sideways rabbit

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Home Boys

Yesterday began a week's vacation for my son and husband, and they celebrated it by doing what they do best...staying at home. Neither one got out of their pajamas yesterday. I took this picture at a shamefully late hour, almost 10 p.m., interrupting a popcorn-and-Scooby-Doo marathon that had somehow turned into a display of aerial circus arts.

Homebody-ness can be passed down like wide feet and big heads, which, incidentally, they also share. I've never seen anyone who has the homebody gene worse (or better, depending on your perspective) than these two. I mentioned in a previous post that Scott was a stay-at-home dad for seven months, when Beau was 3-10 months old. And that they left the house only two times in those seven months, and were perfectly happy.

Of course, an infant whose physical and emotional needs are being met at home doesn't know or care that there's anything else out there. But when the kid's 5 and the dad's almost 42 and they still hover at home like bumblebees in tulips, you know this thing is going to stick. "What do you like most about preschool?" a well-meaning friend recently asked Beau. "When I get to go home again and play with my cars," came the answer.

Beau gets out of his program at 11:30 a.m., and the only way I can schedule an afternoon playdate or anything happening after, say, 2 p.m., is to stretch out errands until that time. We can't land at home and be expected to go out again until he's had time to reconnect with his happy place for at least two hours. He's like that vintage superhero Ultraman, whose solar powers were drained when he was away from his home planet. Or, more mainstream-ily, like E.T. In reverse.

Sometimes I don't know why, exactly. Our house is small. And for a small house, it contains lots of people: me, Scott, Beau, and my twin sister, Holly. It is frequently chaotic. It is never not cluttered. But he doesn't care. By 25 or so, he will have outgrown his childhood bedroom (shoot, he's almost too big for it now), and I envision him setting up camp in our basement, letting in girlfriends through the carport door. Or maybe he'll do a 180 and become an extroverted adventurer. Perhaps, as a young man, he'll be living halfway across the country or the world, painting his chosen town red while his proud, doddering parents follow his every move on Facebook. If that's the case, I'll just have to cherish the early days when he would interrupt a camping trip, beach vacation, zoo excursion, or glorious mountain hike to politely inquire: "Mommy and Daddy, this is fun. But can we go home now?"

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