We are fully immersed in the summer now. The kids go to an all day camp where they do arts and crafts, go on field trips to amusement parks, watch movies, go bowling or to the library, play board games, enjoy sports and all sorts of other fun activities. Shaunie and I, well, we go to work as usual. Adulthood.
A couple evenings ago we were at our community pool. I do love that we have a pool that’s only open and available to residents of our housing development. We can walk and be there in less than 5 minutes. As usual, we had brought snacks. It’s what we do in the evenings. Go to the pool; snacks in hand. Some days we are armed with chips and cookies and assorted other goodies. On this particular day though we had only brought one pack of Shirley biscuits: a Jamaican favourite, and water with ice of course. The smell of sun block surrounded us as everyone does their best to keep their families protected, while having fun. There were 3 other families at the pool that day which seems to be pretty standard as it hasn’t ever been crowded when we show up and we are always able to get a table with an umbrella. We’d rather have a table with an umbrella than lounge chairs with uninhibited sun exposure.
So far, nothing about the scene seemed out of the norm. Business as usual you might say.
The kids jumped into the water which was surprisingly warm and began their usual antics. Spraying each other with water blasters, swimming, diving – you know the drill. After a while, they began playing with the other children who were there. One such child is new to our neighbourhood – And state. He is an only child and will begin the 7th grade (the same as Ace) in September at the same school Ace attends. As kids are wont to do, they hit it off pretty quickly and began some sort of game that I did not care to learn the intricacies of.
The next thing I heard was Ace complaining that Jay was “spying” on them. Remember, they were in a pool. There really was nowhere to “hide” but nonetheless, Jay was spying and it was annoying his older brother who was busy having fun with a peer and had no interest in playing silly games with his little brother.
It’s something I’ve noticed more and more lately.
Jay got invited to a classmates birthday party and when I asked Ace if he’d like to attend as well, because I was sure it would have been fine with the mom, he declined. Instead he and I watched a movie at home. Beetlejuice since I know you want to know. And no, it wasn’t as good as I remember it being when I watched it back in 1988.
When Jay asked me to initiate a play date with a friend and basically told Ace that he would come too, Ace flat out said NO. He was not interested. Jay has been steadily trying to convince him to change his mind. Ace is unwavering.
Also, he no longer likes shows such as Teen Titans, and does not care that they have a new movie coming out. Last year it was his and Jays fave and they were eagerly anticipating the movies release.
Yesterday was the 4th of July; Independence day here in the United States and that meant a lot of people had the day off work. Typically, it’s a day spent with family and friends, having bar-be-cues or going to the beach and when it gets dark the skies are lit up with fireworks.
Together with 4 friends (family really), we went river tubing. Ultimately it was a fun and mostly relaxing way to spend a day off, knowing we all had work the next day. All, except my teacher friend that is, who has off all summer, but I’m not jealous at all. Like, NOT ONE BIT. (I’m lying 🙂 )
We had done this same activity at the same river last year so we thought we knew what to expect. This year though, for some unknown reason, everyone in the state decided to go river tubing, at that river, at the time we got there, so from the time we parked, stood in line to pay/get wrist bands, sign waivers, get tubes, get on the bus that takes patrons to the top of the river and actually get in the water, it took about an hour and 45 minutes. A lot longer than the 20 minutes it took us last year. Everyone was hot and sweating but doing their best not to let it affect their good mood. At one point Jay was messing with Ace; As brothers do. Ace wanted no part of it. He wanted to stand there quietly like the rest of us, inch up slowly in the line, get a tube and chill. He just wanted no part of being silly or goofy and I had to intervene and tell Jay to leave Ace alone.
I cannot believe I just typed the words “[Ace] wanted no part of being silly or goofy”.
That tone continued the entire time we spent on the river. Ace wasn’t being surly. He was just being … more mature? He lounged in his tube. Hopped out to help bring us back together when someone in our group drifted away, passed drinks from the cooler to whoever asked for one and offered to help anchor us when we wanted to stop going with the tide.
Jay spent the nearly 2 hours we were on the water, jumping in and out of his tube, splashing people as they are chips, dropping his empty chip bag in the water which meant I had to go rescue it and put it back where it belonged with our other trash, being loud, making me belly laugh, climbing onto me and nearly toppling me over, “sneaking” up on Shaunie to splash her and just all round having a great time; the way a little kid would and should.
I do believe we are entering a new stage here folks. They have always been each others play mates and my boys do still enjoy each others company but Ace is becoming more serious; more teenagery; more grown up. The dynamics are changing in our house. Change is not bad. But it does mean that some adjusting needs to happen and I think in this case, instead of my mama heart, it’s Jay who is about to have the hardest time accepting it.