Sunday, March 16, 2008

An Ode to the Y Chromosome

   Someone has said that boys are made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails. Well, maybe. But I think there’s a little more to it...

   Being a boy is having shoes that make you run faster and jump higher. It is building backyard fortresses of scrap plywood. It is exploring outer space, sailing the high seas, and battling monsters -- all at the same time. It is being chased by the girls, secretly hoping (and scheming) to get caught, but being willing to take that secret to the grave. 

   When you’re a boy, every football you throw is a touchdown pass, every shot with a basketball is a buzzer beating, game winner, every baseball hit, a home run. A boy is sure that his dad could easily take any of the other guy’s dads - and isn’t afraid to say so. A boy can admire Han Solo and Luke Skywalker and still thrill when Darth Vader comes on screen. 

   Being a boy is digging for dinosaur bones in your backyard -- and being pretty sure that one was the real thing. It is going down the river with Huck Finn and whitewashing the fence with Tom Sawyer. It is having more fun planning exploits, than actually carrying them out. It is having a crush on the girl next door. And the babysitter. And your fifth grade teacher. 

   Boys know that video game scores are important. Boys are as interested in tricks as they are in treats. A boy carries everything he needs to survive in  his pockets. When you are a boy, playground swings become rocket ships, and jet fighters. You dress in cowboy boots, a Superman cape, and a space helmet -- just to cover all of your bases. 

   Being a boy is burying “treasure” in your backyard, just so you will have some to dig up -- then forgetting where you buried it anyway. It is taking a bath and wondering where all the scrapes and bruises came from (I honestly don’t remember falling down that often). It is being afraid of the high dive, but being mortified that you might be the only one who is. It is pledging “blood brotherhood” with your best friend, but being a little squeamish about the actual “blood” part. Being a boy is wanting to grow up to be a fireman. And an archaeologist. And an astronaut. And just like your dad. 

   Boys conduct “scientific” experiments, by tying firecrackers to various toys “just to see what will happen.” Boys play tennis -- with rocks. Boys know how to get a double missile  on Space Invaders. Boys have an endless fascination with bugs and body noises, and anything else that grosses out little girls. A boy knows that no one makes a better peanut butter and jelly sandwich than his mom. 

   Being a boy is climbing higher and riding faster than you would ever admit to your mother. 

   Being a boy is putting on backyard concerts, with tennis racket guitars and trash can drums. 

   Being a boy is being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. 

   Being a boy is being prepared. 

   Being a boy is imagining that you are the only thing that stands between your third grade class and an entire fleet of alien invaders -- and liking the odds.

   Then again, maybe that’s just me.


Aaron said...

I'm glad you remember.

Life is not living, without a best friend.

One who will always reload for you, be your wingman and help tape cardboard on your bike for the motor sounds.

Someday when this is all over, I want to prop up a couple love sacs and watch the show with our wives and kids, just so they know it really happened and so they understand what the term "best friend" should always mean.

Chris said...

amen brother