Saturday, January 07, 2006

Here in the Country, We Make Our Own Fun

Our child loves the outdoors.

I don't say that in the way that some hippy granola parents would, like D. and I have somehow made a Conscious Effort to teach him to love Mother Earth and all that. If anything, we have tried to temper his love of nature, because, honestly, you can't really watch TV out there and the computer doesn't work so well, either. We are INSIDE people...people who enjoy air-conditioning and TiVo and mattresses.

I have never been camping, and for me, that's sort of a badge of honor. Wait - I take that back. I did "camp" one night with my youth group on the beach at Gulf Shores, and I did not sleep a wink because of the Howling Sheets of Rain that came up under the tents and created little sand rivers that ran over your legs and arms and made you wish that Jesus would make his presence known very, very soon.

D. WANTS to be a person who camps, and he even bought us a tent when we lived in Baton Rouge. However, I think I finally convinced him that any camping expedition offers the possibility of snakes, and, really, there's no substitute for sleeping in a snake-free atmosphere.

But Boo - he is an outdoor boy. He loves whatever outside has to offer: rain, heat, sun, moon, clouds, flowers, grass - you name it. There are two nandina shrubs in our flower bed at the front of the house, and he walks up to them every single day and says, "Oh, Mama, they're BEAUTIFUL!"

The latest objects of his affection, though, are a little - ummm - ODD.

The child loves manhole covers. So our trips outside usually involve walking down the driveway, checking the mail (he loves a mailbox, too), and then making our way to each and every manhole cover on the street. Honestly, I had no idea that there was such a need for street drainage here in Central Alabama, but what do I know?

Anyway, I watch A. jump on these manhole covers, and I wonder, what in the world will this child do for entertainment if we continue to live in this rural setting? Keep in mind that I am a person who has never used the words "entertainment" and "outdoors" in the same sentence; they're oil and water as far as I'm concerned. But if he's jumping on manhole covers at 2 1/2, will he be whittling by the time he's 5? Will he start some form of jug band to fill up the lonely hours?

I can't help but think that having D. for a daddy will convince A., at around age 7, that he has hit the parental jackpot, at least on the paternal side. His daddy has tons of DVD's, he loves video games, he stays up-to-date on all the latest technology and, I might add, is smart as a whip about how to assemble it, use it, maximize it, fix it, etc.

I have visions of the two of them in the basement, sitting in front of the XBox with controllers in hand, saving the world from the threat of alien rulers, winning SuperBowls in Madden 2009. And I know that there is lots of real life football and baseball in their future, too - but I am waaaay on board with that, given my lifelong obsession with SEC football and basketball (in fact, when I picture myself 10 years down the road, I see me in the stands at some youth league football game, wearing a jersey with A.'s number on it, standing up and screaming, "BREAK HIS LEG, Alex! BREAK HIS LEG!").

Oh, I'm just kidding. Kind of.

But what if A. doesn't like that stuff? What if life out here in the boondocks rubs off on him? What if he'd rather sit on the front porch wearing overalls with no shirt underneath while he plays his BANJO?

I fear it's a slippery slope from manhole covers to banjos. Gotta get this young'un inside. And fast. :-)


Post a Comment

<< Home