When temperatures drop below 40-degrees, the boys’ school cancels outside recess and instead herds the kids back to their classrooms following lunch. As a mother of three boys, this adds up to trouble-trouble-trouble. A week of no midday running around makes for three wound-up boys.
The squeal of the school bus brakes alert me to their arrival. Five-four-three-two. “YAAAA!” they yell, running and whooping through the house. “Snack! Snack!” they cry, jumping in place as I finish placing oranges and cookies on a plate.
“So,” I start, “how was indoor recess?”
“How’d you know?” A. asks.
Oh, sweetie. Some things Mommas just know. “What’d you play?”
“I did odd jobs,” he answers.
“Is that a game?” I ask.
“No,” he says, rolling his eyes. When did my first-grader learn to roll his eyes? “Odd jobs? Like clean up things?” He explains that he emptied the trashcan, put away crayons, tidied up the reading corner.
This stops me. “You chose odd jobs instead of playing?”
He nods. “I like helping.”
I throw my arm over his shoulder and pull him into a hug. “That is so nice.”
Just when you think you’ve figured them out, your kids go and surprise you all over again.