Moms are always talking about how cute their kids are, and understandably expect everyone else to appreciate the adorableness dripping from their babe’s tiny tousled head.
Well, I’m a mom, and it’s time you heard about my tree-hugging, bug loving, granny tugging son.
Nana had an extraordinary relationship with my boy. They were two peas in a pod. Mom loved walks – so did he. She brought her leaf book everywhere, and he would stop to hug the trees. Along with all that nature stuff were the bugs and critters which inhabited them.
“A bug,” he would say as he examined each tiny new arthropod. Following ladybugs along windowsills, patting stink bugs near the doorway, or saving the worms on a rainy day, were of the utmost importance to him. When he wasn’t scooping up worms beginning to sizzle on a hot sidewalk after a summer rain and gently placing them back in the grass, he was chasing his favorite creature of all – “bussalies.” Their tin,y graceful wings, their brilliant colors, their dainty touch as they landed on flower,s or picnic tables were captivating. In truth, he didn’t care if they were tiny common white moths or majestic Monarchs – to him, they were all simply amazing “bussalies.”
Next to tree, leaf, and bug watching were the outings after going to feed the ducks or throw rocks in the river. Snacks. Mom (or Nana as we’re calling her for the purposes of this post) was WAY more lenient about treats with my boy than she had been with us. That meant there were occasional times when she’d drop my kids off after having consumed a brace of donuts and a hot chocolate, so they were literally climbing the walls. But most importantly were the types of candy she always had in her pocketbook – DumDums. Lipoppops were, without a doubt, the most enjoyable part of learning a bible verse or sitting next to Nana at church.
With all the busyness of their crazy days reading Calvin and Hobbs together, creating sidewalk chalk masterpieces, and building Lego Pirate Ships, and learning to drive, my boy still needed his downtime. No outing, nap, or bedtime were complete without his pair of companions, Fox and Tigger. Unfortunately, it took a while for him to be able to pronounce their names correctly, so while I derived some impish pleasure at seeing the reactions of the adults faces around him as he talked about “this FokGer,” or looking for, “my FokGer,” or simply asking where “FokGer” was, I always found myself explaining that he wasn’t a degenerate child, but rather, these were the names of his favorite stuffed toys combined.
As long as moms have kids, we will continue this ritual storytelling of ridiculous and endearing tales and continuing the habit of making sure everyone had “heard about the time that…”