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Bouncing baby boy

Baseball “practices” now happen 5-6 days a week, usually between 7-9pm, and it’s pretty amazing to me because this is all pre-season, pre-tryouts.  It’s a big commitment to not even know if you’ll make the team.  Still, it’s been really good for Mythankfulboy, who loves the game and is very aware of his changing body and wants it to be strong and lean.  I think he has always looked to baseball, too, as a good place to get strong male role models.  Last night he came home and found me at my desk.  I turned in my chair and watched him bounce around while he told me that one of the coaches had stopped to watch him hit and paid him some compliments.  He showed me some “film” (video through a cool app) of him hitting and explained the issues he had been working out (and then the issues his friends were working out, and all of their varying degrees of success).  I marveled at this long, lanky creature in front of me, and at how happy he was.  When I asked for what he was thankful, he said he was thankful for a really good practice.  I was thankful for the parents with whom we carpool that make the logistics of the practices a little easier.  He bounded off to eat something, have a shower, and get his things together for today.

Last night I had the sweetest dream.  I dreamt that B had fallen asleep in the car as we pulled into the driveway, and he stayed asleep when the car was turned off.  I went around to the passenger seat and scooped up this giant creature and carried him inside, and when I placed him on the couch he had morphed into my 3-year old boy – the one I often carried, sleeping, into the house.  He rolled over and pushed his face into the couch and his little tushy up in the air, the way he often slept at that age.  I covered him with a blanket and stood back and smiled.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Attention, and a heart lifted

Last night at the chalice lighting, Mythankfulboy raised his report card for happy discussion.   He had texted me from school earlier in the day to say that he had ranked in the top 50 of his class for grades, and he was very pleased with that.  At the chalice lighting, though, in the glow of the candle and with open hearts, he said that he was even prouder that one of his teachers had noted on his report card that he was attentive in class.  I felt my face light up with surprise, and he laughed.  He said they also called him enthusiastic and a strong participator in class.  I said that those were also great, and were fairly common ways he’d been described over the years by teachers, but that no one had ever called him attentive, and, in fact, they had often called him inattentive.  He said about this turn of events, “I know.  It makes me feel like I’m not a bad kid.”

My gut wrenched.  I asked, “Is that how you’ve felt all these years?”

He said that he didn’t ever do anything bad, and that he was always respectful, but that he just had too much energy, and that he felt like now he’d learned to control that and that now he knew when to joke or call out and when not to.  I asked why he never told me he felt like a bad kid, and he said because he hadn’t realized that he did until he didn’t feel that way anymore.  I said that must feel really, really good to have that lifted, and he smiled and said it did.  He asked for what I was thankful, and I said for my Valentine’s Day card from him (I started to say “handmade”, but that would have implied something pre-thought and elaborate, when I’m pretty sure it was written in haste with a Sharpie before I got home from work – lovely nonetheless), and for my attentive boy.

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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New things

Nothing earth-shattering happening at our house this week.  Over the weekend we did some errands (you know it’s bad when your child begs to go to the grocery).  Mythankfulboy got a great, and needed, haircut, and we had our neighbors over for an impromptu dinner because they were renovating their kitchen and obviously couldn’t cook!  I worked a fair amount, but I did it in front of the fire while B did homework.

I suppose the biggest change was the change of B’s freshman semester.  He is so excited for some new subjects, for new teachers, and to have a few friends in a few of the classes.  I’m excited to add Language Arts to his docket, although I will miss Social Studies.  We’re both dreading Algebra II.

Last night, at the chalice lighting, B was thankful for his new schedule, for Crossfit, and for his haircut (apparently “the babes” gave their approval).  I was thankful for a busy, but productive, day, and that one kiddo canceled, which made it manageable.  Life is good.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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The Women’s March

Mythankfulboy and I went to Baltimore on Friday to join our friends S & S, take a chartered bus to Washington DC, and march on Washington the day after the new president’s inauguration in the Women’s March.  We showed up with somewhere between 500,000 and a million of other concerned, many outraged, citizens.  We showed up with the most beautifully-diverse crowd of people B had ever had seen, and if he had gotten nothing more than that out of the experience, it would have been worth it.  But there was much more.

B wore a pussy hat made by his Auntie M, and habituated to using the word pussy, as did I, in a forceful, proud sense.  We wore bright yellow Standing on the Side of Love scarves I made for the march, and people recognized us as Unitarian Universalists and stopped to talk.  B saw signs in support of immigrants, truth-telling, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, freedom of religion, refugees, equal wages for equal work, transparency in government, Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood, education, veterans, and people with disabilities.  He saw signs challenging the administration on transparency, including the presidents’ tax returns, conflicts of interest in his family businesses, and his personal treatment of women.  He saw signs prompting the administration and our nation to love one another, to listen to one another, to sit with discomfort, to find beauty in our differences, to lift one another up, and to stay awake, active, and vigilant.

B stood and walked for hours upon hours, got hungry and tired and sore, witnessed blow up genitalia and discussions of menstruation, and rode through it on the high of humanity and history.  He chanted “This is what Democracy looks like” and “We will rise”.   We left the crowd mid-way through the pre-march speeches and sat down for something to eat at a hotel restaurant where we could watch the speeches on a big screen, then rejoined the throngs to wind our way to a meeting point to catch the bus back.  Because the pre-march festivities stretched so long, and because the march route was so packed, we didn’t have time to march without missing the bus back.  But we made our presence known.

At the end of the day we sat outside a restaurant waiting for the rest of the bus crew to finish eating.  A woman asked if she could sit down with us just as I was getting up to go get us something to drink, so I introduced her to B and left them to sit or converse.  When I returned, her posse had arrived – a group of women that looked a lot like our group of friends in 10-15 years.  The first woman had misunderstood B’s name as “Dexter”,  and they were all fawning over him, proudly calling him Dexter left and right, and he was smiling sweetly and answering to it.   They even gave him an ovation for it being his first march – “Yay Dexter!!”.   God bless him.

That evening we went home to our friends’ M&J’s house, and re-lived the day.  The drive home the next day was a packed with traffic and drizzling rain, turning a 2 1/2-hour drive into a 5-hour drive.  We saw signs in windows and honked.  B wore his hat in the car and waved and gave the thumbs-up to people in other cars.  When we stopped to eat we talked to other marchers, and we added a “Honk if you marched” sign to our own window.  We saw people from New York and New Jersey, PA and Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

When we got home, the spirit of the march upon him, B donated money to a friend’s education cause.  We talked about things we could do to stay involved, and he seemed ready to do anything I might organize.  At the chalice lighting B was thankful for the opportunity to attend the march, and I was thankful for the opportunity to go with him and with S and S, and to be able to stay with and see M&J.   I’m so proud of this boy, and the way he lends his enthusiasm to everything he does.  I’m so proud of this country, exercising its democratic muscle in love and not hate.

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Heart on the board

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Last days of Advent

As I put away the last of the Christmas decorations, I realize I never posted the last of the advent calendar responses, so here they are:

December 21:   After darkness, how can you welcome back the sun?  By waving at it every morning when you get up.  

December 22:  What is food you like to share with others?  Fried donuts

December 23:  Name a gift you could give that would cost nothing.  Unconditional love

December 24:  What is the best gift you give to the world?  My laughter and enthusiasm

“Enthusiasm” has been a consistent word that adults have used for Mythankfulboy over the years, and one for which I’m grateful.  Of course, it’s often accompanied with “busy”, “talkative”, and “distracted”…

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Politics, debated

So, an interesting thing happened last night, the night after President Obama’s farewell address.  Mythankfulboy has an ongoing group chat going with 6 of his friends, 5 of whom chime in regularly.   I don’t know how it started, but last night an Obama-vs-Trump debate ensued in the chat, which evolved and covered welfare and poverty in America, taxation, the concept of a trickle-down economy, addiction, and privelege.   Words like “fair” and “deserving” and “entitled” were used.  These are white male 14-year-olds who are freshmen in a very white rural school.

Partway through, B came bounding out of his room, almost breathless from the fight, and told me what was happening and who was on what side.  They had split down the middle, 3 making liberal and 3 making conservative arguments.  I guess it is not difficult to assume that B was a liberal.  B bounced concepts off of me, and then went back to his room to continue the debate (and to play an Xbox racing game, simultaneously, keeping the adrenaline up).  He popped back out with a “then he said, then I said, then he said” account from time to time.  The whole thing was eye-opening for him, that he could have such dramatically different views than people he considers close friends.  He had known it, of course, as one would, but this took things to a new level.

Meanwhile, there is an inevitable, but suppressed, extension of this debate into the relationships among the boys’ parents.  We are all friends, and we are all grateful our boys have one another.  Two of us live across the street from one another, and, during the election, had opposing yard signs (mine was there before they moved in, and they were amazingly kind to place theirs where it was visible from the road but obscured from visibility from my house by a tree).  The parents of B’s friends are really the only folks I encounter regularly that have such different views than mine, and, while we don’t discuss politics, I am glad they are in our lives both because they are true friends, and to keep all of this real.

So, last night at our evening thankfulness ritual, B was thankful for a night at home to “chill”.  They are few and far between.  I was thankful that he and his friends are passionate about their beliefs and are able and interested in having a debate about politics. I was thankful that he stood up for his (by which I mean our) values.  I didn’t say, but I was thinking, that I was a little in awe of him and all of his friends.  School may be interesting, today…

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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