Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bedding Down the Boys

     Arden is hard core.  He sleeps on the floor.  I've tried to find a reason why it might not be acceptable practice, but I can't, so I let the boy sleep on the floor.  I roll him in his blanket, and make sure he has his little fireman pillow, I call him a "turkey sandwich" (as in "you little turkey," but he doesn't know and thinks it's nonsense, which I guess it is.  Why do turkeys deserve that sort of aspersion cast upon their kind?) and kiss him goodnight.  He likes to tell me his bed is hard as a rock, his mattress from the furniture store.  Arden tells me to sell it at a yard sale.  My motherly intuition tells me to hang on to the bed, it may someday be important.  Maybe when he's six he'll make a comparison between the bed and floor and change his mind.
     Meanwhile, Sam senses an opportunity.  I try to make them keep that room clean.  I try to have them pick every toy up off that floor every day.  But they are boys, they know my weaknesses.  And one of my weaknesses is the now deserted bed, after all, those things aren't technically on the floor.  Sam has appropriated Arden's bed for the over-flow books from the top bunk.  The I-have-so-many-books-I-can't-curl-up-on-my-bed-any-more-over-flow.  Sam does sleep with books, I guess when you're under five feet you don't need all of your mattress to stretch out.
     Tonight I was looking at those over-flow books, thinking about the life of a boy.  He has stashed his Encyclopedia of Swords and Sabers here below.  There's The Good Fight : How World War II Was Won, which he recently rediscovered and moved from the hall to his room.  There's a Dorothy Sayers book of short mystery stories.  A Latin textbook, a Bible and his Bible study notebook.
    What are Sam's current top bunk books, the things he sleeps with, in lieu of a bear or any other such commonplace item?  What does Sam love?  Here we find The Dangerous Book for Boys, always close at hand.   Another Latin textbook and a Latin reader.  A notebook of sketches.  Two World War II Encyclopedias for children.  A well read copy of The Three Musketeers (Puffin Classics), which is abridged.  I've bought an unabridged copy, but Sam hasn't tried it yet.  Sam keeps his nice Bible up here, and some loose papers.  I don't even want to dig through and know what they are.  Then, lest we think we can cubby hole him, and figure him out, you'll find a knitting project and a roll of masking tape (I didn't let myself ask, but I have been wondering how that roll of tape had disappeared).
     Instead of stressing about the mess, I'm rejoicing in the boy.  The stacked disaster is Sam developing his own interests, his own overflowing pile of books to feed the curiosity and imagination.  I love that boy!

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