A few years ago, Mike and I watched Open Water and I was hit with a surge of happiness that that would never happen to us. We would never be left out in the ocean to fend for ourselves against sharks and I have my husband’s loud mouth to thank for that. I’m sure someone on the boat would say, “Hey where’s that guy who kept asking if this boat had been in Miami Vice? And that teenage bride of his who told him to use his indoor voice? Where’s she?”
Mike grew up as the oldest of nine kids and he sums up this experience with, “If you didn’t talk, you didn’t eat.” I would think that in a family that large, if you didn’t walk, you didn’t get shoes. And if you did walk, you probably got your brother’s sneakers even because your girl feet would eventually grow into them.
I’m the youngest of five, but most of my siblings were thinking about college and weddings when I was working out how I was to open up Saipan’s first chapter of the Babysitter’s Club. So while I felt like an only child, for Mike, growing up in an enormous family made him feel like he was the only child who didn’t pee so furiously through the bunk bed mattress that it dripped onto the kid below.
I hope Nathan is as gregarious as his father, that he isn’t afraid to greet people or make conversations at our doorstep. I remember listening to some conversation Mike was having with a newspaper salesman. They were both from the St. Louis area, both loved the Seahawks, both worked at the same newspaper for some time. When Mike came upstairs I noticed that he was just wearing a t-shirt and broxers (brief-boxer combo? Is there a word for that? I’m not up on my underwear lingo, mostly because I prefer thongs or better yet COMMANDO!).
And I surveyed my grown man of a husband and asked him, “Did you just have a conversation in your underwear?” And he said, “Yup,” and shrugged it off, like, this is completely normal behavior, talking to strangers in your skivvies.
I hope that my son inherits that kind of boldness and perhaps my sensibility that if you open the door, please have some pants on.