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encouragement, support and protein

2012 August 10
by Rachel Turiel

Col finds me in my room, cursing the failing velcro on my shorts but squeezing them on anyway. “Ok, Mama. This is how it goes now.” Col waves his lego airplane at me. “The big wheels in front crush the rock, as it’s landing.”

This is revision #53 on the lego airplane Col plans to enter in Kids Handicrafts, in the upcoming La Plata County Fair. This past week has been like a Boeing think-tank meeting in his brain: his airplane gaining and losing 3 new features daily, including a detachable back, emergency ramp on the wing, and the ability to land in a flood zone.

Emergency ramp on the wing, version #51 (later scrapped).

Dan, too, follows me around, muttering about root cellar revision #53. How he suddenly came up with extra 8 inches  to accommodate in the door frame, except 2 days later the 8 inches have vanished. And dry stack this, and rock cutter rental that.

And like the benevolent mother/wife I try to be, I dole out encouragement, support and doses of protein even though my mind—filled with precise word choices and the daily count of newly fertilized butternut squash—generally runs on a different frequency.

When I found out Col was a boy (at his birth, in fact: Dan announced it with a glee that seemed impervious to the fact that he was also, er, 1 pound, 12 ounces) I wondered about this boyness. I wondered if I’d be able to relate. I worried that I wouldn’t.

(Dan tells the story of his artistic, pacifist mother watching his childhood wrestling games from the bleachers, chanting quietly, if not a bit hypnotically and dazed, “come on Daniel, come on Daniel…”)

And goodness, there are 20 times a day when I’m watching Col in his element and thinking, “say what?” But, I love the way his neural circuitry works, and Dan’s too. As Dan’s packing for hunting, I’m thinking, What? No nightly hot dinner? And, he’s thinking, I’ll eat hot meals when I get home. This is the best adventure of my life. 

And really, it doesn’t so much matter if I can relate to these boys, that’s not the gold standard for parenting. No, it’s something more like encouragement, support and doses of protein.

Come down to the County Fair and see me!

12 Responses leave one →
  1. August 10, 2012

    I suppose that’s it. I listen to the inner workings of a mechanically minded man as he pulls apart a roadside found power tool (lawnmower, rototiller, saw….) and tells me that the previous owner made the simple mistake of leaving the fuel in it over the winter and it corroded the gasket and that it was merely a $7 dollar part…. but they didn’t know that so they put this gem at the curb. My lego boy & your lego boy would have a blast together. Cheers to sweet boys + good men and the women that love them. Happy weekending….

  2. August 10, 2012

    You are awesome! :)

  3. caraway permalink
    August 10, 2012

    Hi Rachel! Yes, you are a stellar and fabulous wife and mother!
    I love logging on from time to time to see what you all are up to. Root cellar! That is brilliant! You guys are traveling deeper and deeper into food independency– way to go! I’d love to see your garden this year. And tell Col his plane is clever and complex. Sending love from Oregon! Caraway

  4. ellen884 permalink
    August 10, 2012

    What talented men in your life. And so mystifying.

  5. ike permalink
    August 10, 2012

    Is Dan buoilding a root cellar or is it also a Kiva?

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      August 10, 2012

      Funny you should ask. Col refers to it exclusively as “the kiva,” and Col spends more time in there than anyone but Dan, so maybe he knows something the rest of us don’t.

  6. Katie Burford permalink
    August 10, 2012

    Speaking of the male psyche, I was trying to foster a little manly competitiveness by showing Josh your photos of the root cellar in progress. He just looked at me with bemused incredulity, like, “yeah, right.”

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      August 10, 2012

      Katie, Dan is a nut. But maybe someone from the Herald should write a story on the root cellar and incite men all over town.

  7. August 10, 2012

    oh that photo of Col! swoon

  8. August 10, 2012

    Encouragement, support, and protein. OK, I can do that!

    Though I should say that the Critter is so temperamentally similar to me that his boyness is not so mysterious. We’ll see about the Gnome.

  9. August 10, 2012

    Yeah Col! Cedar is going to see your pane tomorrow at the fair!

  10. August 31, 2012

    i think you’ve got the boy recipe nailed.

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