When I was ten, a great day would have included a Trixie Beldon book and several quiet, uninterrupted hours. I’m a girl. And I had sisters.

Now I am the mother of boys, and although I hoped they would love to read as much as I do, it hasn’t been the case. There’s much more noise and dirt and activity that goes into a great Ross day than I remember from my childhood.

If you are ten, and a Ross boy, then this is what a great day means:

Have a friend spend the night. Sleep in the basement so nobody can hear you, and try your darndest to stay awake. Give it up at about 3:00 in the morning, stumble upstairs with your blankets, and fall asleep on the couches.

Get up, wake up the friend, and rush outside to see or pee or just run around the yard for a few minutes, checking out the day. Hurry back into the house to gobble down some breakfast, because Mom insists it is important to have breakfast, and by that she means something breakfast-y and not just a handful of cookies from out of the freezer. So, gobble it down and then discuss with the friend what the day’s agenda should be.

Begin with filming the action scene from the movie that was planned during the non-sleeping-basement-adventure of the previous night. Gather various articles of clothing for costumes (because there are only two boys and seven parts to play), duct tape the little movie cameras to each others’ chests, and run out to the pasture to begin the epic. Race at each other brandishing swords (or rakes, or random scraps of wood from the garage). Awesome!

Take a break from movie-making to play with the goats, spend a bit of time in the fort, sneak some of the previously mentioned cookies from out of the freezer, play with the goats some more, ride bikes, and then, lunch. Whew.

An after-lunch break to play a little Wii, some more movie-making, and then, help dad build the head-catch goat stand he’s been working on all day.

And of course, try it out.

Then, try the stand out on a few actual goats. Beg Mom to let the friend stay for supper. Jump up and down and yell and throw your arms around her when she says yes.

And end the day with a fire. Race around the yard with the original glow sticks – flame-tipped branches – and paint streaky pictures in the evening sky.

A perfect day, requiring a signature on which to end …


Leaving next week’s My Dad and Me up to you, Dad. It’ll be your turn to start the conversation.