As the mother of four boys, I often bite my tongue. I’ve never been afraid to get dirty or try some new adventure, even if there’s risk. So yesterday I had one of those days filled with stuff boys love: adventure, lots of movement, and loads of mud. And it was all fine, except for the mud part. That’s the part where I had to bite my tongue.
We started our day at Climb Time, an indoor climbing gym. All four boys tried their best to meet new challenges by climbing walls that came out at various angles as well as hanging in mid-air by their trusted ropes and their trusted belayer (me and our friend Kendall, the people controlling the ropes).
Later in the evening, they each made signs for their shirts and their bikes with a number – think race cars. Then they had my husband and me come outside as they unveiled their new “hot rods” which they had each covered with a blanket. After the unveiling, we were escorted to the back yard, behind the fence that encloses our pool so we wouldn’t be in harm’s way as they tried their stunts in the back-back yard.
Here are some pictures of what ensued next. You’ll see why I am now on my third load of laundry – WASHING THE SAME CLOTHES THREE TIMES. White is still pretty brown and particles of grass and mud are still coming out of pockets. If you have boys, you’ll understand the biting your tongue part of all of this. You want to let them be boys. But with our house on the market and the fear of new carpet turning all sorts of new colors after this scene, I had to bite extra hard and give explicit instructions of exactly how they were to enter the house. Hosed down and naked, running clothes into the washer and bodies into the shower.
It appears that my husband is pouting b/c of the boys griminess. But he’s really pouting b/c we’ll miss this house of ours when it sells. We love the lot and the pool and the space our boys have to run and play and make up silly games like riding their bikes through the one mud puddle that stays around long after a rain. And yes, the picture of me is not so attractive, I know. But I wanted to capture the moment when I was saying, “What in the name of all things good am I going to do with these boys I have birthed?” I love the expression on Jaden’s face, too. It’s as if he’s saying, “I’m not so sure this was a good idea, Mom.”