Two boys come and basically turn the summer upside down. Before them, I have nothing to do with the exception of a trip to the drycleaners or grocery store. But after them, it's a whirlwind of noise and laughter (and music blasting from their laptop, dvd player, and wii simultaneously) with legos covering everything.

For some reason they double our number, but at least quadruple the amount of dish and laundry washing that has to happen just to keep us from living in complete filth.

I can't count on my hands how many times I've seen the latest boy movies like Star Wars Clone Wars, Kung Fu Panda, and The Mummy movies, but I also get to make them watch movies that I remember from childhood like Flight of the Navigator, E.T. and The Princess Bride. (Gremlins is now one of their favorites.)

These boys think it's funny to sit right next to you and fart continuously during the movie, but now they say excuse me every time. Which, to me, is the most satisfying thing about kids - watching them change for the better because of you.

It's weird to have a profound effect on a person from the ground up, to know you are (partially) responsible for helping form the base for their future ideas of what is right and wrong and normal.

What I want to teach them is pretty simple: to be good people, caring and nice to others instead of mean and selfish; to be thankful and happy for everything you have instead of sad and bitter for what you don't have; to be self-sufficient with decent manners (a.k.a. I am not the maid, and I'm not talking scrubbing the floors here, just putting dirty clothes in the hamper instead of dropping them on the floor wherever you happen to change, and saying please and thank you when asking for what you want instead of just demanding it). Sometimes, I can see it working and that is the best feeling.

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