“When I grow up I want to be a little boy.” – Joseph Heller

Gio descended on our house tonight and Mario and him have been moving and shaking ever since. They played guns in Mario’s room, fought dragons, and played Wii. All within 15 minutes. I calmed them down for a small amount of time with a science project in the kitchen. We made a volcano with baking soda and vinegar and food coloring. The boys thought it was cool for five seconds and then they dug their fingers into the hole of the volcano and scraped out the baking soda and food coloring in order to smear it on themselves. Really?!

Next, I had them color paper plates in order to make macarenas. They colored for about three minutes and were ready for the next project, which ended up being a concert for me. They crooned and played their instruments while I cheered them on in the basement. They actually performed for me for a good chunk of time. Impressive. Then they moved on to wrestling and pillow fighting, which was still going on an hour later. I guess they can handle long spurts of violent activity.

Dealing with boys is a 180 degree difference from dealing with girls. Maria and Alana would have been up in Ri’s room for hours before I saw them and then they’d have spent time coloring or playing a card game or watching a movie (they are loving life together at grandma’s and grandpa’s house this weekend).

At 9 pm, I put on Spider-Man for the boys and they still jumped all over each other.
I want that energy.
Can I usurp it from them?
They just keep going and going and going. I realized that the only thing that settles them down is feeding them a bunch of junk so they get lazy from full stomachs. We brought out the Pringles and sugar after a bit. They looked like little old men eating in their beanbags.

The Pringles did the trick.

I have a bit of fear in my blood about a full day with these young men tomorrow. My desire to get out and stay active will undoubtedly be met but will it come at the cost of a headache from popping around all over the place? I’m tempted to rent a bouncey house and let them jump in it all day while I rake the leaves and listen to NPR. But then I’d miss out on the concerts and the science fairs and I just can’t bear that thought even with as exhausted as they make me.

wild for wild

I am wild about wild.

A week ago I pulled up my sister’s on-line magazine, Vela, and read a post where each of the writers wrote about their favorite summer reads. One writer talked about wild by Cheryl Strayer. I had heard about the book on NPR a while back and seen it sitting on the shelf each time I walked through Barnes and Noble to get my morning coffee. I figured with the combination of all of those signs from the universe, I should give it a try.

I am not a reader of long books. I typically go straight to the articles in the Atlantic or New Yorker and that suits me fine. But reading the writers’ entries on Vela made me want to give reading novels or memoirs another try since I hadn’t read one in a year (Left Neglected being the last).

I purchased wild a week ago and I completed it last night. I felt conflicted as I sat next to Ri in her bed. She had asked me to lay next to her until she fell asleep. She also asked me to read to her from my book. She hung in for four pages but then curled beside me and passed out. I didn’t want the book to end but I also wanted to find out how it ended. I found myself reading slowly for a paragraph and then speeding up for two. An hour later, the book was finished, and I cried. I cried over a combination of things: the beauty of mothers and daughters; the exhilaration at reading a novel again; the recognition of finding oneself; the confirmation of the release and freedom from just letting it all go.

I am now like a voracious animal in the wild. I want to scour the bookstore for my next memoir or novel and dig into it. I am thinking of Out of Africa since that was one of my sister’s favorite books. I’m just thinking that might be like going from 0 to 120 mph and overwhelm me! Maybe Molly Ringwald’s new book instead….