Tom Sawyer is Ours


Even the kiddos know who Tom Sawyer is.  Of course, I had to read the book to them, being a Southerner I could do that.  Otherwise they thought they were reading a different language and didn’t understand a lick of it.  I had to read it, and then interpret it, and then they’d laugh.  Really.  But most people don’t actually encounter Tom Sawyer on a regular day, in a regular life.  We have met this young boy, this Tom Sawyer.  In all his glory.  On a summer’s afternoon.

When our oldest was thirteen about, cell phones were just beginning to become one of those household items that everyone seemed to have.   We have always been on the back end of technology, waiting for all the newest coolest shiniest “stuff” to get real cheap before we’d introduce it into our home.  The same went for cell phones.  This particular summer, our boy was at the age of wandering…from house to house, street to street, neighborhood to neighborhood.  Now some folks are fine with that.  I happen to be one of those mothers who needs to know at all times where they are, who they’re with, and what they’re doing.  For better or for worse.  I worried more than I should have.  But I’m just one of those moms.  And so.  In my desperation to be able to get in touch with him whenever I needed, and vice versa, we got him a cheap cell phone.  [side note here…our children get cell phones when I need them to have one, not when they want one or when their friends get one, or at a certain age.  they have all gotten them at different ages, and they are under strict orders to always be available to me.  if they don’t answer the phone when they are with their friends and i can’t reach them, then they don’t really need a cell phone do they?  they’ve all experienced the consequences of that].   Back to the point of us always being on the back end of technology…when we got the cell phones we didn’t really understand this thing called “texting.”  “We” meaning my husband and me.  Our son understood it perfectly…at least the using it part, not the paying for it part.  Back then, text messages cost money per text, not a blanket monthly fee like we have now, noooooo.  In June of that year, we got a $600 cell phone bill.   I won’t go into the details of my physiological response to opening that envelope on that day.  I’ll just skip forward to the part where our son learned that he had a big debt to work off that summer and his free time would be severely limited.  One morning, I explained to him that he would be staining our backyard fence.  I got him set up, showed him how to do it, and went back inside to do my own chores.  I knew he would be staining that fence for at least a whole day, so I only peeked outside at him every once in a while, made sure he had food and water and such.  All, and I mean ALL, of the neighborhood boys came to our door, one by one, looking for a playmate.  Each time, I told them that he was busy staining our fence in the backyard, and they left.  Sometime later, not even sure how long, it must have been a good while, I decided to look out the window to check on the progress.  Imagine my SHOCK at seeing EVERY. SINGLE. BOY. in our neighborhood with a paint brush in his hand, painting that fence.  And my son was nowhere to be found.   So for those of you who have never met Tom Sawyer, I can assure you he exists.  He is charming, and cute as a button, and just as sneaky and smart and tricky and persuading as you ever imagined.  You think he lives in a book, but you’re wrong.  He is ours.

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  1. Nothing has really changed. He still is that Tom Sawyer. 🙂

  2. Nothing has changed. He still is that Tom Sawyer. 🙂 I am afraid Bentley is going to be just like him!!

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