I headed toward their room with a bucket and a broom, an activity that generally raises their alertness level to at least DefCon 1.
Son One peered suspiciously at me through his elevated Reeboks, an alarming feat considering the size of the feet. “What are you doing?”
“I thought I’d liberate some earth in preparation for tomorrow. You guys have enough free range topsoil in there to grow an acre of organic asparagus.”
He made the icky face. “I don’t like asparagus. Can you grow cake?”
I took a peek through their doorway. “Maybe Devil’s Food.”
“Funny, Mom. What’s with the bucket?”
Not wanting to compromise the integrity of my mission, I shot a wary glance at Son Two. He was staring intently at a tiny screen in front of him that he appeared to be mashing with his thumbs. Wires sprouted from the pockets of his hoodie and disappeared into his hair in the vicinity of where ears should be located. We haven’t seen his ears since 2003, so I’m a little apprehensive about confirming their whereabouts.
“Shhhh. I’m going to return his rock collection to the wild.”
The recliner at the end of the couch popped open like a mouse trap with reverse action. Music disappeared down flying headphones like water down a drain. The only thing dearer to Son Two than his rock collection is whatever he happens to have in the six million pockets of his camo jacket. Or a pizza. Or a six-pack of YooHoos. This kid rotates his priorities like a farmer rotates crop.
“It took all my life to collect that highly specialized representation of rock types. Throw out your own stuff.”
“I can’t. The only stuff you guys haven’t commandeered for personal use is my make up and my dangly earrings. I’ll give up my CoverGirl complexion before I part with my highly specialized collection of bright and shinies. Besides, my stuff isn’t environmentally friendly.”
“What about those silver earrings with your birthstone?”
“Sorry. Ashes to ashes. Amethysts to earlobes.”
I was blazing a trail across the carpet when I was stopped in my tracks by a line of crusty laundry that would probably resemble that long wall in
if seen from space. China
I went back, popped some popcorn and joined the boys on the couch.
I know when I’m beaten. I can shovel my way through shag, but I can’t fight the Great Wall of Chinos.