Mister Sarcasm

“You are sooo right, sooo right, exactly.” Our fifteen-year-old thinks sarcasm is the highest form of humor. I can’t even recall what sparked it this time at breakfast. “You are sooo right, mom. Sooo right.”

“Shut up!” his brother’s first words of the morning exploded forth. “Just shut up! I want to punch you every time you say that!”

Mr. Sarcasm, the only morning person in the room, froze, eyes wide. Innocent. “Why?”

“Just stop saying it.”

“Mom,” Mr. Sarcasm appealed to me, “you think it’s funny.”

“No, I don’t.”

Seriously? I thought it was our thing, that bit we do.”

That bit we do? I shook my head.

“But you never get mad. It’s just our bit we do together. You’re chill,” he paused. Looked at the two of us staring at him incredulously. Then, doubting, “Right?”

When He Grows Up, He Will Be…

Yesterday, as our family walked through the airport, I realized something had changed. Our oldest, who usually moves a step slower than the rest of us, was walking ahead of his younger brothers and me. He wasn’t whispering to me at the back of the line “I’m tired” or “I hate airports.” I wasn’t whispering back, “keep up with Dad”, because….

…he was walking at a fast clip with Dad.

Father and son moved through the airport together, stride for stride, in lively conversation, making each other laugh. Two peas in a pod.

They share a goofy humor tinged occasionally with wit and old soul. They compete over technology purchases and know-how. Our son has adopted his father’s odd mix of political opinions, peppered with a splattering of mismatched ideas of his own.

Over the last fourteen years, I have often thought that they are happy with each other, so non-judgmental, because they are nothing alike. I was wrong. Watching their backs, their easy comfort in each other’s presence, I caught a glimpse of the adult he is becoming.

Like father, like son.

The Force Awakens (Spoiler Alert)

Please do not read this if you have not seen The Force Awakens… and care.

“Mom, are you okay?”

As we walked out of The Force Awakens, my thirteen year old teased, grinning slyly. “About Han Solo?”

I am not a Star Wars fanatic, but my boys have heard how traumatized I was 35 years ago when Han Solo was frozen in carbonite by Darth Vader. I left The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 feeling sick to my stomach. I anxiously awaited the next movie only to confirm that Han Solo would survive.

The reluctant hero with a sense of humor. The good-looking loner who learns the power of friendship. Nothing new, certainly, but I like a good coming of age story.

I was glad to see him again, although weathered by heartbreak over his son and still battling his instinctual urge to flee from responsibility, conflict, the constant demand on him to rise to the occasion. He was never a Jedi. The Force never protected him or empowered him. He will not come back in holograms.

And while I am definitely okay, my snarky teenage son, Star Wars will not be the same without him.

The Gettysburg Address

An unexpected scene unfolded in my bathroom while our seven year old was taking his bath. His brothers, in their pajamas, reenacted the Gettysburg Address.

“Four score and seven years ago…” began one in a deep voice for the importance of the occasion, “our forefathers…”

…while the oldest pretended to translate in sign language.

Unplanned.

“…that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from this earth.”

With an elaborate flourish of concluding sign language, they bowed to their audience in the tub – a boy, a rubber shark and a crab.

“Now let’s do the assassination. This time, you’re Abe. I’ll be the dumb security guard who let Booth in.”

For the Tooth Fairy

When my kids lose a tooth, they always want to keep it. And since they lose a bunch as they are learning to write, we have a tradition of writing a note to the tooth fairy, as practice, asking to keep it as a treasure.

My youngest wrote his last night with an elaborately illustrated, colorful scene – his zzz’s rising to the ceiling from a red pillow with a giant winged tooth fairy decked in blue. His note read:

Deere, tuth faree
I lost mi tuth
Pev dote tak mi tuth.

Snooze Fest

When I was a kid, I always used to say that I wanted to be a Dad. Not a likely prospect, however, for a girl. Now I remember where and why that wish was born.

For Fathers’ Day, I had our boys write cards to their Dad, and to tell him why they love him. But I should not have read the cards, because now I am mad at our eleven year old. Pretty unhappy with the six year old too.

“I wish you were home more often,” wrote the eldest. “Half the time you’re not here, it’s a snooze fest.”

A snooze fest?

This blasphemy after a week in which we – mom at the helm = went back and forth to the pool daily, took golf lessons (so we can play as a family), played a multi-game Ping-Pong tournament, entertained numerous friends and made homemade pizza.

Snooze fest?

Then he has the gall to say, “Dad, you want to play Ping-Pong?” And does a fist-pump when Dad says yes!

I played Ping-Pong!

Even worse? It turns out that this is not just preteen anti-mom activity! Our six year old wrote that when Dad is at work, “I just wait around for you to come play with me.”

Oh please!

I am thrilled that my husband is a great Dad, whose kids love to be around him. As soon as he comes home from work, he is all theirs, and they know it. I am happy that he is involved, throws the football until his arm falls off, helps them with math, brainwashes them about politics, listens to their stories, laughs at the same jokes, belts out the same loud music, expects the best of them and helps them rise to the occasion. He is an awesome Dad who continuously earns his Fathers’ Day.

I’m just wondering what a mom has to do to be as much fun as Dad.