Friday, May 31, 2013
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Monday, May 27, 2013
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
I attended nephew Oliver's preschool graduation today. I know, preschool graduation is not a real "thing," but let us put that aside for now. The joy of being a stay-at-home aunt is that I get to witness every, possible, little event in the lives of my nephews and nieces. With six of them running (OK, one rolling) around nearby CousinTown, as my children have dubbed the neighboring town, I do bounce from event to event as much as I am able, squeezed between all the "things" my own children have going.
Oliver goes to a small, lovely, church preschool, run by two saints and attended by the usual gaggle of smiley, sticky youngsters. They had a sweet, little graduation ceremony, the kind I have witnessed on many previous occasions (three kids, two nephews, ongoing tally) so I was a little surprised at myself when the program began and I got choked up. But, I guess it shouldn't have been much of a surprise...
As the children filed into the sanctuary, and I spotted Oliver near the end of the line, I had one of those epiphanies of blessing and immediately had to fight back tears. Oh, yes, fight the tears, because there is nothing more odd or uncomfortable than a random auntie crying at preschool graduation.
In that instant, my mind went back to May of 2008, when I spent a day here and there, over a few weeks maybe, visiting that same place to pick up big brother Kazmer from preschool. Mommy was in the hospital, on bed rest, but knowing that premature delivery of her unborn child was pretty much a certainty... It was only a matter of time. I would walk in, toting toddler Solomon, and the very same preschool teacher would greet me with concerned eyes, asking, "How is she?"
Right at the end of Kazmer's preschool year, Oliver was born. He was early, tiny, and sick. Now, look at him:
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
I know where she got it-- from me. By "it," I mean the moniker "Son," not "so proud of you," because I am rarely proud of the cute, but hairy, little monster who makes mischief all over my house. Jones is sitting next to me, chewing on a Wet-Nap, as I type. Still, I know the four-year-old hears me say "Son," but what I don't know is where I got it.
Benjamin gets called "Son" by me all the time. Sometimes, it's a term of affection: "I love you, Son." Sometimes, it's a reprimand: "Sooooonnn." Sometimes, it's simply a substitute for his name, but I am not sure why, since "Ben" rolls off the tongue just as easily. It is definitely a way to distinguish the little boy from all his sisters, I guess.
My husband does not say "Son." I do not recall my mother or my father ever calling my brother "Son." I'm pretty sure my sister does not address any of her boys as "Son." And, I'm certain I've never called any of my girls "Daughter," nor would I; that sounds weird.
The more I think about it, the less sense it makes-- Why would I call my son Son? I'm beginning to think maybe I played in the NBA in a former life... or was a rap artist... I looked to YouTube for answers and inspiration (who doesn't?) I did not find any film or television clips that would explain my odd tendency. However, I did find this sweet song:
Monday, May 20, 2013
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Friday, May 17, 2013
Jones got to be Special Visitor in both kindergarten and third grade. There was some lobbying, as well, for fifth grade, but I told that student pet owner she was a little old for show-and-tell. It cracks me up how proud these kids are of their pet, and how excited their friends get to see Jones, even though most have previously met him and many have dogs of their own at home. It is sweet.
The ride to school with the dog in the car prompted Amanda's bright idea that there should be a Pet Day at school. She said all the kids could bring their pets (or stuffed animals) for a day of animal education and activities. Elisabeth told her sister, "That would never work-- because some people have birds for pets." Interesting rationale... but at least it stopped the big one before she took her pitch to the administration.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Monday, May 13, 2013
I just read about this.
Nobody can get enough of this, but I guess it's really only a freak show.
A very dear friend found out her dad has cancer, and they could both surely use your prayers.
One of my kids told me she hates me and her father... and I'm fairly certain she means it, so we could all use your prayers.
Most people who read this blog know already where I stand on, well, almost everything. I am not interested in commenting on these issues. I just ask that you read, research, understand and act, in whichever way you feel compelled to do so.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
It began shortly after 3 a.m. with a six-year-old crying that his stomach hurt.
But he made it to the toilet every single time he vomited.
An hour later, still awake with the patient, the four-year-old came in crying that she was scared, and I laid down to soothe her demands of "snuggling," only to be whacked in the face on a regular basis until the sun came up.
But, eventually, she did get up and depart the room, and, after a short but refreshing nap, I awoke to breakfast waiting.
After dragging around for most of the morning, the girls got themselves dressed for church and in the car on time; however, upon arrival at church, I discovered the nine-year-old's dress was barely long enough to cover her bum.
But, she was wearing a beautiful necklace and shoes.
The little girl announced, in the middle of mass, "Excuse me, I just farted!"
But, the only witnesses were good friends sitting behind us.
My husband stayed in bed till noon, "taking care" of the sick kid.
But, at least he wasn't on a fishing boat or in a hunting blind.
That same husband passed the morning iPad to iPad with our son, spending every coin I was saving up for my Hay Day cake maker.
But, when he saw the look of disappointment on my face, he did sheepishly apologize and point out the new grove of fruit trees on my cyber-farm.
Sickness derailed our plans for the day.
But, I still managed to see my mom, as Todd did his.
One child insisted on practicing piano in the nude, and, when I pressed for modesty, she retorted, "Well, it's not against the law!"
But, she did allow my standards to prevail, after I pointed out the large picture window and traffic passing on the street.
Though I did "milk it" by my standards, the day still involved some cooking, some cleaning, some refereeing, some laundering, some herding and some caretaking, which my 11-year-old pointed out seemed a terrible injustice.
But, I got to spend my Mother's Day with everyone responsible for making me a mother-- and I cannot think of a better day than that.
― Donna Ball, At Home on Ladybug Farm
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Friday, May 10, 2013
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
They play well together, though Madeline is always the director, and, if she does get sick of him, she tells me Bright Leaf fell asleep. Sometimes, he accompanies us on errands and visits around town, but often he departs mid-trip, when Maddy uses her "magic" to dismiss him. (Yes, she chants, "Miska-mooska-Mickey-Mouse!")
For a while, there was also an imaginary friend named Mermaid. She was always under foot-- or under rump-- getting sat on by a sibling in the car. Mermaid morphed into a mermaid named Allie. But we don't hear much about her anymore.
From what I remember, my sister Ellen, also the baby of our family, was also the only child in our family to have an imaginary friend. Maddy plays so well by herself... I guess when you are the last one, left behind, you cultivate relationships however you can.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Friday, May 3, 2013
That's my 11-year-old and her friend, heading out to Middle School Activity/Dance Night at school. The fifth graders were invited, I imagine, to up the head count at such an event in a small school setting, and to get those kids excited about entering middle school in the all. That's all well and good, except-- it didn't hit me until minutes before the evening began that MY CHILD WAS GOING TO A SCHOOL DANCE.
All right, even in my apoplectic state, I could recognize that the word "dance" was probably being used liberally, even incorrectly. (And later I would find out my hunch was right.) What's more, the gathering was, of course, organized and supervised by teachers at the school. Still, my child was going to a mixed-gender social event, without me.
I would be embarrassed to admit how long I sat in the parking lot after leaving the girls at the front door.
Silly, I know... Why did my mind jump to a hypothetical and years-off Prom Night? Kids all have to grow up sometime and they constantly ARE growing up, every day and in every way. Yet, at the same time, it was as though a switch was flipped. My baby was taking time with her hairstyle, choosing jewelry, changing outfits a dozen times-- as evidenced by the trail of bedroom destruction in her wake:
Amanda also raided my closet, begging to wear three-inch stilettos. We compromised with open-tied, low-heeled wedges, which I agreed to let her borrow as long as she promised to pack her loafers, too. She cared about her appearance, listened to her sister's advice over mine, glowed under her father's compliments.
After I sat in the parking lot for way too long, realizing there was no chance she would exit the building and elect to spend the evening at home with the rest of us, I drove home to my babies left behind. I walked the dog, because the dog walker was out for the evening. I thought about Amanda and I hoped she was having fun. And I hoped the girls were being kind to each other. And I hoped the boys did not show up.
I was genuinely surprised-- but a little relieved-- when the phone rang an hour before the end of Activity Night, and Amanda was on the line asking to be picked up. I asked if everything was OK, and she said, "Yeah, I'm just done."
A review of the evening, shared over ice cream cones, detailed that most of the girls from class were there, but very few of the boys. The concession stand ran out of candy. It was less of a dance and "more kids running around the school like maniacs." There is still time.