I am a female raising a male human. Alone. With no help. I have only a sister, no brothers. I did have a father who was very present in my life, but I did not meet him until 1960. He was 38 years old. I have been married to a man, and dated a few others before him, but once again, they were adults. The point I am attempting to make is that I have no real life experience with a young boy. What makes them tick? What goes on inside their mind? Is there actually a “mind” located within their skull? Case in point. Last Spring, after the snow had melted, I was piddling out in the front yard, collecting various forms of debris that had landed on the lawn-leaves, sticks, pickles. Pickles you say? I did not initially realize that I was picking up pickles. The first one or two I came upon, near the front door, were green, shriveled, rubbery mystery items that I believed might have been deposited in the yard by birds. Then I came upon another, and another, and another, until I realized that they were pickles-little miniature gherkins-often used for snacking. Was someone in the neighborhood feeding the birds pickles? Had they run out of seed and peanut butter, or were they just trying to finish off the jar and thought, hey, I think I’ll put these in the feeder to get rid of them? (Birds will eat anything, like Mikey.) It did not dawn on me until later in the day, that most likely, my son (then 12 years old), had apparently gotten bored one winter’s day and decided that it would be fun to toss pickles out the front door like lawn darts. Really????
Fast forward to this winter, which has also included many housebound, relatively uneventful days for my son. He spends a lot of his free time on his XBox, but once in a while he tires of that, and will watch old reruns of I Dream of Jeanie and the Beverly Hillbillies. Apparently, one dull and dreary day he ran out of things to do, and decided to suck the coating off of several orange-flavored Tic Tacs and spit them around the house. (Yesterday, I found one behind a chair in the great room. Weeks before, I had found a couple of others in more conspicuous places, but shrugged them off to something the dog had dragged in.) Once again, I was left scratching my head in wonder at the inner workings of the underdeveloped male brain. What could possibly make an individual decide to make a sport out of kosher dills and breath mints? What’s next? Waffles as frisbees, or Cheerios as ammunition? I may have to start locking up the frig and pantry when I leave. Apparently, a grocery toss has replaced a deck of cards and board games as indoor fun-at least at my house!