It was on a summer-night drive to Culver's -- just me and my four boys -- that I learned some things:
1. They talk to each other a lot
2. They talk about a wide variety of topics
3. Their youngest brother is highly influenced by them
I was so excited about 1 and 2. I mean, here are my boys... and they talk to each other! I've always told them that it's important for them to be there for each other as they grow up.
But then there's 3.
I hadn't really considered how 3 fits in with 1 and 2.
I mean I've got Zach who is now 17, Evan 14, Zayd 12... and then Ethan 9.
So on this drive to Culver's I learned how 3 fits into 1 and 2.
Zach: (addressing his three brothers) Yeah. You aren't really a man until you've done it.
Zayd: Oh my God. Are you serious? I don't know if I want to.
Zach: Then you're not a man.
Evan: I'm a man.
Zayd: You've done that!?
Evan: Yeah. Once. It was okay.
Ethan: It sounds fun!
Not a man until you've done it. Zach has done it. Evan has done it. Zayd isn't sure about doing it and Ethan thinks it sounds fun.
Me: Uh... what are we talking about.
Zach: Mom. Man stuff. We're talking about man stuff.
Evan: Yeah mom. Man stuff. You don't really want to know.
Yeah. I kinda do.
Me: Uh... yeah. If Ethan thinks it sounds fun and it is a man thing - I kinda do want to know.
Zach: Sleeping in the buff mom.
Here's where I go blank.
Zach: So freeing. Amazing.
Zayd: So just sleeping with everything just kinda hanging out there?
Zach: Yeah. It's awesome.
Me: You sleep in the nude.
Zach: Yeah. A lot of the time.
Zach: Why do you think I lock my door.
Actually I had several theories about that... but... whatever
Ethan: I'm going to do it! Tonight!
Zach: Do it Ethan. Do it. Be a man.
Zayd: Oh my God Ethan! I don't want to sleep with you in our room when you are naked!
Zach: It's not like you are sleeping in the same bed.
Zayd: I know, but ... Oh my God (he starts laughing again).
Ethan: I'm serious, I'm going to do it.
Ethan: Can I mom? Can I do it?
As if I have a say.
Me: I guess so.
Okay, except me. I do not cheer.
Ethan: And... I'm going to wear my Angry Birds hat!
Everyone cheers louder.
At bedtime, I'm reading in my room and I hear a lot of screams, laughing, teasing and general loudness coming from the hallway. Things like:
"Oh my God!"
"You da man!"
"Get that away from me!"
"Mom! When are you going to put me to bed!"
After a while - quite a while. It settles down and its quiet.
I walk do my nightly ritual of walking into everyone's room to give them a good-night kiss and back rub...
Well, not Zach's.
I walk into Ethan and Zayd's room...
And there is my little precious Ethan fast asleep.
With his Angry Birds hat on.