and not least of all falling off things and breaking things (like my arm when I fell off the roof of the garage). We built crazy dangerous contraptions, and climbed and fell off those too. I distinctly remember one incredibly scary-fun teeter totter, made from a couple really long pipes and a giant plastic barrel. The one memory in particular however, is that of climbing pine trees. We would challenge eachother to climbing races, of the double-dog dare variety. I still remember swaying from the tops of those pines, looking out over the canyon. I was five. Yet even at that age, the magnificence of what I was experiencing, was not lost on me.

    Now, I certainly would never allow such dare devil fetes. I'm not insane. But I certainly understand when you say "just don't watch". Thankfully having moved from a big city on the east coast back to my tiny mountain town... we didn't choose a home with easily accessable pine trees. Or canyons. And my son is super scared of snakes. Thank God.