The sweet sounds of a wild rumpus

I heard the squeals, screams and shouts before I saw the entourage. But oh, the entourage was worth the wait. Full of flash, dash, sparkles and bravado, it entertained me for a good half an hour.

But the entourage has since been called home for dinner.

What a shame. It was a brief happy interlude in an otherwise ordinary day.

I was fixing dinner, just a bit ago, after a long day of work. Work I’m thankful to have, but the usual routine stuff—nothing extraordinary. I went to the grocery store with my youngest so I could make said dinner, just like usual. And my pre-teen was being—well–a pre-teen. He entered the grocery store in a decent mood and was channeling Ava Gardner by the time we left (“I want to be alone.”).

As I fixed our meal, he decided he just wanted cereal. Then, he accidentally dropped the cereal on the floor and stomped upstairs. After that, he tried to pick a fight with me. Told me he would not do any of his chores, etc.  I could literally see the hormones ramping up (his, not mine). And, of course, they came back to normal levels after a bike ride. But, in the moment, as I calmly focused on shredding chicken and watched his emotions play Gnip Gnop with him, I remembered highchair tantrums much more fondly. At least then, he was contained.

So, when I heard happy shouts outside, I peeked out the window only to see a tiny body with a box on its head, chased by another tiny body who looked like he had absconded with Siegfried’s hair (or Roy’s—I never could keep them straight). He was running like a drunken sailor, as the blond wig kept falling down in front of his eyes. The former tiny body was brandishing a sword, leading the charge. And trailing behind, calling out, “Boys, wait! Wait for me!” was a tiny princess in a flowered dress.

The trio raced through my backyard, much to my dog’s chagrin. As the swordplay turned to wrestling and then tag, and the running to and from through the grass continued, I smiled. I remembered this routine well. My own boys had beaten that same path through the yards and over the fence many times as they played with neighbor children. Replace the wig with a Superman cape and the box on the head with scuba flippers, and you take me back about a decade. The names called out and the props used may have changed, but the joy still sounds pretty much the same. And now, with a new crop of tiny neighborhood children, the ritual was beginning again.

In an otherwise ordinary day, the joy inherent in that ritual still has me smiling.

It’s about time the sweet sounds of a wild rumpus drift through my kitchen window again. It’s been far too long.

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24 Comments Add yours

  1. Aunt Beulah says:

    Oh, I loved this, Kay. The reason I never want to sell our house — even though we endure brutal winters here — is because children troop by our home on the way to school fall, winter, and spring, and, in the summer, on their way to the pool. With our children and grandchildren far away, I still get a daily fix of the antics, excitement, and charm of young ones. Your post delighted me as much as the children delighted you.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! I don’t blame you. There is beauty in every stage of life and it seems we should be able to enjoy each simultaneously, if vicariously.

  2. Wonderful image of the kids running and laying! I remember back when my son was very little and I was at a parenting class. We talked about how when the become teens, it will be like when they were three in many ways. But they didn’t know that with mine, it would all be so much bigger. Bigger emotional swings. Bigger meltdowns. Much bigger boy. At thirteen, he towers three inches or more above me. My favorite parenting tool has been and continues to be, hugs. Lots of hugs.

    1. candidkay says:

      I think that toolbox of yours has everything you need:). Bravo.

  3. srbottch says:

    Yup, they go fast. Our daughter is visiting after 2 1/2 hiatus because of her moving, work, etc. spent the day today at an amusement park riding a roller coaster, merry go round, bumper cars (I let her ram me) and eating until the three of us tired (only took 2 1/2 hrs). It brought back memories, especially seeing the young families with their toddlers. It won’t be long before they will be saying goodby to theirs. Enjoy them now. Great story.

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, that sounds like a very fun day! Takes you back, doesn’t it?:)

  4. Roy McCarthy says:

    No so many wild rumpus’s in this neck of the woods. All the young ones are stuck indoors. We rarely see gangs of kids marauding, playing, getting up to mischief these days. Youth crime figures are rock bottom too. Everyone is stuck in front of a screen, presumably.

    1. candidkay says:

      Did you ever see the movie Wall-E, Roy? I am worried we are all starting to look and act like the people in it:).

  5. suemclaren24 says:

    This is exactly why I can’t stand (despite my age) retirement communities!

    1. candidkay says:

      I hear you–the interplay between generations add so much to all parties. I just saw a wonderful bit on turning animal shelters into coffee shops. The animals get to mingle with customers and the customers get a little furry love. And maybe a match is made and some sweet pet gets a home . . . I have to think something like this has to be possible in mixing the generations too.

  6. George says:

    And it’s all still so clear in our minds, isn’t it. So much so that when the outburst happens we still know who they are at their core and it brings us back. Sometimes that’s harder to do then other times but the prince and princess will always be in our homes…:)
    It gets better..:)

    1. candidkay says:

      I’m holding you to that last remark! 🙂

  7. dinnerbysusan says:

    I have a friend who says, “Remember what your kids were like as tiny boys; it keeps you from throttling them as teens.” Thanks for the memories!

    1. candidkay says:

      I, that is one wise friend :-).

  8. heyjude6119 says:

    We were all warned about hormones and teenage girls, but no one said anything about boys and their hormones. I remember watching in shock when my oldest would blow up over the slightest irritation. When the second boy started into that phase, it didn’t take long for me to remember what was going on. By the third one, I was ready for it. I was able to counsel my sister when her boys went through this. Thankfully, it doesn’t last.
    How fun to get in on the neighbor children’s play!

    1. candidkay says:

      I feel similarly. I went through this with my eldest and, like clockwork, the hormones seem to be hitting at the exact same age for my youngest :-). Makes me realize we will all survive it. I wasn’t so sure the first time :-).

  9. A true reflection on fleeting moments and how quickly it can change! Enjoy them all good or bad! 💗

    1. candidkay says:

      You’re right! Turns on a dime.

  10. Ooh Kristine…your hormones are shifting 😀
    And it won’t be too long before the boys realise the sword fight isn’t just about the fight. Leaving poor princess’s in their wake.
    The princess’s of this world will finally come into their lives to test their beating hearts, instead of an adrenaline rush with nowhere to go 😀
    Great post 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh so true:). We have a little of that going on in my house!

      1. Ah, the wonders of being a mom with all those things happening. Must bring back lots of menories 😀

  11. Poetic, Kay. Luminous in it’s appreciation for the magic in the mayhem of childhood passions.

    1. candidkay says:

      Funny, in the middle of the mayhem we sometimes wish it away. And then we miss it when it’s gone :-).

      1. So true! I remember dreaming of the day I could shop for groceries alone, without distractions, only to silently sway in every check out line to the memory of the small children no longer in my arms.

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