Monday, May 13, 2013

When dirt lands on your driveway

Collin proudly wears his first soccer medal.

Cooper raced through the door.  His eyes were wide and his face was flushed.  

"Mom," he screamed.  "There's a HUMONGOUS dirt pile on our driveway!"

He beamed and danced around the kitchen with excitement.  In Cooper's world, it was like Disneyland uprooted and landed outside our house.  In the life of a little boy, days don't get much better than this.

"It's not dirt, but mulch," I replied.

Cooper looked perplexed.

"They're different because...because (hmm)," I paused.  "Just because. "

"And," I continued.  "It's off limits."

Cooper's face fell.  

I saw the wheels in Cooper's head turning.  I imagined all the ways Cooper was planning to supersede my instructions.

-What if I accidentally fell into the mulch?
-What if a ball lands in the mulch and I have to retrieve it?
-What if I need to hide in the mulch to protect myself from a bear?
-What if a tornado comes and our house collapses and the mulch pit is the only place to find refuge from the storm?

I held firm.  No mulch diving, under any circumstances.  N-O.  No. NO!

Cooper was hurt.  He acted as if I placed a brand spanking new trampoline on our driveway with a "Do not touch" sign.  It just wasn't fair, according to Cooper.

Cooper paced the house for a while, letting off steam.  Then, he ran around outside doing a fairly good job staying out of the "dirt."

Around supper time, I went outside to call the boys in for dinner.  When I hit the driveway I glanced at the mulch pile and gasped.  Balanced on top was......Ozzy, a neighbor boy.  Ozzy is a child that's always impeccably dressed and sparkly clean.  I've never seen Ozzy's blond locks in disorder.  He's a sweet boy, extremely polite, and obedient.

Tonight I found Ozzy drenched in mulch remnants as if he rolled, slid, and tunneled through the mulch pile.  Ozzy's hair danced out from his skull with mulch chips blanketing his scalp.  I took a once over on Ozzy's appearance and prayed his family wasn't planning a family photo that night or a special celebratory dinner.

"Ozzy, I asked.  "Will your mom be mad?"

Yes," he answered in complete honesty.  He had a conflicted look on his face, an expression that was a mix of guilt and elation.

Cooper shot him a look of pure envy.  

Sometimes life just isn't fair.

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