Monthly Archives: June 2009

Treasured Days

The worst has happened and the husband was laid off last week.  To say that these are extremely difficult and worrisome times for us is, well, the understatement of the year.  Or maybe the century.

But this post is not about hard times.  This post is about days to be treasured.  The husband left yesterday to do some (paid!) work at his sister’s house.  He’ll be gone a few days and while the boy and I miss him (me, mostly for his wicked barbecuing skills!), it takes me back to a different time.  A time that I don’t want to go back to and stay necessarily, but a time that was the best time of my life.

The husband and I are late bloomers, you see, and so did not get married or live together until our boy was six years old.  This is a whole other story for another time, but it meant that the boy and I were on our own for the first six years of his life. 

To be on your own with a newborn, if you haven’t experienced it, well, it is just plain hard.  But the thing is, I didn’t know it was hard at the time.  Looking back?  I don’t know how I made it.  But at the time?  I was having the time of my life!  We were so courageous back then, on our own, a team.  I worked fulltime, sometimes more and the boy came to work with me every day.  We forged a bond so strong that even now, it is sometimes  hard for the husband to break in and be a part of what we are doing.  I have always encouraged a positive relationship between the husband and the boy (even when I wanted to push the husband off a bridge), but the boy and I have been through a lot together and I guess the result is a relationship that sometimes only belongs to the two of us.  

When the three of us became a family that actually lived in the same house, a whole new chapter began.  The last nearly three years have been a great adventure and, like I said, I don’t want to go back to our old life necessarily.  We are still having the time of our lives.  However, these days of just the two of us while the husband is gone are sweet.  It takes me back to that time, those baby and preschool days, when we were on our own, having the time of our lives in a different way. 

We mostly stay home these days while the husband is gone (no spending money in this house, folks!), sometimes together, sometimes doing our own thing in different parts of the house.  We play basketball, water the grass, the boy tells me stories.  We eat whatever we want, whenever we want.  We stay up late together, watching T.V. and chatting.  We talk to the dad/husband on the phone and say,  “We miss you , too!”  

But for me?  It’s O.K. for the husband to work just another day or two, because I am treasuring these days with my boy.

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Is There?

Is there anything more annoying than dusting filthy window blinds?

 

Anything at all?

 

I really don’t think so.

Must Be Summer

It’s been rather cool here at our house which is not usual summer weather for us. 

But when I saw this today, I knew it must be summer.

 

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This is the third summer in a row that the boy has asked for a mohawk (no mohawks allowed at his school!).  That first summer, I sat on the wood bench in the barber shop and quietly freaked out a bit as I watched the barber shave his head:  What had I let him do?!

But, the haircut actually suited the boy and now I take his mohawk as a sign that the busy school year is over and the more relaxed days of summer are here. 

Let the fun begin!

And then, if you’re nine and it’s officially summer, just go ahead and get your wetsuit on so you’ll be good and ready for those waves!

 

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Nine

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When he was born, I knew that as soon as I blinked, he would be turning a year old.  So I resolved not to blink so I wouldn’t miss a minute.  As he grew (much too fast) in that first year, I would tell myself,  “But he’s NOT one yet.  One is big.  He’ll be walking and talking by then.  At least he’s not one! 

When he was one, and (almost) walking and mostly talking, I told myself,  “Well, he may be one, but he’s NOT three.  Three is big.  He’ll be out of diapers and on his way to preschool by then.  At least he’s not three! 

When he was three and (nearly) out of diapers and having fun in preschool,  “Well, maybe he’s three, but he’s NOT five.  Five is big.  He’ll be heading out into the world towards Kindergarten (without me!) by then.  At least he’s not five!

When he was five and going to Kindergarten (crying every day those first two weeks!), I told myself,  “Well, he may be five but he’s NOT ten.  Ten is big.  Double digits!  He’ll be getting ready for middle school and probably thinking about getting a job  and his own apartment.  At least he’s not ten!

Today he is nine.  And all I have to say is….Oh. My. Goodness! Only one more year until he is ten!

This morning, the boy said,  “Thanks for helping me make it through my year of being eight, Mom.”  I told him I couldn’t wait to see what his year of being nine will hold.  Probably some good times, some challenging times and (living with this kid) many hilarious times.

Happy Birthday to the boy who saved me from myself.  I wasn’t quite sure where I was headed in this life, but that all changed on the day I met you. My life before you was black and white, like in the Wizard of Oz before the color came on. Not a bad life, but nothing compared to my life with you. You are simply the best part of me.

 

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“I love my life!”,  said the red-headed boy in the year he was eight- I hope he says that a lot in the year he is nine.

Still Laughing

I was talking to the boy about his upcoming birthday and how I’m always glad when he celebrates a new year but, as his mom, I like to take time to think about the year he just finished.

The Mom:  “I mean, I’m glad you’re going to be nine and all, but ….you’ll never be eight again.  Ever.  You’re done with that year.  I’ll never have an eight-year-old again.”

The Boy:  “Well, unless a miracle happens.”

The Mom:  (?!?!?!?!)

The Boy:  “Like I spend another year being eight.”

 

Oh.  THAT kind of miracle.

He Makes Me Laugh And He Isn’t Even Trying

The Mom:  “Did you eat your snack today at school?”

The Boy:  “Umm….No!….That took me a long time to answer!  I think I’m getting old!”

The Mom:  (quietly laughing hysterically)

The Boy:  (in a wise and knowing way)  “I’m almost getting to be nine!”

 

Well.  That explains it, then.

If I Were In Charge (Which I Most Certainly Am NOT!)

“And please, boys and girls, PLEASE remember to follow the rules or you will be in trouble these last few days of school and you don’t want that to happen.”

I listened to the principal of my school talk over the PA system this morning and I knew what she was talking about.  I call it Spring Fever.  In all my years of working with children, I have seen Spring Fever hit every year at this time, even when I worked with preschoolers.  Kids are ready for a break, they are tired of school, they are looking forward to their vacation plans.  They are ready to move on to the next grade or the next school.  They are done.

Of course, the silly, happy-go-lucky behavior that comes with this end of the year phenomenon means trouble for kids.  Detention is handed out, field trips and other fun activities are taken away.  As I head to the playground to do my time there, I stop by the table where kids are writing standards:  “I will not (fill in the infraction)” over and over.  And over.

(Aside:  What IS the benefit of writing standards anyway?  Do not get it.)

There are a few more kids writing standards each day with the numbers rising as the days dwindle.  I tell the kids to focus on getting their work done because I cannot stand to see them at the table missing their recess ONE MORE DAY.  They sigh.  And keep writing.

Now, here are my thoughts on Spring Fever (because I just KNOW you’re dying to hear them):  Can’t we just give the kids a small break here?  ALL teachers and aides know about this end of the year behavior.  Why are they surprised when they see it?  Teachers are (supposedly) trained to, you know, WORK WITH KIDS.  Isn’t part of working with kids finding ways to help them be successful?  Ways that don’t include mindless sentence writing?  As adults, we are given all kinds of breaks at the end of the year because we too are tired and ready to be done.  Can’t we do the same for the kids?

Just a suggestion.