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Boys Will Be Boys
by Lynda Lee Schab 
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Boys Will Be Boys
By Lynda Schab

Boys will be boys, as the saying goes. That is, until they start wearing dresses.

My ten-year-old son, Zach, is all boy. He loves sports, rock collecting, and torturing his little sister. He enjoys jumping on the trampoline, making massive forts out of card tables, chairs, blankets, and other large items, and doing wheelies on his bike. Usually, he favors wind pants, zip-off pants, sports jerseys or one of his zillion grey Nike or Adidas t-shirts. But once in a while, when he's feeling silly, he'll dig through the dress-up trunk, choosing apparel that is, well, not exactly "boyish".

The other day, my niece and nephew were visiting. They happen to be pretty much the same ages as my two children. They get along great and have a lot of fun together, and it always amazes me to observe the creative and unusual things the four of them conjure up to do. I love being sneaky and watching them play when they don't know I'm there. What I love even more is catching them on video doing things they will regret later when the tape is played at their graduation open house, or better yet, wedding reception.

This time I recorded the four cousins having a parade. They were all dressed up in "parade clothes". My seven-year-old daughter, Lyndsey, was the least dressed up of the four, wearing her everyday clothes with a trendy hot pink cowboy hat. Her cousin Mary, also seven, wore a pink tu-tu, which was partially stuffed into the back of her shorts. She also sported a shiny blue vest, completing this beautiful ensemble. Nine-year-old Jake wore a full Star Wars costume, mask and all. I believe it was one of the storm troopers but I can't be sure. And my self-proclaimed "cool" son, Zach, wore a gorgeous blonde wig, dark sunglasses, and had draped two scarves around his neck, including a pink boa - lovely! For some odd reason, the name "Zsa Zsacherina Gabor" popped into my head.

The four members of this parade marched proudly around our culdesac, taking turns sitting in the wagon while two pulled and one rode alongside on the scooter. They truly made for a grand parade. I enjoyed it immensely! I was amazed that the street wasn't lined with spectators! I wanted to run through the neighborhood knocking on doors, announcing this "no-special-occasion-we-just-love-a-parade" parade! But then I would have blown my cover. I was actually hiding inside, recording the production through the front picture window. I have since hidden the tape in a safe place, just in case one of my children suddenly grows up and decides they would rather not have this childhood memory displayed someday for everyone to see. I will guard that precious cassette with my life!

In the past I have taken snapshots of Zach and cousin Jake, dressed in drag, and have taken great delight in threatening to show those photos at their weddings. But Zach just looked at me, smirked, and proclaimed, "We don't have to worry about that, mom. We're not getting married." And with that, he clumsily click-clacked his way across the room in his high heels.

Well, we'll see about that.

I imagine in a few short years, Zach will forget all about his declaration that he would remain a bachelor for life. And when he meets the right girl, and the engagement ring is on her finger, and the wedding plans are finalized, after the vows are recited, and when the guests are seated at the reception, bellies full from a delicious dinner, the slide show will begin…and everyone will get to see how my son, now ALL man, had a few brief moments of other-gender-curiosity.

He will probably be embarrassed by this blast from the past but I will reassure him that his behavior was perfectly normal for boys that age. Maybe we'll even take a wedding guest poll to see how many men will admit to playing dress-up at age ten. Maybe hands will be raised all over the reception hall, bringing relief to my red-faced son! Maybe I'll even be bold enough to suggest that Zach put on his bride's shoes....for old time's sake. I do love a good laugh and I look forward to having a good one at the wedding - I'll NEED to laugh so I won't cry! (for those suffering from sourpussitis, and could use a little "heeling" of your own, remember laughter truly IS good medicine for the "sole"!)

I've come to the conclusion that boys WILL be boys, even WHEN they're wearing high heels. Yes, I will treasure the "Parade" video and the memories it brings. And I will try to make more of an effort to "catch" the kids more often doing what they do best: being silly! As an adult, I sometimes forget how to simply let go and be goofy! But how awesome that my children have a wonderful way of reminding me! So next time I feel a burst of silliness coming on, I may just raid my husband's closet in search for the perfect outfit. I'm sure the kids will welcome an addition to their parade!

Lynda Schab
Copyright 2004

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Malley 17 Aug 2004
Lynda-A truly adorable, well-written story! Although, in ten years, I don't know how adorable your son will think it is! LOL
Dian Moore 14 Aug 2004
Great fun! Why not submit this to a parenting magazine right now. Cute, good ideas and a laugh to boot. And, yes, I DID laugh - out loud.
Lucian Thompson 13 Aug 2004
Sourpussitis, I love that word! You did a great job sharing this memorable moment with the rest of us. Hummm...wonder what your son would say if he knew the whole world is privy to his eccentricity. Ha...ha


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