This past weekend I had my older brothers over to the apartment to discuss family issues and shoot the breeze. Devin was excited at the prospect of having two of his uncles in his bedroom playing at the same time. My brothers were vaguely amused by Devin’s annoying toys and their even more annoying back-stories.

“What a cool train, who is this?” My brother asked. He truly had no clue; it wasn’t an act for the kid’s sake.

“That’s Thomas. He lives on Sodor. That stinky Diesel is mean to him and he wants to kill Lady. Lady is a beautiful engine…. This is the Polar Express, it goes to the North Pole on Christmas Eve…. ”

The stories and incoherent conversations continued for some time until he wandered away to play with his mother. Every so often as we downed domestic brews and went over the issues at hand a little brown streak would run past the kitchen (where we were sitting) to the bathroom. The streaker would shout “I have to pee! I have on big boy underwear!” Once he stopped for a moment to show us his cool new Cars drawers then he pulled them down and flashed us his butt as he ran away toward the bathroom. My brothers and I agreed that he pees a lot.

This morning we were in his school where Devin announced, to no one in particular, that he had to go “pee pee.” He then shimmied his pants down to his thighs and tried to walk the length of the hall with them restricting his stride. A smiling administrator got a glimpse of the full monty before I could “no, no, no,” him enough for him to realize what he was doing. Devin and I both giggled. I wonder if the administrator would have smiled if I opted to join my son and show her my butt. Probably not.

As we get old and boring I sometimes long for the years when I didn’t have a care in the world. A time when choosing my best friend for the day was the most important decision I could ma