Photo: I say “ok, we’re going to take 20 minutes to read this afternoon” and I don’t get a peep of protest. They’ve got the books they want, they settle on their couch, and they get going. It’s not joyful like it was for me when I was younger, but it’s not disdainful. I’ve got two boys who are ok with reading. They’ve figured out the magic of the transportation, the opening to other worlds. I’m grateful.
My apologies for not writing yesterday. I was all geared up for writing while having Town Meeting on in the background, but then I got sucked in. For those of you who aren’t here in New England, Town Meeting is an ancient rite of local government around here. A literal gathering of all the people in town to meet and directly vote on whatever needs to be voted on. Direct Democracy, the first type of democracy here in the New World, is still in active practice. It’s weird and raw and slow and hilarious and frustrating and fascinating. I have yet to actually head out there and actively participate. I know. I actually like this sort of stuff and I should. But, you know, it’s more fun to watch while with wine, in my jammies, with my knitting. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I got distracted by it all. What I like about adulthood is that you can evolve and shapeshift as much as you want, but there are some core things that remain the same. I’m a policy nerd. I love watching government work. It stirs something in me in a way other stuff doesn’t. I didn’t know I would take such pleasure in the local stuff until recently. Maybe because local government here is just so different than it is in Maryland.
And for all my talk, I’m getting sucked further and further into my local town government every year. I had to keep filling The Husband in on the who’s who and the what’s what and “remember how we voted on this last year?” and “this was supposed to have been appropriated for such and such.” My husband looked at me and said, “I can’t believe you know this stuff.”
I can’t believe I know it, either. My muse told me a long time ago to love where I live, to get involved. I guess, without even knowing it, that’s what I’ve been doing.
Anyway, that’s not what I really wanted to write about. I wanted to write about two little boys. See, we hosted our first sleepover on Friday! I literally pressed “publish” on my Quiet Thoughts and then not a second later our little guest came bounding across our lawn with sleeping bag under his arm.
The boys enjoyed the kind of sleepover I would have loved when I was their age: start with pizza and cake (because cake is awesome all the time), play a little Mario, watch a movie (Boss Baby… interesting, though not objectionable choice), then play Super Smash Bro’s until everyone decides they are sleepy. Doesn’t that just sound amazing? Amazing! I told them they could stay up until 11. They were out by 10:37, bless their precious little hearts.
Of course, no one slept well. I guess that’s a hallmark of a sleepover, no? The boys slept in the living room in their sleeping bags (their good Boy Scouts sleeping bags designed for sleeping in, like, 30-degree weather or something, not a 65-degree living room). They complained, naturally, that they were too hot to sleep. My mama brain decided I couldn’t sleep because the boys were in the living room, not in their beds, so I couldn’t get comfortable and every noise in the house ripped me right out of REM. Also not helpful? The boys were up promptly at 6:30, right back to Smash. Lordy.
I’m really not complaining. The kid we had over has been friends with Major since kindergarten and he’s been raised by good people. There weren’t any fights, no squabbles over toys, no whining over nothing. It was easygoing and carefree. This is the childhood I’ve really wanted for my boys. Damn if it doesn’t take a whole lot to make it happen, but it’s magical and worth it.
I have one more story to tell about these two precocious children:
Over dinner yesterday, we were discussing books. I had just come from the bookstore and was handed an advanced copy of Lisa Taddeo’s upcoming work three women. I’ve only read the first few chapters and I’m riveted. You must read this book. Anyway, I was talking about how the bookstore has me reading all sorts of books and I wanted to know what the boys were reading at school. Major pipped up and said that he’s reading books from The Princess in Black series and he has been enjoying himself. We were intrigued. “Why is she wearing black? Is that a big deal?”
“I guess when you’re a princess you can only wear pink. Wearing black is really bad or something. Anyway, she does it and fights monsters.”
I chewed thoughtfully and laughed. “What’s wrong with wearing black!? You know that’s my favorite color! But I guess I’m not a princess, I’m a queen.”
Minor chortled with great umbrage. “You’re not a queen.”
Me: “Oh yes I am! I’m absolutely a queen!”
Minor: “I mean, I guess you’re the queen of this house. But that’s it. You’re not a whole queen of anything big. You have to have a place to be a queen of. Like the Queen of England.”
Me, now all sorts of incredulous: “First of all, the Queen of England isn’t the only queen!” The Husband, utter Anglophile, laughs with amusement. I want to throw many things at him, but I do. I continue. “Anyway, being a queen is a state of mind. I don’t need a body politic to be a queen!”
Major, rolling his eyes: “Oh, Mama…”
Minor: “That doesn’t even make sense!”
sigh These boys are actively trying to suck the life out of me, I swear.
I’m still a queen. I don’t care what they say.
Anyway, it’s a funky week. I think I’ll see you for Quiet Thoughts unless something ridiculous happens between now and tomorrow. Frankly, I pray nothing ridiculous happens. Let this Spring be about blossoming calm and stretches of pleasantness. Winter was crisis enough for this battered soul.
Hope you are feeling loved and regal, Dear Reader. I’ll see you Friday for Quiet Thoughts.