We are a strange crew, The Girl, The Boy and me. i was only a year older than The Girl, now 23, when she popped* into my life. The Boy appeared two years later to complete our rag-tag hippie family.
He’s a December baby, born on the 14th. His first act of defiance, in fact, was to ignore his “due date” of December 3rd. Smaller than his sister**, he was always the cuddly kid. As a little dude, he’d hang on me, arms wrapped around my neck, clinging like a baby monkey. Probably stopped this sometime around three years old, it was his favorite way to be carried.
Tomorrow? He’s 21. A milestone birthday for sure. Our family tradition is fairly simple – the birthday kid (or parent) chooses a restaurant and we go out for an evening of silliness. Tonight was the night, and it was much less shitty*** than last years event…
Before dinner, though, we had the goofy present bash. The Boy isn’t much on “stuff”, really has simple needs, so finding an appropriate gift is a challenge. Asking what he wanted or needed? A book, a DVD… but then it finally hit him. “You sort of owe me a knife, for the one that got stolen last summer…”.
He had me there. When i was in “Trailer Park Musical”, my character needed to strap a 6″ hunting knife to her leg at one point in the show. Not being a “weapons” person, i borrowed a knife from The Boy. There was a breach of security during rehearsal, and my knife was stolen. Once i’d acquiesced to the knife, The Boy pushed the envelope a bit. “Well, how about a cross-bow?”. When that was met with a glare, he replied “So, I guess shotgun shells are out of the question?”
The best gift of all, though, was one that didn’t cost much. Living alone, about an hour away at the university, The Boy sometimes gets a little lonely. He’d casually mentioned that he’d even thought about getting a cat for company, but wasn’t sure if his lease allowed pets. i was one step ahead of him – having already ordered live companions to soften his lonely nights.
An ant farm! The perfect gift for the isolated college student! Discussing it with The Girl, she decided to pick up the perfect companion gift… a magnifying glass****! When he tired of his pets, an even better way to pass the time!
Naturally, we’d been screwing with his head over these gifts. Taunting him with hints, raising his curiosity. Opening the magnifying glass first, we tested him. “C’mon, guess what the other gift is! They go together perfectly!” He struggled… coming up empty. Until i said “What’s the best thing you can do with a magnifying glass?”
The Boy: Set shit on fire?
daisyfae: [smiles, nods head… encouraging him onward…]
The Boy: An ant farm?
My baby monkey. All grown up… sort of…
* Wasn’t no “poppin'” about it… She was 11 pounds 2 1/4 ounces at birth. No, it was NOT a “natural” delivery. There would have been nothing “natural” about that…
** He was the little guy, weighing in a a mere 10 pounds 8 ounces. Despite his diminutive size, he was also a ‘fillet’ delivery. And though they were getting smaller, i said “Fuck This Shit” and had my tubes tied, cut, super-glued, stapled and duct taped shut a few years later.
*** The shitstorm from last year was epic…
**** The Girl works in a bookstore, and bought the magnifying glass there. A customer asked her about it – and she explained that she was getting it for her little brothers birthday, to go with his Ant Farm. The customer, a little surprised, asked “How old is your brother?” He was even more surprised when she said “Twenty one…”