I took Ryan, Chris and Bobby out to dinner last night, just the four of us. I enjoy spending time with different brotherly combinations, but the Littles have an interesting dynamic. It tests me, let me put it that way. They can irritate each other into a throw-down-the-stairs, punching and scratching fistfight, then crack up, burst into laughter, and go outside to play basketball together. If only adults could get with that kind of program.
It had been a long day. We'd spent most of it hosting dozens and dozens of visitors in our driveway for the Point Breeze Yard Sale. After haggling with strangers and packing up the stuff we didn't offload, the last thing I wanted to do was cook. Joe was on call, Jack had plans with his friends, so I took the Littles to Patron for our favorite Mexican dinner. Chori Pollo.
Somewhere between arguing over how much the basket of chips should be salted and calling each other names for not liking refried beans (WHO DOESN'T LIKE REFRIED BEANS, for crying out loud???), the beginnings of a brawl started to bubble. The longer the four of us were stuck in our booth, the more poking and kicking went on until I threatened to take the straw out of my margarita and stick it in their eyes. By the time we said adios to the handsome young host who'd seated us, I was considering walking straight into traffic on Centre Avenue. The angrier I got, the more they laughed. Grrrr.
And then it hit me. STOP. In eight more years, Joe and I will be empty nesters and I'll be wishing I had these moments back. Just then, I looked up the street to see they boys acting like total goofballs. They were in some kind of a hopping contest to see who could get to our car first.
How can something so stupid become the fodder of a video? Easy. Their giggles and silliness taught me something. Most of the stuff we get so frothed up over just isn't that big of a deal. And it's certainly not big enough that some hopping can't fix it.
So, here's to Hopping It Out, every now and again. 1. It's exhausting. 2. You look ridiculous doing it. 3. Watching someone hop around on one foot makes people smile. 4. By the time you've hopped to where you're trying to go, you've forgotten all about what had frustrated you in the first place.
Thanks, boys. And... next time? I'll be in charge of the salt.