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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dodgeball out Back

Around 7 tonight I heard some happy yelling and thumping out back. I was working but more than ready to take a break. "Maritza! Maritza!" came the yell of Oldest Brady Boy.

"Yeah?" I yelled from inside the house. I opened the back door and there were Joey, Picasso, Oldest Brady Boy and Jay-Z, playing dodgeball. "Can we play here?" Oldest Brady Boy asked.

"Yeah, sure, that's cool," I said. I left the inside back door open so I could watch them play without freezing. I have the annual change-of-season cold so I hardly set foot outdoors today.

Joey's little brother was with them. He giggled whenever somebody whaled the ball hard. They did a good job of keeping him out of harm's way. Picasso knocked him over by accident once, but he just fell in the grass and looked very surprised.

The guys played while I put water on for pasta and tried to knock out a little more work here and there. I went outside and watched the game from the back porch for a few minutes. They wanted to know if I'm having a Halloween party.

"I might have a haunted house this year," I said.

Joey remembered when that idea had come up before. "Oh yeah! Your basement is so cool," he said. (It's probably even scarier-looking now that we've had all this rain.)

"I was thinking that Saturday I would make a plan to get those boards I was talking to you guys about. Then you could draw scary stuff on them and they'd be decorations for the haunted house. You could even tag 'Trick or Treat' on them without getting busted," I said.

They laughed appreciatively at the last part. Clearly they knew about Joey's little adventure of Sunday night.

A while later I had gone back in and I heard Oldest Brady Boy yelling, "Maritza! Maritza! Call 911!" but it was clear he was not serious.

"OK, who's dying?" I said, leaning out the back door with a smile on my face.

The four of them were in a big heap, poking and tickling each other. I think Joey or Brady Boy had a grip on Picasso that was making it hard for him to breathe. "He has to whistle!" Brady Boy insisted.

"Picasso, can you breathe?" I asked, just kidding enough that they would tolerate it, just serious enough that they knew I really wanted to know. The other boys got off him and Picasso caught his breath, but not before clipping Joey on his way off Picasso's chest.

"Hey, what'd you hit me for?" Joey asked.

I just laughed at them. No, I didn't have any great heart-to-heart with Joey about what the heck is going on. Nor did I get a chance to talk to Picasso about how lucky he was it was the Sunday he spends with his dad, or he'd probably have gotten busted, too.

But I guess I'm in for the haunted house.

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