It's frequently that I give Julie a hard time about her childhood. Her childhood comes up typically when her sons are doing things that are completely foreign to her, which can involve anything from belching and other bodily function contests, to new and inventive uses of small explosives. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating about the explosives, but it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibilities. I mean, now that the statute of limitations has passed I may have participated in some Fourth of July sparkler bomb manufacturing back in the day in Bend, Ore.
Julie, however, fondly recalls games with her three sisters of "Beauty Pageant" and all-night dance-a-thons and baking contests. Really? Fond memories of my friends and me entail menacing the rural Bend sagerat population with BB guns, golfing in the cemetery, peeing contests (length and duration of whizzes were compiled, with bonus points if you could write your name in the dirt) and games of tackle football that were really good when blood was drawn. It's really entertaining when our older boys get together, which happens all too infrequently now that they are college age and older, and reminisce about the good old days. Typically the reminiscing involves petty thievery of household items and goods -- their favorite is when they pilfered the TV out of the downstairs living room in which a visiting auntie was sleeping and managed to haul it up to their bedroom to play video games all night -- boxing matches, small-time gambling over board games with the loser typically forced to strip buck nekkid and run around the outside of the house, terrorizing babysitters and various combinations thereof.
Now our teenage girls can laugh and giggle all night about their shenanigans as well. Craziness such as playing mermaid in the bathtub, their secret inside jokes that still make them cackle, all-night mani/pedi parties and when things got really out of hand marathon sessions of Pride and Prejudice movie watching. Somehow our girls have survived all that madness!!!
This all came to mind the last couple of times I visited Target and Wal-Mart with a bunch of my kids and hit the toy aisle. Take Olivia, my 6-year-old. She goes right to the doll section and eyes all the dollies and clothes and bling and accessories and mercy sakes can it be excruciating for her to try and settle on just one or two things with her birthday money. On the other hand there's Judah. He's 3 and you cannot imagine the sheer thrill he experienced when he came across the Despicable Me "Fart Gun." When he first pulled the trigger and that "gun" emitted the sound that can entertain little boys -- and big ones, too -- for literally hours on end the sound of his maniacal laugh filled the stores. That gun passed so much gas in the hands of Judah the earth's temperature rose measurably. I am thankful Julie didn't make those trips when Judah was blasting away. I'm sure she would have been horrified, even after two decades plus of raising boys. As for me? Well, I admit it. I grabbed a gun and started pulling the trigger, the howls of laughter peeling forth.