“How do I get to be like you guys?” my husband Rob asked the three kids sitting around our kitchen table eating ice cream. The boys lifted their smiling moon-shaped faces. Their mouths were smeared with rainbow-colored sprinkles; lips curled in delight as the creamy, cold, goodness of cookie dough ice cream slid down their throats and into their small, flat, bellies. All three shrugged and dug in.
This moment was too precious not to capture with a picture. So Rob told the boys, “Say ‘it’s good to be a kid!’”
Instead, one boy shoutsed, “Kids are good for you!” We laughed and took the picture, but what he said lingered in my brain for the rest of the afternoon.
It’s okay, I’m a man.
James responded to his dad’s admonishment of why he shouldn’t undress in front of the window. Where he came up with this idea, I don’t know.
Like most kids, James is a curious creature who says the most interesting things. Often he will parrot something I’ve said and turn it back on me: “Breathe, Mommy.” Other times he says something that makes me pause: “Nonfiction makes you smart.“ Some gems cause me to scratch my head: “I burped an idea.” And others make me smile: “I like the smell of sweet dog breath.
My world is green
James and his friends make up impressive stories and grand ideas. All too often their imagination involves dirt and water. I’ve witnessed my son and his friend build a moat in the front yard, a beaver dam in the back, and a habitat for crocodiles on the side. They play hard – the dirtier a project is, the more fun. (And usually more work for mom to clean.)
Hours pass and my son finally returns home, too pooped to move. His eyelids droop. He reaches for my hand while nuzzling his blanket. Eventually, the sandman takes over and he becomes my sleeping angel with impossibly long eyelashes. He still has a smudge of ice cream on his cheek.
I agree with James’s little friend. Kids are good for you. They have a way of grounding you. They make you remember what’s really important in life: to play hard and eat ice cream. ♥