Donna Smaldone
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Wednesday / March 21 / 2012

How I manage to be in love with two boys

My two loves, Skip & Zeke as I captured them sharing a cuddle (Feb 6, 2012)
My two loves, Skip & Zeke as I captured them sharing a cuddle (Feb 6, 2012)

They say a pup can love many but has only one true master. As I watch Zeke leap to his feet whenever Skip makes a move, come 40% of the time on my command and 99% on Skip’s, and plop his furry hindend in my face at night so he can sleep facing Skip (yes, he has his own red satin pillow in between our pillows — don’t judge), I am well-aware of precisely who he considers his master.

Caught in a full-fledged, “we’re 100% testosterone, but doggonit, we like to cuddle” moment, the boys allowed me to capture the photo you see above. It’s my favorite picture of their mutual admiration. I love these boys. My boys.

Being in love with two boys at the same time is nothing new for the women in my family. It was 20 years ago when I sat at Grandma Kokoski’s kitchen table, using my lunch break from work to share life with my matriarch. With one leg tucked under the other, I shared the dilemma of my fondness for two boys. What was I to do? How would I choose?

The only pause in our chatter was to bathe in the delightful aroma of Grandma’s perfectly browned cheese-under-the-broiler. She plated my favorite sandwich and positioned it on the place setting she had, like always, taken care to set for me. Everything she did was so purposeful. So deliberate.

I admired this woman and relished lunching together. Sharing casual visits around her small kitchen table was like spending secret time together in an elite, dream-like world. We consumed conversation so naturally it was as if we spoke a language only we could understand.

My grandmother, of whom I am the spitting, stubborn image, pursed her lips in a spirited, mischievous grin as she took her seat across from me. Her eyes gleamed in such a way that I knew I was about to learn something impish. I leaned in.

“You know…” she began playfully, clearly recalling a scene from her younger days. “Your Grandfather’s best friend’s name was also Frank. — and for a period of time, I dated them both!”

Two Franks!? Equally shocked and impressed, I inquired with piqued curiosity, “Did they both know?”

Indeed, just as my Dad knew while dating my Mom that she was also being courted by a boy named Leonard, Grandma’s Franks both knew they were vying for the same woman’s affection. The difference, I dare say, is that Mom was purely trying to find her beau. Grandma reveled in the sport of it all.

As we washed and dried dishes side by side, occasionally nudging shoulders with a knowing giggle, everything seemed clearer in my otherwise confounded predicament. Things have a way of working themselves out. Oh, and by the way, what’s wrong with a little competition?

“After all,” Grandma concluded. “You’re worth fighting for.”

And just like my Mom, and her Mom before her, I married one of those boys of whom I was so fond (…the darker furry one in the picture above).

4 responses to “How I manage to be in love with two boys”

  1. Julie says:

    Ahhh… sweet friend!!! I can see your grandmother’s face through your writing!! How I loved her and her twinkling eyes!!!! (and I love the broiled cheese too!!). You chose well my dear! Skip is a VERY lucky guy!!! (and so is Zeke!) I love you my friend!!

    • Donna Smaldone says:

      Oh, Jules! I thought specifically of you as I wrote about the cheese-under-the-broiler. One of our continued faves. I think of how Grandma must be beaming from heaven to see us still such fast friends. You are a treasure. I love you, too!

      Love,
      Donna

  2. Charlene says:

    I love your writing!! You capture a very lovely story. It is like living through your eyes and your heart! Very Nice 🙂 very cute photo too.

    • Donna Smaldone says:

      Thank you so much, Charlene. That’s the ultimate compliment as it’s what I hope to accomplish with my blog. Thank you for reading!

      Love,
      Donna

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