Tag Archives: Auntie J

Heart in the lead

A pleasant weekend.  A day on my own to work and see a movie (Birdman – wow – blown away) and a day with my cherub to celebrate birthdays with Auntie J and her brood, then to batting cages and Waffle House, then home in the serious snow.  This was the second weekend in a row we drove 30+ miles in the snow one way to batting cages, but baseball is coming, and, despite the fact that we have a batting cage in our backyard, it isn’t functional when it is knee deep in snow.  Yesterday he hit well at his usual pitch speed (and was complimented on his form by a few dads, which put him through the roof with pride), and then he tried the next higher pitching speed and hit nothing for at least 25 pitches.  I had been sitting back, but at that point I stepped up and suggested he wait just a little longer for it to come to him.  Then, boom – he was hitting again.  He jumped up and down in the cage like a little kid, which was contagious to a dad and son with whom he had been taking turns, and they started cheering.  The dad turned around and looked at me with a “Wow – you knew what he was doing wrong” look of appreciation, which sent me through the roof with pride, despite the feminist on my shoulder saying, “Well, why wouldn’t I?  Because I’m a woman?”…

As B was packing up his things, one of the dads came over and said, “I really like your boy’s enthusiasm – he’s really got a heart for baseball.”  You know, I have to grin when B does something like jumping up and down when everybody else is frowning and serious.  In some ways he’s a little immature, and in some ways he’s pure and unconcerned about what people think.  Sometimes I don’t know with which I’m dealing.

Then sometimes he’s just plain wise.  On the way home, our 30 miles turning into more than an hour’s worth of driving slowly in yucky weather, he said, “One thing I love about you is that you’re willing to take risks.”  I laughed and said, “The trick is knowing how to take measured risks without just being stupid.”  I explained my rationale for going out in the snow yesterday.  He said, “It’ll be good for you in old age.”  Funny thing to say.  “Why do you say that?” I asked.  “Because you won’t end up like Peepeye.”   His grandmother, my mother, lives a very self-restricted life.  He was saying he didn’t want that for me, and he had reason to believe it wouldn’t happen.  God bless him.

And so, we got home safely, he gamed, I finished up some work, and we spelled German words.  These were the hardest yet.  Particularly tough: “sauerbraten”, “eiderdown”, and “verboten”, but the truth is, even having reviewed the rules for German spelling, these are just words you know because you’ve seen them, and he hasn’t seen them yet in his 12 (almost 13) short years!  He was a little discouraged, but kept at it, sitting in the dog’s chair, the dog displaced to the ottoman but stretched into the boy’s lap with his head on the boy’s chest.  So, we studied, and recorded hard ones on new stickies to get posted around the house for review.  Then he stretched and shooed the dog so he could go to bed.  He asked for what I was thankful.  I thought a moment and said, “Auntie J and Z and M”.  He said, “Yeah. Me, too.  I still feel sorry for Auntie J, though.”  I said, “You know, Honey, I don’t think she’d want you to.  I think she loves the craziness that comes with having two little ones.  Some people have 3 or 4 or 6 at a time.”  He said, “Yeah, but that’s not what I’d want.”  I said, “Okay, I see that you’re not saying she doesn’t do it well; what you’re saying is that you recognize that it’s hard, and that you might not be good at it.”  He said, “Oh!  Yeah!  Totally!”

In some ways this boy’s heart leads him around.  I’m not looking forward to dating.

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Posted by on March 2, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Tooth fairy plumbing bill

Tonight mythankfulboy lost a tooth while brushing his teeth, and it slipped down the drain.  So, I took apart the drain and found it for him.  He asked if the Tooth Fairy was going to bring him anything, and I told him the Tooth Fairy was sending him a bill for the plumbing work she had to do.  Although he’s usually a pretty easy audience for my silly humor, he didn’t seem to think that was all that funny…

At the chalice lighting, he was thankful for me, for the Tooth Fairy (proper order noted), for his Auntie J, and for Bertucci’s pizza.  The last two go together because we’re meeting Auntie J and her kids at Bertucci’s for lunch on Saturday morning.  I was thankful my daddy taught me how to take a drain apart, and for my neighbor who came over without even being asked and let the dog out when I worked late  It’s good to have a village for both child- and dog-rearing.

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Posted by on January 8, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Flip the switch and see the light

B and I have an annual gathering of friends in October.  The weeks leading up to it are full of household projects that need to get done whether or not we’re having a party, but are unlikely to get done unless we do.  I wish it weren’t so, but there it is.  So, on top of the school/work routine, and fall baseball, and B’s burgeoning social life, we’re working hard around the house.

Now, B loves the party.  I mean, he LOVES the party.  He loves the excitement and build up, he loves that some of our friends come from other states and stay the weekend, he loves inviting kids his own age and having a big gathering.  So, he’s more inclined to work hard than usual.  But when it starts to intrude into his screen time, I can get some push-back.  Over the weekend he whined about something I asked him to do (keep in mind I have a “No whining” bumper sticker on my car) and I turned around and told him to let me know when he could step up with a happy heart.  Nothing makes you have a happy heart faster than someone snapping at you.  Tonight he was sinking into woe-is-me because he wasn’t going to have much time to be on the computer if he helped me hang some curtains.  Without even thinking about it, I said, “Or you could go without screens from now until the party is over”.

So I get a little short before the event.  It’s still worth it.

To his credit, he flipped his attitude both times and before long we were working right along and finding things to laugh about.

When he was little, there were so many times I wanted to tell him to change his attitude about something, and I couldn’t think of a single saying/quote/catch phrase that told you something good would happen if you did.  I knew “Turn that frown upside down” (which is always said in a Romper Room voice), and “attitude adjustment , right on the top of the head” (from some comic country song in my youth), and then there’s the classic “I’ll wipe that look off your face so fast it’ll make your head swim” (my mother), but nothing that said “Hey – if you look at things positively, something good just might happen”.  So, I consulted my friend and business partner who is always good with words, and she coined “Flip the switch and see the light”.  It worked SO WELL.  And we practiced.  This is what this situation looks like before you flip the switch, and this is what it looks like and what happens after you flip it.  Gratitude works the same way.  Define it.  Explain it.  Point it out in real life.  Practice it.  It becomes second nature, or at least relatively easy to do.

At the chalice lighting, B was thankful we got the curtains up.  I was thankful for Auntie J and her word skills.

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Posted by on September 29, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Temporary freedom

What a bouncy boy tonight!  He played very well in two ballgames this weekend (one won, one lost).  He was at his dad’s Friday night until the game today, then home with me by afternoon.  I missed one big diving play he made in today’s game, but he re-enacted it for me tonight, just before the chalice lighting, in his tighty-whities, diving onto the dog’s bed for effect.  The real reason for his jubilance, though, was that he finally got his iPod back tonight after a hiatus caused by a bad decision he made at school near the end of the year.

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you may remember the incident at school last year which resulted in his having to do a project on bullying (A backwards kind of justice from 4/17/14).  Well, time dragged on and he wasn’t getting it done, so I took his iPod away.  Lately, he has suddenly been standing on his head to get the iPod back, asking to work on the project, but I haven’t had the time to commit to helping him with the parts with which he needs help.   Today I finally caved and let him have it temporarily until I can be helpful in a few weeks  Hence his buoyancy.  And tonight he was thankful for – yep – his iPod.  I was thankful for his Auntie J who came to a few innings of his game in between a crazy schedule of things she had going.  He said “Yeah!  I totally didn’t expect to see her!  That was so cool!”

But let me get a few things accomplished here in the next few weeks and then, if he isn’t working on that project, I’ll snatch up that iPod so fast it’ll make his head swim (channeling my mother, there)!  Stay tuned….

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Posted by on September 21, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Soft restart in our hearts

On Valentine’s Day, it seemed pretty obvious that we were to be thankful for each other at our chalice of gratitude. A shout did go out, however, to Auntie J for knowing how to do a soft restart to get the iPad unfrozen…

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Posted by on February 15, 2013 in Uncategorized


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