a ~ (They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)

My sons are skinny creatures. Despite the fantastic number of bagels and apples they manage to consume every day, their legs and arms are long and stick-thin. They are scarecrow men, usually clad in flannel and plaid, with little wish to scare away birds, but the birds fly off anyway, fearful and nervous at my boys’ spinning limbs and calling voices.

None of them were chubby babies. I pretended, though, to nibble plump shoulders and feet. But they were all skinny like starving baby birds. No matter how much rice cereal I spackled into their yawning beaks, they remained fit and lythe, ready to squeeze through a keyhole if circumstances allowed. Except for L, who’s always had a round barrel of  chest, all the better to house those amazing lungs of his, lungs that support his habit of movingfastallthetime.

I wonder what bodies they’ll adopt once the teenage years have zoomed by and their eating habits  have to support a different kind of metabolism. I wonder what sort of men they’ll be, what sort of partners they’ll attract. What sort of family photo we’ll make at weddings, births, holidays, funerals.

T made this bridge last year for cub scouts and I spotted it in the window on my way up the stairs this morning and it seemed potent, when I had a moment to think about it. A strong bridge made of skinny sticks to symbolize our ongoing arch toward the future. Or something. Delicate things like this bridge usually break in our household of blousey ruckusing, but this bridge has lasted for almost a year. Practically a miracle.

May my budding men harbor that same skinny strength.

About andi

Writer, editor, wrangler of small boys and dogs.

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