If you’re a six-year-old or nine-year-old boy (or the father of one) tonight’s television offerings were the best they get. Our DVR worked up a sweat this evening as the boys (and their father) jumped back and forth between watching the NBA All-Star Game and the Millrose Games, which I now know is an indoor track meet that features the best high school, college and even some professional tracksters out there. (For the record, it appears to this untrained eye that the NBA All-Star Game is just that, a game, where big men practice fancy dunking basically unguarded, but whatever.) We watched these two events for the better part of two hours. When I first called it time for bed I got convinced that it would be alright to skip reading for tonight to watch a little longer. The second time I called for bed I meant it and we headed upstairs.
Thomas went right up because a birthday party he attended this afternoon wiped him out and he was ready. Andrew came up grousing and harrumphing and snarling. He marched into his bathroom, where Thomas was brushing teeth and I was tidying their sty, and said, “Mom. It is totally unfair that I can’t watch the rest of the All-Star Game and I want you to know that I think you’re just wrong, wrong, wrong to keep me from watching such an important event. I am WAY old enough to stay up later than Thomas.” Before I could even think of responding, he continued. “I also want you to know that someday when I move out of this house I am going to stay up as late as I want and I’m going to watch whatever I want on television because I will be at college. I kind of think I’m ready right now and I know for sure that the day I move out and go to college will probably be one of the best days of my life. I don’t mean to hurt your feelings but that’s just true.”
I had an infrequent attack of maturity at this point and quietly went downstairs to get a drink of water. My usual response would be to debate him or something but I knew that he was being ridiculous and also honest and also that he was probably right so I left the room for a few minutes. I had been in the kitchen for about 90 seconds when I heard, “Mom, mom, MOM. Where are you? I need to tell you something.” Assuming that he wanted to tell me one more time how happy it would make him to flee the nest I said, “'I’ll be back up in a minute to tuck you in after you’ve brushed teeth.”
“But, MOM. I need you right now. I need to tell you that I can’t open the toothpaste and need you to help me.”
Alrighty then. We won’t start packing his bags just yet.