"M is weird, mom." Miss J laments to me.
"That isn't very nice. You know, you're pretty strange sometimes too." I tease back.
Miss J sighs heavily. "No mom, you don't get it. He's just not....normal."
"I know, J" I tell her. "It isn't easy. But honestly, all brothers are a bit weird."
Miss J shakes her head and walks off.
Later that day, I ask Miss J if she'd like to work in the garden. She'd been asking to make a vegetable garden with me, and this summer we finally did it. Miss J has worked very hard at preparing the ground, building the raised bed and carefully selecting the plants.
Miss J and I get to work on our garden while M explores the back yard. Before long, he has found a dirt pile where the herb garden used to live before we moved it by the vegetable garden. Like many little boys, M likes dirt and he finds a shovel and seats himself in the middle of the dirt pile to dig.
Miss J and I continue our work, moving between the front, back and side yard. M is happily occupied and I am paying little attention to him.
When we return to the backyard, I see that M has discovered the garden hose. He has added water to his dirt pile and has created a wonderful mud puddle for himself. I know that with or without the mud puddle, M will need a bath, so I decide to let him continue. He is happy and Miss J has my undivided attention.
Miss J and I have moved to the front yard where we are filling large pots with soil and are planting flowers to brighten our front walk way. I make my way to the back for another bag of soil and find M has decided he is done with the mud and is filling his elevated water table with the hose and is attempting to get the mud off of his hands. I watch him for a moment, quite proud of his self directed attempt at clean up.
He sees me watching him.
"Look, Mama!" He yells across the yard. "I get clean!"
I praise his efforts. "Nice job, M!" and return to the front yard with my bag of soil.
Miss J and I get our flowers planted and placed just so. We clean up our tools and return to the back yard.
When I round the corner to the back yard, I gasp.
Standing there is M. He is gleefully splashing at the water table.
He is as happy as a lark and as naked as a jaybird.
Naked. Totally naked. His ultra white bottom practically glowing in the sun.
He sees me and shouts, "Mama! I clean now!"
I nod, ever so thankful for all the tall tress and thick bushes that provide our yard with privacy.
Miss J gives me her best, "are-you-kidding-me?" look.
"See mom. I told you he was weird."