The Haxtun-Fleming Herald - What can we reason but from what we know? -Alexander Pope

Son Up to Son Down


April 22, 2020

Being in quarantine with boys is like living in Lord of the Flies*. My oldest is Ralph. He makes the rules, tries to maintain some type of order and has power and influence over the others. My middle child is Jack. He is strong willed, desires power over all things and is constantly pushing the limits of his subordinate role. Our youngest is Samneric, who are really twins Sam and Eric, but are often viewed as one person. He is excited easily, can be physically dominated and mostly exists in his own little world. Also like Samneric, he seems to have two personalities. Sweet and adorable, but also demanding and relentless. Unfortunately for me, I believe I am symbolized by the conch shell. I represent law and order and authority, but I am soon destroyed and anarchy takes over. Any hope of strong, central leadership has been abandoned.

There are glimpses of hope when all will work together for the common good, but they’re often divided and at war with one another. Morning seems to have a breezy rhythm, but the evening is frightening and difficult. Their failure to understand one another’s point of view creates a wide gulf of hostility. There are arguments, tag teaming, power struggles and sometimes one boy goes missing for a while, only to be found outside in his underwear and covered in mud. They are constantly foraging for food and their valiant attempts to procure food of their desire (i.e. candy) often come up short and they have to settle for gross, healthy sustenance like an apple instead.

There are no rules anymore, only survival. Nobody is doing any of the jobs required of them. They even neglect the designated toilet area. There is toy carnage scattered about. Everyone is naked. There is no quiet time here, and if there is any prolonged silence, then it likely means they are plotting something.

While I cannot attest to quarantine life with girls, I can tell you this about quarantine life with boys: we are walking a very fine line between civility and savagery.

*If you’ve not read this book, it’s about a plane of young boys that crashes on an island and they have to fend for themselves, revealing the dark side of humanity. Also, some of the boys ends up being killed, but I won’t take my analogy that far.


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