I have often wondered if Brother has an overabundance of testosterone flowing through his eight-year-old man-cub veins. He's a large boy. Larger than most boys his age. He has a very deep voice for a child and a voracious appetite for sports, fast cars and all things mega manly.
This morning we got out and ran a few errands, enjoying the air-conditioned car during the midsummer heat. We were on the highway that runs next to our neighborhood, which has been under construction for what seems like an eternity.
But it's good. I almost sank my car in one of the potholes last year.
So, we're toodling along, being good law-abiding citizens, driving the 55 mph suggested by the signs posted amid the orange cones and barrels.
Okay, it was more like 60, but you go with the flow of traffic, right?
When all of a sudden, a bright yellow Mustang goes shooting past us, going at least 80. Brother rises up out of his seat and lets out a "Whoa! A Mustang!" He settles back once the car is out of sight and says, "Wow, that was sweet! How fast you think that was? 70? 80?"
I sit in silence for a moment, thinking there is no way in this lifetime I can ever let him behind the wheel of a car. I know this is a teachable moment and any good parent would use it to point out the error of Mr. Mustang's deviant ways. However, I also know that he is a boy - a young man in the making - and to expect he will never ever want to drive a car very, very fast because it just isn't safe is a bit naive. So I deliver the speech about how the driver of that car wasn't being very smart speeding like that on the highway in a construction zone and that he put himself and everyone else, including us, in danger. And then I tell him it's perfectly okay to drive fast if you are on a race track.
Yes, I know. My brilliance is astounding. But what's a mother to do?
Later on that day we are going the opposite direction on the same highway taking one of Brother's friends home. He and his friend are reading billboards and commenting on the pictures. We come to a billboard for a casino featuring a lovely, buxom young lady in a bikini swimming in a pool, smiling sweetly at these two innocent, young boys riding in my car.
Brother chuckles. "Hey, look at that," he says in amazement to his friend.
My knuckles tighten on the steering wheel. This cannot be happening.
"Yeah," says his friend, smiling.
What the heck??!!!
"You see that?" Brother asks.
"Yeah," his friend says again.
I cannot believe my ears. These little boys, seven and eight, leering like grown men right in front of me. I know I should say or do something, but I'm completely caught off guard. I need a Daddy...stat! Their conversation continues.
"You know what that is, don't you?" Brother asks.
"Yeah." Oh, no, here it comes. "A swimming pool!" comes the innocent reply.
"Yeah, a deep one, too! You think that's nine feet?"
"Yeah, or maybe ten..."
"Think you could touch in that?"