Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Day That Summer Prevailed

Today Alex's friend G. is hanging out with us, and I think I would be fine if he stayed forever. It has been, for lack of a better word, delightful. Classic Summer Day.

Lauren has written lately about how difficult it can be when there are kids in your house who haven't been taught the same things as your own children. Like manners. And respect. And consideration for other people. I can't even imagine what the last couple of weeks have been like for her, with not one but TWO guests who have pushed the limits of her hospitality. I can see, even now with our three year old, that "company" becomes much harder to navigate when two households have vastly different rules or parenting "philosophies." And I shudder, just a little bit, when I think of what we'll have to wade through when Alex gets older.

But today, with G. here, I have just been so grateful. He's only 3 1/2, but he has great manners. He's respectful. Doesn't whine. Isn't sneaky. Doesn't push boundaries. He's just a typical little boy who wants to play with cars and wrestle a little and run outside. And we're fans of all those things around here.

After lunch I took the boys to the park even though it's around 145 in the shade (maybe a slight exaggeration, but OH MY it's hotter than blue blazes). For forty minutes they ran and climbed and took turns down the slide and ran some more. They walked across the picnic table benches like they were on a plank bridge above a river, and they laughed. And giggled. And laughed some more. Then they drank about 30 ounces of water in a single gulp. And started all over again.

Afterwards we went to Dairy Queen to cool off with some ice cream. And as Alex and G. sat on the same side of the booth, hair plastered to their hot little foreheads, I couldn't help but notice how they carried on like a couple of 70 year old men sitting outside a general store. They talked about TV shows ("G., do YOU like "The Backyardigans"?), what they do for fun ("Alex, do you like to go to the library and get books?"), and the boxing match that was on the television inside DQ. Just a couple of little guys, shooting the breeze. I could've listened to them all day.

When we were driving back home, the boys did a rousing duet of "God's Way Is The Best Way" from a favorite Veggie Tales CD (it's all the rage now with the toddler set, you know), and they tried to outdo each other in terms of politeness ("YOU take a turn!" "I'm all done - now YOU take a turn!"), and while I know that behavior probably won't hold when they're, say, thirteen and having to share an XBox, it was encouraging to see that the beginning of a foundation is there. That there's something to build on.

Right now they're upstairs, supposedly resting but actually sitting on Alex's bed playing with cars (SHHHH - I'm not supposed to know that - they think they have me fooled). Just a second ago I heard G. say, "I LOVE YOU, ALEX!" and Alex reply, "OH! I love YOU, G.!" And while two little boys can make much mischief, and while heaven knows they can make a mess, they also make me feel very blessed indeed.

I think that today has been the very essence of summer. And I think I'll get back to enjoying it right now.

(By the way. Those two little boys who are "resting" upstairs? I just heard G. ask Alex if he wanted to smell his feet. Apparently Alex did, because he started giggling uncontrollably.)

Ahhhhh. Life is good.


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