Brotherhood of the Traveling Pants ready for summer wrap up

Categorized as 08/15/11 Goshen News column

  Boy Two had found four large mirrors at his dad’s office and had schlepped them home.  “What in the world?” I’d said, finding them atop the dryer.  He’d grinned wickedly, showing a few more teeth than I was comfortable with.  And now, the flashes.  From opposite directions, huge patches of light ricocheted around the room.  Springing from my chair, I dashed to the windows to find Larry, Curly, and Mo down below, mowers idle, wielding those mirrors.  Smiling big, Little aimed his right at me, and suddenly I saw the stars and stripes and 49 fireworks behind my lids.  Corneas on fire, I stumbled downstairs, threw open the back door, and delivered that famous Edwards’ sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” maternal edition.  When the Spirit moves, so do I.  “Larry,” of course, had managed to thrust his mirror into “Curly’s” hands just before The Indignant One’s appearance, trying to implicate him.  My vision, however, was not so bad that I couldn’t see straight through his scam, and he skulked off, caught again.  The walnuts appeared later on, about the time that little “Mo’s” Hummer emerged from the barn.  The annual plopping of the nuts had begun, and it was time for the yearly collection of the harmless green balls.  Harmless in the hands of a toddler, perhaps, but in the hands of a crafty teenager, they’d become weapons of mass distraction.  As I found out later, Two had seized upon the Hummer’s carrying capabilities, coercing its tiny driver into hauling nuts in his battery-powered car.  Then, from his freshly-stocked arsenal, he’d unleash a fusillade of fright on the driver of the other mower who, of course, felt compelled to run.  Worn out from such exertion, that little Brotherhood of the Traveling Pants would retreat into the house for cold drinks.  And those books on the couch.  Small wonder, then, that I delivered the aforementioned statement to their father later that night.  Small wonder, too, that my proposal for a switcheroo (“you work here, I’ll work there”) failed completely.  Again.  Big wonder, isn’t it, that I actually feel a twinge at the thought of those yellow buses coming back?  Big wonder, too, that I’ve secretly considered throwing down tack strips upon their return.  It’s only my Christian maturity that holds me back, which someone around here needs.     What a summer we’ve had, and how their pants have traveled.  Once again, it’s been the Summer of the Revolving Door.  Whoosh-whoosh it went as One and Two rushed in and out to work.  It swished again when Grandpa Yoders came in July, then spun furiously when the Schrocks converged here for The Kaboom.  Whoosh-whoosh went the door as Boy Two, Flinger of the Nuts, carried his energy all the way to the Dominican Republic and unleashed it there.  Then it whooshed again.  He (and his pants) returned just in time for two quick revolutions as One and Three whisked themselves off to junior high camp.  They appeared again (swish-swish), and back out the door went Two and his bouncy britches, bound for senior high camp.  It’s a wonder I’m not comatose on the kitchen floor, head whirling from the frenzied pace.  I don’t dare, though.  The Brotherhood would just keep making sandwiches around my prone body, stirring up chocolate milk by the gallon.  Knowing this, I fight the blackness, wondering all the while just where the summer went and how long I have to wait until we do it all again.    

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