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Snow prayers and Star Wars

Mythankfulboy’s and my evening thankfulness ritual is settling back into routine.  We always do it, no matter where we are or what’s going on (except some nights when he’s at his dad’s), but it’s nice to get back to the routine of our chalice and our house after the winter holidays.

Feels funny to say “winter holidays”.  There’s been no winter!  It’s January 12th, and we’ve only had a few cold days and no snow.  Apparently there was a 20-minute snow squall today, but I missed it.  Sigh.

Lately, B has been thankful a lot for family, for technology, and for homecoming.  One night we were both thankful for the Star Wars movies, although he has only seen the latest (and this only under the threat of not being allowed to play the new Star Wars game for Xbox One until he had seen at least one of the movies).  Nothing like a flick about good old-fashioned Good versus Evil.

Before closing, the dog required a trip outside, and what did I find when I opened the door but SNOW.  Sparkly, swirling snow coming down like it meant it, even though I’m pretty sure it’s just another squall.

Thankful, thankful for the answering of the snow prayers of a Southern girl.

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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From the first day of spring March 20, 2015

Happy first day of snowy spring!  Today we regressed from bare earth to six inches of snow to welcome in the spring.  I should probably apologize right up front, because I’m the one who was praying for it.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get tired of snow, coming from the southern regions of the US. Maybe if I lived in Boston…

They did, however, do a great job clearing the roads by nightfall, so off to dodgeball practice we went. On the way home, mythankfulboy slipped into his imitation of a southern twang, and I thought to play a voicemail for him from my momma, who he calls Peepeye, from New Year’s Eve of 2011. She was calling to tell B that “Juhstin Beeeber is gonna be own CeeBeeAyus (CBS) in a mihniht”. Just delicious. I told him I was so sorry he wouldn’t grow up with that accent. He smiled.

Once home, he went straight to bed. Having used up all his screen time earlier in the day, and having finished his book the night before, he was sort of stumped as to what to do with himself. We lit the chalice, and I read chalice lighting #451, by Leslie Phol-Kosbau:

“Flame of fire, spark of the universe that warmed our ancestral hearth – agent of life and death, symbol of truth and freedom.  We strive to understand ourselves and our earthly home.”

B said, “There’s not much to say about that.” I offered, “I think a lot of people are working to understand why we got snow in our earthly home on the first day of spring.” He laughed. “And I probably had my last fire in our hearth tonight, don’t you think?” He said no – he thought I’d eek out a few more. He’s probably right.

He sent me on an errand to fetch him some water (for which I extracted 11 kisses on the cheek), and I asked for what he was thankful. “For you, for your momma, for dodgeball, for the roads being good enough to get there, and for you taking me.” (He must have been thinking while I went for the water.) I said I was thankful for our hearth, and also for his not giving me too much guff when I told him his time was up with screens and to find something else to do. He said it looked easier than it was (!). Then he said, “Tell me again why I can’t just play if I have the time?” “Because it keeps you from using your brain for other things, including being creative enough to come up with something to do besides playing Xbox!” I blew out the candle, and told him I loved him and was slipping out of his room when I heard him say, playfully, “But MOM!”

From the hallway I said, “Oh NO! Is that whining in my household?!” He yelled, “No! It’s yelling!” I yelled back, “OH NO! IS THAT YELLING IN MY HOUSEHOLD?!!” He laughed and yelled, “I LOVE YOU MOM!” I stuck my head back around the doorframe and said, “I love you, too, Snicker.”

(which is short for Snickerdoodle…)

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Drive-by

It’s a momma weekend – a weekend I get Mythankfulboy all to myself.  It’s quite the luxury.  Friday night it was back to dodgeball (after the completion of Crossfit for baseball, he can get back to his other sporting love), Saturday we braved a snowstorm to do batting cages and Waffle House, and today we shoveled and shoveled and now are each doing our own version of screen time.  B today came up with the idea that there should be a shoveling index in the same way there’s a cold/heat index – that for each inch of snow, it either feels like an inch, or, if it’s wet and heavy, it feels like 2 inches, or, if it’s icy slush the snow plows churned into your driveway, each inch feels like 4 inches.  He’s probably not the first to float this idea, but I found it to be quite clever, because it’s so true…

On weekend nights, there is not a set bedtime, which means the chalice lighting can happen at any time.  Last night, I was sitting in front of the fire when B ran past to get a snack during a break in his game.  As he ran into the kitchen he asked, “So what are you thankful for?”  I said, “Really?”  He said, “Yeah!”  So I thought quickly and said, “Driving around in the snow with you!”  As he ran back by with a granola bar and some fruit snacks, he yelled, “Batting cages and mommas who will take you in the snow!” (imagine his voice falling away as though he was falling off a cliff).

I think we should call this the drive-by chalice lighting.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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And you’re beautiful

I had a brief reprieve from working every evening and every weekend day, but I’ve had to return to it.  It’s tiring, and I always notice the toll it takes first when I don’t find myself able to post about our evening thankfulness ritual.  That’s a shame, surely, but we do always do the chalice-lighting itself, which is the most important part.

In the last several days, we’ve been thankful for everything from shovelable snow (versus snow to your waist) to good neighbors, from school delays to a three-night History Channel documentary on Samuel Adams and his rabble rousers, from Crossfit to the new YMCA in town.  Mythankfulboy has made me proud enumerable times, but, in particular, for stopping gaming with a happy heart to go out and help a neighbor shovel her drive before the sun set, and for helping a different neighbor with letting the dog out when she had to work late.  He also melted my heart when, as we turned a corner towards home in the car at dusk one evening, he said, “Momma, the sun on your face makes you glow, and you’re beautiful.”

I rewarded his shoveling by knocking $5 off of a sum he owed me.  I do this intermittently, because I want him to be rewarded, but I don’t want him to expect a reward every time he does something good.  I made sure he knew it was not only for doing the work, but for doing it with pleasure (what we call a “happy heart”).  Plus, I happen to know, as a developmentalist who works with kids with learning differences, that intermittent reinforcement is the most powerful (as my friends say, he never really had a chance to be bad…).   When he said I was beautiful, I gave an involuntary “you’re the sweetest thang” face, and then I screwed it up in a goofy face and said, “How about now?” as a car passed by, the driver staring at me.  B waited until the car had passed, chuckled, and said, “I just looked at the guy like, I don’t know, man.”

Beauty abounds in our hearts and our actions.  Most of our actions, anyway.  May it be so.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Normal. Perfectly normal.

One last night before mythankfulboy’s Crossfit class begins again.  Sigh.  It’s been a good few nights at home.  Tonight he shoveled snow while I went to the store, he played xBox while I made dinner, did dishes and laundry, and cleaned a little, and then we looked together at some amazing photos various friends have posted recently on Facebook.  Then he showered while I cleaned my desk, and we finally settled down to light the chalice.

There is something about the light of the candle.  It brings a softness into our thoughts and our words.  We sat quietly for a moment or two, and then B said, “I’ll start. I’m thankful for so many things.”  This is that delicious moment when I can hear in his voice that he is happy, and that he really is thankful for more than he can name.  “I’m thankful for you taking me to the gym and listening while I talk about gaming.  I’m thankful for your sense of humor.  I’m thankful for candles.  I’m thankful for my friends, and that K is coming over Saturday.  I’m thankful for snow.”

Wow.  That’s hard to follow.  “I’m thankful that you shoveled snow today, for online photo programs that let me play around with pictures, and that we share a sense of humor.”  He chuckled appreciatively.

Gradually our topic moved away from the chalice ritual and its gentleness, and he went on to tell a story, the topic of which I now forget, but he has a very loose tooth on one side of his mouth, and he has a palatal expander, and the combination began to have an effect on him that brought to mind the character Renfield in the 90’s Dracula comedy – you know – played by Peter MacNicol?  Where he says everything with a grimace and air escaping through the sides of his mouth?  Of course, this would be what came to mind because the sanitarium scene in which he’s eating insects while trying to convince the psychiatrist that he’s “perfectly normal” is one of my all time favorite movie scenes.

I digress.

My point is that B was talking in a very odd way as he kept pushing at the loose tooth with his tongue mid-sentence, and then sucking in air (and spit, I assume) to compensate for having left his mouth hanging open, and while I tried to listen to his story, I was so distracted by his mannerisms that I accidentally lost it and burst out laughing.  He looked at me like I’d lost my mind (close!), and I tried to explain, doing an imitation of him while I was laughing too hard to breathe, and he ended up laughing along with me just because I couldn’t keep it together.  Ah. Good times.

Good thing he’s thankful for my sense of humor….

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Bragging, bagging, and a dusting

At the chalice lighting this evening, mythankfulboy detailed to me the way one of his friendships has been going lately, and his trying to navigate a situation in which he feels like the friend is bragging a lot, and often at his (B’s) expense.  He says it’s all in fun, but it gets to be a bit much.  I asked if they were spending too much time together, and he said probably, but that he didn’t want it to change.  I asked if he’d called the friend on it when his bragging became belittling, and he said that the friend then turned around and “teasingly” made fun of B for being upset.  Difficult social territory.  I will have to be sure to keep an ear out for how it evolves, or devolves, as the case may be.

As a side note, he shared this fun fact: that, if you have testicles, the one on the same side as your dominant hand is usually “shorter” than (does not hang as low as) the other.  “So they don’t bang together”, he said.  I asked, “And you brought this up during the chalice lighting because….” to which he replied “Because….I was thinking about it.”  Duh.

And so, finally, the reports of the things for which we were thankful were a bit anticlimactic: he for the gym, and I for snow.  He asked, “Even though it makes you stressed out that you won’t be able to get to the office to see kids?”  I smiled and said, “Yep. Even then.”

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Christmas magic

A quiet Thanksgiving was had with J & M & S.  Snow almost kept us from going, but we woke on Thanksgiving morning and found our way out of town.  M was sick, and J was getting sick, so we chilled for the most part, but J did his usual, fabulous smoked thing with the turkey.  We returned home in time for Crossfit (really?!), and the next day did our annual tree shopping with our friends J and V.  The snow on the ground, and the love of our friends, made it picture perfect.  The tree came in the house and B headed off to his dad’s for the night and the following day.  When I went to bed late that night I had a moment of complete magic – Dobby, the Christmas elf passed down from my mom’s tree when I was a little girl, was propped up on my side table.  Our tradition is that he arrives the night of the tree.  I had no idea that B even knew where to find him in the Christmas things.  But when I saw Dobby beside my bed, my first thought was not that B had put him there, but that he had arrived on his own.  What a wonderful gift – Christmas magic.  What a sweet boy.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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