Friday, December 21, 2007

Artsy Fartsy

My son is a good kid. He’s smart, sensitive and funny. Rarely is he in trouble. I’m lucky...

Deep down, though, he’s all boy. Anything to do with cars thrills him. We have a playroom full of teeny tiny cars and big huge ones. Digging in the dirt outside is another one of his pastimes. Add some water and he’s in hog heaven. Anything to do with boogers, burping or other bathroom functions is downright hilarious to him…

This morning as he woke up, there came a noise from him that sounded something like a cross between a duck quacking and a bugle being played quite poorly. He snickered. I snickered.

“That,” he said (with dramatic pause), “was a work of art!”

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Other Woman

She’s done it again, The Other Woman…

Last night when my son and I arrived home, I was getting things out of the car and he was already on the front porch before I had the chance to notice it: A package, addressed to him.

“Hey, Mom, look! It’s for me! Can I open it?”
I saw the return address and cringed.
“Sure, Baby.”

What I really wanted to do was hunk it into the garbage can, but only after I’d backed over it with my SUV and maybe stomped on it a little with my heels.The sender of the package was my son’s other grandmother. I call her that because she is a stranger to him, a person who last saw him when he was two years old, on the day after his father’s death. I’ve talked about this here before, about my bewilderment with the people who have abandoned us. (See October 5th, 2002) Rather, I should say, abandoned him…

Not long after the October 5th post, my son received another piece of mail from his other grandmother, this time in the form of a letter, or so I thought. I was more suspicious of it than hopeful that it was some attempt to reach out to him, so I opened it. What I found inside infuriated me: It was a copy of a court document regarding the heirs of the estate of his other grandfather. THIS was her way of telling me that my husband’s father had died?!!! I thought how cruel it was to have addressed to my son. I thought how cold it was that someone, anyone could not have even clipped out an obituary to enclose, so I did the search myself and found out that he had passed some three weeks earlier. Surely, then, this communication would be our last from her… Never assume, right?

In the kitchen my son opened the plain brown box, inside was a wrapped Christmas present for him, from “Gramma.”

“Mom, who’s Gramma?”
“Your other grandmother.”
“I have another grandmother?”
“Yes, your dad’s mother.”
He shook the box a little.
“I wonder what it is? Can I put this under the tree?”

I left it at that. What else could I do?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Kid Rock

A few months back, a friend and I took a road trip. We were headed up near Muscle Shoals, but managed to get there by way of Tennessee. So our trip up was about twice as long as the trip back, but we were busy talking and listening to music so it was a lot of fun. It was on that trip that my friend introduced me to the musical stylings of Mr. Kid Rock… I used to think that he was too edgy for me, more of a screamer than a singer, but really he has a great voice and does some excellent guitar work to boot.

So not too long ago, I bought the new CD “Rock N Roll Jesus.” (Yes, the edited version!) It’s a great mixture of rock, rap, and even country music. One of the more engaging songs (to me, anyway) is “Half Your Age.” It’s one of those what-was-I-thinking-when-I-was-with-you songs with a country twang and lots of humor. I was listening to it in the car on the way home last night and my son and I sang along:
“I found someone new
Who treats me better
She don’t bitch about things we ain’t got
When I sing this tune
It don’t upset her
She’s half your age
And twice as hot”

Towards the end of the song my son reached over to turn the volume down to let me know that if the first girl was 40 then that would make the second girl 20, because 20 is half of 40.

Kid Rock = math skills… Cool!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas Trees for Dummies

This weekend my son and I set out to get a Christmas tree. Everything was going great --or so I thought—since we were able to pick out and pay for a tree, stop at the drug store and cruise through the drive-thru all within an hour. “This will be a breeze,” I thought… Then the real fun started:

I won’t bore you with all the gory details, but would like to spare as much suffering as possible to the rest of you out there. Please, learn from my mistakes:

Mistake #1: Eight foot Frasier Fir + high-heeled boots + hardwood floors = bruises.
Mistake #2: Steak knives are NOT meant for cutting tree branches, Christmas or otherwise.
Mistake #3: Cursing at tree and stand will not make tree stand up straight.
Mistake #4: After male relative or friend shows up with proper cutting tools and you are excited to finally be able to screw the screws into the tree stand, make sure you have ALL the legs attached first.
Mistake #5: Unless pine needles and sap are part of the dress code, don’t wear anything during tree-setting-up process that you plan to wear anywhere else.

I hope this helps!

P.S. The tree looks beautiful, if I do say so myself.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Goodbye, Dear Friend


The perfect name for our friend, who left us yesterday... It was one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make, especially with the knowledge that my son would be devastated. He was. When I picked him up from school yesterday, he wanted to know what was wrong. I said there were a couple of things I had to talk to him about. The first was completely insignificant, and he knew it. He asked me if Buddy was OK. I had to tell the truth: No. We were going home to tell Buddy goodbye, and my dad would take him to the vet. He cried while I drove. I cried while I drove. We held hands--tightly.

When we got home, my son and I sat on the living room floor together with Buddy. We petted, talked, cried, took pictures. My son would be fine one minute, sobbing the next. My parents arrived soon after, and my mom said it hurt her just to look at the dog... In the past week, the tumor on his leg had gotten so big that I could not fit my hand around it. He could not walk on it. He had not eaten. He wouldn't even go outside. This was the right thing to do, wasn't it? I asked my dad that question as he and I helped him into the back of their car. Yes, he said, it was.

We said our goodbyes there in my driveway. By then my sister and my niece were there, but I barely remember what they said or when they left. My son and I kissed our friend goodbye and sobbed. He so uncontrollably that I had to carry him into the house. I am so thankful to my parents for sparing my son and me the hour's drive to the vet, because I know how it was hard for them, too. Buddy had been their dog before us. He was a true family member.

We love you and we will miss you, Buddy. May you rest in peace.

Friday, September 21, 2007


“Ahhh…. Friday,” I thought as I stood in the shower this morning…

Later as I was telling my son for the umpteenth time to brush his teeth, he says:
“Hey, Mom, Thank God it’s Friday!”
“Woohoo!!!” was my reply.
“Woohoo!!!” he says back.
“T.G.I.F!!!” I offer.
Mom,” he says from the hallway, “It’s actually F-R-I-D-A-Y!”

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Jars of (Kid) Wisdom

You have probably seen them on store shelves and in catalogues: Those cutesy ceramic jars with a cork top where people stash their loose change. Some say things like “Beach House Fund” or “Mad Money.” They even make them for men with things like “Dad’s Ferrari Fund” or “Green Fees.” Well I’ll tell you right now that “cutesy” is never a term that I’ve been saddled with. Me, I’m sarcastic. Dry, even. My sense of humor comes from a different place, but not a bad one…

I’ll get back to the jar thing in a minute, because I do have a point. Please bear with me…

Two nights ago was the culmination of a way-too-drawn-out relationship for me. I know I’m better off, but that realization didn’t come before a lot of tears and one nasty migraine to boot. Hard as I tried, I couldn’t hide my tears or frustration from my son. Finally I just told him that me and the boyfriend were no longer and that I was a little (OK, a lot) sad about it.

My son’s take on the whole deal:

“Mom, you know that jar you have?”
“Well that’s what he is.”

I couldn’t stop laughing...

My jar says, “Pains in the Ass.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Sunday night I awoke around midnight with some mysterious allergic reaction to... I don't know what. Whatever it is ain't pretty, and has taken me to the doctor twice in two days for injections into my, uh, posterior region...

Last night as my son and I were discussing the events of the day, I told him about getting another shot. He asked me if I was doing better, and I said I thought I was.

"Well I hope so," he said, "you're running out of butt cheeks."

Monday, August 13, 2007


Even before he took the x-ray, I could tell Dr. Larry was not happy with what he was looking at: Our dog, Buddy, had developed a large knot on his ankle and had been limping. I figured it was a fatty tumor, arthritis even, but the doc's face told me a different story. Dr. Larry asked my son and me to come back in an hour so he could do the x-rays...

After our trip to Wal-Mart and a quick bite to eat, we were back. Dr. Larry smiled genuinely when he took me in to show me the film: "Osteosarcoma," he said. Our dog has bone cancer. I won't go into the details of the prognosis and possible treatments (there are few). No, he isn't in pain. No, you don't need to do anything different than what you do every day. No, you couldn't have prevented it. Now what I am wrestling with is how to deal with it where my son is concerned...

I haven't told him.

I feel like telling him will start this painful countdown for him: "Mom, has it been four months, yet?" Or, "Mom, how many more days until Buddy dies?" Truth is, I just don't know what to do. My friends and family say different things: Don't tell him at all. Tell him Buddy ran away. Go away for the weekend and let us take care of it...

Unfortunately in my case my son has a better grasp on death than most kids his age: As I've mentioned here before, his father died when he was two. I try the best I can to answer his questions about it honestly and appropriately. In this case, though, I feel like I'm lying to him. I know that regardless of my actions he will be heartbroken. I am, too, and not just because Buddy is a member of our family, but also because his kinship with my son is a beautiful thing. They are inseperable when we are at home, and Buddy's patience has been a joy to watch. Last week, my son put a 'do rag on Buddy's head. It was hilarious to my son (OK, to me, too!) Buddy sat there and took it like a champ. He's worn my old t-shirts, Mardi-Gras beads and a jingle bell at Christmastime. He's a gorgeous creature that could be mistaken for a small horse when at full gallop around the back yard. He is our friend.

How do you tell a child that their friend is going to be gone forever?