What is a Boy?

Between the innocence of babyhood and the dignity of manhood, we find a
delightful creature called a boy. Boys come in assorted sizes, weights and
colors, but all boys have the same creed: to enjoy every second of every
minute of every hour of every day and to protest with noise (their only
weapon) when their last minute is finished and the adult males pack them off
to bed at night.

Boys are found everywhere---on top of, underneath, inside of, climbing on,
swinging from, running around or jumping to. Mothers love them, little girls
ignore them, older sisters and brothers tolerate them, adults ignore them, and
Heaven protects them.

A boy is Truth with dirt on his face. Beauty with a cut on its finger,
Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair and Hope of the future with a frog in its

When you are busy a boy is an inconsiderate, bothersome, intruding jangle of
noise. When you want him to make an impression, his brain turns to jelly or
else he becomes a savage, sadistic, jungle creature bent on destroying the
world and himself with it.

A boy is a composite---he has the appetite of a horse, the digestion of a
sword swallower, the energy of a pocket-size atomic bomb, the curiosity of a
cat, the lungs of a dictator, the imagination of a Paul Bunyan, the shyness
of a violet, the audacity of a steel trap, the enthusiasm of a fire cracker,
and when he makes something he has five thumbs on each hand.

He likes ice cream, knives, saws, Christmas, comic books, the boy across the
street, woods, water (in its natural habitat), large animals, Dads, trains,
Saturday mornings and fire engines.

He is not much for Sunday school, company, school, books without pictures,
music lessons, neckties, barbers, girls, overcoats, adults, or bedtime.

None else is so early to rise or so late to supper. Nobody else gets so much
fun out of trees, dogs and breezes. Nobody else can cram in one pocket-a
rusty knife, a half eaten apple, three feet of string, an empty Bull Durham
sack, two gum drops, six cents, a sling shot, a chunk of unknown substance and
a genuine supersonic ring with a secret compartment.

A boy is a magical creature---you can lock him out of your kitchen, but you
can't lock him out of your heart. You can get him out of your study, but not
out of your mind.

Might as well give up---he is your captor, your jailer, your boss and your
master. A freckled-faced, pint-sized, cat-chasing bundle of noise.

When you come home at night with only the shattered pieces of your hopes and
dreams---he can mend them all like new with the two magic words----Hi MOM