a meditation on little boys

  Photo and © by Kate Inglis

Photo and © by Kate Inglis

Listening to a little boy singing about farts. And santa, who is mad, apparently. While the other boy makes accompanying rude noises with his dinner mouth, despite the fact he's supposed to be eating pasta and broccoli. One of these boys lost his pants up a tree, after he stripped them off to jump into the ocean and then became flummoxed that no towel instantly appeared when he emerged, sopping and gleeful. "Did you bring one?" I ask him? He shakes his head no. "Well, maybe next time you will," I shrug, then chase him with a hermit crab.

Being around boys, with this energy and constant movement and sparkle of spirit, it's been fun for me. Kate's boys are the kind of people you want to spend your days with, asking deep questions and listening to their awesomely insightful or disdainfully flippant responses.  "Do I want to talk with you about this?" their eyes ponder. You never know which way it'll go. But oh, it'll be good no matter which way they respond. They offer up their tiny nuggets of brilliance and then return to fart jokes and wiggly bodies, giggles and overwhelming brightness. 

They make fast friends, these boys, and are in your lap and tickling before they realize they forgot your name. 

On the drive to the airport this morning, we talked about how very different little boys are from little girls. I used to believe that concept was a gender construct and with some, it absolutely is. But in general, boys seem to be a bundle of sound and movement and chaos, flinging their backpacks and jackets to the ground as they run from the bus, zippers down to pee on a tree. A perfectly organized and clean home can become homey and disheveled within minutes of arrival.

It's exhausting. And achingly beautiful.

Watching those boys bundle off to the school bus in a rush, sleepy eyed and gripping lunch bags, running to make it in time... they are all the things.

I'm going to miss this crazy, lovely land.