A full week.
For a full week I noticed it but didn’t question its existence or placement.
For a full week a new fishing lure, still in its package, sat in the bathroom basket that holds my hair accessories and face lotions. I didn’t put it there, but I didn’t remove it either. One day the absurdity struck me.
Huh. Weird. It’s not even fishing season.
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My first instinct wasn’t to question WHY it was there, only that its use wasn’t seasonally appropriate. Every mom has fishing lures in her makeup baskets during fishing season, right?
But the why? One word: boys.
I’ve been a mom to boys for 17 years. I grew up with two brothers and no sister; I have one daughter. Let’s save gender identification discussions for another day and someone more qualified than I, but this is what I know: The boys do things that neither my daughter nor I do.
Like the fishing lure in my make-up basket. I had a strong suspicion who put it there — the youngest, fishing crazy son. The kid who sneaks off to the pond near our house, happy with a couple of casts before he’s discovered; the kid who is the Monty Hall of fishing.
“Mom, let’s make a deal. You take me fishing and I will (do something that we both know he has no intention of doing).”
I did have a birthday recently and while my family has been known to give unusual gifts I’m pretty sure this wasn’t a present. I hate fishing.
It’s not that I find fishing gross or don’t like fish; I just think it’s really boring.
But during fishing season, I’ll take this son and his friends to fish. I’ll cast a couple times but mostly read in the sunshine. I’ll take him whenever I can and ooh and ahh over his catches. Why? I love my son, my son loves fishing — I go fishing.
Like you do.
Let’s add football in this same category. I hate football. There. I said it. It’s not a sport I grew up watching, I don’t like the violent aspect of it, it’s hard to learn to follow and don’t get me started on the injuries. This may not be popular to say, but, to me, any sport that has parents screaming, “HIT HIM! HIT SOMEONE!!” seems to go against the conflict-resolution strategies I have tried to instill in my kids.
But my teenage son loves football. He loves everything about it, so I go and actively watch him play. Sure, I’m usually screaming, “DON’T GET HURT!” but I’m there. Screaming. Cheering. Paying attention.
Like you do.
But sports activities alone don’t differentiate the boys from my daughter and me. For years we wondered why the lightbulbs in the kitchen ceiling fixture blew so frequently. Finally we called an electrician.
“What’s upstairs?” he asked.
“Bedrooms.” I answered.
“Any jumping around go on up there?”
“If you mean ‘do my boys take running swan dives on the bed right above this light, have ceiling-hitting contests and use the space as a wrestling room and handball court?’ then yes, there is jumping.”
Turns out the boys’ house-shaking activities made the metal from the fixture rub on the metal from the bulbs. Poof. Blown bulb.
In general the boys are louder, stinkier, belchier, cussier, door-slamminger and physicaler than my daughter and me.
I took the fishing hook from the bathroom basket to my husband and began a rant about how boys are.
“I put that there,” he interrupted. “I was hiding it from the boys.”
Like you do.