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Archive for June, 2008

My mother is having some painting done at her house this week.  Yesterday I helped her to unload the room to be painted, taking down pictures and moving breakables.  Now, my mother is on the threshold of 70, which truthfully seems a lot younger to me than it did twenty years ago.  Several of my friends have already lost their parents, and I’m becoming more and more aware that my time with my parents is growing shorter. 

Because I am an only child, I inherit everything whether I want it or not, and yesterday pointed up the fact to me that “everything” is quite a bit of stuff.  My mother has her house decorated within an inch of its’ life, and with more than 35 years residence in the same place, I shudder to think what I’m going to have to do to process the detritus of my parents’ life together.  This is not an advisable topic of rumination for someone who gets easily overwhelmed by volumes of stuff. 

It’s been twelve years since I last cleaned out a relative’s residence, when my grandmother was terminally ill, and I was fortunate enough to have a very dear friend who was willing to come and sort things through with me, when my mother couldn’t bear to do anything further.  And that was a one bedroom apartment, not a three bedroom ranch-style house.  My grandmother had already gone through all her stuff years before and pared down.  It was easy, now that I look at it. 

My default setting is to not go around borrowing trouble, not investing the mental energy it takes to worry over some things.  But the magnitude of what awaits me just sorta hit me yesterday, and frankly, folks, I don’t know that I’ll be able to get through that without a steady supply of adult beverages. 

 

— Mox

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Best laid plans.

So I was all set to take Spawn and Friend to the zoo for the last day of zoo camp today.  Friday is my day off from work (actually, the whole office is taking Fridays off during the summer, I believe this is called a perk) but I was ready to saddle up and make the trek into Neighboring City anyway.  I planned this all out.  Since I didn’t have to show my face in the office I was going to drop the kids off at the monkey cage (seriously, they’d be a draw) and make tracks to the mall.  I even scheduled a massage.  It’s so rare I get a day to myself that I was really going to live it up, maybe even get a cappuccino. 

Well, since I’m here posting this you can assume that my plans have been waylaid. 

Friend’s grandmother had an appointment in Neighboring City this morning, so she offered to take the kids to zoo camp for me.  You know, so I wouldn’t have to waste my gas on a trip that I wouldn’t ordinarily make on a Friday.  She was being so kind that I just let her do it.  I bundled Spawn off into her car and I went to the gym. 

I am still going to make my massage appointment, though.  I’ve been looking forward to that all week. 

Oh well, you know what they say about mice and men. 

 

— Mox

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I try really hard not to compare Spawn to other children, since all that does is point up the fact that Spawn isn’t exactly like other children and makes me feel like a less than stellar parent.  I try not to compare, but I end up doing it anyway.  I mean, I already know that I could be a better mom but sometimes I feel compelled to beat myself up, just for fun. 

But it’s hard not to see the difference in my child when my child is literally sitting right next to someone else’s child in the back seat of my car. 

I try really hard to celebrate the fact that Spawn is wired a certain way, that the imagination and expressiveness is going to someday serve the kid well.  But sometimes I just wish that the kid would be more like the other 7 year olds I know. 

Then again, I have a really special kid, one full of heart and compassion.  This morning Spawn found a baby bird that had been knocked out of its nest.  For our cats, a baby bird equals a tasty hors d’oeuvre.  So while I was racing around trying to get ready for work this morning, Spawn was out in the back yard rescuing the bird.  This involved a small box, nesting materials, and a freshly dug worm.  Spawn put the box containing the bird and nesting materials in the fork of a tree and was satisfied that it was “rescued” from the cats’ clutches.  I have my doubts about that, of course, because the bird looked pretty weak to begin with, but who am I to pooh-pooh the kid? 

When it comes to caring about things, I wish other kids could be more like my kid. 

 

— Mox

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Ferrying Spawn and Friend to zoo camp this week has been rather interesting.  It’s funny the things that seven-year-olds find to talk about when they think the adult in the front seat isn’t listening.  Spawn’s friend has said a few things that, if Friend’s mother knew what was said, Friend’s mother would die of mortification and then rise up again to kill her child. 

Me, I’m just plain amused. 

Yesterday on our trek home, Friend spotted a van that is painted up to resemble the Mystery Machine.  It’s something of a local sensation around here, a little bit out of the ordinary.  Of course this led to a discussion of all things Scooby, because Spawn is a passionate fan of the gang.  At one point in the discussion, Friend was pretty exasperated with Spawn and said (with a dramatic sigh) “Spawn, that’s not really the Mystery Machine, it’s just a van painted to look like it.” 

Not to be outdone, Spawn replied, “Yeah, I know.  Those people are just hippies.” 

Really?  Hippies?  In this day and age?  This was just too good to pass up, so I decided to insert myself into the conversation. 

“Do y’all even know what a hippie is?” 

I was assured that yes, of course, they know what a hippie is.  At the very same time both of them approximated a lotus posture (not easy to do in booster seats and seat belts, but they managed), arranged their fingers in a mudra position and intoned “ohhhmmmmmm….” 

I pressed the issue further and also learned that hippies wear old clothes, look weird, and have long hair.  They seemed to be on something of the right path so I let it go before we got into a discussion of turning on, tuning in, and dropping out. 

I don’t know why we bother to send these kids to school.  They apparently already know everything. 

 

— Mox

 

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At dinner last night we had a roasted chicken.  As my husband pulled off a drumstick and put it on Spawn’s plate, the kid very quietly said, “ew.” 

“Ew?” 

“Daddy, I’ve decided not to eat animals anymore.  I’m going to be a vegarian.” 

“Oh?  You’re going to be a vegetarian?” 

“Yes, that’s what I said.  Vegarian.” 

So we enter into a conversation about what it means to be a vegetarian.  Which is pointless because the list of vegetables that the kid will eat is pretty short.  But Spawn, ever at the ready with an answer, is prepared for that. 

“Ok, so I’ll just eat macaroni and cheese.” 

Which prompts us to enter into a conversation about being vegan.  Spawn decides that veganism isn’t the way to go, since that will eliminate the cheese portion of the mac & cheese. 

“Maybe I’ll just eat fruit.  Yeah.  Just fruit.  I like all kinds of fruit.” 

“So you’ll be a fruitarian.” 

“Yeah.  A fruit… what?” 

“A fruitarian.” 

“Yeah.  That.” 

“Well, I guess that means no more Wendy’s cheeseburgers.” 

Spawn is thoughtful for a moment. 

“Ok, just fruit.  And Wendy’s cheeseburgers.  And meatloaf.   Mama, can you make a meatloaf for supper this week?” 

I love to see the kid’s social consciousness starting to bloom, even if it gets easily derailed at this point in time. 

 

— Mox

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Well, hello.

I guess you’ve noticed by now that I’ve been taking Fridays off.  When you don’t have much to say, this is an effective strategy.  Keeps the stress down some, too. 

I spent last week helping out with bible school, and let me tell you, my butt was whupped each and every day.  I don’t know how you teachers out there do this on a daily/weekly/yearly basis.  I’m still not recovered. 

This week, Spawn is going to zoo camp with a friend, and next week, the two of them are going to church camp together.  At the end of July we’ll all load up and head off to a family reunion.  In between we’ll try to shoehorn in a semi-pro baseball game (we have free tickets waiting) and a trip to the water park (so the kid can shut up about it, already).  The summer has just begun and already it’s picked up steam. 

And then school will be starting. 

My grandmother was right:  the older you get, the faster the days go. 

— Mox

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What it’s like.

what it\'s like

I have been watching airline fares yoyo up and down for the past two months, and it ain’t gettin’ any better, folks.  At this rate we’ll be spending fall break sitting around the blowup pool in our backyard. 

— Mox

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