Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wild, Wild West

I could also title this post, "Wild Will" or better yet, "Wild BILL".

Will was grounded yesterday. That was the first grounding in the history of our family, and I think he actually thought that was kind of cool--until a friend came to the door to see if he wanted to play (this happens several times after school every day) and he had to tell him he was grounded. You see, Wild Bill has an endless stream of friends his age to play with in this neighborhood, and we live on a cul-de-sac, so he is almost always outside on the street in front of the house.

But lately, he's been wandering. Wandering to other streets nearby, to some of the other boys' territory. And for the most part, I like that.  It reminds me of my own childhood when we could freely wander around the neighborhood, and there were always kids running around outside to play with.

But I still want to know where he is and who is with. And he still has to ask me before he goes anywhere. And we still need to establish when he's supposed to be home. But all those little rules and regulations have been getting in the way of absolute freedom, and since doing whatever you want, with whoever you want, when you want is so darn fun, I think those little rules and regulations just slip from his mind at times.

So after he and a friend from across the street (that I was supposed to be watching!) left the confines of the street for who-knows-where and didn't tell me, I just felt like we had to reign it in a little bit.  So he got grounded. Just for a day. Just enough to help him remember next time. We'll see how it goes.

I had to keep from giggling when we he told me where he had been and what he had been doing. He's been talking about a "clubhouse" for awhile, but I finally got the details after this incident.  He and a big group of boys his age have established a shallow water way under a bridge by one of the boys' homes as their "clubhouse". There is a "master" (the boy who found it), second in charge (that's Will), secretary (the friend across the street), and some other equally humorous positions that I'm sure mean nothing, and yet everything. They also have nicknames, and - get this - they are named after GUNS. We are not a gun and/or hunting family in any way shape or form, and Utah is not a violent state (especially this part of Utah), but Utah is definitely a hunting state. So they have gun names. (I know someone out there in cyberspace is having a cow right now because my son may be playing at the home of someone who has a gun.  Relax, I'm on it.)

I know some moms might be horrified by this whole scenario, and maybe I'm weird, but it just warms my heart. In a world of video games, shopping malls, and endless organized sports and activities, my one and only boy is just being a boy at the neighborhood clubhouse. And I really like that. If the other boys were knuckle-headed bullies, I would be concerned, but they are good kids. (And for the most part, they get good grades - I do the data entry for his class!) They are just boys playing games, like my husband used to play cops and robbers or cowboys and indians with his brothers growing up. Living in a house full of women, I'm happy for Will.

But he still has to let me know where he's going, who he's with, and when he'll be back, dog gone it!

P.S. On a side note, the "master" found out that Brandon Mull (author of the Fablehaven series) lives on his street, so they all went over there to meet him the other day.  It was pretty cute.  I have also noticed - this is completely off topic - that 98.7% of the kids here have names that end in either "en", "er" or "ie".  My two favorites among Will's friends?  Bridger and Tucker.  No, Toto, we are not in L.A. anymore.

1 comment:

  1. Good job, Will. Keep asserting your independence. Tell your Mom the West - including Utah - was not settled by guys who had to check in with their mothers first.


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