Of all wild beasts, the most difficult to manage.
– Plato , on Boys
My son Jack has a black eye this week, courtesy of his little brother.
I’d like to say that Alex didn’t mean to do it, but he did.
Alex (3) was mad and threw his new remote control truck at Jack (7) and hit him smack under the eye.
Jack wailed, but didn’t retaliate. No matter how his little brother torments him, it’s not his way to ever purposely hurt Alex back.
(Although perhaps in a bit of karma, Alex tripped while jumping on our bed today and fell right onto a metal bed rail and got his own shiner of sorts.)
Such is the life with boys.
My girls were active, loud, chaotic and crazy-making, but nothing like these boys.
They hurl themselves through life and through our small house.
They make enough noise to raise the dead.
At dinner time, they sit side by side and crack each other up all during dinner.
They are loud, silly, messy and totally unacceptable dinner companions to their older sisters (and often to their parents).
When we separate them, though, they sob as if they’re being sent to opposite sides of the earth. Please, they beg, let us be together!
Last week, we stayed at a hotel to celebrate my birthday and spent a lot of time in the pool.
The older kids took turns carrying Alex around and holding out their arms for him to leap into. I loved the sight of how they all took care of him.
But it especially made me smile to see my “baby” Jack carrying Alex around, looking after him so carefully.
These boys make me crazy on an hourly basis.
They break things.
They mess up things.
They jump and shout and leap and swordfight and smash and crash and bash.
But if you ask Alex who his best friend is, he’ll tell you, “My brother Jack.”
At the end of the day, one of the best gifts I could possibly give my boys is that kind of love and connection with each other.
Brotherhood in the best sense.
Of course, one of the best gifts they could give me would be a wee bit less bashing.
A boy is a magical creature–you can lock him out of your workshop, but you can’t lock him out of your heart.
– Allan Beck