Monday, May 20, 2013
He hugged his mom. (ptooey)
Greeted friends. (ptooey)
Wrestled his brothers (in a manly fashion, of course). (ptooey)
It's hard to keep that tangle of strings out of your mouth when you're wearing academic regalia and a smile from ear to ear.
He has been the kid who has put to rest Woody Allen's completely erroneous statement that 80 percent of life is showing up. Showing up is important, but so is working hard and being responsible and setting goals and then working even harder.
He's a smart kid, but it was not just being smart that made him smile Saturday morning after he walked across the stage to accept congratulations from the dean. All those late nights rehearsing then studying then writing a paper then heading for the library before it closed? Showing up was just the entry fee for the goals he had set.
And when the result was hearing his name read as a new graduate of a major university, with dual degrees, summa cum laude--well, it was impossible to not smile.
We're all smiling with you, Three.
Posted by MomQueenBee at 11:17 AM
Friday, May 17, 2013
He did a fine job, as befits someone in a leadership position at a liberal arts college, but it reminded me (again) how very much I would not want to have his job. Because then I would have had to throw a baseball, in front of a crowd of people, and it would most certainly have been the most embarrassing moment of my life, even more embarrassing than the time the cutest guy in geometry intercepted and read the note my best friend was passing to me. Because he was also a nice guy he did not, mercifully, read it aloud to the entire class, but I still remember verbatim the text of the note, to wit: "Do you tweeze your eyebrows? I tried to last night, and it really hurt."
Yes. Throwing out a ceremonial first pitch would be even more embarrassing than this. Because saying I throw like a girl would be an insult to girl throwers everywhere. Have you watched the video clip embedded in this post? I throw like a huge-headed Charlie Brown, or a Tyrannosaurus Rex who doesn't even have forearms. Or Beyonce, without the cuteness to make up for the incompetence.
For years I've practiced throwing our newspaper up on the porch as I take my morning walk, and have watched it sail into the iris patch, or fly straight up in the air, or hit the limestone post next to the sidewalk. The only place it never hit was the spot in front of the door I was aiming for.
I throw like this:
I never knew exactly why I threw like this until a few months ago when we were watching March Madness with one of the town's more enthusiastic sports dads and the Volkswagen commercial came on.
"Yeah, he's throwing off the wrong foot," he remarked.
I snapped to attention.
"What do you mean, 'the wrong foot'?"
"Don't you see it? If your arm and your foot are going forward at the same time, you'll throw like a girl."
I felt like Archimedes running naked through the streets yelling "Eureka!" That dad had described exactly how I throw, and it must be why I throw so very, very badly.
Since then, as I throw our newspaper up on the porch every morning, I make a conscious effort to throw like a guy. I stride forward on my left foot and fling the paper with my right hand, at which point it sails into the iris patch, or flies straight up in the air, or hits the limestone post next to the sidewalk.
Okay, so I don't throw any better than I ever did, but at least now I know why I'm so very, very bad at it.
Knowledge is a good first step. On the proper foot.
Posted by MomQueenBee at 9:51 AM
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
|Photo borrowed from here.|
Dr. D was kind of a kooky guy who wore Hawaiian shirts instead of a white coat but he won the Boys' hearts by looking for rabbits in their infected ears. (You had to be there; it was adorable.)
"I'm so tired all the time," I told him. "I wake up tired, and I go to bed tired, and every minute in between I'm tired. There's never a minute in my day that I don't wish I could lay down and take a nap."
He looked at my chart, then at the children swarming around my feet.
"Let's see, how old are your boys now?" he asked.
"Five, four, two, and five months," I told him.
"And how many are in diapers?" Two.
"And how many still are nursing during the night?" One.
"And how many nap during the same time every day?" None.
"Well," he said, closing the chart, "I think we're closing in on the problem."
But he was wrong! I had low thyroid output! Bam! A prescription for Synthroid made me feel like a human being again.
Last night I was talking to some friends, and our conversation went like this:
Friend #1: "I'm so tired these days.
Me: "Me, too."
Friend #2: "Me, too."
Friend #3: "Me, too."
Everyone I know is tired, and would like nothing better than a long, long nap.
Then I looked back on the last six weeks, a span during which I have seen the conclusion of tax season, the decline and passing of my mother-in-law with its attendant ceremonies and responsibilities, the graduation of two children, increased responsibilities in two of my community activities, and the flurry of comings and goings that mark life transitions of new graduates. Oh, and a nasty bronchial virus that struck the day after my mother-in-law died and hung around until just last week.
I think we're closing in on the problem: Obviously my Synthroid dose needs adjustment.
Posted by MomQueenBee at 10:02 AM
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
What? You don't see my good-looking guys? Huh.
Maybe it's because this shot was taken as we were gathering in the local pizza joint and I noticed them, all four of them, with their phones out checking to see if any of their buds were doing anything more scintillating than waiting for extended family to arrive, and I wanted to get a picture because it was kind of FUNNY but the simple action of me pulling out my phone caused them all to disappear from the shot.
It appears they can move with great alacrity when they want to, although past performance in getting to the dinner table when called (thereby ensuring the hot food would be hot and the cold food would be cold) would not have predicted this outcome.
Posted by MomQueenBee at 10:15 AM
Monday, May 13, 2013
We had moved her things into storage as she progressed from apartment to assisted living to nursing care, and even though Husband had rented the largest space available, every inch of it was packed. It comforted his mother to know that her normal life hadn't been completely scattered, and she told us often how glad she was that we hadn't gotten rid of her belongings. "There are some people out here who don't even know where their stuff is," she would say, "but I tell them 'Any time I want something I know just where it is.'"
Three weeks after we gathered for the memorial service, her children gathered again this weekend to go through the storage space. We reminded ourselves on Friday night that stuff is just stuff and family relations are way more important than furniture or Christmas decorations.
But we know that stuff isn't just stuff--stuff is memory solidified. This is the table where my Husband and his two brothers ate all of their Sunday dinners. That is the cedar chest that holds dozens of love letters in a pink ribbon-wrapped bundle. Over there are the boxes of dishes the family collected in antique shop scavenger hunts.
Some of the stuff has monetary value and some is measured in joules of sentiment. Would we be able to get through this distribution without hurt feelings and resentment? I was afraid that would take a miracle.
Well, I'm here to tell you that Saturday we saw a miracle. Here's how to duplicate that miracle if you're ever in the same situation:
- Start with family members who love each other and want to do this well.
- Order up perfect weather, and kick off the morning with the world's best cinnamon rolls eaten off the tailgate of the pick-up.
- Do the easy stuff first--load the pre-bequeathed furniture into trailers and get it out of the way.
- Designate staging areas for things to keep (three brothers' worth) and another pile to go to Goodwill, and have several large trash cans for everything else.
- Enlist Boy#1 and Lovely Girl to run the shuttle between the storage space and Goodwill throughout the day. You may think to yourself, "Oh, I'll just have a garage sale and get rid of that stuff," and then you will remember that the most you have ever made on a garage sale is about $100, and that you would gladly pay twice that to have a free Saturday, and you will heap more on the Goodwill pile.
- Have a table where your sister-in-law is unwrapping odds and ends of antique glassware. Every so often she will call everyone over to pick out any to put on their own piles, and the rest will be re-wrapped for Goodwill.
- Remember that sentimental things are only sentimental to the person who knew the story, so be ruthless in discarding old newsletters, polyester baby sweaters, ticket stubs, old and unsafe Christmas lights, and anything else that makes your skin crawl (artificial flowers, anyone?).
- Watch out for brown recluse spiders, because a bite from one of those could really put a damper on the day.
- Keep going and going and going until suddenly you realize there are no more boxes to unpack.
- If in doubt, ignore numbers 2 through 9, and just concentrate on the first step. You'll find yourself at 9 p.m. having completed what you thought would take at least two, maybe three, days to get done, and you'll be exhausted but delighted. You'll part with hugs and smiles.
Posted by MomQueenBee at 10:47 AM
Friday, May 10, 2013
But since I have one more picture I simply can't resist using--and who could, with that Mortarboard Bear growing out of our new graduate's head?--I'm padding my graduation coverage to extend to a Friday rant. This rant can be extrapolated to encompass all kinds of public events, from concerts to church services to movies, and the rant is this:
SIT DOWN AND BE QUIET!
Boy#1's graduation ceremony was a lovely thing, with a touching invocation and a funny faculty address and some rather rambling but heartfelt presidential remarks. And through all of the aforementioned presentations, one large family (not mine) traipsed in and out. In and out. In and out. In to deliver a bouquet of flowers and some signs to the rest of the group that was seated near the front. Out to find someone who hadn't arrived yet. In to (noisily) point out where the seats were saved. Out to take a phone call.
That occasion was not the only place I've noticed that audiences have trouble sitting quietly. The youngsters in my church, I'm sorry to say, seem to have alarmingly weak bladders, if we are to judge by the number of times they leave and re-enter the service. The family sitting behind us at the movie last week kicked my chair every time they reassembled after a trip to the lobby, to the point that I almost missed seeing Jackie Robinson make his major league debut.
What's up with this? Back in my day, my parents asked us before we settled ourselves if we needed to use the bathroom or get a drink, and that was it. Once we were seated it was hold it until the event had finished or...well, there was no "or."
Of course, the day I was back in was the Mesozoic Era and things have changed since then so maybe the beginning and ending lines for events are fuzzier, and it isn't considered rude to make a commotion when people around you are trying to pay attention. (That is a rhetorical statement designed to make you say "NO! YOU ARE CORRECT, MomQueenBee, AND WE AGREE!")
And with that I will stop posting about graduation--until next week, when we attend Boy#3's commencement exercises, where I'm sure everyone will be seated quietly and decorously.
Posted by MomQueenBee at 10:35 AM
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Oh, honey, I've been there. I've gotten chocolate milk for everyone and brought our own box of (marshmallow-spiked) cereal. I've given permission for just one more mini-muffin. I have seen the ONE BITE taken out of the apple. Just thinking about the stress of trying to get everyone to LEAVE THAT TELEPHONE ALONE AND GO TO SLEEP in this alien environment makes my blood pressure spike. But I'm here to give hope--some day you will absolutely love traveling with your kids.
Here's what I enjoy about traveling with older offspring:
- They carry their own luggage in from the car, pack the dirty clothes into the side pockets the next morning, and carry their own luggage back to the car.
- Also, they carry this luggage with the muscles of their body and don't insist it needs to go on a luggage cart that somehow, mysteriously, always seems to end up carrying at least one Boy and veering into a wall.
- No one says "But it's MY turn to sleep in the bed! I was on the floor the LAST time!"
- No need to pack two sleeping bags for the on-the-floor turn takers.
- If room occupancy is greater than number of towels in the bathroom, someone else can go down to the desk to ask for more.
- No fighting over the remote control. ESPN, and all ESPN, all the time, is just fine with everyone.
- You want six Texas-shaped waffles for breakfast? It's your digestive system. Knock yourself out.
- "Mom, want me to bring you a cup of coffee?"
- After emptying an apartment into two cars and traveling through three hours worth of road construction, supper can be a half gallon of cookies 'n cream ice cream, split five ways. Yes, it can. And it will be delicious.
Lady at the next table, I feel your pain but in a couple of years they'll morph into fabulous traveling companions. Hang in there.
Posted by MomQueenBee at 10:08 AM