Light Up Their Butts

Here is an old story from 2001 when Elder was not quite five years old…

The other day, I took the boys for a walk, just a little before dark.  Elder jabbered for several minutes then announced, “Mom, I just saw a lightening bug.”

 “You did, huh?”

 “Yeah.”  Then he peered around the top of the stroller at me and asked, “Mom, how do lightening bugs light up?”

 Not able to remember any mention of lightening bugs in my various science classes, I had to respond with “I don’t know, Elder.”

“Oh, I know,” he told me.  “They must have to hit their noses to light up their butts.”

 Ahhhhhhh, well, insects get all the fun.



Looking Good

A few weeks ago, Elder appeared at his favorite hair salon for the first time in probably six months.

“Well, hey, Elder,” the stylist greeted him with a smile. “Did you finally decide to cut your hair?”

And as she reported to me later, taking a moment to remember his exact words, he replied, “It wasn’t up to discussion.”

Which is the blatant truth.

Usually, I do leave the boys to make their own hairstyle choices. But senior pictures prodded me into displaying a bit more parental control, although I still consider myself rather easygoing as my only stipulation for the trim was “under control.”

Because the young man has naturally curly hair, like his mother.

But he has refused any advice from his mother.

I think it’s because I’m a girl, which I am. And he thinks I might buy him girl stuff, which I wouldn’t. I would only buy him the hair gel with four-wheelers and dirt on the label. Not the mousse with pink daisies and kittens.

The other day, however, one of his friends complimented his new hairstyle and suggested that he try conditioner, so when I asked Elder if he needed anything from my weekly shopping trip, Elder actually requested the conditioner.

“Well,” I said carefully. “I always buy you the two-in-one shampoo with conditioner. Are you wanting two separate bottles?”

“Yeah, he said conditioner, so I guess, yeah, a separate bottle.”

“Okay, well, do you want the shampoo that I use? It helps with the curls.”

“Uhhh, just get whatever they have in the guys’ section. You know, whatever they got there.”

Still no pink daisies and kittens for him. I get it.

But here’s the thing. I couldn’t find any separate conditioner in the “guys’ section.” So, stumped, I wandered the aisle, muttering to myself, for fifteen minutes trying to choose the most masculine bottle of conditioner I could find.

Apparently, Elder was satisfied with the sleek, red packaging I finally left with.

Success then, I would suppose.

I have to admit I have talked to myself many times during my raising of that child in the last eighteen years. But this was the first time it happened in the hair care aisle of the local Walmart.

I may need therapy if his friend mentions hair gel.

Secret Family Recipe

Apparently, one of Younger’s friends has left our house after his overnight stays raving about my poppy seed muffins to his mother.

Which is gratifying. An ego boost, even.


Apparently, his mom offered my husband a jar of homemade blackberry jam in exchange for the recipe for my wonderfully delicious, incomparable, rave worthy muffins.

My husband accepted the jam, then told her…

“Betty Crocker.”

And that’s all I have to say about that.

A Little Culture

Well, we had another emergency last night.

Elder called from football practice to tell me that the coaches thought Younger had either suffered a concussion or heat exhaustion and dehydration. Apparently, he was confused and wobbly for a time. So, we spent several hours in the emergency room.

A CAT scan showed no sign of a concussion. The doctors said his brain looked normal.

Which was a relief in more ways than one.

Anyway, Younger was diagnosed with heat exhaustion and dehydration. They gave him some fluids, and he started improving quickly. And he is doing even better today.

But his poor mother is exhausted, so, today, you are getting an old story from 2004, when Elder would have been seven and Younger would have been four (and if you aren’t familiar with Ray Steven’s “The Streak,” I suggest you become so, as it is art, after all)…

Every now and then, I attempt to broaden the minds of my young men. You know, try and introduce a little culture. Hence, my two new Ray Stevens’ CDs.

So, settling beneath the wheel of the car, I turned up the volume and suggested that the boys, “Listen up. This is funny.” And the beautiful strands of “The Streak” blasted from the speakers.

But the boys didn’t “listen up.” Instead, they tried to analyze a song that was truly meant only to be enjoyed by the part of the brain connected to your grin.

“What is he wearing?”

“You mean he’s naked?”

“Why is he running?”

“Where is he running?”

“Who’s Ethel?”

“Does he have on his tennis shoes?”

“What about his socks?”

“Do people really do this?”


“Mom, what’s a ‘shameless hussy’?”

And I gave up. Trust me, silliness loses some of its purity when filtered through a hundred questions.

But now Elder asks to hear the song about the guy running around “nekid.”

And there’s that culture I was talking about.