Of Cabbages and Kings
Polish your skates and make sure your bicycle is ready. We’re going to try to catch up with Christine Buob’s twins, Josh and John. These 11-year-old boys enjoy life at a fast pace. Their quick minds have their attention on the next subject while you are still pondering the last one.
I made the mistake of asking them what they’d like to be when they grew up. “Batman,” Josh said. “Spiderman,” John said. Well, maybe, fellas, I’m not so sure. I think they were testing me. Actually, John has his mind on being a police officer or a fireman. Josh reveals an interest in architecture and designing houses.
The boys started school at Christian Heritage in Edwall. A couple years ago, when they were in the third- grade there, Josh tackled a “story problem” in math. He won a ribbon. Now, they’re fifth-graders at Cheney’s Salnave School. “I like everything except recess,” John said. “ I like mystery books with a ‘who done it’ story.”
The boys have a serious side. They help their mother daily. John takes out the trash, carrying it out to be picked up. Josh does the dishes. They don’t have to be told, nor do they complain.
The boys are musical. John plays the piano. I was touched when Christine said, “Instead of singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to his grandmother, Connie, he played it for her on the piano.” When John mentioned that he liked the “Lone Star Prairie” song, I presumed he liked western music. “No,” he said, “I like rock and roll.” Josh favors the guitar. He also plays the trumpet and piano. He has a goal for the future. “I want to be on the worship team at church and play my guitar,” Josh said. Right now they both listen to “Kidz Bop.” I didn’t tell them I had never heard of it.
Last summer Christine and the boys drove to Seattle. With Christine to guide them, they visited everything each of them liked, even the impressive butterfly display, which was her favorite. They saw the harbor seals and the sharks and watched a show where the caretakers brushed the sea otter’s teeth. A ride on the tallest Ferris wheel in the U.S. took them 40 feet high.
Back at home the boys went swimming. “I dove off the high dive 10 times one day,” John said. Together they build things with their Legos. The finished product can be cars, boats, ships, robot airplanes you name it. Christine has a rule, no electronics during the school week. When the weekend comes they dive into their electronic games. Both the boys have been crossing guards at school.
Christine quietly told me when the boys were four years old their dad passed away. As a wise single mom she has guided her sons in forming a strong and loving family bond.
Did we catch up with them? No. I’m still puzzling “Kidz Bop.” Maybe John and Josh will explain it to me some day.
Luella Dow is a Cheney-area writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.