I am surrounded by boys in my home and it is my other obsession to better understand the way their brains work. They can relay an entire story using sounds instead of words, I can’t even rewrite what they say. It would make no sense. I am finding myself more and more silent at the dinner table not able to appreciate the incredible fascination with ‘how to create the next great room in Minecraft’. My boys are by and large gentle souls, but the inner warriors have been unleashed this summer!
I borrowed a 12 year old boy. To be clear, my stepbrother has a son who was gracious enough to spend a week with us. I sold it as downtime for his parents and a trip to NY for him. Truthfully, he was THE entertainment for my two boys in a way I could not even have imagined. N liberated my ordinarily subdued P and G with hours and hours of all the things boys stereotypically adore – battles, lego, hero factory, video games, butt jokes and more. This was especially fun for my lovely P, who is known on the playground to be an adoring big brother to all the little siblings around holding their hands and catering to their needs. I am more certain, every first born needs a big sib.
The mornings began with water gun fights and my gentle P all strapped up with Nerf battle gear leaving our house set for war! A quick, “Bye Mom!” and he was out the door not to be seen from again for a good hour. Who knew my little guy had so much power and roar! He came back sweaty with a huge grin on his face. Typically, three’s a crowd, one always feels left out. Not this time. N deftly handled my two with such ease and care, narry a squabble or a whine.
We painted the town red together. Three hours into the Natural History Museum! The next day was a trip all the way to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. No one asked to be picked up or carried. This is a feat. We usually can’t get one city block without someone asking for a piggyback ride! No one dared to complain, not in front of an almost teenager! I almost entertained the idea that I could have more children if life was this easy.
With the children occupied, I even got to enjoy Ellis Island. I was astounded by how much Asian American history there was. I planted P in front of an entire wall dedicated to the Chinese Exclusion Act. I learned that there were Filipino ship workers in America in 1765! I always considered Lady Liberty as history for all those other Americans. I found that there was much that connected me to it.
Since this is mostly an adoption blog, adoption was not far from my mind. First the visual. My dear N is a beautiful fair skinned Caucasian boy with the bluest of eyes. But he quickly fit into our mostly Asian palate loving all things sushi, fish and soy sauce related. He loved all the Korean food and tried everything. We made kimbap together and he declared it one of the best meals he ever had. I was thrilled. But it was an innocuous incident waiting on line that opened his big blue eyes to a snippet of my world. We had to go through security by family to get on the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. In front of my brood was a family of four, all Caucasian, blonde and blue eyed. The security guard wisked the family through and scooped up N along with them. His fair face went red and his eyes grew big with a slight embarrassed panick as I quickly declared, “No!, he is with us!” An honest mistake, a funny happenstance and source of great amusement for me later on. Of course, no one would think he belongs with me! I didn’t know this till later, but N relayed the story to his mother. “Now I know how Joy must feel being adopted.” For him, it was a glimpse into my world and an understanding has begun to brew in his young mind. An education for sure. I could not have planned that one if I tried.