Thursday, May 25, 2017

My World

Eli, did you have a good day at school today?

Well, I didn't get in trouble today so in my world ... that's a good day.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sometimes, You Just Know

It's been a little over two years since we had to put Elvis down.
He was 13 and enjoying his grumpy-old-man-retirement. Until one Sunday in October, he woke up from a nap, started stumbling a bit and looked at me, confused.
It was as if he'd had a stroke. He was confused about his inability to walk but he also wasn't clear on who I was.
At first he wouldn't eat - which if you knew Elvis you would know that was the No. 1 sign of trouble.
Elvis would eat anything at anytime - including the 6 corncobs and 1 grape stem we had to have the vet remove years ago.
But this day was different.
After a few attempts at eating a hot dog and stumbling in the back yard, we knew.
Sometimes, you just know.
We were fortunate to have that Sunday. It gave us time to let the kids hold him and say good bye. To let him eat whatever he would like. To tell him how much we loved him.
To take a moment.
The next day we took him to the vet and he had a very peaceful transition.
Eric and I have graduated colleges, had many moves, purchased multiple cars and homes, had children and even medical scares.
But for some reason, having to put Elvis down made us official grown ups.
I think it's because I remember when my parents had to put their basset hound Malcolm down. It was one of those childhood instances when another sliver of innocence gets shaved off the bubble. Another peek into how the world really is.
Malcolm's death was the first time I had ever seen my father cry.
Elvis was a milestone.
The drive to the vet, holding him and being there for him.
Going home that afternoon and talking to the kids.
All of it so painful but necessary.
It struck me how emotional the boys were about Elvis' passing.
They had really only known Elvis in his older years. And let's face it, Elvis was a grumpy old man from the beginning. He never loooooved the kids. But he enjoyed herding them into hula hoops and stealing their food. The kids had memories of tracking Elvis down after two disappearances. And I recalled when Jack was a baby and Elvis was his most favorite thing to look at. And Elvis taught Eli how to walk with his cookie held as high as he could around the house.
We still miss him.
His blue collar remains in the console of my car.

---

We knew we would eventually get another dog someday. Simply because we are dog people and none of us have ever lived our lives without a dog.
But we also knew it would take us some time to grieve. I didn't realize it would take so long.
Two years after Elvis died, I started causally looking at shelters and web sites in case there was someone that might look like a good fit for our family. We needed a dog that would be good for our kids and be besties with my parent's Catahoula Izzie.
I had a specific list of requirements: around 35 pounds so I could carry it if needed, black to match the hardwoods, good with kids of course, about 1 year old and maybe this time a girl.
I would see a rescue at a shelter and started testing the waters. I'd head over to just have a look, a pet, a cuddle. If it went well, I would bring the kids for a test. Some tolerated the kids, some chased the kids, others simply didn't care if the kids were there or not.
There was a wild and crazy Rottweiler mix named Turkey, a pensive Dachshund mix named Pebble and even a sweet, nervous boy named Joey. We got really close with a basset mix named Scout. He was so precious but had been returned based on a tiff with child. Just wasn't sure. Maybe the owner wasn't supervising enough?
We were mulling it over, when I came across a black Schipperke mix named Dixie. I reached out to her foster family in Mayflower and set up a meeting.
When we arrived, she darted out the door straight into Jack's arms. She greeted me as well, but these playmates were her focus.
We walked her up and down the street and watched her interact with the kids and the other dogs that lived with her.
We hadn't even finished walking her back up to her foster house when I knew.
The foster family went inside to get the paper work and I opened the back door to my car.
As if she had been waiting for us this whole time, she instantly jumped into the back with the boys by her side. She looked at me as if to say: "Where have you been? You're late!"
Sometimes, you just know.




2030

You guys.
Eli just had his graduation ceremony from Pre-K.
He was too precious with his white cap and gown. They had a talent show portion which included all types of talent from Eli reciting his poem and singing his song to other kids joke telling to singing to piano and ending with a batman demonstration.
I was doing ok with minimal-mom-emotion until they announced: Please applaud your future graduating class of 2030!
And then I fell in between the church pews into the fetal position.
In fact, I'm writing this from under the kneeler.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

DQ

Eli, are you all cracked out from DQ?

No.

Oh, ok.

Wait. What is DQ?

You know, Dairy Queen?

Oh yeah, yeah, I think I am.

What did you think I meant?

I thought you meant the end of the world, mama. From now on, I'm going to call DQ: hard boiled meatballs.

K.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Party Moms

Jack, did you have fun at the birthday party?

Yes.

Was the mom nice?

Oh, yes. Party moms are always the nicest.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Stink

With the anticipation of a child barely able to go to sleep on Christmas Eve in the hopes that St. Nick will be popping down the chimney with gifts, was Jackson's own anticipation for the day he can start wearing deodorant.
For the last year, he has had two priorities: to acquire a phone and his own deodorant.
Weekly he has asked me for each.
The phone is an entry for another time.
The deodorant was simply on hold as I kept telling him he has no body odor.
He would regularly fling his armpit in my face for a sniff test.
Nothing.
My precious baby boy, I would say, you simply have no stink.
After a soccer game there would be more armpit flinging.
Nothing.
Sorry, I would say to his crestfallen face: No stink, sweet boy.
After a baseball practice, a dog walk, a Nerf gun battle, a field trip mining crystals, mowing the lawn .... nothing.
No stink.
You smell as fresh as the day you were born, baby, I would say shaking my head. And he would walk away his head held low.
Guys, I am NOT exaggerating.
This ritual has been going on for at least a year. I kept explaining that if you have no stink there is no reason to put a chemical on your precious baby boy skin.
He would grimace.
Why start a habit you will have to do for the rest of your life for no reason? You have years to stink and wear deodorant, Jack.
Cue the eye roll.
Finally, the day came for his 4th grade class to get to watch The Video.
You know?
The Video.
The one where we all learn about puberty, what will happen to you body, and hair will grow where?
Jack had been really excited about this video. As if all the secrets of the body were about to be laid before him.
He would finally have all the clues to adulthood.
The day of The Video arrived and he hopped out of bed like it was his birthday. I prepared him with comments like, "Try not to giggle too much," and "Don't get in trouble with all the giggling."
He came home from school that afternoon disappointed.
Alas, The Video had only shown him all the things he had already known.
Eric and I try to speak frankly with our kids about their bodies and such. So he had already known most of what the The Video covered. In fact, he didn't even have any questions and only remarked that his fellow classmates' post-video questions were "dumb."
However, his day was about to turn around.
He was lying in bed, about to read his book for a bit before turning out the light when he gave me one last armpit-fling-in-the-face for the day.
"Mom? Anything?"
I closed by eyes, leaned in and gave it the old mom sniff.
He waited for the verdict, eyes wide with hope.
I looked up and declared: BEHOLD! STINK!
As if one cue from 4th grade curriculum, his body had changed. As if The Video had itself activated STINK!
I had indeed detected a very faint whiff of stink. Faint, yes. But it was there.
Jack was elated, a wide grin on his face.
Tomorrow would be the day.
Deodorant Day!
The next morning, when he was struggling to get out of bed I reminded him in a singsong announcement: Jaaaa-aaack! Get up! It's Deodorant Day!
He hopped out of bed, hurried to dress and of course apply deodorant. He was most pleased with himself and I'm pretty sure he announced to all he saw that day that he was wearing deodorant.
Behold! Deodorant Day!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Stare Down

Eli, what are you doing in the bathroom?

I'm having a staring contest with the guy in the mirror.

Oh...ok.

Ha! I win! He blinked!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Toothpaste

Jackson, what does your toothpaste taste like?

Bubblegum.

Bubblegum?

Yes.

Well, mine tastes like Star Wars.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Rescue

Mam, is Izzy a rescue dog?

Yes, Eli. She is.

Who has she rescued?


Monday, February 20, 2017

Not a Planner

Eli, when do you think you will stop sucking your thumb?

Maybe when I'm big like you?

I see. So you don't know when?

I don't know.

Well, I was just curious as to what the plan was.

I don't have a plan.

Oh.

Long pause...

But, Mama?

Yes.

I do have a plan for hugging!

Oh, you do?

Yes, and the plan is: HUGGING!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Key

Daddy, what does this key go to?

I don't know Eli but leave it alone. Put it back in my drawer.

But what does it open?

I don't know. It's just an old key. But put it back, ok?

Ok.

Later that day....

Mama?

Yes, Eli.

When will I get to be old enough to have a bunch of old keys that I don't know what they go to?

Soon enough.

Well, I'm getting a Spiderman key to go with my Spiderman car.