photo (4)This blog occasionally flirts with becoming the all T2 channel all the time. I don’t think that is to be totally unexpected, he’s eight years old and naturally funny, so half the stuff he does screams for entry into the hallowed halls of ACSP (I’m trying out an acronym). He’s a wonderful weirdo, so he is easy to write about. As a result, I feel like I give T1 the short shrift sometimes.

To be fair, T1 is a moody teenager. He occasionally goes out of his way to be a grumpy pain in the ass. He does dumb stuff and doesn’t even know why he is doing it. His brain, otherwise a rather sharp weapon, spends large periods of time being dulled by hormones and endorphins. He’s got a lot of stuff going on. Despite all of this, when he isn’t being wracked by the throws of teenagerism, he can be a lot of fun. This is a story about one of those times.

I was out of town for most of last week. It was a good trip and I especially enjoyed it because, for what feels like the first time in a decade, my father, who I work with, went on the trip as well. It was nice to hang out with him. Still, by Friday morning I was ready to get home. I missed the family.

I got home Friday night and on Saturday C decided we were going to go on one of her outings.

C doesn’t like to sit still. This is in direct conflict with T1, T2 and I. The three of us LOVE to sit still. That doesn’t matter though, because C is essentially in charge. With fair regularity she decides that we are going out to do something as a family.

This is always the timeline of these events:

  1. C tells me that we are going to leave the house to do Activity X.
  2. I express skepticism and support in equal measure, neither particularly strongly. I opine that the boys are probably not going to want to do Activity X, often while not wanting to do Activity X myself.
  3. I keep my objections largely to myself, as I am not completely stupid.
  4. C announces to the household at large that we are going to do Activity X.
  5. T1 and T2 complain about having to partake.
  6. C announces that any complaints have to be addressed to her and that she doesn’t care even the slightest bits about any complaints. We are going.
  7. We go.
  8. A good time is had by all.
  9. Everyone agrees that C was right to make us take part in Activity X. We bond as a family.
  10. This process is repeated in its entirety the next weekend.

This time, however, through whatever alchemy dictates all of our moods, this tried in true process of C being a good mom and the rest of us being horrible children/significant others was circumvented. C announced we were going to do something as a family and everyone…readily agreed. It’s possible that the rest of us are learning. It is equally possible the boys were being affected by the full moon and I was too jet lagged to argue. In any event, everyone was on board to go out into the world and do something.

I think our immediate acquiescence took her by surprise. She didn’t have anything actually planned. It was decided that we would either go roller skating or bowling. I’ve no idea how those became the two options. We voted and C and T2 wanted to go roller skating. T1 and I opted for bowling. It was a complete stalemate. No one would budge. We decided to do both.

I hadn’t been inside a skating rink since I was T1’s age and I sucked at roller skating then. The boys chose inline skates. C and I went with the traditional four wheeled variety.

T2 had been skating around on rollerblades whenever in the last two months the ice and snow melted. A few days here and a few days there. He put on his rented skates, took about two tentative steps, and took off.

“I can’t believe I am way better than I thought I was!” he yelled, zipping by. He easily circled the rink, passing people, dancing to the music, and turning big circles when the mood struck him. I had to get on his case a few times to get his hands out of his pockets, I didn’t care how cool he thought it made him look. T2 was good.

T1 was amazing.

He could skate forward. Fast. He could skate backwards. Fast. Somehow he could skate sideways, also fast. He could turn on a dime and do it skating forward or backward. He was easily the best person on skates there, including the teenage employees in the referee shirts who were acting as sort of the skating rink lifeguards.

He was so good that a bunch of kids about his age, who obviously hung out at the skating rink a lot and who were used to being the belles of the ball took umbrage to his presence and mouthed off a little. He laughed off their minor outrage. They stopped skating all together. A couple of times I caught him skating up behind little kids who were about to fall and righting them, saving more than a few bruised knees. It was a cool move that got him thanked by more than one parent.

He didn’t do me the same courtesy. I fell twice, once because I’m not much of a skater and the second time because a woman fell right in front of me and I couldn’t get around her due to the fact that I’m not much of a skater. C was very good, apparently she was a rink rat as a child and even, it came out halfway through the skating adventure, spent some time on a roller derby team. She has maintained her roller girl skills.

After everyone decided we had spent enough time in one pair of rented footwear we left, had lunch, and then to the bowling alley to put on another pair of rented footwear.

T2 is the world’s biggest smack talker. Every time he rolled the ball down the alley he would either do a gigantic victory dance or collapse on the floor with his head in his hands. Even two pins were cause of celebration and he was playing with bumpers, so there wasn’t a lot of gnashing of teeth. Keep in mind, he was running his mouth from fourth place almost the whole time. There were only four of us.

T1 came within 10 points of beating me in the first game. He did better the second game. It came down to me needing to knock down three pins to tie him and four to beat him on the very last roll of the day.

I got two.

Everyone cheered. He jumped in the air, ran up to me, and hugged me. It was a moment of unguarded, non-teenager influenced emotion from him and totally worth getting beat for.

Everyone had a really good time. There weren’t any fights or little arguments. Everybody was just pleasant and fun to be around., T1 especially. He’s a good kid who, on occasion, does something dumb. He’s allowed a couple of screw-ups, I think.

Hopefully, next time C wants to go on one of her outings, we will all remember how much fun we had on this one.

Probably not though.


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