When the two of them began wrestling (and laughing), I was sitting on the couch working on my laptop. A guitar sat perched against the love seat; a violin lay on the floor at my feet. The wood stove, lining the opposite wall, was stoked … and hot.
“Be careful!” I said.
Father and son ignored me.
“I mean it … someone is going to get hurt!”
To that point, they’d been wrestling standing up, circling each other like wary cats—jabbing, grabbing, retreating, wriggling out of each other’s clutches. But just as I gave my dire prediction, Dave pulled a maneuver any 45-year old man would be proud of. He picked up all 152 pounds of Zac, swung him up and over his shoulders, and began spinning them both like a whirling dervish.
My warnings faded as laughter took over. Despite my fears that they’d both land on the guitar, the violin, the wood stove, or me, I couldn’t speak.
When Dave thought they were both sufficiently dizzy, he dropped him down in a wrestling pin and began playfully and repeatedly poking Zac’s thigh with his knuckles.
“Dad!” Zac managed somewhere in all that laughter, “Stop!”
Dave didn’t. He poked again and again. “Charlie wants to play! Charlie wants to play!”
When he finally ended the torture with one last, I’m-still-the-king-of-this-house jab to Zac’s rear end, and walked away, Zac did what any 17 1/2 year old boy would do. He stood up, punched the air, gave a vicious karate kick toward the wall, and said, “I could have taken him if I wanted.”
“Seriously, Mom. I had him by the wrist. I could have spun him around and put him in a choke hold.” He ran through another karate series, defeating a foe seen only by him. “Next time, that’s what I’m going to do.”
He then sauntered toward the kitchen—where Dave was putting the finishing touches on a batch of beef jerky—and began scrounging through the fridge, though dinner was a mere half-hour memory.
And what was I working on? I was midway through an edit for a friend … on a piece she wrote about sending her last child to college.
I’m grateful tonight that my nest is still full.