Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'm Eleven. I'm Supposed to be Obnoxious.

     It hasn't taken me long to realize that even though I started this blog as an Ian outlet, I can't write soley about one child when I have three more. They are each unique people with quirky habits and humorous faults. Today you get to hear about Zack simply because he is on my brain, and in my face.
     "Hey, Mom?"
     "I bet I can make you say blue."
     I raised my eyebrows, indicating acceptance of the challenge. Zack's face brightened and he began. "What color is my shirt?"
     "What color is the grass?"
     "What color are my shoes?"
     He was ecstatic. "See! I told you I could make you say black!"
     I rolled my eyes and said, "Uh-uh. You said you could make me say blue."
     "HaHaHaHa!"  He was rolling on the floor in triumph. "You fell for it!"
     Indeedy weedy. I fell for an eleven-year-old's joke.
     Zack's humor knows no bounds. He relishes the sarcastic, the put-down, the repetitive, and the gross-out. After multiple offenses in the space of ten minutes, I told him, "You are being obnoxious. Stop it."
     "But I can't stop."
     "Why not?"
     "Because I'm eleven. It's my job to be obnoxious."
     All too true.
     In addition to Zack's amazing sense of humor, he also owns an uncanny ability to remember fine details, directions, injustices, and dates. Too bad it doesn't include his homework. Two weeks into school and he has been unprepared each day except for one. I finally had to ground him last night.
     "I don't know how else to get through to you. Homework is important. How are you going to handle junior high if you can't make it through elementary?"
     "But my friends distract me and then I forget."
     "Who is in charge of your brain? You or your friends?"
     "The alien in my head."
     Nothing is serious to him. He loves being a kid. He loves playing and talking to himself and teasing his siblings, not to mention his mother.
     This coming Friday I have a simple, out-patient, surgical procedure taking place. Even though it's small potatoes, I still worry. Who wouldn't? Zackary, with his great tact and wisdom asked me, with a gleam in his eye, "What if you never wake up? What if--something goes wrong--and you die?"
     He did not ask this out of concern. I could tell because he was laughing, and as my face took on an expression of horror, his voice rose in volume and pitch.
     "What if--you bleed to death!"
     "What?" he laughed.
     "Enough already!"
     He's done this to me every day since Saturday.
     But when the sun goes down and the humor and chaos clear, I feel soft, warm lips on my cheek, and arms that will someday be strong, encircle my waist.
     "What's that for?" I ask.
     "Because I love you."