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Role reversal

I had to work and missed Mythankfulboy’s baseball game, which they won by double-digits, a feat for a mostly-JV team playing in a varsity world.  They knew they had a chance against that particular team, but it was a happy event, nonetheless.  B only got to bat once, but I’m still sorry I missed it.

B and I arrived home at about the same time, and I made the mistake of sitting down on the couch to chat with him while he ate some dinner.  I never really made it off the couch, but I did open one eye long enough to tell him I was thankful they won their game.  He sat down beside me and leaned in for a hug.  He said he was thankful he didn’t have much homework.   He covered me up with a blanket and said goodnight, heading for his desk.  I’m learning not to feel guilty when he’s up later than I am, even when I forget to wash his baseball pants…

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Time management

We had a wonderful weekend, until about 11 o’clock last night.

We slept late. We went to the gym. We went to a Phillies game and celebrated a friend’s birthday.  Mythankfulboy had baseball practice and I got some things done around the house.  He spent hours on homework on Sunday, and then B went to a local skate park with a friend. He said he had a little more homework to do when we got home, but he really misjudged how much work it was.

I checked in on my way to bed to do the chalice lighting and I could see by his face and his posture that there was much more homework to do.  I asked him what was left and how I could help.  He was working on a storyboard for The Moon Is Down, and was assigned to do it with a particular computer program with which he was struggling (very slow and glitchy, not letting him make changes without starting over).  So, I sat down at the computer and did the annoying parts while he fed me the information that needed to be included and simultaneously did  Biology homework. The storyboard finally done, nearing 1 AM, I went to bed and he stayed up to finish other language arts homework.

B had an easy first semester in high school. I knew this one would be harder, particularly with baseball season.  It is hard to watch him struggle to learn how much time and how much effort is required for different assignments.  I made only briefly, pointed comments about finishing homework before doing anything fun on a Sunday afternoon, because his stress was punishment enough.  We did not do a chalice lighting,  but I know he would have been thankful for my help and my only minimal rubbing of salt in the wound.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Varsity baseball

We have had an interesting week in baseball.  Mythankfulboy is a 9th grade JV player.  The JV team had watched the varsity team struggle with disciplinary issues in the pre-season, and had been included in the loud re-iterations of what the coaching staff’s expectations for good conduct looked like.   Then the Varsity team went on a spring training trip and got into so much trouble while gone that all but four members were kicked off the team.  One of those players had a scholarship that is now in jeopardy.

As a result, they have pulled the JV team up to play the varsity games and have canceled the JV season.  They held a parent meeting at which they explained the circumstances and the decision.  The head coach said, with tears in his eyes, that he considered it his first responsibility to raise good men, and his second responsibility to win baseball games.  He said his goal for this new team was to win one game this season.  There are a lot of issues and concerns, of course.  B’s first reaction was, “Mom – those guys have beards!”

There’s no question that there’s a big difference between a 15 and an 18-year-old, both in size and strength, and in amount of baseball experience.  They played their first game last night, losing 9-0.  The coach told the boys he considered it a win since they kept the score in the single digits.  B did not.  On this new, bigger team with four players remaining from varsity, he didn’t, and probably won’t, get much playing time, and he made an error the only time he made contact with the ball last night.  He got home to a lot of homework, and probably went to school today unprepared for a test.  I made it clear that, if he couldn’t figure out how to keep his grades up while playing baseball, it would be baseball that went.  It was not a good night.

So, the chalice lighting consisted of my standing in his doorway, one foot in the room and one in the hallway, while he sat at his desk at his computer.  No actual chalice was lit.  He said he was thankful I helped with his trash and recycling chores.  I said I was thankful I got to see his game.  He said, “Why?  You were freezing and I didn’t really even get to play.”  I told him it didn’t matter to me how much he played, or that it was cold.   I said I liked being there to see what it was like for him, and that it was a pleasure to see him play no matter how much or how well he did.   He nodded, looking at the floor.  Then he said, “Well, I’m thankful for that.”

 

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Cultural flop – plague style

Today I took mythankfulboy to work with me while I served on a panel in a nearby state.  It gave him the opportunity to see me do something I do well, and for us to have some time away from home together.  Afterwards we went to dinner, a bookstore, and a play.  Well, half of a play.  It was a comedy about the Catholic Church’s response to the plague in the 14th century, complete with juggling, singing, prostitutes, red clown noses, and cell phones.   When the intermission came, B said “What?  It’s only half over?”   Since it was 9:30, we had an hour’s drive, and it was hard to imagine what more could be done with the subject in the next half of the play, I was happy to call it a night at that point.  Still, at the chalice lighting, I was thankful he went with me today.

His reply?  “I’m thankful you said you’d take me to McDonald’s for breakfast in the morning.”

So much for a cultural experience.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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I definitely do

Ugh. An essay math homework assignment for seventh graders, the directions for which this over-educated momma couldn’t decipher. Hours of work, the last couple of which fell to this evening after I got home with mythankfulboy at 8:20. Two loads of laundry later and his project done, as soon as I got him in the bathroom to brush his teeth (after 11:00!), I settled back with the work I needed to do tonight (some light speech-language diagnostic report reading), and the dog wanted to go out.

Honestly.

I’m not sure why I started working before the chalice-lighting anyway. Stress can really get in the way of thankfulness, as can exhaustion. So, I put down my work and let the dog out, I encouraged my child to finish in the bathroom and get in bed, and I laid out clothes for myself for tomorrow (I love waking to no decisions). THEN we did our evening thankfulness ritual. B was thankful for my help with homework. This I already knew, because he must have said “I love you” twenty times if he said it once during its final throes. In fact, he said it so much I finally said “If only you loved me this much when I wasn’t in the middle of helping you with a deadline or buying you shoes!”, and he replied, “Oh I do, Momma. I definitely do.”

I was easy tonight. Clean laundry, and a no-decision morning ahead.

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Measuring love in the metric system

Oh B.

5th grade’s emphasis on independence is not going so well in terms of what needs to make it to B’s backpack to come home. He failed a science test I didn’t know he had earlier this year because he didn’t have it written in the homework guide, nor did he manage to bring home a study guide. This weekend?

“Uh, Mom, my study guide for my science test must still be at school…”

And so we return to:

Oh B. (I wasn’t that nice about it at the time.) But hey! I’m resourceful! I can find 5th grade metric system lessons online! And so I did, and so we studied. We’ll see how it all works out.

Tonight, when we lit the chalice for our evening thankfulness ritual, B said he was thankful for being able to study for a test. I asked if it was the act of going over and over something until you’re confident about it, or the having-the-materials-necessary-to-study part he was talking about. He said neither; that it was being given the chance to review before the test.

In the spirit of the metric system unit, I asked him if he would use grams, liters, or meters to measure my love. He said “Meters, because we always talk about loving each other to the stars and back”. I began to speak, but he had a new thought he couldn’t contain. “Or it could be liters, because we say ‘I love you as big as’ things like the ocean, and liters measure volume.” I began again, to no avail. “It could be grams, if we’re doing the ‘I love you as whatever as a whatever is whatever’ game, and it’s about something heavy, like ‘I love you as heavy as an elephant on a meatball!'”.

“Are you done postulating?”, I asked.
“Yes.”

“They’re all right. I love you big, heavy, and full, all at once, all the time. Even when I’m unhappy with you because you leave important things at school.”

To which he harrumphed and turned away, giving me the silent treatment instead of a “Goodnight, Momma”.

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Homework for President Obama

Thursday night is the one homework night of the week on which I work late (I’m glad to finally be able to say this – it’s been a struggle until now). Since B and I have recently become reacquainted with, and promptly addicted to, the game Quirkle, I told him on Wednesday night that, if he wanted to play Quirkle on Thursday night, he needed to do his homework at daycare and get any help he needed from his dad when he got back to his house. B was skeptical that this plan would work, but he announced Thursday when he got back to our house that he had done so. He crushed me at Quirkle, 253-200, and then we went straight to the chalice and bed. While B brushed his teeth, I glanced over his homework (undermining the system and reinforcing that his father does not need to do so, of course). I had some feedback for him, so I shared it before we began the evening thankfulness ritual. Then, for the ritual, B was thankful for moms who help with homework.

I was thankful for President Obama. B said he was, too, but he wished Obama would do a little more about jobs!

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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