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First date

This weekend Mythankfulboy had his first date – the kind where the date’s mom drives them to a movie and home immediately after.  It was last-minute, and he was at his dad’s so I didn’t get to meet them, but B was quite tickled with the whole thing.  The last thing I texted him before he left was, “Have fun and impress her mother”, and he responded, “Yes ma’am.”  About an hour after he got back to his dad’s he texted me again asking if I’d come pick him up and take him to meet some of our friends for a slice of pizza, which turned, then, into ice cream as well.  He was pinging off the walls, partly because we were being spontaneous and he was seeing friends he’s missed, but he was clearly already on a high.  Adorable.

Baseball, on the other hand, seems to be deteriorating.  It is raining now, and he sent me a text at work that the game was canceled and he was glad.  Ugh.  Of course, it means it was rescheduled on the only night this week he didn’t have a game…

It was late when we got home last night after swimming for a bit at a friend’s house.  We did the chalice from opposite side of the bathroom door.  I called, “What are you thankful for kiddo?” and he yelled, “Swimming and a good night.  What about you?”  I yelled back, “I’m thankful for time with friends”.  He said, “Yeah”.

What I’m most thankful for, though, is that my boy called his momma to spend a little time with her after his first date (I’m sure the pizza was a guise).  It made the whole thing a little easier on his momma’s heart.

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Stress, body and mind

It was a “daddy weekend”, but, thanks to baseball, I saw a good bit of Mythankfulboy.  Saturday his team had the great opportunity to play (and win!) at a minor league baseball stadium on a stunning blue-sky kinda day.  Turns out it may have been more exciting for the parents than the kids because B said, from the players’ perspective, it was just like playing at any nice field, while the parents were sitting in the stands, getting ballpark hotdogs, and listening to the announcer saying our kids’ names.  Either way, I’m glad he had the opportunity.  The next day was a rainy cold home game and a loss.  He seemed glad to head back to our house after the second game to do some studying, with today being the first day of finals week.

At the chalice lighting, he asked an interesting question.  We were talking about acne (a teenager’s nemesis), and he said he’d had clear skin for a few weeks and now not so much.  I said those changes can happen because of stress, a change in what you’re eating, sweat, touching your face too much, etc.  He said, “I don’t think I’m stressed.  Can you be stressed without knowing it?”  He said he felt prepared for his finals, even a little “pumped”, but that maybe that was its own kind of stress.  I said, excitement is its own brand of stress, especially when paired with the unknown, and that you can feel stress in your body without your mind really registering it.  He said, “Hmmm”.

He asked for what I was thankful, and I said I was thankful for having the time and materials and tools I needed to change the chain on a pendant that I bought that I loved, but the chain had been too small.  I said it was rare that all the stars aligned that way.  He said he was glad.  He said he was thankful for playing well over the weekend, and for feeling ready to head into finals week.

I have to add, because I have such a strong picture of him in my head, that we did our “chalice lighting” (sans chalice) with me seated on the couch and him in the red chair, both with our feet up.  On this cool summer day, I was snuggled under a blanket, and he was wearing sweats and a hoodie with the hood up, with barefeet on the ottoman next to his ever-present baseball glove.  How I love Mythankfulboy.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Driving lesson

Lots ‘o baseball this weekend – a tournament with a couple of close games that Mythankfulboy’s team won in the end, resulting in a big team trophy and medals for each player.  I feel blessed to have my son on a team that does well and is full of nice kids with lovely parents.

On a rainy Memorial Day B and I drove a distance to a store that turns old cameras into functional lamps (oddly specific, I know) because we never seem to have a day to make it happen, and he wants to transform one of his grandfather’s cameras into something his dad can use for Father’s Day or a birthday.  We started out at Waffle House, but it was too busy, so we tried a brew pub that was closed, and then we ended up at a deli that was fantastic.  We parked right in front of the store we wanted to visit (unheard of) but it turns out they’re closed on Mondays (that explains it).  So, we visited an awesome second-hand store and then headed home.   On the way home, over a small mountain, we took a turn on a road we didn’t know to see if we could find the top of the mountain.  We did, and the view is probably amazing when there are no leaves on the trees or from the observatory we didn’t know was there (closed for Memorial Day.)  Over the mountain towards home and going through a college campus, B said, “Can I drive your car?” and before I could answer, he said, “No.  No.  Nevermind.  Forget it.”  I didn’t say anything but I pulled into a big empty parking lot and stopped, put on the emergency brake and smiled at him.   He smiled nervously and said, “Really?”  I said, “Absolutely.”  So, we switched places and he tooled us around the parking lot, trying left turns and right turns and even parallel parking along an empty curb.  He was good at it, for which he credits video games, although he’s driven a golf cart at his Grandaddy’s for years, which probably also helped.  He said his dad also let him drive his 4-wheel drive up a family mountain path, which surprised me given the need to use the 4-wheel drive to make it up, but hey – everything turned out fine.

B tried to scare up a something to do with a friend in the afternoon, but nothing panned out, so we stayed home.  I threw my back out doing laundry (sigh), so things got even quieter around our house.  After dinner, B made snickerdoodles and then went for a short run while I alternated sitting and standing, heat and cold.  Ah, the young and the old.

At the chalice lighting B asked for what I was thankful.  I said I was thankful for a day where we didn’t have any obligations, finding a new deli, a new phone case with a built- in backup battery bought at a cool second-hand store for less than ten dollars, and a weekend spent with him.   He said he was thankful for a fun weekend, for lots of baseball and playing well, and for snickerdoodles.  I said something about his first driving lesson, and he said, “What?  You didn’t teach me anything – I knew what I was doing.”  I said, “Oh, so when I told you to use your right foot for everything (not one foot on the gas and one on the brake), and when I told you to edge out just a little farther turning right than left, and when I told you to turn the wheel hard and slowly get close to the curb before turning the wheel back for parallel parking – that was all ‘on your own’?”  He chuckled.  “Okay, mostly on my own.”   My goodness I’m fond of this kid, and so thankful for time with him before he gets that license he’s thinking about…

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Momma’s Day and the kitchen sink

It’s been too long since I’ve put pen to paper (fingers to keys) about our evening thankfulness ritual.  Mythankfulboy’s first high school baseball season ended (not well, but better than expected given most of the juniors and seniors were thrown off the team for bad behavior), summer baseball began, bowling with friends happened, we replaced our kitchen sink ourselves (and by “ourselves” I mean B and me with routing by our sweet friend across the street, bolt-tightening by B’s dad, and advice from my dad), we rescued a baby fox that got its head caught in our batting cage netting, B had a spring cold, and Mother’s Day came and went.  For Mother’s Day, B tried to get some friends on board (at my suggestion) to do something for all the moms, but that didn’t work out, so he stole time with his dad to buy me a gift card to a restaurant I frequent with money sent to him by my mom for that purpose, to buy me a card (such sweet words) on which he wrote “Momma” in giant letters, and he announced a plan to take me out to dinner on his own dime.  The kitchen sink, though, required more attention than we had hoped, so we postponed that dinner.  My favorite thing he did, though, was replacing my morning alarm with the song Mama by LunchMoney Lewis.  There’s a lyric that says, “I could run in a race and come dead last – she say that’s my baby and stand up and clap”.  When we listened to the song together, he said, “That’s so you!”   There’s also a running background lyric in part of the song that says “Everyday is mother’s day”, and that’s how I feel waking up to that song every morning.

Along the way, among other things, we’ve been thankful for:  light homework nights, a new baseball glove, the kitchen sink, the folks that helped with the sink, the baby fox’s being okay, LunchMoney Lewis, ant traps, my pitching to B in the baseball cage, his feeling a bit better, and rain on Mother’s Day weekend (which meant no baseball – yeah, that one was mine – sorry B).

Life is good, and we are so grateful.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Living a life of gratitude

Yesterday afternoon the planets aligned. I was home early enough to pick Mythankfulboy up from school, there was no baseball, and it was a nice day. We went to the gym, he mowed and weed-whacked his batting cage and beyond, and I repaired his L screen (the screen from behind which someone can pitch balls to you), weaving it back together with rope. We got creative with leftovers for dinner, did a few chores, and both did some work on our computers.  It was chilly enough that I built a fire and sat in front of the woodstove to do my work.  Partway through the evening, B got news that his dad agreed to contribute to a new infielder’s glove, so he brought his laptop out to sit with me in front of the fire for help making the important decision about the glove’s color scheme (he always asks for my advice, but he always knows what he is going to choose before he asks, which makes me laugh).  Then for once, he got ready to head off to bed before me.

He stood over me and said, “So, I am thankful tonight that I’m getting a new glove, and I am thankful that you put my L-screen back together for me.”  He waited.

I said, “I’m thankful that you weed-whacked the whole yard, and that you’re living a life of gratitude”.  He reached down and picked up my hand and held it between his for a moment, the way a pastor might do for someone grieving.  We smiled at each other for that moment, and he said, “Me too.”

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Faith, love, and family

Today is Easter, and our first day back from a trip south for my momma’s 80th birthday.  We celebrated her day by having friends and family from across the years send her remembrances that we gathered in a book for her, and by taking her out to high tea with a small group of her close friends.  It was a little bittersweet because four out of six of her friends couldn’t attend because of illness or injury, driving home the concept of aging.  Still, she seemed very pleased.

She was not as pleased, though, that Mythankfulboy spent more time with his cousins and uncle than with her.  This seemed to be alleviated a bit by sending B off to the recycling center with her on our last morning there.  Work is the fastest and most effective means of assuring my mom that you love her.  At one point I turned to B and apologized for his not really doing anything fun while he was there, particularly since he was using his spring break to do it, and he said, “It’s okay, mom.  I didn’t really expect to have fun.  I came to see Peepeye (what he calls his grandmother)”.  Everything with her is complicated by the fact that she cannot hear what is being said to her, and she knows it but refuses hearing aids.  B needed reminders not to bounce around and gesticulate wildly when talking to her, something he tends to do when nervous.

A few highlights from the trip, just as a fun reminder, would be the fact that my back was out, missing our flight by getting there 5 minutes too late for our checked bag to make it, B’s having an allergic reaction to a smoothie he ate in the airport (quelled by a few antihistamines, luckily), that we made it there flying standby, seeing Grandaddy and Nini at the airport each way, B’s helping his cousin W move, B’s riding a motorcycle for the first time with his uncle J, buying mom a new telephone designed for folks with hearing losses, mom telling my sister and I that she knew we were whispering to each other about her and my sister and I dying laughing because Mom’s hearing is so poor there’s no need to whisper, and my sister’s baking a cake in the shape of a lamb for her Easter dinner with her husband’s family that failed to rise, leading to my telling her it was sacrilegious to serve a lamb that failed to rise on Easter.

At our chalice lighting upon arrival home, B was thankful for a successful trip to my mom’s.  I was thankful for a painless trip home.

Today I took B and a baseball teammate to the baseball fields for a few hours of hitting ground balls to each other.  On the way there, he said, “Shouldn’t we do something to mark Easter?  I know it’s a Christian thing, but, it still seems like we should.”  I asked what he thought we should do.  He said maybe go out to dinner.  I thought for a moment and suggested we go see the movie The Shack.  He agreed, perhaps because there was movie popcorn in the suggestion.  I was so glad we did.  It was a good movie, which led to a deep talk about the locus of love and the ability to forgive (internal or external to ourselves), humans’ tendency to judge others, concepts of good and evil, and dealing with grief.  When we left I asked him if it had been a good way to mark Easter, and he said it was.  We drove home in the warm light of dusk over farmland.  It was beautiful.

At our chalice tonight, he was thankful for the chance to hit some balls and go to a movie, and that he made the summer baseball team he had hoped to make.  I was thankful for all those things and for time with him thinking about the world of faith and love.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Not much to share

I spoke to Mythankfulboy yesterday afternoon by phone, from a few states away.  He was subdued – his summer baseball tryouts had been postponed due to soggy fields, and he said he’d been in his room all day.  He asked about my day, and I shared a few things, but the whole conversation was forced, not in an awkward way, but I think we just didn’t have that much to share.   It didn’t seem like a good time to do the chalice ritual – if we had been together, maybe, but not by phone.  So, we didn’t.  I don’t know if he takes a moment on nights we’re not together to think about gratitude, but I do.   I was thankful for my friends J, M, & S, and for an evening with them.  This morning I’m grateful I’ll get home to hug that boy’s neck today.

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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