Jack Frost

I opened the blinds to this guy, waving happily at me from our yard, having survived an entire day and night living with us.

It’s hard to be sad for too long when every time I look out the window, there he is, always a smile on his face, waving hello.  It’s like, Hi!  I’m just here, no need to do laundry or cook food for me!  I’m fine!

It’s great to be the snowman.

And?  Best house, or shall I say, yard guest ever!  He can stay forever as far as I’m concerned.

Alas, I fear he’ll meet his snowman maker soon.  With temperatures forecast in the fifties, he could be history by night fall.

RIP, Jack.  It’s been great knowing you.

This Morning At Our House

That red-headed kid asked for bacon and eggs this morning.

I had to tell him we were out of eggs.  I had used the last of them to make the brownies we took to our Christmas Day celebration.

He was disappointed, of course.

Then I offered him a brownie for breakfast.  Because there are EGGS in the brownie.

That totally counts. 

Right?

The husband laughed and said, “You have a good mom, dude.”

I am the resourceful one in this house.

Payback

My feet hurt. 

More specifically, the BALLS of my feet hurt.  All the time.  I think I’m old. 

When we were teenagers, my sisters and I, our mom would tell us, ” The balls of my feet hurt.”  All the time.

Oh!  How we would tease her!  Imitate her.  Be not understanding.  At. All.

And now?  Here I am, the balls of my feet hurting.  Man.

I told this story to the Husband and that Red-Headed Kid the other day.  How we would tease our mom about the balls of her feet hurting.

“Sounds like payback, Mom!”, the Boy said.

Yes.  Yes, it does.

Vengeance is sweet, eh, Mom?

At Least I THINK I’m A Good Witch

When I ride my bike around our neighborhood, the song from the Wizard of Oz, where the Bad Witch is riding her bike, always pops into my head.

Neh, Neh-Neh, Neh- Neh, Neh-Neh.

My hair is flying out in back of me, I’m pedaling along and I cannot keep the song or vision out of my head.

Now, I consider myself a mostly Good Witch.  I should be descending in a bubble, like Glenda, the Good Witch.  But that is not what I picture and hear in my head.   I see that Bad Witch, all dressed in black.

Neh, Neh-Neh, Neh-Neh, Neh-Neh.

Maybe there is a little bit of Bad Witch in all of us.  Mine comes out when I ride my bike. 

Guess there are worse times for my Bad Witch self to appear.

One-Oh!

 

Dear Red-Headed Kid,
 
So, today you are ten.  Dude!  Double digits!  You will never be one number again!  Nine is so last year.
 
You continued your steady walk away from me this year, the walk you began on the day you were born.  Oh, sure, you still look back often to make sure I am there but not nearly as often as you did when you were eight.  This is as it should be.  While I wistfully remember your early years, I’m not a mom who mourns her kid getting older.  I am always ready for the next new chapter.
 
You are a boy with many interests:  You ride in the desert, swim in the ocean, play your sax, build with Legos and Knex and tell me stories for as long as I will listen, sometimes longer.  You have friends you hang out with and are well-liked at school.  You approach most new experiences with bright eyes and an attitude of “I think I can do this.”  I always pictured myself raising a girl but, after 10 years with you, I believe boys rule.  They just do. 
 
You are sporting some new and interesting behavior this past year.  It is silly, loud and crazy  and possibly could be considered annoying.  When I suggest this to you, you laugh with satisfaction.  Because you are nine, going on ten and annoying=good.  That’s OK, it keeps the girls away.  Well, mostly.
 
So many things about you remain the same:  You are still mostly kind, you are nice to little kids, you still hug me and tell me you love me on a daily basis.  And, oh, yes, you are still hilarious and make me laugh every day.  This year, you have caught on to my odd sense of humor and sometimes, we laugh until we are nearly in tears.  You are my partner in crime.
 
Happy Birthday to you, my red-headed kid, the boy who saved me from myself.  Clearly, I had no idea where I was headed until I met you.  A life without you would be no life at all.  I am not always sure about my skills in other areas of my life but being your mother is by far the easiest thing I will ever do.  This has nothing to do with me and everything to do with you.  I can’t be sure what your next decade will bring but I’m here for what is sure to be a wild ride.  I’ll do most of the driving for now but that day will come when you take the wheel yourself and head out into your life.  I say, bring it on, baby!

Please remember always that you are my boy.

Love you, man!

Because He’s 9 Going On 10

That red-headed kid has always been a very easy kid to raise.   He is still pretty easy, as 9-going-on-10-year-olds go. 

Except for the silly, possibly annoying, kind of crazy behavior he’s been sporting lately.

This morning, I was trying to have a serious conversation with him.  I made several attempts but he was laughing in a crazy way, giving me silly answers, possibly being annoying. 

I gave up and faced the issue with some humor.

“You know what?”, I said.  “I’m going to poke both your eyes out and when they fall on the floor?  I’m going to step on them!”

Then I told him to have a good day and left for work.

Um, yeah, pretty much NOT what I ever expected to say to him one day when I first looked into his dear little face nearly ten years ago.

I Laugh Nearly Every Day

I heard some hilarious things at my school today.

This morning in my classroom, the kids were getting settled on the carpet for Opening and one boy accidentally bumped into another boy named J.  Now, in the real word, J would be called “extremely rude” but in our mostly positive special ed classroom, we say he “tends to be grouchy”.  This morning was no exception. 

J yelled at the boy who bumped into him,  “Hey!!  Why did you do that?!”  The other boy, a sweet, kind boy, said,  “Sorry!”  It didn’t matter.  J continued to mutter and yell at him. 

The teacher, in her kindest role model-y voice said,  “J, it was an accident.  He said he was sorry.  You could say,  ‘That’s OK, it was an accident.’”

So J said, in a loud annoyed voice, right in that sweet kid’s face,  “THAT’S OK, JUST DON’T EVER DO IT AGAIN!!”

The other aide and I had to turn away so the kids wouldn’t see us smile.  Because J heard the words suggested by the teacher but he just couldn’t say them.  He was annoyed and angry and THOSE were the thoughts he expressed.  Wouldn’t we all like to do that some days?  Except we don’t because we would be called “rude” (or worse!), not “grouchy”.

Added note:  It took J two more tries before he was able to say the words the teacher suggested to the boy who bumped into him.  But he did it.

Later, on the playground, a boy in kindergarten handed me a large sheet of paper that said,  NO RECESS.  This was his teacher’s way of letting me know that the boy was not allowed to play at recess because of some crime he had committed in the classroom.

Can I just say that when kids lose their recess, it makes me a little crazy?  Because, in my experience, the kids that misbehave in the classroom ?  Are the kids that need their recess the most! To use up all that extra energy that probably got them in trouble in the first place.  I am a big fan of consequences for bad behavior but….how about picking something else besides recess?  Just a thought. 

Because I think kids, even those in trouble, should have choices, I let the boy choose whether he wanted to sit in the sun or the shade, told him I would visit him while he was doing his time and went on to supervise the rest of the playground.  The boy whined and complained and asked for just 5 minutes to go and play.  I stayed firm and told him the bell would ring before he knew it.

Halfway through recess, he came to me and said, in a desperate voice,  “Mrs. K!!  I can’t take this anymore!!”

I didn’t even try to hide my smile.  In fact, I laughed out loud, put my arm around him and said,  “Well, I don’t blame you- I can barely take it myself!”

And then I noticed a girl, also in kindergarten, kind of crouched down on the ground, obviously in pain. 

“Are you OK?  What happened?”,  I asked.

She said,  “I was playing handball and the ball hit me in the penis.”

“In the penis?”,  I repeated, thinking I must have heard wrong.

She nodded.

“Um, honey?  You’re a girl.  You don’t have a penis.  Do you mean your private area?”

She nodded again.

A boy nearby heard this conversation, shook his head knowingly and said,  “Yeah, that happened to me once.”  

 

How could you ever be sad in a place like this?