I am in and out of reading Boy Writers: Reclaiming their Voices, this rainy summer morning. The kids' sounds and voices are streaming into my ears from the living room, drawing my attention from the book occasionally. The book is an easy read for this mom of two boys. I get it. This morning I read two chapters back to back, the first about the issue of violence in boys writing and the second about humor. Somewhere in there the two overlapped and I thought, "I love this book!", then my oldest interrupted, "Do you have a washer?" I ask, "Why?" as I get up and take down a junk box to rummage through to no avail. "I am making something." I look at the created 'something' in his hand, and think, is that a slingshot? "You aren't going to shoot the washer are you?" "No. It's just a noisemaker." big grin.
My son continues his search, a sign of task persistence in it's most authentic form, and I return to my book. "Take your boys humor seriously. Look for the intelligence behind the apparent silliness." It is so true we can easily mistake silliness for stupidity, they are not one in the same. Excited kid noises drift up from the basement when a washer is apparently found. I think about the previous page where a teacher describes her problem of "not sharing their (boys) sense of humor" and another who acknowleges, "I don't get it." and I know it is true. Sometimes as a parent I have moments where I don't allow myself to "get it", but when I sink down into the muck of it, feel it through their laughter, it is a great place to be sharing in their inventive, silly, clever (but admittedly not always intelligent--insert smirk here) humor.
As I draw down out of my own thoughts and again into the book in front of me, a sudden larger than life and louder than humanly possible ripping, flatulent sound accompanied by uproarious laughter fill my home while my boys thunder upstairs, whooping in boyish hilarity, into the room with me. . .'Did you hear that??!!" I smile, even laugh, and think to myself, "How could I not?" while I absorb the proud smiles of boys in the midst of creating their own fun and . . . materials for writing. I may have to share this book with their teachers this fall.