Boys to Men

Husband has set the children to breaking up large rocks with a sledge hammer. Backfill for an elusive cement project. FD suggests this sounds like punishment, but in the twisted way that boys have that allows them to feign near-death illness upon being asked to set the table but joyfully dig a hole ten times their own volume, they enjoy the rock breaking. The nine year old probably weighs as much as the hammer, but he's the one hardest at it. 

So help me, every time they take a little rest and then begin again and I hear the first thud of that hammer, feel the vibration in my feet, I think it's a toddler's head striking the floor. You know the solid sound I'm talking about–the one that's generally followed by a split second silence and then an ear-piercing shriek. I have this instantaneous panic reaction and every possibility presents itself: someone has succeeded in climbing all the way to the top of the fridge; a neighbor child has climbed the fence and fallen, headfirst onto the cement; a large someone has decided to carry a small someone on their shoulders and dropped them off backwards.

But the shriek doesn't come and so I take a deep breath and remember, it's just Dad, making men out of boys.

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