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All My Pirates Have Sailed Away

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My babies were birthed in a rhythmic pattern every couple of years. After the third boy, my husband bought a personalized license plate which read, “3 Sons” and my childhood Barbie doll heads fell off (a scary omen). I embraced the Mom-role enthusiastically, after which followed a flurry of themed backyard birthday parties.


There were also t-ball, soccer, and basketball teams. We never did the music lessons, however, because someone gave us a piano, and I stuck it in the playroom. No musical genius emerged or even gravitated toward it, but they did “take to” the computer and the video gaming console. Oh, well.


We had an acre backyard crowned with a massive spreading live oak tree. I lobbied diligently for my husband to build a tree house. Eventually, the tree house did come to be, complete with zip line. Sword fighting pirates and Jedi’s with light sabers began to fill the yard daily. (Historical anachronisms mean nothing to grade school boys.) The skull and cross bone flag flew proud and high in the live oak branches.


Eye patches, hooks, and swords were commonly found about the Kinleystead. There were many treasure hunts, and I could write the most challenging clues which my children became very skilled at cracking.


The pinnacle of our pirating was Stuart’s 6th or 7th birthday party. I made Jeff, against his will, appear as Cap’n Hook. His very cool costume was something my grandfather used to wear to some sort of Masonic meeting, and I even blackened his face and teeth. He was more than a slightly grumpy participant. But, it was possible to rent a clown … just not a pirate … and I was desperate.


Anyone who has ever enjoyed a hummingbird feeder will understand that they hover about the garden, squeak, and war against each other delightfully for a season. One day, abruptly without farewell, they are gone.


It’s the same with pirates. They just sail away. And leave the swords and eye patches lifeless on the playroom floor.

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