Wednesday, February 11, 2009

stupidity contest

I can't lie. I am so happy that I have daughters and not sons. Boys scare the crap out of me for so many reasons. The baby boys I know tend to be voracious little beasts who suck the life from their mothers. The young boys I know tend to have boundless energy. Most men I know, as boys were fearless and too damned clever and adventurous for their own good. Excellent qualities in men, but terrifying in children.

My brother Christian had a good friend when we were growing up. His name was Jimmy. Christian and Jimmy raised some hell. They were both extremely intelligent and inquisitive, and they had absolutely no sense of repercussions or accountability at all. On a somewhat regular basis they would get grounded from each other, not allowed to see or play with each other for days as a result of whatever crap they pulled. Like, for instance, playing with matches and burning the woods down behind our house.

My father used to call their antics "stupidity contests." He was convinced they were trying to out-stupid each other, coming up with the most dangerous or somehow damaging games they possibly could. They weren't really stupid, though, they just wanted to push every boundary they encountered as far as humanly possible.

When Josh was young, he and a friend built a fort, complete with a coal-burning stove that they stole. And then they would steal coal to burn in their stove. Think about that: boys burning coal in a stove in a fort in the woods. I mean, come on. It makes a GREAT story now, but if that were my son I'd just lose it.

I know girls tend to be extremely challenging in a very different way. They're psychological warriors. But I'd prefer my daughters to be safely tucked away in the house, brooding and hating, than out burning down a few acres. But if pyromania is genetic, then God help us all.