Tuesday, January 29, 2008

They Eat A Lot

I went to Page's house for lunch today. It is Tuesday, Bread Making Day, a great day to have lunch at Page's because who doesn't like homemade 12 grain all hot and dripping with whipped honey butter?

But just moments after Page delivered the bread pans from the hot oven, the front door charged open and also delivered four teenage boys. All sporting earphones and hungered bellies. From what I could tell, two of them were my nephews, two were not, all obviously coming home from high school in search of a lunch break.

Oh drat. I thought. There goes my quiet lunch of bread and carrots shared with a few sisters and a sampling of their children. The boys quickly crowded the kitchen with their energy. Such big voices. And shoulders. With enough combined hair to donate to a balding alpaca.

They wasted no time raiding the fridge. Layton made fruit shakes while Clark finished off some flat Root Beer. Chips and salsa (mixed with sour cream) were offered on the dinning room table. In the midst of the chaos, I asked Clark what he was listening to and he responded, "Message in a Bottle by The Police."

"Sting?" Lucy asked trying to get in on the act.

One boy with dramatic bangs rolled his eyes.

"Would you boys like some bread?" Page asked with oven-mitted hands.

"Yes." Said the boy with the hair like Screech.

"Yes Sister Checketts." Page corrected.

"You don't really make them call you that?" Lucy protested.

"They are at the age where it is terribly awkward to know what to call your friend's parents. I am just letting them know that they can call me Sister Checketts. Sister Checketts, you can call me that from now on." As she commanded, Page was testing out a loaf of bread for durability.

"I called my math teacher Brother Jenner today on accident." Clark said reaching for some crackers with cream cheese. The other boys laughed. Loudly like, WAAAHHH! WAAAHHH!

Finally Page gave up on slicing the bread warm and hacked it up into four man-sized chunks. The boys each grabbed a piece, smothered it with sticky honey butter and stuffed it into their mouths like starved Vikings on pillage.

I dared not look.

As I turned away I thought about this whole business of having boys. How aggressive, awkward and constantly hungry they are! How indefatigable, red-blooded and grumpy they can be! And here I am, only months away to giving birth to one! Someone get me help.

Then, in the corner of my view I saw Page attempting to move Mery's glue-and-dried-beans project from the kitchen counter out of the way of our teenage army. The bottle tipped and glue went pouring down Mery's little jean skirt and fell into a puddle on the floor.

Mery gasped.

The kitchen was suddenly quiet.

"Nice one . . . Sister Checketts." Quipped one of the boys.

And that is when I went to get my camera. "Stay there." I said to the formidable gang, "I need to remember this moment."

A picture to remind me of the other adjective that describes transforming males: surprisingly clever.