*** Warning: this post is long. I tend to word vomit when I haven't blogged in awhile and I'm truly sorry.
The weather was glorious today, so Sam and I tried to make the most of it and spent the afternoon at the park. Sam ran around and had a great time. I could tell that some of the kids and parents thought he was a little too 'friendly', but when did crawling over the other 3 children in the plastic tube over and over again become socially unacceptable? I guess they don't call him "The Bulldozer" in the church nursery for nothing. I apologized as much as I could. I can't decide whether to be excited or worried that he seems to have developed a shoe fettish. After bulldozing a crowd, he'd go back to each of them, point to their shoes and yell "Doooo!!". I know it sounds a little obnoxious, but somehow that seemed to make some amends for the 'dozing.
Anyway, that's not even what I wanted to post about. On to the real story...
While Sam and I were walking around, we kept passing a large group of boys who were running around like banshees with sticks. They were yelling, hitting each other, and just being true boys. I could tell they were trying to form teams for some type of game. I was able to decipher that the team leaders were Jonathan, Drew, and someone who was only referred to as "the boy in the red pants". I wouldn't have thought much of it, but I noticed their voices lowered at the very mention of him. Everyone wanted to be a part of his team. Poor old John and Drew weren't getting much love. I skimmed the crowd of dirt covered shorts, but didn't see any red. Eventually I heard someone ask, "Where is he? Where is the boy in the red pants?". He almost whispered it. You would have thought they were talking about Lord Voldemort or using curse words or something. My curiosity was piqued. No one seemed to know where he was, and at that point Sam decided he wanted to swing, so I lost out on the rest of the conversation.
As Sam played on the swings, the banshee party eventually dispersed among us peasants. I kid you not that I continued to hear whisperings of the red pant-ed mystery. It was pretty amusing, and I got sort of caught up in watching them play. There's something about little boys that just blesses me. The wild abandon, the energy, the enthusiasm, and the rough and tumble-ness of those little hunter-gatherers is just something I love to watch. I guess God really knew what He was doing when He gave me a son... imagine that!
It was getting time for us to leave, i.e. Momma was flat worn out, when it happened. I heard a low rumble forming from the banshee crowd. I looked up and the boys instantaneously formed into groups and were all running towards the creek. In a flash, there he was - the boy in the red pants. There was no question it was him. Time seemed to stand still. His red pants burned my eyeballs. I would have cried if I could have, both because of the emotion of the moment and the fact that his shirt had orange in it and not red. A true crime of fashion. He seemed to move in slow motion as he leapt over the creek in a single bound, stick suspended from his hand. He slashed and burned his way through the rest of the boys like I can rip through a bag of Oreos. He was glorious. Within a minute or two, the massacre was over and he and his men had taken the creek. Victory. The fallen John and Drew clans knew they were beaten, but seemed satisfied in their defeat. It was all over as soon as it had begun, but from the look on the boys faces, history had been made that day.
I packed Sam up and we got in the car. Before we drove off, I looked behind us at the group of warriors, but couldn't spot the boy in the red pants. He had vanished. Gone the same way he came, I guess.
Driving home, I felt blessed to have been a fly on the wall to such a momentous event. I also felt blessed that it was naptime and I knew Sam was good and tired. The boy in the red pants had really taken me back to that time of wonder and imagination as a kid. It's exciting to think that I probably have a guaranteed good seat to more stick fights in my future. And who knows, I might need to buy the 'dozer some red pants one of these days.