The Barbarian Queen
[Quick background note: One of the boys’ favorite aunts likes to be “bad.” She burps, tells them mildly inappropriate jokes and encourages them to misbehave. It’s a small wonder she’s their favorite. For the purposes of this tale, I’ll call her Aunt H.]
This morning I came down from my office to discover the boys and some friends eating pancakes outside in a giant blanket fort. I poked my head in to say hi. Of the four kids, only the youngest was eating with a fork.
“Wow,” I said smiling at her. “Look at you, all grown up and eating with a fork.”
She beamed back at me.
“Yeah,” my second-grader said, “but all the boys are eating with their fingers!”
“‘Cause she’s a lady and you’re all barbarians,” I said.
He nodded, then turned to his friends. “You know what a barbarian is? It’s someone who doesn’t care about the law. It’s a bad guy.”
I shook my head. “Not always. It could just be someone who doesn’t care about manners.”
“Oh,” he said. “Like Aunt H!”
“Yeah!” his younger brother said, waving a pancake in the air. “We’re barbarians!”
“Sometimes,” my oldest said to his friends. “My daddy is a barbarian, too. In fact, he used to be a barbarian all the time!”
Happy Memorial Day, Aunt H.
It’s good to be a barbarian.