Tag Archives: books

Preparing for high school

Mythankfulboy and I have had a nice summer.  Now it’s time to turn our attention towards his first year of high school.

On my mind: What will his classes be?  Will he have any of them with his friends?  What the heck are the actual school day hours, and what bus will he be on?  How much homework will there be?   Is there a supplies list up on the website?  Is there a parent orientation night?  Did they change the date for it?  You know – the predictable stuff.

On his mind: How many more social events can I squeeze into the days (and nights) before the first day?  What kind of scooter can I get with the money I have?  How many more chapters do I have to annotate before school starts?   How much is in the back-to-school supply budget for cool socks?   Is there any ice cream in the freezer?  You know – the predictable stuff.

He doesn’t seem at all worried about where to go or the size of the school or his schedule.  He doesn’t worry about when he’ll see his friends.  He knows some of his friends are starting to date, and he seems to think that’s all good without showing much interest himself (unless it’s under the radar, which is always a possibility).  I think his take-it-in-stride attitude is a gift, and I am most grateful, even when I want to throttle him for not showing a little more concern.

August quickly becomes stressful around my office because we are very affected by the school year’s approach, and as this has happened this year, B has become a bit more attentive of my moods (self-preservation, one might say).  I tend to vacillate between doing paperwork late into the night and  going to be early because I was up so late the night before.  On my late nights, he pops in from time-to-time to bring me a soda, set a silly object on my desk, or curl up beside me on the couch and tell me something on his mind.  He sits on the bed beside my desk and we do the chalice lighting.  On my early nights he tends to wait until I’m crawling into bed and then he lays on the floor in my bedroom with the dog and we talk about our day or the day to come and do our chalice lighting.  It’s interesting, now that I think about it – the shift from my joining him beside his bed to the reverse.  Heavens – my boy is growing up.  Last night he was thankful for his new scooter, which he has decided to name “Geraldine” after my mom.  He said he liked the name, and he likes her, too.  I was thankful for books, which are an escape from the daily grind.  He nodded in agreement.  We smiled at each other for a moment, and then he lumbered up off the floor (he is officially taller than me, now) and went to let the dog in and lock up the house and turn out the lights.

Thankful, thankful.

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Posted by on August 18, 2016 in Uncategorized


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A night like my childhood

Last evening, Mythankfulboy and I had the kind of school-day evening I remember having as a child.  He walked to the YMCA with friends after school, and I picked him up there in the late afternoon.  We headed home, where we each settled into a domestic chore, he bringing in the trash and recycling cans and me making dinner.  Before dinner he did homework, and after dinner he headed for the Xbox while I settled down at my desk to work (that would be a departure from my childhood, since my mom didn’t work).  Around 9:00 we entered into negotiations about his needing 10-20 more minutes on the Xbox to complete a challenge (I think is how he put it).  A kiss on my cheek bought him the extra time (departure number 2 from my childhood, when bedtime was bedtime and there were no technology distracters).  Then his bedtime routine, culminating in some time spent reading in bed, which led to more negotiations to give him enough time to finish his book (I wish I could remember what it was called!)  Being a reader myself, you don’t have to convince me to let you finish a book you love, and so his bedtime drug on and on.  I passed the time doing laundry, packing for my sleep study (overnight tonight), and working.   Finally, he was ready for the chalice lighting, another departure from my childhood.

As a side note – earlier in the evening I had made a soup I thought my picky eater (also known as mythankfulboy) might like.  When he commented that it smelled good, I suggested he try it.  He asked if I would pay him a dollar to try it.  I told him I would continue to buy Bagelbites in the future if he tried it.  He said, “Wait – what?  You’re not going to buy Bagelbites unless I try it?  Why did I start this?!”  He tried the soup with a turned up nose, and said yeah, no thanks.  Heh heh.  I’m sure there will come a time when he works harder to outsmart me, but that time has not yet arrived…

Anyhoo – when finally we lit the chalice it was after 10:00.  We were punchy, in a sweet way.  He said that he was thankful for his book tonight, and for “all my friends”.  Wow.  That’s a good place to be as a middle schooler, huh?  I said I was thankful he loved to read, and that he was a good friend, which earned him good friends.  I also happen to be particularly blessed that his good friends have given me good friends in their parents.  So much abundance for which to give thanks.

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Posted by on September 24, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Unexpected joys

Tonight at our evening thankfulness ritual B was thankful for the bargain book he was reading, marveling at how the fact he wasn’t expecting it to be good made it even better when he really liked it. I was thankful for the awesome gear heads in Virginia who heard about a gay kid who was being bullied and whose car had been vandalized repeatedly, and decided to say something by tricking out the kid’s car for free. Yay humanity! And yay friends who pass along unexpected joys!

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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Books, locks, wax, and flex

Fun, unusual, busy, productive, tiring day yesterday. I tried to nonchalantly bump up the time of the chalice lighting by 10 minutes or so, knowing I had laundry and paperwork to do before I slept, but B complained I was butting in on his reading time, so I joined him instead. When we closed our books and opened our hearts to our evening thankfulness ritual, B said he was thankful for locks. I said it was an interesting choice, since we tend only to lock our outside doors, and when we do lock our inside doors, we tend to lock ourselves out of, instead of into, rooms, and then I have to take the stops off the door with a hammer and a crowbar to get it open. ANYWAY. I was thankful for the opportunity B’s teacher gave her students by having them dress up and “become” famous Americans in a school wax museum yesterday, and that I have a flexible enough job to have been able to be there.

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Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Snow smile

Snow is falling gently tonight and it makes us hopeful that school might be canceled tomorrow. So, once B had his pajamas on inside out and backwards, we lit the chalice and said for what we were thankful. B was thankful for time, books, and money. I was thankful for NPR and B’s smile when he’s very happy, like he was tonight.

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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Books. Oh yeah. Books

B has had a few nightmares recently around his dad’s being sad about his own father’s death, and has been a little needier of my presence.  Last night we talked more at length than we usually do about things for which we were grateful.  B started with his dad and I and his Grampy, then moved on to a few items he can’t find right now – a titanium necklace I gave him for being in the baseball playoffs last spring, and two yo yo’s.  Last, he turned to music, and finally it hit him: “Books. Oh yeah. Books.”  Me too, Buddy.

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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in Uncategorized


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