31 August 2009

When Your Heart Swells and Swoons

There are moments when you fall more in love with your wife and kids.

I asked the kids to stand in the hallway closet so that I could chart their growth over the past 6 months. We discovered that they’ve each grown a respective 3 inches. Suddenly the flooding pants make sense. The dryer didn’t shrink their clothes. They’re just taller.

Bubaloo is playing competitive football. The only reason he’s actually on the team and sees some field time is because they don’t have enough players. In a game situation, he’s required to play at least once each half. (I thought football was played in quarters, but I guess the rules for the kids stipulate halves.)

My formerly over-the-top aggressive kid who had to be pulled from team sports for being too aggressive just stands and cowers on the field. He runs away from the kids who try to tackle him. He hasn’t quite yet discovered, despite our repeated efforts, the law of physics that could turn his small stature into a huge benefit. For now, he ends up in the way or is tripped over and that in and of itself has led to a few touchdowns for his team.

Bella has a boyfriend. Or she has two boyfriends. We’re not quite sure. She left the school year with a boyfriend, L., but she wasn’t quite sure if they were a couple anymore. They weren’t really talking, they didn’t walk home from school anymore, and by the end of July we had to ask, “So how long do you not talk to someone before you can say with certainty that they’re not your boyfriend anymore?”

L. called the very next day. They talked about stuff. Not about their relationship. So it wasn’t till she came home from camp and now called a boy named K. her boyfriend where we were really confused. Did K. know about L.? Did L. know about K.? Were they having an open relationship? Was everyone okay with this?

At times like these you have to remember not to place your adult frame of reference and relationship understandings on your kids. Simply, Bella totally forgot about L. That he was her first boyfriend. That he existed at all.

We went through a lesson on honesty and transparency and let her know she should do right by both boys and clarify her intentions.

She picked up the phone to call L. She didn’t have his phone number. She doesn’t know where he lives. He won’t be at the same school tomorrow as he is going into grade nine. I suppose you can’t officially break up with someone you can’t locate.

Yesterday was pride and it involved our kids convincing various merchants to give them lots and lots of balloons that were attached to their booths. I was too busy enjoying my beer and hanging out with Wifey and the gay boys to be too concerned about how they were actually doing the convincing.

They had collected so many helium balloons that we knew were never going to fit into our car. That’s why when they each lost a few strands the adults were okay with it despite our kids’ devastation. Total tear fest about how unfair it was to watch their helium balloons float up to the sky.

Since we came home, Bubaloo has been entirely unwilling to relinquish his last strand of rainbow coloured balloons. They go everywhere in the house with him. Even to the bathroom.

So when he piled on to our bed last night to quietly read before bed, the balloons came too. Wifey somehow came to hold on to them.

As he quietly read cuddled at the foot of the bed with the dog, Wifey drifted into sleep. Glasses on. Book on chest. Icepack on her injured back. And holding on to the strand of pride balloons.