Tag Archives: Peepeye

To fart or not to fart

Mythankfulboy has entered a seriously airheaded period in his life.  Maybe it’s teenage hormones, but he has been saying and doing the silliest things lately.  I find I’m regularly saying something, then waiting, waiting, for it to catch in his brain.  For example, we stood recently in front of a wall of Mother’s Day cards, shopping for one for Peepeye, his grandmother and my mother.  He said, “They should have a day for grandparents.”  I said, “They do, actually.  It’s called ‘Grandparents’ Day'”  He said, “Huh.”  He said, “They should have a section for just grandmother’s in the Mother’s Day cards.”  I said, “They do, actually.  It’s right there”, pointing.   He continued to stand where he was and to stare blankly at the cards in front of him.  30 seconds, maybe a minute, passed and I said, “So, why are you still looking right there?”  He said, “What?  I’m looking for a card for Peepeye.”  “Yes,” I said with waning patience, and the cards for grandmother’s are down there”, pointing again.  He said, “OH!!” and moved down to look at them.

This is my life right now.  There are worse things, I know.

Meanwhile, he finds joy in the funniest places.  Case in point, he excitedly told me a few days ago about a video he had found of a guy who could fart on demand.  Ok – I guess that could be interesting.  “And the best part,” he continues, “is that he does it the exact same way I do!”  “Wait!” I say.  “You can fart at will?!”  “Yeah – you didn’t know that?!” he answered.   Then he proceeds to tell me that he can suck air into his anus and expel it whenever he wants.  No.  I did not know this.  I was not exactly sure how I felt about it, either, but he was so very pleased with himself that I eventually settled on proudish.  In a weird kind of way.  I have to finish, though, with his final thought on the subject, which was that the only downside to this kind of flatulence was that it wasn’t internally-generated gas, so he couldn’t light anything on fire this way.  Well, yeah, I guess I can see that…

Since he couldn’t light the chalice that evening with a fart, I lit it with a lighter.  I was thankful for idiosyncratic skills.  He was thankful for no homework.

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Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Should “crazy” and “science” be in the same blog post?

Let’s start with the good stuff. I had a nice Barnes and Noble date with Mythankfulboy after baseball practice yesterday. We went to buy a book for Peepeye, his grandmother, for her birthday. He bought her the book Holes, by Louis Sachar, and B told her in the card that it was one of his favorite books and by one of his favorite authors, and that he hope she enjoyed it. Sweetness.

Then, on the way home, I noted an excessive amount of smoke coming out of the tailpipe of the car in front of us, and B said that his science teacher had told his class that the air that comes out of a tailpipe is cleaner than the air that went in. I was dubious about this, but decided to take the tact of making sure that he knew that carbon monoxide is emitted from a tailpipe, and that whether or not it’s clean it can kill you.  Then he said, “Mr. X also says that global warming isn’t real.”


I was dumbfounded. Sideswiped.  Speechless.

Finally, I sputtered something like, “That is utterly and completely false. The scientific community is in agreement that global warming is not only real, but is killing Earth at an ever increasing rate.  I can’t BELIEVE that he said that to you!  Did he say WHY he thought that it wasn’t real?”  B reported that his teacher said that global warming was created by people who wanted to profit from it.

[period of quiet in the car]

I asked if this was a lesson he was teaching from a textbook, and B said no, it was just an aside, which his teacher is wont to do. I asked if he offered any research to back up what he said, and B admitted that he couldn’t remember everything his teacher had said, but that he did remember his teacher’s saying that the Earth’s temperature has not risen in 20 years.

[more silence in the car]

I asked if his teacher was talking about the Earth’s temperature cycles over hundreds of years, and B said, “Maybe?”

We finished the discussion in the same fits and starts, with my saying things like “You just need to know that I am in complete disagreement” and “I am really pretty angry about this and I’m going to have to find out more.”

[pausing now to find the words]

Just this week something I said to a colleague was misunderstood and a minor drama ensued.  I also know that my son is a 14-year-old boy and is not the most attentive of the batch.  So I called a good friend who is a teacher, whose son also has this teacher (but at a different time of the day), and who, of course, shares my politics.  She suggested an email intent on clarifying what was said.  I wrote it, B approved it, and I sent it off last night.

[deep breath]

At the chalice lighting I was thankful B brought all of this to my attention.  He was thankful I “didn’t go crazy”…

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Posted by on April 8, 2016 in Uncategorized


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A stone from my collection

It’s our late evening, which more or less takes us from the car to the bedtime routine.  Mythankfulboy hates having a secret about something that is making him feel guilty, so, before we got things rolling he cornered me and said, “Remember that math test I felt pretty good about?”  “Yeah….”, I respond, slowly.  “Well, I didn’t do so well.”  “How well is ‘not so well’?” I asked.  “A 67”.  “Oh. How did everyone else do?”  His rate of speech picked up considerably. “Most of the class failed it – (list of friend and acquaintance names) all got scores in the 50’s, and (name of kid who consistently does well) got a 7 out of 42. He cried.”  “And what did your teacher say about it?”  “She didn’t say anything.  She just gave them back.”  “So”, I began, “You know what this means, right?”  “Yeah. All my math homework and studying with you.”  “Yep. For the rest of the year” I commanded.  “Okay”, he said, with a hint of what may have been relief.

That off his chest, he happily skipped off to grab a snack and get his stuff together for his baseball team pictures and first game, tomorrow.  We’re supposed to have thunderstorms. Maybe they’ll be wrong, but he’s excited either way.  I alternated filling out the picture order form and throwing the ball for the dog who has been neglected all day while B got creative for his grandmother’s birthday card.  Those tasks done, the normal routine kicked in, down to the chalice lighting and thankfulness ritual.

Tonight, I read chalice lighting #469, The Spirit of Wisdom from Wisdom of Solomon 7

I am mortal, like everyone else, a descendant of the first formed child of earth, and in the womb of a mother was I moulded into flesh within a period of ten months.

When I was born I began to breathe the common air, and fell upon the kindred earth.  My first sound was a cry, as is true of all.

I was nursed with care in swaddling cloths; no king has had a different beginning of existence.

There is for all one entrance and one way out.  Therefore I prayed, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.

I closed the gray hymnal quietly and looked up at B.  He said, “I like the part about all of us being from one place.”   I nodded, “And I like the part about all starting out the same way, all needing the same basic, simple, things.  Food, warmth, love.”  He nodded.  We were quiet a moment, then he broke the silence saying, “I’m thankful for Peepeye (his pet name for my mother) turning 77.”  I said, “I’m thankful that you took the time tonight to do more than just sign her card.  It will make her so happy, and it made me proud.”  B included in his Peepeye’s card a pretty turquoise stone, and wrote, “For your birthday, I’m sending you a stone from my collection so you can think about me like I think about you all the time.”  This is the first time he’s really made this kind of an effort for someone’s birthday.  It was, and it seems to this biased momma that he is, so very dear.

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Posted by on April 9, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Sparks galore

Tonight, while I waited for mythankfulboy to brush his teeth and examine the peach fuzz on his upper lip in the mirror before heading to bed, I sat down at the piano and played a few hymns from “the gray” Unitarian Universalist hymnal, “Singing the Living Tradition”.  When he was done, I flipped to the back to the chalice lightings, and thought I’d start with the first one and see where it led us.

#447  “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.  Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”  Albert Schweitzer

Bam! (as Rev Anne would say) Right off the bat – gratitude.  I read it as I lit our chalice.  B was surprised and gave me an inquisitive look.  “We’re trying something new tonight” I said in response, and asked “Who gives you a spark when your flame is low?”  “My momma”, he said, sarcasm dripping from his voice.  “Ok, well, yeah – that’s my job.  Anybody else?”  “Yeah” he said. “Your momma and your daddy and Little J from Ferry Beach and Big J from Ferry Beach.”  I smiled.

[The moment was disrupted by the computer turning on by itself – we’ve had an electrical poltergeist kind of evening.  Our dryer wouldn’t turn on, but was getting electricity (maybe a switch went bad?).  B hit a switch for a light in the kitchen and the living room light turned on instead.  Later the same light switch worked fine.]

“Who lights your spark?” he asked.  I answered predictably. “Well, you are the light of my life, kiddo.  And my daddy has always done this for me.  And my friends from Ferry Beach, of course.”

[I wasn’t quite done, when the computer in B’s room went off.  B and I stared at it as it came back on again and stayed on.]

We said our goodnights, and I blew out the chalice as I left the room.  He called me back in. “Hey mom – look at this!”  A funky metal wind-up toy he’s had for, oh, 5 years, and has sat on the bureau beside his bed for, oh, 3 years, was glowing.  We’d never seen it do that before.  Maybe it did it every night and we’d never noticed it before, or maybe it was just tonight.  I didn’t realize until I sat down to write this entry that all the electrical and glowing craziness went hand-in-hand with a chalice lighting that asked who provides the spark to rekindle our inner flame.

Perhaps I should listen.

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Posted by on March 16, 2015 in Uncategorized


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First book, first school team, chocolate?

Sweet chalice lighting tonight.  Mythankfulboy had a great weekend.  He found out Friday he made the 7th grade baseball team (yay B!), Saturday he and a friend went to blacklight dodgeball (yes, that’s dodgeball in the dark) followed by the pie-eating, straw-farting grocery-store-parking-lot-with-your-mom extravaganza mentioned in my last post.  The friend spent the night, then we met his mom and little brother for brunch, at which point B got to go to the friend’s house for the afternoon.  He loves going to their house, and he loves their family.  He came home, showered, gamed briefly, spelled (hard words: ephemeral, etymology, and herpetology), then finally to bed.  He asked to read a Dr. Seuss book (odd, but ok), and told me to pick one at random.  I chose Hop on Pop, and he said, “My first book!”  I asked what he meant.  He said, “This is the one that made reading click for me. I remember when it happened.  I was sitting on Peepeye’s lap (his grandmother) and she was reading it with me, and then I just took over!”  This was something I had never known – what a sweet memory!  He proceeded to read it to me, turning the book to show me the pictures like a kindergarten teacher in front of her (or his) brood.  Fun.

We put the book away and lit the chalice.  He said, “Momma, I love you so much.”  “And I you, Darlin.  What are you thankful for tonight?”  He said, “For making the baseball team.  I am so, so grateful for that.”  I responded, “I am thankful for and proud of your dedication and hard work that led to your making the team.  And I’m thankful it paid off for you!”  He smiled, looking off into the air at a future, uniformed boy catching at a game.  We were quiet for a moment.

He then said, “Momma, you know what I want?”  “What, Love?”  “I want some good chocolate with mint mixed in – not layers of chocolate and mint, or mint covered with chocolate, but chocolate with mint mixed in.”  “O-kay”, said I, trying to catch up with his quick change from baseball to chocolate.  “Are we talking about candy or ice cream or what?”  “Candy,” he said, plainly.  “It doesn’t have to be right now or anything…..”

You know, he didn’t have to end on a chocolate note for me to walk away with the sweet taste of gratitude in my mouth.

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Posted by on March 15, 2015 in Uncategorized


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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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Railing equals healing

B was at his dad’s last night, so I was on my own. Peepeye, what B calls my mom, has been in and out of the hospital over the last month due to various issues around recovering from some heart concerns. It has been very discouraging, and her spirits have understandably been low. My cousin’s death this week sunk them lower. So last night, as I lit the chalice, I was thankful to have heard her railing on Republicans, just like normal, when I called her. What a sure sign of healing for my mom. Blessed be.

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Posted by on December 8, 2012 in Uncategorized


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