BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Thank You Lego

This morning my eighteen year old and I were doing some holiday preparations. I asked him to set up his model train around the Christmas tree, as a nod to Christmas past. He agreed and pulled it out of his closet.

While he was in there, he stumbled across a bin of old legos. He brought it out to the living room, and sat down on the floor with me. One by one he removed partially built (or, more accurately, partially destroyed) models he’s created over the years. There were so many of them.

4da2dc554379966dbb8cd16d4be335a9I recognized the pirate ship from Pirates of the Caribbean, and some of the Star Wars vehicles, but there were quite a few that didn’t look as familiar. “Oh, that one’s from the Mars Mission series,” he would say, or “that belongs to the police set.”

We sat together for a while and looked for specific parts to rebuild a wing, or replace a cannon. It was nice. Really nice.

Someday I hope he has a child in his life who enjoys these legos as much as he has over the years. Someday I hope he gets to experience the simple, yet profound, joy of watching and helping a young person build something special.


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Why I Am Still Up

It’s nearly midnight and I have to be up early for work tomorrow morning. I teach kids, so walking around in a fog isn’t an option for me. I have to be “on” from the moment I walk in the door to the moment the last kid is gone for the day.

By the time I’m done, I’m tired, not to mention the fact that I resist going to bed just on principle, so I regularly stay up well past a reasonable bedtime. I’ve been a night owl for a long time, and the idea of an early-to-bed routine just doesn’t make sense to me. Honestly, though, I should embrace an early bedtime. By the time Friday rolls around I’ve accumulated so much sleep debt from the week that I can barely function.

Tonight I can still function, but I’m tired and ready for bed. Why, then, am I writing instead? Because the boy isn’t here.

Not in the same sense that he hasn’t been here since August. That’s different. He was in the dorm, and I could tell myself he was safe at his home away from home. Tonight is a completely different situation, at least from my point of view. Tonight he’s at a friend’s house and he’s taken my car, at night, for the first time.

Yes, he has his license. Yes, he’s responsible (3.83 GPA folks, woot, woot!). But he’s out. This is new territory. I know, it’s a little silly. By the time I was his age I had been out late in my parents’ car many many times. Not him.

My son has always gone at his own pace, which he rarely alters for anyone. His physical development left us wondering at times during his babyhood. Would he ever learn to crawl, then walk? How about talking? Would he master that? And shouldn’t he have learned how to ride a two-wheeler by age nine? Would he ever get the hang of it? Yes. To all of it.

It’s no wonder that he’s doing different things now than he did in high school. We all go through changes as we grow up and move from one stage of our lives to another. It’s normal. It’s important. And it’s something that I, as his mom, need to stop fighting and learn to live with. As I do, though, I think I’ll stay up for a while, at least this first time.


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My Fifteen Minutes of Fame

A while back I wrote a back-to-school blogpost that was later modified and run by Scary Mommy. Scary Mommy is a huge website full of content for moms who may sometimes feel like they’re hanging on by the skin of their teeth. I can relate.

Well, that article generated quite a buzz, and it ended up being shared several times, on several different websites internationally. It was particularly popular in Greece, for some reason. I’m not really sure why, and I wouldn’t even know whom to ask.

The reason I bring it up is that someone visited the blog recently through the Scary Mommy link. Hooray! I was able to see what they saw, and came across my author page along with the article. I was so glad, because I thought I lost that link forever.

In case you’re interested, here it is: 10 Back to School Supplies Money Can’t Buy . I know it’s the wrong time of year, but what do you think? The article generated a huge positive response, but there were a few angry comments saying I had no business telling people what to do. My intent was never to scold or come across as all knowing. I know parenting is difficult. I also know, from years of experience working with hundreds (thousands?) of kids that so often what they need most from their parents are things money can’t buy.

It was nice to see that old article again. It reminded me of my fifteen minutes in the spotlight, and it gave me hope that maybe somewhere somebody was taking my words to heart and spending a little extra time loving on their kids.