Rich people are different than you and me. And so are stupid, brilliant teenage boys. Their brains are different, waaaay different.
My fourteen year old son, makes great grades but still can’t remember to put on deodorant or brush his teeth in the morning before we leave for school. I’ll say “smell good?” a couple of times, he’ll say, “oh, yeah, right.” Ten minutes I’ll find him in his room studying sheet music or looking at a youtube video of a guy who strained out all the pulp from 65 dollars of orange juice……ate it.
“Sandor, you don’t have time to watch that. Teeth and arm pits, Buddy”
“Yes ma’am.” he says smiling and walking into the bathroom.
He never remembers to ask for lunch money or pack a lunch. Old schoolers tell me, “let him go hungry and he’ll start remembering.”
So I did that, two weeks in a row. He just walked around hungry for ten days.
He forgets to eat, literally forgets because he’s so caught up in playing the drums, writing music and talking to his buddies. Then, at three o’clock in the afternoon he’s suddenly so hungry he wants to eat his own arm. He devours everything he sees, first come first served, chips, cookies, noodles, post roast. It’s crazy how much he goes through and I say, “When was the last time you ate?”
“Last night at dinner I guess. I just forgot.”
But his brain is still functioning. He still remembers to hug me first thing every morning when he stumbles out of his room. He collapses into me as though his life depends on it. Then starts him morning ritual.
I’ll send two boys into the store with a twenty dollar bill. “I need ten in gas.”
They will appear, five minutes latter with a Gatorade. “How much gas do you need?”
But they can memorize an entire foot ball play book so I know something is going on in their heads.
Everyday when he gets out of the car he remembers to tell me he loves me first. He remembers our secret handshake and all the different handshakes with his buddies. He remembers to do his homework and exactly how to mix the dog food for the puppy dogs.
He remembers when I touch my nose it means “say thank you”, when one of his sisters extends an open palm, he’s supposed to tap it with his fingers and say “happy chickens!” And he remembers to say grace in Hungarian at every family meal.
He remembers the language of family. He never forgets the words and gestures that make us…..us.
Sandor can always make up for a stinky day because he forgot to take a shower. He can always gorge after he forgets to eat. But the families precious orbit and loving satellite system is different. When we need each other, we all have to remember. We all have to be there. His stupid boy brain will settle down some day and he’ll remember to brush his teeth seven days in a row. Until then what’s important is he remembers “Happy Chickens and the “Sexy Dolphin Dance.”