The Red Shirt Brigade

‘Mum can you wear a red shirt please?’

I looked up in my semi-still-asleep-state to see my Alexander grinning from ear to ear wearing … a red shirt, holding ….. a similar red shirt for me to dress his younger brother in.

‘It’s important Mum, and you need black pants as well.’ These words were mumbled as he ran down the hall on a hunt for his brother’s matching black pants.

The tone of voice and excitement with which it was filled, instilled within me the absolute importance of getting dressed just right on this morning. Both boys had cars printed on their shirts and unfortunately I couldn’t produce one quite like that – but red shirt and black pants were found and became our attire for the day ahead. The Red and Black Crew he christened us or maybe it should be the Red Shirt Brigade, hmmm decisions. Both names stuck and were used interchangeably which seemed to work just fine.

Red Shirt 2 Red shirt 1 Red Shirt 3 Red Shirt 4 Alexander Paintin May 2013 Eamon Painting May 2013

Breakfast was gulped in a hurry because there was a day ahead to be lived and the sooner it gets going, the sooner the fun could begin. We proceeded to organise the older two children and dropped them off at a friends house for a day of study – wooo hoo – I suspect this friend’s Mum is rather more academically rigorous than I am and the children knew this, but it didn’t damper their excitement – win win all round, I say.

Then it was home for a whole day with just Mummy, Alexander and Eamon. What an rare treat. In fact I can’t really remember if it’s ever happened before. Just the three of us to do…..? to do….? whatever it is little boys like to do?

Our special day was spent entirely indoors, due to the moisture falling from the sky. But that didn’t damped any spirits. Cars, painting, drawing, bouncing balls, snap (with Princess cards, no less), snakes and ladders…. the list continues.

In reflection, what we did was really not that important. What caused the great excitement was the anticipation of special time spent alone (or almost alone) with Mum. An opportunity to be all grown up and special. A time to be the biggest boy and make Mummy a special morning tea. A whole day to do just whatever this five year old wanted and included his little brother of course, which just added to the fun. And really a time for Mummy to shower love on these two little boys who go along with the rhythm of this family just nicely but at times it seems as if life flows swiftly around them and they need a special day – just for them.

For me it was a wonderful, focused opportunity to be a student of these children again. To study them, figure out how they tick, delight in the way they have grown and share in their absolute joy and love for this life they live.

Ahhh. How I love these special Red Shirt Brigade boys. Maybe I’ll have to figure out a way to make this a more regular occurrence.

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