Wake Me Up

Since  Elder started kindergarten, I have always worked my schedule so that I was with the boys before and after school, except for the two years I worked part-time at the local army installation. But, now, for the next few months, I am again working part-time at the local army installation.

And, Monday, I had four hours of training and would leave with my husband long before the boys were awake for the day.

So, Sunday night, I told the boys, “I won’t be here when you wake up in the morning.”

“Okay, Mom,” they responded, their eyes never leaving their Smash tournament taking place on the television screen.

I finished some laundry then wandered back into the living room, halting behind the sofa. “Okay, well, good night, I guess.” I paused, folding my arms tight against my chest. “I won’t be here when you wake up in the morning.”

“Yeah, okay, Mom.” Neither one glanced in my direction, buttons clicking beneath their busy fingers as their Nintendo characters engaged in an apparently fierce battle. “Good night.”

I sighed. “Night. Love you.”

“Love you, Mom.”

And I retreated to my bedroom. “I worked hard to be here every morning their whole lives,” I told my husband, grumpily. “And they can’t even act sad about tomorrow.”

My husband offered that tolerant smile he has when he thinks I am being less than reasonable. “They’re eighteen and twenty-one,” he reminded me, gently.

“But I was supposed to get something out of it, too,” I wailed.

I guess he didn’t think that was any more reasonable, judging by his patting of my head.

Men.

They understand nothing.

Nothing.

And I am surrounded by them.

In the Dark

Today, I thought I would share an old story from 2001 when Elder was four years old and only managed sarcasm by accident . . .

The other day, I was playing Nintendo with Elder.  More specifically, we were playing Mickey’s Road Rage – actually, their name for the sport is a little tamer but mine is much more descriptive, I think.  Anyway, when players race in certain cities, a layer of blue permeates the entire screen, giving the illusion of nighttime.  Seattle is one such city.

So, Elder and I were racing in Seattle, when I fell off a ramp – my character, not me.  I was actually sitting on the sofa.  Anyway, instead of landing on the road beside the ramp, I landed some ways back on the course, someplace deep in the shadowed night, and was promptly lost.  So, while Elder was speeding away, I was basically doing three-sixties and bouncing off walls, while one of Donald’s nephews repeated, “You’re going the wrong way” every few seconds or so.

Frustrated because I was losing to my four-year-old – again, I muttered, “I don’t even know where I am.”

To which, Elder offered, “In the dark?”

Yep.  Pretty much completely.

And always.

 

What Does Tomorrow Matter

Today, I thought I would share an old story from 2006. Younger would have been seven years old . . .

Younger does not like chicken.  Not even a little.  And mashed potatoes are only a little higher on his list.  So, yesterday, at school, for lunch, he ate grapes.  Then he wanted Pop Tarts immediately upon his arrival at home.  Instead, I fixed him a plate of leftovers – meatloaf and corn.  And, later, when he was still hungry, he consumed a corn muffin.

I thought he had been appeased.  But, apparently, I was temporarily insane, from which I was cured at bedtime when Younger’s caterwauling echoed through the house.

“Younger.”  My husband stuck his head in the boy’s bedroom.  “What is wrong now?”

“I’m hungry,” he wailed.

“I’m sorry,” my husband responded, leaving the child to persevere in his attempt at pitiful moaning.

But after a few more minutes of his racket, I climbed the stairs.  “Younger, I want you to stop.  Now.  Or you won’t be able to play Nintendo tomorrow.”

“What does tomorrow matter,” he cried dramatically,  “when I’ll starve to death tonight?”

And it was at that point that even I started to doubt he would live until morning.

Good Old Days

“I’m taking my turn on the X-Box,” Elder announced, the other night, striding forcefully into the kitchen.

I barely glanced at him as I finished the last bit of tidying of the day. “Not right now. Your dad and Younger are working on the internet, and they are using the X-Box connection to check their progress.”

And suddenly my seventeen-year-old son launched into a tirade, wearing a path across the wood floor as he paced out his agitation. “I said — just today, in school — I said that technology is going to be our downfall. We can’t do anything without it. And here I am, at home, and we can’t even go one night without the internet. Oh, no, we have to fix it, right now, tonight. It’s almost ten o’clock! And because they can’t go without the internet, I may not have a chance to play the X-Box.”

I blinked at him, this son of mine who was pulling his smart phone from his pocket in order to entertain himself until the X-Box became available. And I know I’m old, decrepit really, out of touch with the progress of the day, I’m sure, as all parents are. I mean I’m from the days of Pong, so what do I really know?

But I’m just pretty sure, I just think it’s fairly likely that the X-Box, well, I just think that it’s probably part of technology.

And as for the smart phone…

I guess there’s technology and then there’s technology.

And Pong just isn’t it, anymore.