The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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It’s All About Balance

on June 21, 2012

There has always been a delicate balance in our family: we have two boys and two girls. All things are even.  At least they are in theory. For our poor youngest child things are not nearly as even as he’d like them to be.  Two years ago his big brother moved out to go to college. It was difficult enough for him that one of his heroes was no longer in full time residence but I don’t think any of us has realized how badly it messed up the balance of our home as much as he has.  He is now surrounded by women.  While his sisters and I are not evil we also aren’t guys. We just don’t get it sometimes.

 Enter my husband: super dad.  He understands that boys need to be boys.  He reminds the women of our house of this on a regular basis.  He rights the balance when it gets skewed to the female side.  The problem for our son: he works out of town four days a week.  For those four days the boy has to fend off the female folk in an effort to be a guy.  Don’t get me wrong: the females of the house don’t have a problem with guys.  We love them and respect that they are different from us.  We even understand on some level that they think differently than we do.  That doesn’t stop some of us, however, from trying to girly up the youngest child in the house from time to time.

 There are three bedrooms in the upstairs of our home: one for each of the oldest three children.  Our youngest spent his formative years in a converted office on the main level.  It’s small, but it worked. Well…it worked until he got older and bigger and accumulated stuff.  Things got pretty cramped then.  In the beginning of this summer when our oldest leased an apartment in the town where he attends college it became apparent to us that he no longer needed a permanent room in our home.  We decided it was time to move our youngest upstairs.  It isn’t that we don’t miss the oldest and don’t like it when he comes home to visit. I love having him around, no matter how short the visit and would love to have kept his room just as it was for him. I refuse, however, to have a shrine in my home and – hey – we needed the room!  After deep clean-up, wall repair, a new coat of paint and new window treatments it was time for the big move.  I was at work while my husband oversaw “Operation Regain The Office”.  He recruited our daughters to help.  They did a great job and by the time I arrived home they had our littlest chick all settled into his new nest. My husband commented at how helpful the girls had been the entire day.  In fact, he told me, they did most of it.  Helping him throw out stuff he didn’t want any more, sorting through clothes and getting them organized in his new dresser, figuring out where things worked best in the room.  I was surprised.  I kind of thought they would resist having another male move into what had become “female territory” the last two years.  (They had expressed on numerous occasions how much better the upstairs smelled.)  My husband told me that he too was puzzled so he inquired as to their willingness and zeal to assist with the move.  Our oldest daughter explained it to him: “Well Dad. We figured we might as well start him out right.  It’s easier to train him this way.”  Ah!  He may have a new room, but it came with female house rules attached.

To balance out the overdose of estrogen the boy puts up with on a daily basis, my husband makes sure that he spends some “guy time” with him when he is home from work.  Last weekend guy time (or “Dude Day” as they like to call it) was a day spent at a local air show.  They had a blast but they forgot the sunscreen (see – they really do need women once in a while!) so they came home quite sunburned.  In fact, our son’s face even had some blisters on it which is unusual.  That was Saturday. Yesterday his sunburn had mostly turned into a tan, except on his face.  He’s peeling.  He kind of looks like a salamander at the moment. He doesn’t mind because it just reminds him of the great time he had with his dad last weekend.  We females mind because it looks nasty and he keeps itching it which makes it worse. Being females we have decided to help.  As his older sisters were attacking him with facial moisturizer last night he looked at me with his big brown eyes and in a quiet voice asked, “What day does Dad come home?”  Poor kid.  He needs some balance again.

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