Bug: Mom, I want a hat (in the interest of not giving away the secret to a Christmas gift here, the items mentioned will be description-less) and a jacket Just.Like.Jock's.
Me: Why? Don't you like being your own, individual self?
Bug: Actually, I think he and I should have a "Twin Day". I mean, we look almost alike, right? (keep in mind that my boys are 5 years apart, with coloring so different that if I didn't KNOW they had the same parents we'd wonder more about it)
Me: Oh sure. Almost exactly alike. (Hey! I can support a dream!) But why do you want so much to look like your brother?
Bug: Because he's cool. And I want to be cool, too.
Jock: Hey, Mom? Do you have five bucks I can have for school tomorrow?
Me: Did you lose another ID card?!?! (that would be his THIRD since school started in August!)
Jock: No. *smirking* I wanted to get some ice cream at lunch.
Me: What about the money I gave you this weekend? You should have enough of that left over.
Jock: Well, sure. But that's MY money.
(and he had the nerve to actually look perplexed when I just shook my head and walked away.)
Jock (in a phone conversation with me): So, yeah. We just got home. (meaning he and Bug)
Me: Where were you?
Jock: Dad said that Bug could go to the park, but that I had to go with him. So I went up there with Bug and one of his little friends so they could play basketball.
Me: So what did you do while they were playing..... just sit there and watch them?
Jock (again, sounding like this should have been a no-brainer): Umm, duh Mom. I played with them.
I was tired and hungry, and consequently cranky, on my drive home tonight. My poor mother had the bad timing to answer her phone when I called, so she got stuck hearing all about my dinner dilemma. Eight pounds of hamburger in my freezer (what? I found it on sale for 99cents a pound!!), and only four hamburger recipes in my head. Of those, my boys actively fight against three of them, and we'd just had the fourth a couple of nights ago. And as much as my boys like that particular dish, there are only so many nights in a row you can have it before you run the risk of eventual hatred by said boys.
I was informed, ever so lovingly, by my mother (yes, I chose to believe the laughter she was struggling valiantly against was full of love, dammit!) that the life I am currently living has always been by my choice.
Well, sure, I responded. I can choose to suck it up and deal with finicky kids, husband and dogs; a too-busy-to-focus-much job at the moment; Christmas gift debt; and only one really good pair of heels for work..... OR.....
I could walk away from it all and relocate using the Witness Protection Program, never talking to any of them ever again.
No more whining about dinners.
No more bickering back and forth.
No more spilled drinks on the sofa, or crumbs all over the kitchen counters and floor.
No more late night, bad dream cuddles.
No more hugs to start my day.
No more random text messages during the day with smiley faces and silly notes.
No more "I love you's".
Hmm.... not really much of a choice, is there? It might not be the Garden of Eden, or all sunshine and rainbows, but it is MY paradise.
And I will always be here by my choice.