Thursday, July 4, 2013

Free Time on the Fourth

Holy cookouts and celebrating, Batman, how the HECK did it get to be July 4th already? Given this so-far unprecedented pace, I will go on record right here to predict that this will be the Quickest. Summer. Ever. for Team WestEnders. I mean, next week the kids have camp, then it's only three weeks until our family vacation, and when we get back from the West Coast, there'll only be a fortnight until the next academic year starts back up. Yikes, we'd better seriously get busy planning all kinds of epic entertainment! That being said, what have we accomplished to date? Hmm...the truth is: not a whole lot. But that's okay, because we have a four-day weekend and a super-huge agenda! (Oh wait...the calendar's blank...uh oh...) Okay, hypothetically, we have a loose sort-of-schedule that includes such earth-shattering events as...stopping by Sports Authority to buy more baseballs (due to the Backyard Boys, aka "my sons", evidently having hit all of them into the tall weeds and being helpless to locate them. Sigh. The dreaded "Male Non-Finding Gene" strikes again...); finally getting around to seeing the Star Trek movie (although at this point we'll have to journey to the second-run theater forty minutes away, since we're so behind the current culture curve. Oh well, it's cheaper--more moolah for munchies!); and maybe, just maybe a much-belated venture to IHOP to redeem the giftcards Husband's parents gave him for his birthday over a month ago. (In case you were wondering: yes, this would be the highlight. What can I say, we lead a life filled with excitement and adventure, I tell ya. And if I'm being totally honest, anything involving free food ranks pretty high on our Thrill-O-Meter. Something about "simple pleasures", yeah?)

After their stay in the distant Technology-Black-Hole (that is, "Grandparents' House", where they pass six primitive days of computer-deprived, wifi-less, minimal-cell-service existence before returning to Electronic Civilization) the boys have been enjoying such sophisticated pleasures as "the Internet" (for those random, frequent times you just need to Google something and find an answer...right NOW), "the ScoreMobile app" (when the ESPN ticker isn't fast enough to meet your need to know all the sports results in an instant), and "the PS3" (because, well, you're a boy, and school's out, and you've got time to kill...what else are you gonna do? Your Summer Homework? Hahahahahaha!) To be fair, the brothers have also been amusing themselves in the out-of-doors with an endless succession of driveway-basketball-contests, dribble-and-shoot soccer competitions, and the aforementioned pitch-hit-run-field (or sometimes "lose ball") baseball drills. So far they're finding ways to maintain a healthy rivalry...without beating the bejeebers out of each other. (One can only cross every finger and toe one has, in hopes that this continues for seven more weeks...)

But my favorite moments of sibling bonding continue to be the Brother Sleepovers. Whenever they're allowed--which pretty much means most nights from mid-June to mid-August--Riley pulls up an extra mattress on Derek's floor and they bunk together. I'm sure there's much nonsensical babbling, and I hear a great deal of happy laughter from behind the closed door, but other than that I leave them to their own devices. Each year I wonder if they're going to tell me they're too old for this ritual, and each year I'm relieved when they still cling to the tradition. However, I was made aware of one important change when I overheard them chatting during pre-bed preparations one recent night. You see, somewhere along the way, Riley stuck Derek with the nickname "Bubby" (which it should be noted, only he uses...must be a "little brother" thing). So that night, Riley asked Derek if he wanted to have a Bubby Sleepover. In a slightly exasperated tone, Derek replied, "Sure...but let's not call it that." "Okay," Riley readily agreed, "what should we call it, then?" Derek paused for a moment to ponder, then decisively replied, "Either 'Bro Hangout'...or 'Manly Talk in the Dark'!" (Oh. My. Goodness...I think I'm going to refer to it as Goofballs Anonymous, myself!)

So there you have it. I think it's safe to say that Independence Day--and the remainder of Summer 2013--will also certainly include pool interludes, grilling, family hikes...and lots more Tales from the Goofy Side...

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