Thursday, August 6, 2009


There's a big construction project going on just up the street from our house, and it's become part of our morning routine to check it out.

Auden is totally ga-ga for trucks of all kinds, but especially the construction variety: bad-ass crawler back hoes with their big scoopers, hither and thither front-end loaders, and dump trucks full of gravel. He will sit transfixed, reverently watching the chain-smoking mustachioed workers, brrrrmmmmm-ing and beep-beep-ing along with the massive machines.

The other day we went with our neighbor's son, Jack (whom Auden ADORES, so it was doubly exciting). We all watched as they guided giant concrete pipes into the ground under the street.

When I was pregnant with Auden, and we found out he was a boy, this is the kind of stuff that I was terrified about. I know, right? Silly. But I felt so unprepared for the foreignness of boy-play -- stereotypical yet right on the money, as it turns out -- of trucks and trains and everything that GOES and DOES. I suppose guns and swords are next?

The funny thing is, now I'm really into it. It's not just that I love whatever brings him joy, which I do to a weak-kneed fault, but the more we hang out around the construction site, the more I appreciate all the engineering and apprenticing and skill and physical strength involved. This is a particularly big project -- they're ripping up the street to put in 8-ft sewage pipes -- and I marvel at the mountain of work before them, which they divide and accomplish in a hundred separate tasks, one after the other.

The trucks themselves are also marvelous: out-sized simulacra of our own limbs with hydraulic muscle; digging and filling, tamping and bracing, pumping, hauling, stacking, leveling... and I don't even see what's going on underground.

I mean, all this WORK so that we can have a functioning sewer system! Think about it next time you flush.


1 comment:

Emily said...

This got me thinking of how, up until I had Joshua, I harboured a kind of small, insistant anger toward all male creatures. They - no matter what age - always seemed so full of bravado, so in need of getting attention, whether it be positive or negative. I remember my twelve-yr-old self, upon observing a group of similarly aged boys messing around, pretend "kick-boxing," making asnine jokes and, I don't know, flicking boogers at each other, thinking something along the lines of "DEAR GOD, I just hate them. It's as if they think that just by merit of having a penis, that makes them think they can say or do ANYTHING, no matter how ridiculous."

Yeah, I know you know I was a kind of a bitchy twelve-yr-old.

In any case, this feeling literally vaporized the moment I had my first inkling that I might be having a boy. And how sweet he has turned out to be, with his love of karate, his penchant for making machine noises, his love of the garbage truck, and his adoration of all things home-depot.
There are lots of other aspects that aren't necessarily all-boy all-the-time, like his need for snuggling, his love of opera, his talent for communication. But he has given me a perspective on how much of my boy-mindset was really a set of boy-hangups. Good post! Auden is adorable!