Thing One is eighteen and a freshman in college at Virginia Tech. (Yes, that's where the country's largest massacre in modern history happened two and a half short years ago.) "Sending your child off to college" will be a topic I will blog about occasionally this year I'm sure. Thing One is your typical oldest child, a little cocky and full-of-himself, who never wastes an opportunity to tell Thing Two how stupid Thing Two is. Nice, I know. Never once did I let him get away with that without an admonition and a bad consequence, and yet he persists. I suppose I could have sentenced him to a whole year on the stretching table torture device thing down in the dungeon--I should have done that--probably the only thing that would have worked. Anyway, despite being a bit of a jerk to his younger brother on a rather regular basis, Thing One and Thing Two get along pretty well most of the time.
For his part, Thing Two has perfected the art of being literally the most annoying brother in history so sometimes I don't blame Thing One (too much) for being a jerk to Thing Two. Thing Two will be sixteen in December and is a sophomore in our local public high school. Besides cornering the-incredibly-irritating-to-just-get-under-your-skin market, Thing Two has also cornered the I'm-going-to-be-the-best-underachiever-ever! market. Plus he wears only black, heavy metal band t-shirts on top, raggedy jeans on bottom, and schlepps around in flat-footed, black (of course!) Vans that must be absolutely terrible for his arches. Sigh.
I will say this, like most of us, I'm an amalgamation of a lot of different qualitites, but for the most part I'm a pretty straight arrow (not a pretty straight arrow--but awkwardly, pretty much of a straight arrow). And to the point of endearing boredom, so is Thing One. Thing One is going to do very well in life in all the outward-appearance catagories. As far as Thing Two goes, I just told a friend the other day, a friend who's known me longer than anybody else, "How ironic is it that I end up with a head-banger kid???" Yes, it's true that I let him attend concerts where the bands have names like "Cannibal Corpse", "Arsonists Get All The Girls", "As I Lay Dying", "Cradle Of Filth", and in my humble, incredibly dorky opinion, the king of all heavy metal band names, "Goatwhore". (Yes, you did read that correctly)
So that's Thing Two. Believe or not, he's a nice kid with an old soul. A much older soul than either his father or his brother will ever have no matter how long they live. I first saw that old soul in Thing Two's eyes when he was just an hour or two old. I'm hoping it will keep him out of trouble long enough to get him through his teenage years without anything really awful happening. I'm keeping a fairly close leash on him ....a leash I'm sure he's gonna want to wear to complete his creepy head-banger kid ensemble when he goes in two weeks to see "Dethklok".