All posts tagged: Boys

Faith in Boys, Bikes and Wallpaper

I had all kinds of faith when I was a kid. Faith in Christmas presents, in the sweetness and chaos of my brother, in pathological lip-gloss reapplication, in swimming pools, in ketchup all over everything, in my bike. I had faith that my mother would remain fierce and beautiful and my father funny. I had faith that I could be those things if I paid attention. I would cherry-pick and incorporate. Season myself to taste. I would control myself. Everyone thinks they can do this. I didn’t know that then. But I had faith that concentrating really hard was the answer. Sometimes I notice myself being the things that they are, all kinds of things, and their voices are suddenly inside me, finding their way out. I’m surprised every time. Like I’ve belched in public. I have faith it doesn’t show. Did you read that on my face? I’m very good at not showing. I ask all the questions. I have faith that asking all the questions will fill me up. My story and others …

Boys Will Be Boys — If We Say So

When I was kid, I lived in a suburban neighborhood, down the street from a boy in my class. He was an athlete, crude and a bit rowdy — the kind of kid who gets his name written on the chalkboard. Though we went on to become friends in high school, we weren’t close as kids. My family has a tradition of carving pumpkins for Halloween, and I remember this one year in grade school, my younger sister and I were particularly proud of our little jack-o-lanterns. My mom placed them on the steps in front of our house with candles inside, and as we trick-or-treated around the neighborhood with friends, we couldn’t wait to walk by our house later to show them our pumpkins. But when my sister and I returned home, the glowing faces of our jack-o-lanterns were nowhere to be found. Instead, the splattered remains of our pumpkins were strewn across the sidewalk and the street. Someone had kicked them off the stairs and stomped them to pieces. There had always been rumors about …

I’m The Embarrassing Parent I Never Wanted To Be

Valerie’s dad in his finest. (Photo courtesy Valerie Medina) You know the look. The I-can’t-believe-you-just-did-that look. The one that makes you feel like no matter how tiny your infraction, your teenager will forever remember this embarrassing moment. The problem is, it’s challenging for me to refrain from breaking into song-and-car-dance when Uptown Funk (or even Funky Cold Medina) comes on the radio. It doesn’t matter if a friend of my 15-year-old daughter’s is in the car, a random cute boy is biking by, or we are at a stoplight with a car full of her peers right next to us — this type of music gets into my soul and beckons me. Yes, I have officially become the embarrassing mom. Anytime my daughter catches a glimpse of this boy on our way to or from school, she reaches over, holds my arm down so I won’t attempt a wave, and says, “Don’t even think about offering him a ride, Mom!” It’s a legacy. Growing up with my dad was like being in a room with …

Margit’s Note: Are You My New Bunkmate?

For some, camp is first-time-away-from-home ecstasy; for others, it’s the ultimate bug-juice-induced torture. And this week — as former campers and parents of campers — we cover the gamut. I happened to experience both. The first camp I attended, around the age of 12, was a quaint Poconos Lutheran camp where we crafted rainbow God’s eyes and sang vaguely religious campfire songs. It was also the site of my first massive crush — a stone-cold-fox boys’ camp counselor who always wore a red flannel shirt and black sailor’s cap. Now, he was heaven. The hell: At 13, I found myself in a much fancier Chesapeake Bay camp featuring the nastiest bully I’ve ever encountered, albeit one in a monogrammed pink polo. She slept in the bunk below me and would nightly shove her feet repeatedly in the back of my flimsy bed and call me Fatso as I flew into the air. Thankfully I bonded with an adorable Swedish sailing instructor who spoke little English. “Ja, ja, ready about, hard alee!” Sigh. A camp crush can heal …