It was a stunning, fall day in New England. Boston is trying to take the pumpkin lighting record from Keene, NH- a windy night but they are attempting to light 30,000 at one time.
We all met this afternoon for the festival.
The kids were at Walter and Allan’s last night for a sleepover. I told them, as they walked out of school Friday.
You’re going to Allan and Walter’s tonight.
WALTER AND ALLAN’S, Mom. Say it right. It’s not Allan and Walter’s.
Uh, okay. Sorry. Is it Sara and Jeanine or Jeanine and Sara?
Zachary looked at me as if I was insane.
It’s Mom’s house.
Yeah, Jake piped in, Mom’s house.
You know, we just call you Mom. And Mom. Zachary shrugged. You are both just Mom.
The other day I heard Zachary and one of his friends talking about their dads.
My Dad went to Vietnam, the friend said.
The war ended before my Dad’s number came up, Zachary said.
It made me smile. They call Walter and Allan by their first names. But to their friends, slowly, they have started to refer to their “Dad.” I know which Dad he was talking about. Only one had a number drawn. Zachary didn’t say Dad Allan, or Allan. He simply said ‘My Dad.’
Sorry, guys. You’re both just Dad.
We met them at the Pumpkin Festival on the Commons. For non-Bostonians, there is the Boston Garden- not where the Celtics once played because that is gone, but a beautiful ornate garden where the Swan Boats run. And then, across the street, there is the Boston Commons, where concerts and festivals take place.
We all watched Zachary melt down after being at the event for two hours. Since a crowd of about 50,000 turns into me into a zombie, I was annoyed, set limits, but didn’t really get what was going on.
Allan and I talked afterwards.
We think Zachary was overwhelmed with the crowds.
Oh. Yeah. That makes sense, I said. I was, too.
I called Zachary in to talk to me.
I get tired, he said. But I loved being there.
Ben chipped in, I do, too. It was fun but then…
I explained how I, too, get overwhelmed with crowds. Doesn’t mean I don’t like being there but at a certain point, I need to say, enough.
Tell me enough, I said. We’ll go home.
I reported back the conversation to Allan. I know he’ll tell Walter.
It’s strange, sometimes, having four parents raising three boys. But we work really well as a team. We all bring different experiences to the table. It helps all of us be better parents. Today, Allan made a great call on one of the kid’s behavior. I followed up with a conversation and all of us will be more aware the next time we go to a big event.
The festival was fun.
We all learned something today about our boys.
And the colors and pumpkins were simply stunning.