It looks like my eleven-year-old son has come down with the same affliction his older sister suffered from a few years ago--Rolling Eyeball Syndrome. The symptoms appear whenever his father or I open our mouths to speak. They also manifest whenever he´s exposed to something symbolic of childhood--Disney movies, Fisher-Price toys, or anything that might be construed as innocent, boyish or grotesquely "uncool." It´s really gotten quite serious.
Take the other day for example. Things got so bad I thought I might have to take him into the ER for an Ocularectomy, which I believe is Latin for "get over it kid or I´ll really give you something to roll your eyes about." Fortunately, the condition seemed to resolve itself. You see, we were cleaning out his closet…
Me: What about this felt board with the storybook characters? You used to play with that for hours. Do you really want to throw it out?
Son: (Hunched over his electronic handheld game. Eyes bounce heavenward like two helium balloons) Dude! Are you for real?
Me: Fine. We´ll give it to your cousin. Okay, so what about your green army guys and these remote control robots you had to have? Still interested in keeping them?
Son: (Deep sigh. Eyes bounce around several times like ping-pong balls) Dude? Whatever. I don´t care.
Me: I take it that means "no". Okay. Moving on. What about all these board games—Sorry, Scrabble, Clue--keep or give away?
Son: (Grimace. Sneer. Eyes begin spinning like a roulette wheel) Dude! C´mon!
Me: First, in case you haven´t noticed, I am NOT a dude! Second, if you don´t care about anything in here, why don´t I just call in a Hazmat team and have it hauled away?
Son: (Eyes rotate so fast they look like a slot machine--expect to see two cherries pop up instead of eyeballs when they stop.) Dude! Talk about overreacting!
Me: (Seeing that his condition is worsening and fearing that his eyes may just shoot out of his head like a pair of tomahawk missiles.) I´ll tell you what son. I´m just going to slowly back out of the room and let you figure out what you want to do with this stuff. I´ll check back in an hour or so. How does that sound, Sweetie?
And I got the heck out of Dodge.
Sixty minutes later, I moved cautiously toward my son´s room the way paparazzi might approach Sean Penn. I poked my head in.
There he sat, cross-legged on the floor before his old train set, the engine and cars clickety-clacking full speed, whistling and belching puffs of smoke as they circled the oval track.
Me: How´s it going?
Son: (Eyes stable and bright.) Great Mom!
And he smiled.
I closed the door softly behind me as I left.
Husband: How´s he doing?
Me: Dude! It´s a medical miracle! Thank goodness for K-Line Electric Trains.