We just got home from a visit with my parents. Something I love (and miss) about the Midwest are the summer thunder showers. The boys loved lying in their beds and watching the lightning flashes and listening to the thunder claps. And all the rain filled the creek behind my parents’ house with water, so much so that my older son was actually able to catch two fish there. (OK, we’re pretty sure it was the same fish twice.) Both boys were thrilled to see squirrels and bugs and birds and even snakes. On the way out back to fish one morning, we surprised a close to four-foot long black snake trying to sneak around the side of the house and chased it to its hole. The next day, we fished at a nearby pond in the pouring rain. We had the place (and the fish) all to ourselves.
It was the perfect boy vacation.
It’s still surprising to me how much I like all this boy stuff. I grew up with a sister and no brothers, so I really didn’t anticipate how much fun all the sports, trains, trucks, and fishing would be. Go ahead, ask me anything about dinosaurs and sharks. From Argentinosaurus to Carcharadon megalodon, my knowledge has increased exponentially.
While I had the two boys, my sister had three girls. One thing the boys and I looked forward to on our trip was spending time with my sister’s family while all the kids attended VBS (Vacation Bible School) at her church. It’s always interesting to see the differences between our kids. My boys are a lot louder and more energetic, very interested in every kind of sport–from bikes to soccer to fishing. The girls are calmer and quieter and always doing something creative. Their house looks different too–more play kitchens, costumes, and princesses than ours, which sometimes seems completely covered in sports equipment, like it was decorated by ESPN.
The cousins still have lots of common ground, but my sister and I both noticed how the kids played a little differently together. The girls got a little louder and wilder. There was lots of climbing on the swing set.
And the girls talked the boys into putting on a show for my sister and me. This is just not something that regularly happens in our house, but my boys loved the idea. As they prepared and rehearsed and fine-tuned their costumes, I mentioned to my sister how cute it all was, and she told me they had a show almost daily in her house.
The theme for the show seemed to be VBS/Pocahontas. My seven-year-old niece was Pocahontas; my six-year-old son and five-year-old niece were Native Americans (let’s just say it wasn’t the most politically correct show ever); and my three-year-old, since he refused to get dressed up, got to be John Smith, since he was already wearing a blue shirt. Apparently, John Smith wore blue shirts.
Finally, it was time for the big program. There was very little dialogue, but a great deal of dancing, marching and waving of arms. They sang all their VBS songs from the week, at least those they could remember.
I loved seeing all of them having so much fun and also my boys trying (and enjoying) something a little different.
And while I’m so grateful God blessed me with two boys, and for the resulting increase in my knowledge of trains, dinosaurs, and sharks, not to mention my improved soccer juggling ability, it is also nice to know that if I ever want to dress up and go to tea, I can always take my nieces.