Sunday, May 1, 2011

Honoring the Boys

My ever-vigilant husband noticed something today... that all of my postings on Facebook, recently, revolve around chicken keeping.

"You're more than just chickens, you know," he snorted.

True that. I am guilty, I suppose, of being obsessed with the baby chicks, the new coop and the Green Earth Fair, (which was amazing, by the way). Here's an article, if you care to read about it in the Westport News.

With the Earthplace event behind us, and thanks to my husband's candid critique, I realized that very important family members are largely unrepresented in this blog. Granted, Simply Chicks is the title, with the tag line, Celebrating Sustainable Backyard Farming.

However, this is a family blog, one that celebrates simple living, and nothing honors simple living more than focusing on hearth and home. My husband is one of the victims of under-representation, to be sure, but he doesn't get the spotlight today. Who will? My boys... Brandon, Bosco and Bruno.

A busy Junior at Staples High School, Brandon is immersed in research papers, SAT's, the college search, getting his driver's license (which is putting more grey hairs on my head than I care to count) and his after school/weekend job. I feel like I rarely see the boy any more. But, as my first child and only son, he is forever near and dear to my heart. Hard to believe he will be off to college in less than a year and a half... sniffle, sniffle.

I am so proud of Brandon for his diligence in school, for finding a job (not too easy for highschoolers to come by in this town), and for not crashing into trees while learning the rules of the road. But, what I will always love most about Brandon is his heart. He has a depth of compassion rarely seen in young men of his age, and I witness this most often when he is with animals, especially his dog, Bruno.

Brandon picked Bruno out to be his very own when we went to a "Meet and Greet" for Connecticut Greyhound Adoption nearly two years ago. He fell in love with the white hound instantly and their bond was sealed... a boy and his dog.

Each morning, Bruno's "job" is to wake the kids, and the first to be slobbered with a wet nose and kisses is Brandon, at the wee hour of 6am, or 6:30, or 6:40, depending on how ambitious Brandon is about getting to school... on time.

After Bruno's task is finished, he reclines on Brandon's bed, and doesn't get up again until I serve him breakfast. It's a tough life.

Then, there's Bosco... or his other nickname, "The Professor." Bosco has huge, soulful eyes and an expression so endearing it has the power to melt the hardest of hearts. Unlike Bruno, who came straight off the track and into a foster home after losing 6 races in a row (smart dog for throwing those races in favor of life in the slow lane), Bosco was a champion racer who was dumped off at the pound by his trainer, versus being turned over to a rescue group, and languished there, bouncing from shelter to shelter, for months.

When I brought him home, Bosco was emaciated, traumatized and quite ill. It took several medications, a home made diet, multiple trips to the vet, and lots of tender loving care over the next few months to bring him back to the robust creature you see here. I can tell you he was well worth the effort. A devoted companion to everyone in the family, our Bosco is an old soul and a better therapist than you could ever find of the human variety.

Which way do we go?
Together, the hounds make a comical pair. They go from looking awkward to elegant in a second, and sprinting from 0-45 MPH in six seconds. The combination of speed, grace and clown-like behaviors make them endlessly entertaining for our family to watch, and their antics in the back yard, as well as their couch potato laziness, provide us with laughter and myriad stories. We find when we are away from them on holiday, our dinner conversations often revolve around tales of the hounds, and how much we miss them. It's a wonder that we ever get away...

Brandon has a special way with the dogs, and they adore him. When he comes through the door, it's as if he's been gone for ages, and they greet him with all the enthusiasm of a long lost best friend. I often find Brandon just "hanging out" with the hounds, chilling with them as only teenagers can do. I am convinced they enjoy his belly rubs the best, and I'm not at all jealous of that. Really.

So, the boys are Kings today. I love them with a mother's passion and am proud to showcase them on this post of Simply Chicks. All hail, "The Boys!!"