I woke-up this morning under a pile of sleeping boy-men on an over-stuffed family room chair with an armpit in my face. Relax, it was two of my three sons.  The sweaty smushiness rendered the realization that despite having paid back student loans for a fancy liberal arts education and years of grad school, I’m living in the Alpha Tau chapter of the Delt Sig fraternity circa 1991.  Sitting here between bouts of laundry, trying to guess whose boxers are whose, I can list 15 ways I am pretty darn sure I am a “frat house mother:”

  1. Dimly lit staircases that smell like fish. Long John Silvers? Does that even exist anymore? Oh, my bad, it’s that sock on the landing.
  2. EVERYONE is taller than me.
  3. Shoes…12 pairs by the back door this morning where I swear there were only 9 last night.My, how I love the smell of soccer cleats in the morning.
  4. When this “house mom” vacuums she keeps her “poking stick” nearby to dislodge projectiles (darts, pencils, pretzel rods, etc.) from the vac hose.
  5. However many slaughtered, cured and sliced former animals are in the fridge, there is“never enough” lunch meat.
  6. However many rods, twists, sour doughs, or sticks are in the cupboard there are “never enough” pretzels (even if I were to dust off and rebag the ones from the vacuum).
  7. And cereal? Don’t’ get me started. Boxes as big as Trump’s head disappear into an abyss bigger than The Donald’s pie-hole once they squeeze their way into the pantry.
  8. There are black whiskers in the sink despite the fact it looks like the no one ever shaves.
  9. Push-ups in the hallway. Basketball in the attic. Indoor golf ball soccer. Footprints halfway up the door jambs. Hand prints on the ceiling.
  10. A steady hand has scrawled “A+ for effort” on an unpainted patched hole in the wall. Someone has scrawled an “F” below the “A+” for “failing to finish the project.”
  11. There’s a reptile on the kitchen counter, a spoon under the bush by the front door,empty bread bags on the fridge and Nutella streaks in the peanut butter jar.
  12. Homework is forgotten on the foyer table, next to another reptile…and another pair of shoes.
  13. Music.Dancing. Farts. Occasional musical dancing farts.
  14. Boy-men bickering that morphs into wrestling (which any good house mom knows is code for brotherly love).
  15. A firm belief that Brothers can mess with each other…but NO ONE else can mess with a Brother (except for the scrappy little mom).


About the author: Krista Genevieve Farris lives “at the top of Virgina” in Winchester under a pile of laundry, shoes and dog hair with her husband and rapidly growing sons. When she’s not writing, she’s either running around in spandex working in the world of fitness or digging in the dirt for one reason or another while proclaiming that her English and anthropology degrees justify it all. Her essays, poems and stories have been included in a variety of publications. Links can be found at her website https://kristagenevievefarris.wordpress.com/ 


Krista's spirit animal is a Mountain Feist Pomeranian mix with a touch of capuchin and sidewalking crab. She is often found exercising, gardening, cooking or wandering while mentally working through writings. She makes excuses to dig in the dirt, figuratively and literally. But appreciates the sterility of the sparkling clean exercise studio where she has led fitness classes for two decades. She has degrees in cultural anthropology and puts those to good use by being human and writing about it. She believes good stories help create honest relationships and loves to hear what's up. A mother to three sons who are entering late teenhood and early manhood, she realizes homeostasis requires constant change and she is cool with that.

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