A couple days ago, the kids were getting a little bit cabin feverish, so I let them go outside after their school work was done. It wasn’t warm out, around 40, but compared to the freakishly cold temperatures we’ve been having so far this winter it must’ve felt like springtime out there to them. Rocketboy is almost 13, so I don’t mind him riding his bike around the neighborhood. We have a pond down the trail a short way from the house, and he likes to ride the hiking/biking paths around it.
He came home an hour or so later. His jeans and coat were splattered with mud, and his shoes and socks were soaked. Maybe you can guess what happened. Somehow the rubber portion of his bike’s handlebar had detached from his bike and had ended up sitting innocently on the surface of the icy pond. And of course, that being the case, it had to be retrieved before Rocketboy could ride home. One can’t possibly ride home without a handlebar grip, right? 😉
So, apparently, he had the thought… to slide out on the ice on his belly to retrieve it. (This is the risk-taker idea, the one that I don’t understand, the boy-thought. I comfort myself in thinking that this boy is half-Californian after all, even if he has been born and raised in Missouri and he has limited experience with ice, so maybe that’s it… lol…) But with the very first step he attempted, thankfully, his foot went through the ice with a crack, right there by the shore. Thus the mud. And he discovered that an icy pond in 40-degree weather is not quite cold enough to support the frame of a 5′ 7 boy with size 14 feet.
So now the depths of the pond will soon have a new handlebar grip to call it’s own, thanks to Rocketboy. He made it home soon thereafter, muddy, soggy, and cold, but he did make it home and didn’t make any further attempts to rescue the grip.
From an objective parenting standpoint, I understand this. He’s an adolescent boy with iffy decision-making skills and a natural tendency towards risk-taking. I actually feel lucky in this. Rocketboy has only needed my help getting down from too-high perches in trees and the roof of the playset a handful of times. I’ve heard stories from boy-moms that would make you grit your teeth at the crazy things some of these boys are doing.
I grew up more of a Tomboy than a Girlie-Girl. Having a brother instead of any sisters probably helped this too. I’ve always been more comfortable with the rough and tumble-ness of a soccer field than a dance class, so when our first baby was a boy, that suited me just fine. I had mental images of mudpies and soccer games, rock climbing and playing in streams, and that’s what we got.
I remember one Sunday afternoon after church when Rocketboy was probably two years old, we had a huge rain shower. It was a real downpour. The town that we lived in then didn’t have any storm sewers per se, so all that rainwater just rushed to ditches on either side of the roads, and when those were full and running you had a couple of regular rivers on either side. Usually, we liked to watch the rain from the front porch of the house, but this time when those ditches filled up, Rocketboy took one look, pulled off his Sunday shirt and ran out to play, nice Sunday-go-to-church khaki pants and all. I have a picture from that day of him sitting in the ditch, soaking wet, with the biggest grin ever on his face, a streak of mud across one cheek. It’s a precious memory, one that solidifies my love of everything little-boy. I wouldn’t change a thing, getting the privilege of being a mom to a boy.
And today, I’m Mom to two little girls too. That’s been a whole new ballgame for me. When I first discovered we were having a girl, my first thought was, “What in the world am I going to do with a girl??” LOL…
But now I see. Both my girls play soccer and love animals, hiking in the woods, and jumping in puddles. Though (for now!) they are a little more predictable than my boy, I’ve been blessed by all three of them. Muddy socks, soggy shoes and all.
Check out these other posts: