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Friday, August 31, 2007

[I wrote this on Aug. 25th and forgot to post it on-line!]

It’s a little scary just how brilliant these children are. Yesterday, I casually mentioned to Matthew, “Hmm, this room is a mess; we should pick up your books.” Neither Matthew nor I immediately made a move. Zachary – who was on the other side of the room – came rushing over right away and started putting books up on the shelf. He’s not even 16 months old!! (OK, well, he will be in three days, but still…)

Later, I was taping off the hallway at the bottom of the stairs getting ready to paint. Zachary wandered over to inspect what I was doing. I realized that we hadn’t changed his diaper since he’d gotten up from nap a little while before, “Zach, we need to change your diaper,” I said continuing with my taping. A moment later, I heard Zach behind me. He was handing me the packet of baby wipes. He took me by the hand and walked me over to the little Elmo sofa on the floor where he proceeded to lie down and wait for me to change him. C’est incroyable!

Matthew, who we also know is a genius beyond all measure, has reached an interesting stage of boyhood. He’s come to the place where everything is a “good guy” or a “bad guy.” Despite the fact that he’s never watched anything violent – nothing with guns – in our home, every object can and will be turned into some sort of shooting, self-defense device.

Last night, we’d gone to the neighborhood park with some of our little neighbors – Sydney and Nick. Somehow it had fallen upon my shoulders that I was the “bad guy” who was chasing them. (I was actually thinking of the game more in terms of tag or ‘catch me if you can;’ but without failure I soon found myself being referred to as “bad guy mommy.”) At one point, I ran around the play structure and found myself face-to-face with Matthew holding still and ready in a position of attack. He let loose with his version of a common boy theme, the “you’re a bad guy, and I’m going to kill you” or “Die! Bad guy!” verbal attack that accompanies the spraying or shooting of said-bad guy.

Just before he sprayed me with his imaginary “fire hose,” Matthew yelled, “You’re a bad guy and I’m going to get you to heaven!” If this is the most vicious thing that Matthew can come up with when fighting off a bad guy, I’ll take it.

* * * * *

Bob and Therese Buckley – my parental units, my kin, my folks, the spring from which I offed – are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary tomorrow. FORTY YEARS!!! That’s a LONG time. Over the years, there were some sad times – particularly the years of “BJ” – Before Jenny – that they so fondly refer to wistfully. What, did they do for the first 13 years of marriage before my blessed arrival into their lives? I’m fairly certain that they sat on a retro, plaid sofa somewhere and twiddled their thumbs. So, while I can’t reflect on all of their forty years of marriage, I can reflect on the 27 years of which I’ve played a crucial role. I came up with a list forty things about my parents. They included everything from, having the ability to fix anything with duct tape, to sleeping on the floor in an empty condo with three chicken-pox riddled children (that's one heck of a story!), showing up on our wedding night at the ER still in their tux and mother-of-the-bride dress, making one heck of a Bourbon Slush, becoming President and First Lady (of their Condo Board), making all sorts of crafty, home-made costumes (the kind my kids will never have, once Grandma kicks the can), and they've watched "A Christmas Story" and lit their "electric sex" leg lamp in the front window for many, many years.....these are just a sampling of the many characteristics that make my parents so amazing.

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