Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Heart Stopping Moment

Yesterday I had one of those heart stopping moments that age you and add wrinkles and gray hair to you immediately.

At 10:30, Joseph put Caspian on the Max train to go to the zoo.

At 12:30, the phone rang. It was the zoo and Caspian had never arrived.

It was like all of the air had been sucked out of the room. That minute between the zoo's phone call and our calling Caspian's cell phone and hearing him answer was one of the longest of my life.

Fortunately, all was well. The train he had been riding (it's an electric train) had been going over the bridge when it encountered a bent overhead wire and came to a stop. They had to take all of the passengers off and transfer them to buses, hence the reason he was late.

Although it all turned out fine, I could feel the remnants of that panic all day. When he came home that night, I wanted to just hold onto him despite the fact that he is four plus inches taller than I am now. It was a reminder of how precious and wonderful these creatures are and how much we need to treasure them.

Now, I am going back to breathing again.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Perfect Day

Today was a perfect day--one of those I want to find a way to stuff into a green glass bottle, stuff a cork into the top of and hide it away on a shelf so that I can find it months or even years later, take it back out and feel a rush of rememberance.

It wasn't anything special, mind you. The weather was perfect. The sun was out, the sky was a brilliant turquoise blue and it was in the 80s. We did some running around in the am and then came home. I sat out in the sun with Nicole and Coryn. We hit each other with water and generally had a good time, reading and talking. Caspian wandered in and out and J was, as usual, busy with Volkswagen parts and such. The long afternoon wound down peacefully. Nicole and Caspian took off and biked/scootered to the grocery store for some dinner extras while I made sloppy joes. I cooked in the kitchen, dancing to music on the radio and smooching with my hubby in between adding the onions and the garlic. We all ate out on the deck under the umbrella table and I was reminded of doing the same with my parents so many summers long ago. Each memory is full of love.

We chatted and laughed and told jokes and stories and it was just a golden time. Everyone was at ease, not rushing off somewhere. I had no work I had to hurry up and get done. There were no schedules for the moment.

Nicole is preparing the yard for a bonfire later tonight, and of course, the ingredients for s'mores are at hand. She will start it while I am at swimming class today and I will come home tired and ready for a sweet treat before bed.

Sweetest of all, however, was just being with the family and enjoying each other. No angst. No arguments. No tension. No problems. No issues. Just appreciating each other and the moment. With them all growing up so fast, I know that these moments are fleeting and precious, so I want to hang onto them with both fists as long as possible. One of my children has already gone her own way and is missed every day. Now, the second one is poised on the edge of leaving the nest and benturing out into the "real" world and soon her brothers will follow. For now, I just want to stop time for a moment and say, Look! Look at us! We just had the most perfect day.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Major Brownie Points

For Mother's Day this year, my husband gave me a gift that shocked the crap out of me. I had no clue about this one, unusual in and of itself. He handed me a set of drumsticks. Along with them came a gift certificate for a one hour drum lesson.

Why, you ask?

Because this sweet, senstive, darling man remembered me telling him about how when I was a little girl, I wanted to become a drummer. My neighbor was learning to play drums and I wanted to too. My mom (and as a mother, I can relate to this) said no. While I would say no to save my hearing and sanity, my mom said no simply because girls didn't play drums. (Not long after this, Karen Carpenter came on the scene and I felt vindicated!) I told Joseph that I still loved drum solos and wondered what it would have been like to play.

And THAT is why he gave me a lesson.

He listened. He remembered. Isn't that amazing? If I didn't already love him, I would have fallen in love all over again today.

Now I have to get up the nerve to go in for the lesson. I figure I will feel like an idiot, but I can bet I will be a grinning idiot.

And one lucky wife.

Happy Mama's Day

I wanna call my mom today and wish her a Happy Mama's Day. I want to feel that pang that I am not there on this special day to give her a hug in person, but 2000 miles away. Last year, I was able to hug her. She was at my house on Mother's Day and I loved being able to share the day. I wish, somehow, I had known it was our last together. I don't know what I would have done differently but I think, if nothing else, I would have held on to her that much tighter and longer.

I am feeling so incredibly blessed today. I have three children at home who have presents hidden for me and are only waiting for the right time to give them to me. I have one child who I love just as much who most likely will not call, as she did not on my birthday or anyone else's birthday, but I am hoping that I am somewhere in the back of her mind anyway. (I believe that she loves me but I don't know that she believes she does.) My hubby has "something" planned for me for later today as well and whatever it is, it has made him chuckle about it all week. For once, I haven't a clue what it is and that is fun.

The sun is shining. People love me. I have a wonderful husband, beautiful, unique, amazing children, a terrific job and I am feeling good about myself. I couldn't ask for anything else--except the chance to call my mom and make the day complete.

Happy Mama's Day to all out there who have children, had children, want children, work with children and one day will have children. Motherhood is a gift that changes your life, your perspectives and your soul. I am so grateful that it was given to me 23, 17, 15 and 12 years ago.

Friday, May 9, 2008

OH Pleasssssssse

Yet another story graces the media today of a woman celebrating her upcoming Mother's Day. She is pregnant.
For her 18th child.
Yes, her 18th child.
Natural. No adoptions or foster children.
And OF COURSE, she is a homeschooler.
I don't get it. I mean, I know that I happen to be an atheist, BUT even if I believed in God, I don't think he would have ever meant to have couples just keep having children until they quit being fertile, or he'd have made our fertility period about 10 years long. If God provides, then I believe he must have provided people with birth control and good sense. Perhaps, long, long, long ago having that many children was an okay idea. Today, it's just . . . .not. Our world is so crowded and already has so many issues. I mean, I have four kids--double the "recommended" amount. And I must say, I still cannot pass a baby without having pangs for having another one in arms. But come on!
Further, it makes homeschoolers look like religious people without any common sense. Sure, there are some but there are lots of religious people with common sense, secular people without common sense and even, hey, secular people WITH common sense. (Dat's me!)
18 kids.
I cannot imagine the carpooling, the allowances, the discipline, the never ending "Mom, I need . . . " Four is enough to keep me on my toes--and always in the car.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Catching Up

My apologies for being gone for so long. It certainly isn't because I'm overworked. I have the lightest work load right now that I have had in more than a year. It's such an ambivalent thing for me. On the one hand, I get to do all the things I usually miss. I hang with the kids, go to bookstores, read, catch up on letter writing, do some organizing, go out with Joseph for coffee and generally play hooky. It's delightful and delicious. However, it's also scary because it means in a couple of months, money will start to run out. It always picks up. It has for the last 7 years and will do so again but it makes me nervous. I've been emailing editors and saying, hey there, I'm free--take advantage of it.

Other news . . . we went to Sacramento, CA last weekend. We drove 600 imles there and back to visit the NCCC campus for Nicole. The good news? We saw beautiful scenery, had fun in the hotels, and got away from work and other demands for a few days. The bad? Gas is over $4 a gallon throughout CA and when we got there, we discovered that Nicole can't even attend that campus anyway, so it was actually a waste of time. GRRRR. That was frustrating.

J's mom had surgery today. We haven't heard anything from the family yet as to how she is doing but the nurse reports she is well. Now that my mama is gone, my mom in law is even more important. I am glad that we will be heading her way in June so that kids can spend time with her. She has not seen the boys in almost 7 years so she is in for a shock.

Caspian is volunteering at the zoo now and loves it and I know it is good for him. Today, when he left to go there in his khakis and belt and dress shoes, I was shocked at how mature and grown up he seemed. I miss that little skinny boy with the buzz haircut.

Nicole leaves this weekend for the first part of her SAR certification. We will all have fingers crossed for her that she passes with flying colors. This means a lot to her and so, to us as well.

Coryn is 12 now and is mesmerized by the mp3 player he got for his birthday. I admit to steering him to the music I like best . . . bad mama. :)

The change my life weight loss program continues. First, I joined Curve's. Second, I began taking a water aerobics class. Third, we got out the treadmill. Fourth, I enrolled in Positive Changes for their hypnosis program. Wouldn't you think that would cover it?? I have actually had some really good changes from it all--I am sleeping the best I have in months. I am eating half of what I used to. I watch every bite carefully. I exercise 4 to 5 times a week. EVENTUALLY I will drop pounds from all of this but in the meantime, I am settling for feeling better, sleeping better, eating better and just living better.

Now, if I can just get a little more work in--just enough to forestall panic but now overwork me, I'll be all set. Think good thoughts for me!