If I Only Had a Brain

Here is a story from early 2004. Elder would have been seven and Younger four…

A few weeks ago, sometime before our frantic retreat from the Lake to the grand metropolis of Ulman, I pulled my car out of the parking lot of our apartment building and onto the highway, both boys buckled securely in the back seat. And Elder, in customary fashion, immediately launched into a discussion.

“We’re going east,” he announced.

“Now, Elder, Highway 42 runs east and west and this road runs into Highway 42, so I would have to guess that we are actually going north or south,” I told him, slowing to take a sharp curve.

“And, now,” he continued, completely ignoring me. “We are going north. And now,” he announced after another sharp curve. “We are going east again.”

“Elder,” I said. “I really think this road runs north and south.”

“We’re going east,” he insisted.

“How do you know that?” I demanded. “Just what makes you think that you know that?”

“Well, Mom,” he said. “I do have a brain. I can remember.”

And, even as my jaw tightened, Younger launched in great panic, “I can’t remember. Does that mean I don’t have a brain?”

So, I assured Younger that he did, in fact, have a brain. I, on the other hand, no longer do.

An apparent risk of parenthood.


No Refunds

Last night, as I was gathering leftovers from the refrigerator, Younger wandered into the room, snatching at some cash lying on the counter. “I did get some money, today,” he noted, gleefully.

I lifted an eyebrow at him. “Why did they give you money for sitting at a sale barn?”

“That,” he announced, sticking his nose into the air, “is the price for being in the presence of my winning personality.”

My husband snorted. “I think I want a refund, Younger.”

Younger clutched the green bills against his chest and cried, “No refunds.” Then, hunched over his treasure, he scampered from the room.

So, apparently, Younger has a selling price.

Any takers?

Just remember, no refunds.

And no returns.

Good for Me

“You need to eat some fruit,” I instructed Younger as he fixed a lunch of macaroni and cheese.

“Sure, I’ll eat some fruit,” he replied, cheerily. He pointed at some brightly wrapped candy in a dish. “I’ll eat some fruit.”

I busied myself cutting my peach into uneven slices. “I don’t think so.”

“Mom, there is a cherry on the package.” For some reason, he sniffed at the cheesy concoction melting in a pan to determine its consistency. Apparently satisfied, he turned his attention back to the discussion of candy. “So it has to be good for me.”

Sad thing is, he’s fifteen.

Sadder thing is…

I joined him.

For Life

Tomorrow, my husband and I will have been married for twenty-two years.

Last Sunday, Younger announced, “If the two of you ever divorce, it will be over straws.”

Because I am capable of accepting the straw and the cup in one hand at a drive-thru window. And my husband wants to be crowned king for a day so that he can call an end to such shenanigans from a food service employee. A straw and cup must be passed through the window separately. Yes, he would waste his king-of-the-day status on straws.

Not that straws are the only issue in our marriage. We have also argued whether a tree or a pothole did more damage to the alignment of my truck.

I hit the pothole, by the way.

Just sayin’.

He insists on using words like “north” and “south” when giving directions. Like I have time for such vague concepts.

I think he should wear clothes in colors that are allowed on the same field of play.

He thinks I should just accept my hair will upon occasion stick in every direction like I’ve been playing with electrical sockets.

And then there is that whole math thing…

In twenty-two years, we’ve laughed.

And we’ve cried.

We’ve lived.

And we’ve loved.

Because we’re married.

And that’s what we promised we would do.

Who knew life was so long, anyway?