School starts this week for my boys, and I am so utterly sad about the end of our summer days at the pool together, our afternoons of impromptu road trips to the zoo or children's discovery museums an hour and a half away, and movie night sleepovers with friends on any random weeknight that I'm cheering myself up by posting something that I wrote back in early May but never used on this blog.
Yes, the stress of busy days and homework will be upon us very soon, but my boys and husband and I always manage to have fun because we are happy people. Here's something that happened one morning last spring as my boys and I were getting ready for the day:
I have no idea how my older son did not lose his shit one day last week as we were getting ready to leave to take him to school. I know that I wouldn’t have been able to hold it together like he was, and I’m 37 and have had many more years to learn how to rein in my temper.
My kindergartener had let his 3-year-old brother, whose sole aspiration this month is to become a magician, play with the Minecraft Lego set that he had gotten for Valentine’s Day—the gift he had immediately deemed “the best gift I ever received—and that includes Santa gifts!”
Consequently, his younger brother had lost the guy that goes with the set.
“Okay,” I heard my older son say calmly from his bedroom. “Do you have any idea where the guy is? Where is the last place you played with him?”
“I don’t know, Bubba,” said my 3-year-old. “I must have disappeared him. Because I’m a cagician!”
“That’s not even how you say—just, do you know where he is?” my older son tried again.
“I don’t know, Bubba,” my 3-year-old repeated. “I think I must have disappeared him. I’m a cagician!”
“The word actually starts with an m—"
“—I’m a CAGICIAN!”
“Just—can you help me find him?”
I don’t know how my kindergartener wasn’t losing his temper. I would have been frustrated as hell, especially when the person who had lost one of my prized possessions had done it while touting his own skills…skills that I knew were complete and utter bullshit.
Like the time in college when my best friend and I called the psychic one night after we had gotten drunk. First, we were mad because it wasn’t Cleo who answered the phone, and hers was the number we had called. We had expected Cleo, dammit, not one of her 18-year-old high school dropout minions.
“Okay,” the “fortune teller” said smoothly as Leigh and I, huddled over the same landline phone as we listened, pictured her fanning tarot cards out on a card table in front of her. “What is your name, caller?”
Leigh had harrumphed. “Well you’re the damned psychic,” she’d accused. “Shouldn’t you know that already?”
We called shenanigans on that bitch and hung up the phone before it clicked over to a full minute and we had to pay.
On this day last week, my 3-year-old ran into my bathroom, where I was applying makeup.
“MOMMY!” he shouted, his face red with excitement and his chest puffed out in pride. “I disappeared Bubba’s Lego guy…I’m a CAGICIAN!” On “cagician,” he thrust his arm out in front of him and swished it wildly through the air as if it held a magic wand.
I couldn’t even take it. I had tried so hard to hold it in for my kindergartener’s sake, but seeing my 3-year-old truly believe that he had mastered the art of making random things in the house vanish because of his magician skillz, I couldn’t do it any longer.
I started laughing—that shoulder-shaking, gasping kind of laughter—and did it so hard that soon I had tears streaming down my face, effectively ruining my freshly applied eyeliner.
But I didn’t even care. It was all too funny to me.
My kindergartener ran into the bathroom right about then, triumphantly waving his Minecraft Lego guy in the air. “I found him! I found Steve!” he shouted happily.
My younger son stopped and glanced at the Lego figure quizzically. He looked at his arm, studying his imaginary magic wand. “But Bubba, I disappeared him,” he said, furrowing his brow.
I felt bad for him, but only for a moment. Because he wasn’t going to let a little reappearing act get in the way of his practice. He thrust his whole body into his wand wave this time, swishing his arm in a full 360 so hard that I thought he would fall over. “I’m a CAGICIAN!” he yelled, and then looked at his brother’s hand, only to find that the Lego figure was still in it.
“Huh,” he said, looking again at his imaginary wand.
My older son, satisfied that he had his whole Lego set back together once again, shot from the room to do a little last-minute building before we had to head to school. I was still shaking with laughter when my younger son ran after him in hot pursuit of the Lego guy—as that was the only thing that he had, thus far, gotten to disappear, and he needed him back in order to hone his skills.