February 28, 2009

Washing the Dogs


Dogs smell.... there's nothing for it.. they just do... When I got home yesterday I told James, our five year old, that it was time to give the dogs a bath.

He seemed excited about it and was more than willing to help. So I went in and filled up the tub. I'm more prone and fond of doing it outside with a hose and bottle of dog shampoo, but it was raining at a pretty steady rate so I decided against it. I got the water ready and began to fetch the dogs for the big event... James was standing next to the tub with his sleeves rolled up looking very serious about the job ahead of us.

There was much yelling and arguing, dogs scampering about with terrified looks in their eyes, and splashing of water.... By the time the second dog was finished we had a pretty good system worked out. James would tackle the top of their backs and I would handle everything else. The process took a bit longer than I thought and required far more towels than I figured were necessary, but it was done and wet dogs set about running to and fro.

There was one moment during the laborious washing when the air was full of water, we were both soaked, James slipping off the side of the tub and landing in the water had become a constant, and the action was at its most furious that our eyes met and I saw a stern look of concentration on his face. That moment I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

The thoughts that I have as I ponder the moments between my father and myself suddenly took on a new light.. I realized the things I see in my sons that I put there. It was quite a moment... I wonder if my father ever thought about this, I'm sure he did, but we never discussed it other than him looking at me over his glasses and saying, "Watch what you do, the little creatures see everything and forget nothing..."

I see my older son, Patrick, selling anything he can get his hands on to other kids at school, much as I had done.. I relayed the stories of buying things in town and taking them to school with me in my book bag and selling them for profit... He listened and asked many questions about haggling over price and I told him a few tricks to try.. It took... He has sold many video systems and games... We would read to him constantly when he was very young and now he has a huge book in his hand every time you see him... We played video games when he was just getting old enough to hold a controller and now he can beat me in any game there is...

James has a mischievous nature and loves to create pandemonium at any given opportunity.. I love that.. It can get noisy and can frazzle your nerves at times.. but secretly I love it when he does it - I see shades of my father in him... With him I seem to share a weird infatuation with monsters and drawing... not to mention scary stories and books (with Patrick too)... He carries a toy gun with him most everywhere he goes and at five already knows how take them apart and put them back together... I let him shoot the daisy BB gun that will be his one day, with much help and patience, and he loves it. As with Patrick, we read to James constantly and he always demands we do this.. He has taken to keeping books in the car, bathroom, living room.. well everywhere he's going to be... He also carries a serious nature about the things he wants to do, regardless of how annoying it is to everyone else.. I suspect he may have gotten this from me... The bitchy in the morning thing is all from his mother....

They are their own people, we don't like all the same things, Patrick loves Japanese comic books and James really likes tom and jerry cartoons, neither of these things I care for.. But, to each his own... There is something very comforting when you watch your sons say and do things that they learn from you. Even with the usual bullshit and drama of everyday life that people deal with they are pretty good kids... I'm right proud of them... I only hope that I can continue to show them how to deal with life properly, holding honor and character close, treating good people with respect, and ignoring worms they are forced to encounter and that they remember me with the same fondness that I look at my own father with...

5 comments:

The Angry Georgian said...

Well that was a right good one. One day they'll look at their own kids and wonder the same things.

Just me... said...

In thirty or forty years, I fully expect to be reading your boys blogs (or whatever goofball media we have in the future) and hearing them laud the things they learned from their father, as well as recounting the first time this one beat dad at a video game or laughing about the time that one helped wash the dogs in the tub.. Of these things, I have no doubt..

Junebug said...

No doubt your dad is looking down thinking I remember when Clay did this!
Now it's your turn to do all these things with your boys that you will look back on when you are 80 years old and say, I remember when we did these things!Your boys will also remember these things when they are men and think fondly of you.
Yes I know Julie likes her quiet wake up time in the morning!Don't we all.

The Empty Envelope said...

What a wonderful blog! Little boys are amazing and I love what they pick up on from all of us as well.

Jules said...

My dogs stink? How dare you! Well, sometimes they do..they like to find aromatic matter and roll in it, it's a dog thing. :-) Ah, our boys...so much of each of us and then some of their own. I must confess that James does follow my sleeping patterns and Patrick yours. I can't wait to see what else presents itself as they grow.