I'm not sure why, but I kind of expected them to be very, very similar. Probably just because they're boys, and according to my previous way of thinking, aren't all boys pretty much the same?
I know this may come as a shock to you, but they're not. I was wrong. Again.
Yesterday, Atticus, Caedmon, and I went to one of those bouncy-inflatable-fun places. It was shaping up to be one of those mornings where I knew getting out of the house would be essential to preserving a healthy relationship with my sons-
Hang on. Do you ever say something seemingly normal and it completely blows your mind? Like "sons." I know I have boys, but... that means I have a son. And not just one of them- TWO. I HAVE TWO SONS. I'm not really sure how this has escaped my notice up until now. I guess I just never thought of it that way. That, and I'm brilliant.
-and I knew that the bouncy-inflatable-fun place was running a special that day, so off we went.
I wasn't exactly sure what their reactions would be to this place. Atticus had been once when he was about 18 months old- thus having no memory of it- and Caedmon had never been. I was pretty sure they would like it, but I also knew it could be a bit overwhelming, what with the giant-sized playground equipment and the mandatory pack of under-supervised, half-feral children that I swear can always be found at just about any establishment that caters to young families.
We walked in, paid, hung up our coats and put away the boys' shoes.
Then we rounded the corner, and Atticus's eyes absolutely lit up. You should have seen his face. I would have taken a picture, but it never occurs to me to actually use my camera at moments like that. That would be crazy.
For the next hour, Atticus could be found doing this:
While Caedmon did this:
Then Atticus did this:
While Caedmon did this:
That's what they do. Atticus goes nuts with wild, frantic energy in public, while Caedmon stands still, observing but not participating, his face a mask. It makes me a little sad sometimes- people don't often get to see how fun Atticus is or how well he plays with other kids when he's going crazy, and they don't get to see what a sweet, engaging boy Caedmon is because he's retreated so far into himself.
I was reminded this morning that our boys do have their safe zones, however, public settings that we frequent so often that the boys act more like themselves. The small public library in our town is one of those; when we arrived there this morning, Atticus walked sedately in, deposited the past week's books in the return bin, and continued on to the children's department to greet his friends. Caedmon rushed in as fast as he could in his over-sized snow boots that nearly reach his knees, stood in front of the two ladies who work at the front desk, babbled about his Vikings shirt while taking his coat, hat, and mittens off just as fast as he could before pulling his sweater up with a flourish to reveal the Vikings shirt underneath. Those two wonderful ladies ooooh'ed and aaaaah'ed the appropriate amount, and Caedmon talked up a storm about the Vikings and his favorite sweater that is blue and soft and his Daddy who is at work.
So I suppose if I bothered to take them to the inflatables place every week like I do the library, they would be more comfortable, and probably have more fun. That's not going to happen, because 1) the bouncy place is not free, 2) our library friends are not there, 3) we can't walk there, and 4) there are no books there. But still. It's nice to know our children are capable of behaving semi-normally around other human beings.
Even if it's only at the library.
P.S. Anyone get the reference in the title of this post? I'm always wondering if people get those, because more often than not, there is one there. I should also note that Caedmon did eventually begin to have fun, chasing balls around and climbing a giant artificial tree, although he refused to bounce on anything.