encouragement, support and protein
Col finds me in my room, cursing the failing velcro on my shorts but squeezing them on anyway. “Ok, Mama. This is how it goes now.” Col waves his lego airplane at me. “The big wheels in front crush the rock, as it’s landing.”
This is revision #53 on the lego airplane Col plans to enter in Kids Handicrafts, in the upcoming La Plata County Fair. This past week has been like a Boeing think-tank meeting in his brain: his airplane gaining and losing 3 new features daily, including a detachable back, emergency ramp on the wing, and the ability to land in a flood zone.
Emergency ramp on the wing, version #51 (later scrapped).
Dan, too, follows me around, muttering about root cellar revision #53. How he suddenly came up with extra 8 inches to accommodate in the door frame, except 2 days later the 8 inches have vanished. And dry stack this, and rock cutter rental that.
And like the benevolent mother/wife I try to be, I dole out encouragement, support and doses of protein even though my mind—filled with precise word choices and the daily count of newly fertilized butternut squash—generally runs on a different frequency.
When I found out Col was a boy (at his birth, in fact: Dan announced it with a glee that seemed impervious to the fact that he was also, er, 1 pound, 12 ounces) I wondered about this boyness. I wondered if I’d be able to relate. I worried that I wouldn’t.
(Dan tells the story of his artistic, pacifist mother watching his childhood wrestling games from the bleachers, chanting quietly, if not a bit hypnotically and dazed, “come on Daniel, come on Daniel…”)
And goodness, there are 20 times a day when I’m watching Col in his element and thinking, “say what?” But, I love the way his neural circuitry works, and Dan’s too. As Dan’s packing for hunting, I’m thinking, What? No nightly hot dinner? And, he’s thinking, I’ll eat hot meals when I get home. This is the best adventure of my life.
And really, it doesn’t so much matter if I can relate to these boys, that’s not the gold standard for parenting. No, it’s something more like encouragement, support and doses of protein.
Come down to the County Fair and see me!