Last Day Of School

June 9, 2007

Yippee!!!!!  School is out!  Last day of getting up at 6:00 am.  Last day of getting surly children out of a comfy bed way too early in the morning.  Last day of picking out clothes the night before.  Last day of homework!  Woo hoo!  Last day of sick day notes.  Last day of lunch money. 

First day of sleeping in.  First day of play clothes.  First day of sandwiches for lunch.  First day of time at the lake.  First day of cartoon marathons.  First day of lazy time.

Hmmm….last day of Dr. Phil.  Last day of peace and quiet.  Last day of time to myself.  Last day of no fighting.  Last day without non-stop screaming through the house all day long.  Last day without MomMomMomMomMomMomMomMomMOMMOMMOMMOM.

DAMN!  Last day of school!  *sob* 😦


June 8, 2007

Teenagers …………..  *sigh*  ……………..  nuf said.

Buddha’s Missing Body Part

June 6, 2007

Buddha came wandering in the room Sunday evening about 7:00 pm with the news that he had been throwing up all day and his legs were cramping and his stomach hurt.  You may think that the fact that I was so far behind on this information means that I don’t pay attention.  Let me disabuse you of this notion.

First of all, Buddha is secretive in his personal habits in the extreme.  He got this way when he was living at home.  I’m not sure exactly what survival instinct led him to that particular behavior, but you will almost never catch him doing anything in the way of personal habits at all.  He does do all those things like brush his teeth, take a bath, use the toilet, etc.  He just does it all on the sly.

Second, his sister is the twin of the Tasmanian Devil.  Being in her proximity is like being inside of a tornado that consists of blond hair and tiny bits of paper and chap stick and fingernail polish and puppies and shards of glass and blue eyes and bug juice and questions and clothes and makeup and arguments and chewing gum and an incessant stream of words and movement.  It’s hard to see past her sometimes.

Also, on the weekend, His Highness The Buddha, does not like to be disturbed when he is resting.  So I leave him to his own resources to decompress and do as he pleases unless I hear screaming or see blood pooling underneath his bedroom door.  Flames, smoke, the sound of breaking glass……these will also capture my attention. 

So, he tells me that he had been throwing up since morning.  *sigh*  I figure he’s dehydrated.  I give him water with a few grains of salt.  It all comes up immediately.  I smell a trip to the ER coming up.  I pack up the Tasmanian Devil, a few waiting room supplies, and Buddha.  Off we go to the ER for a quick IV of fluids to re-hydrate him and then we’ll be home and that will be that. 

Not so much. 

After about a gallon of drawn blood, about three gallons of IV fluids drained into him, a multitude of tests, and a CAT scan, we find out that he has appendicitis.  Wow.  Into the hospital he is admitted.  The surgeon will be there in the morning to talk about what we will do.

(insert ominous music here)  The surgeon comes in and tells Buddha that he must have the appendix out.  The instant Buddha realizes what the means he says, “Cut me?!!  OH NO!  I’m outta here!”   It’s everything we can do to keep him in the bed.  We talk and cajole and do everything but chase him down the hall and tie him to the bed.  By this time his belly is hurting him considerably.  We convince him that having the surgery will make his belly feel better and he finally agrees.  Whew!

It all happens quite quickly.  He’s in surgery in a matter of minutes.  They tell us he’ll be back in an hour and a half, be in the room.  When they bring him back up, he’s awake.  I ask how he’s feeling.  He rares up on the bed and yells, “THEY CUT ME AND IT HURTS!!”  We kinda forgot in all the excitement to tell him that the surgery was going to hurt pretty bad right at first.  Our bad.  *grimace* 

Once he was in bed and settled and the morphine set in, he informed me that people who were in the hospital get presents.  He would accept a video game, thank you.  Then whenever anyone called or came by, he would dutifully inform them of the same thing complete with his order.  I figure that he’s already calculated what his appendix was worth.

By the time he’s fully recovered, I’m going to have to watch out on eBay because he’ll be trying to sell his kidney for a Volkswagen.  A cornea for the downpayment on his college tuition.  😦  *sigh*

He’s home and feeling fine.  He disappeared from the couch about two hours after we got him home.  My Dearest Husband went looking for him, he wasn’t in the house.  Bella said he was up the drive.  Um…….up the drive???  Yeah, she says, riding his bike.  We walk out on the porch and sure enough, he comes slowly riding back down the driveway.  Just over twenty-four hours after his surgery.  We’re standing there with our bottom jaws resting on the tops of our shoes, staring at him.  He says, “What?”

Kids, ya gotta love em.

OPC – Raising Other People’s Children

June 5, 2007

I think about this today from the other perspective.  From the point of view of the person who is not raising their own child. 

I have to preface this by saying that I have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about.  Luckily that has never stopped me before, so here I go.

For those of you who haven’t read this blog before I am raising two of my grandchildren.  I also have an adopted daughter, who is my husband’s natural daughter.  Hence, other people’s children.  They are all children of my heart, and I couldn’t love them one bit more if I had carried them all for the full nine months plus one more just for good measure.  But, none the less, they are still other people’s children and they all know it.

They all have mothers elsewhere and they love them and miss them very much. 

I can’t imagine how much their mother’s must miss them as well.  I have been lucky enough to have been connected to two extraordinary women who had the love and strength to allow me to raise their children.   It’s an incredible thing and I’m not sure either one of them realize that.

They both signed papers deliberately that allowed me to be a co-parent with them.  I’m not sure that’s how they saw it.  I’m afraid that in those dark hours before the morning light, that wasn’t how they explained it to themselves at all.  I fear that they told themselves a far different story.  I wish they could have seen themselves through my eyes during those times.

What they would have seen would probably have surprised them.  Because they are heros to me.  These are women who loved their children more than they loved themselves.   They put themselves in the position to tell themselves those things in the dark of night when there wouldn’t be anyone there to tell them different.  What I see when I look at them are two of the strongest women on earth.  They are shining lights.  I hope their children see them that way when they are grown and look back.

I hope they can see what a sacrifice of self, of heart, of hope their mother’s made so that they could have a better chance in life.  I got the easy part out of it.  I’m the one who got to be here.  They got the hard part.  They aren’t here everyday to see what goes on.  They get bits and pieces.  They have to try to make a whole picture out of random puzzle pieces from several different puzzles from different time periods.  No matter how much you tell them, it can never be enough. 

They took from themselves every holiday, every birthday, every Mother’s day, all those special moments.  And they did it for the love of their children.  That is the most massively unselfish thing I can imagine.  The scope of it is hard to comprehend. 

The idea of the pain that they caused themselves is almost impossible to imagine.  And yet they did it.  And they didn’t walk away afterwards.  I think this, to me, is the most awe inspiring part.  They stayed as close as they could.  They call, they send things.  Sometimes they come to visit. 

The awkwardness, the sadness, the hurt this must cause has to be enormous.  But they do it for the love of their children.  I am humbled.  I wish sometimes that I could give them my eyes to see through so that they could see themselves the way I see them.  I wish that I could give to them the sense of pride in themselves that I feel in them. 

But more than anything, I wish that they could know themselves as the heros they are for putting the lives of their children first.  They are remarkable women.  I admire them both.


June 1, 2007

Whenever I see someone with their hand in a trashcan the first thing that happens is I say “Teddy!”

Then everyone around me looks at me like I’m crazy.  Luckily this usually happens at home.  And they only look at me like that because they don’t know who Teddy is.  If they did, they would understand completely why I say that and they wouldn’t go digging in the stinking trash can anymore!

They would also understand why it is that it took until I was almost 50 years old to buy my first pair of red shoes.

The town I grew up in had an unusual amount of …..let’s say “unique” people in it.  Teddy was one of those unique people.  Teddy was not homeless.  He was just more of an outside person than most folks were.  He found most of the things he wanted in waste baskets and trash cans throughout town.  At anytime you might find him rummaging through a trashcan in the park, or in front of a business downtown.  Even occasionally inside one of the local businesses.  Teddy just plain liked trash.  He firmly believed that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  When he got done rummaging and had taken what he wanted out of any particular place, he would transfer it to the basket on his bicycle and ride on to see what might be lurking about in the next trash receptacle. 

Everyone in town knew Teddy.  He had a home, that’s where he took all that stuff to.  What he did with it, we had no idea.  I’m not sure we ever even wondered.  Teddy was Teddy and he did what he did.  He had done it as long as any of us could remember.  We never thought to wonder why. 

Teddy did have one little twitch though.  Teddy had a thing for red shoes.  Any red shoes.  If Teddy spied you wearing red shoes, he was going to try to chase you down to get them!  I’m not sure if Teddy liked red shoes or if he hated red shoes.  But it was surely RED SHOES that caught his attention.  And he meant to have them if he could.  Us kids couldn’t wear our red ball jets gym shoes to town if Teddy was around.  And if we did, we had to keep an eye out for Teddy the whole time we were there. 

Occasionally someone would forget, or the odd tourist would come through who didn’t know and then the show was on!  Oh Lord that Teddy would just get ALL het up!  Agitated and flustacated!  He would run after her if his bicycle was too far away.  He would chase after the poor screaming woman, all bent over with his crabby hands all bent and reaching for those red shoes!  Locals would line up on the sidewalk and hoot and holler at Teddy.  If it was a local woman who just misjudged, she would fly down the sidewalk laughing and squealing, but knowing that no real harm was going to come to her.  If it happened to be some unfortunate tourist in town for some summer fun, well, her story bank was fixing to get a huge deposit!  With interest!  She would take off like she was running through hell in gasoline britches.  Screaming for all she was worth!  And Teddy dead on her heels just a grabbin for those red shoes. 

In the end, the women would either come out of the shoes and let Teddy have em, or else someone would stop Teddy and tell him he couldn’t chase the red shoes in town any more and he would grumble a bit, take a last longing look at the shoes and go back about his business.  Casting glances back over his shoulder at the shoes until they were no longer in sight.   All that was left then was the next trash can.

Teddy usually chased at least one pair of red shoes a summer.  It was a rare occurrence during my childhood.  Often enough to be expected, but not often enough to be common.  Mostly Teddy was the trash can man.  And if someone caught you going after something you accidentally tossed in the trash that you didn’t mean to, you were in for it!  So you better make sure that that winning lottery ticket was going to be worth the months of ribbing you were gonna get for diggin in that trashcan, Teddy!

So, this is what rolls through my mind whenever I see one of my kids, or My Dearest Husband rooting around in the trash for something and Teddy comes automatically out of my mouth.  There are about 3 people on this earth that I know of for sure that will automatically get this post.  The rest will have at least visited the South Western coast of Michigan at some point in the past and spent time in a little tourist town that straddles the Black River to get it. 

Strangely enough, I ran into one in Research Triangle Park in Raleigh North Carolina once.  She had gone there on vacation with her family when she was just a small child.  She looked at me funny when I called myself Teddy for going into the trash for something.  But when I said “Blue Moon Ice Cream” she nearly fainted.  She started asking me questions about where I was from and when she found out it was the same place she used to vacation, she realized that we had been there at the same time and had played at the same park and probably had spent time with each other those summers she was there.  It’s always nice to meet someone from home who understands just how unique it was there.  You can talk for hours about it. 

And laugh your heads off when you both holler “Teddy!” at someone for digging paper out of a trashcan.

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