Tuesday, March 29, 2011


So last night I went to a wrestling banquet with Paul. It was to celebrate those who had excelled and recognize those who had tried. Perrysburg is a good wrestling school, and they had a lot to celebrate this year in terms of individual and team excellence. Paul was a first year JV wrestler. He won 2 matches all season. We knew none of those accolades would be his. But we went anyway, to celebrate with the others…and eat food.

All of the wrestlers decided to squish around 2 tables while the parents scattered around the. So 24ish boys of no mean size squashed around 2 round tables. Paul is one of the bigger boys, but he’s not too pushy and as space ran out he just kind of hovered at the edges. I noticed as they got their food and came back, he’d managed to join the main body of the group, so I continued talking to my own table mates without any concern.

I had to leave early for another meeting, and as I got up to throw away my plate I looked around to catch his eye and say good bye. He wasn’t at either one of the wrestler tables. He wasn’t in the food line. I looked around the commons area a little confused, and finally found him sitting with another boy on the perimeter of the room.

I was upset. I was frustrated with his teammates for pushing him to the outside when he just wanted to be included and they could be so thoughtless. I was sad for my son, because I never want him to feel as if he is unwanted or alone. It is not a feeling I would ever choose for him to feel. I didn’t know what to say or do for him to take away the reproach of the situation.

He saw me getting up, and stood, offering to take the plates of the other boy and his mother, who was also sitting at the table. He met me by the trash and put an arm around my shoulders.

“I’m sorry you’re alone.” I whispered so no one else would hear me.

He looked surprised for a moment, and then smiled down at me. “Oh. No mom. I went and sat there because HE was alone.”

I hugged my son without shame, in front on his teammates and his coaches and all the other parents.

“I know you aren’t getting any special awards tonight. But I am proud of you. I am more proud of you then I can even say. You are a good man.”

My son does not excel in areas that are easily measurable. He’s not at the top of his class academically. He isn’t athletic enough to get noticed by his peers. He can’t sing or play instruments with astounding proficiency.

And that’s okay. I don’t feel the need to press him to be better in any of those arenas. Because who is becoming, I believe, is a great person and a good man despite his “measurable” deficiencies. I feel blessed and humbled to be his mother.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The All Kid Channel, All The Time...seriously, like 24/7...

First in tonight's line-up: Maryn Kate. 10 years old...almost 11...somewhat precocious... somewhat obnoxious...

Maryn: Mom, I know how to tell if a woman is pregnant or just really, really fat.
Me: Let’s just keep that little skill to yourself shall we?

Maryn: “We got a “goody bag” from growth and development today. I looked through it. There isn’t any candy. Everyone was disappointed. But there is a pad that looks like it’s for an American Girl doll.”

We were in Walmart and Maryn pipes up: "Mom? Are Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, like, together?" Me (laughing): "Why do you ask that?" Maryn: "Well, one's and aunt, one's an uncle and they're both black and old looking. So I just figured..."

You know how at the end of pharmaceutical ads they talk fast and low about possible side effects? As we kind of half listened in the car, Maryn suddenly perked up and asked. "Did they just say 'May cause excessive smiling?'". It was excessive SWELLING. Although friend pointed out the former could be true if it was ad for Botox...

Next we have the lovely Ashlyn Erma. She's just a bit of a stinker. My friend calls her the rabid squirrel. Yep. That about sums it up. You can see it in her eyes...


Me, to Ashlyn. “I like to hold you because you’re soft and squooshy.” Ashlyn; “It’s my cupcake jammies. They make me cuddly.”

She's more like a commercial instead of sitcom. :)

And the next show is Conner Vaughn. He tries so hard to be good and yet is so good at being a pain in the *beep*. What? What was that for? All I was gonna say was pain in the backside! Sheesh. Stupid censors.

Me: "Conner, can you not watch that now?" Conner: "Why?" Me: "Because it’s obnoxious." Conner: "What's obnoxious mean?" Me: "Annoying." Conner (With not too hidden glee in his voice): "Oooooo. I LIKE annoying things!"

Nurse (to Conner); "Do you get easily distracted?" Crumples face, "Well sometimes at school, it's like I...hmmm, I don't know." Pause. "Wait, what was the question again?" (Let's go ahead and mark yes on that shall we?)

And finally, the debonair Paul in a feature length film! He's the taller one on the right...

Co -starring, for one dance only...the incomparable Dayna M.


Tonight at dinner I dared Paul to eat 3 pieces of fruit I had "dropped" in mustard. He refused. The girls gave him crap. I said, "Its okay girls. He's just being a big fat wussy man." Paul: "Well, I don't see any of you eating it." Maryn:"We're being big fat wussy women. But thats okay, because girls are supposed to be wussy." Paul: "Wait. Did you just call yourself fat?"

Maryn was frustrated over her schedule for impending middle school.

Maryn:” Grrr. I wish I just knew my period schedule!” Paul: "Isn’t that like once a month?”

"Mom, I'd really like to go see a battle re-enactment. Its on my list of things I want to do before I die. Like go on a mission, get married, have kids...and discover the lost elfin civilization in Atlantis, establish contact and bring peace to all people."

Did I say feature length? Huh. Guess a lot of THAT ended up on the cutting room floor...

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So there is something that has been kind of swimming around in my brain. Which, knowing me, could be good or bad. I have a friend who is only 3 years younger than I am, and she and her hubby are expecting their first. I am ecstatic for them. They are good friends of mine, I enjoy their company. We come over to their house late, stay late, and play games. I can, because my kids are old enough for me to do that. I am in that phase of my life. When this beautiful little one is born, it will change their lives. I know it will. Because I’ve been there. I rode that pony already thank you very much. And here is what the race will look like. Gone are the friends over until midnight times, because you’re grabbing precious sleep whenever the baby is sleeping. Gone are the stacks of games of videos because you must baby proof the house (it takes all of one time for some finding little fingers to unorganize your alphabetically arranged DVD’s to move them to higher ground or another room with a door…and games have itty bitty pieces that little ones can choke on because everything MUST be explored with the mouth).

I don’t fit into that world. Not really. Not anymore. Because I have a son who, in 6 weeks time, will be turning 16. When it comes to kids, I am not even swimming in the same pond as they are.

And even the singles, although we a share a social situation, have yet to experience the joys of parenthood. I plan around concerts, homework and lessons…they plan around themselves. I get 5 people up and out the door in the morning. They get themselves up. This is not a bad thing. It’s just a different mentality.

So I try and hang out with people who have kids my age. And they are married. Happily married. And have no time to spare for me really because any rare spare time they find is invested in their spouse (As it should be!). And they politely invite me along on their outings, and I sit there smiling and feeling very fifth wheel even though they try not to. I can’t go out with my married friends who have kids my age because I’m not a couple. “Let’s invite Chiara over for games! Wait…we need 4 players…”

I feel very awkward…the “social situation” version of tween I suppose. I really don’t have all things in common with any one group. Three of the things that classify and define my situation right now are also mutually exclusive if you really want to fit in. “Single” and “Mom” and “30’s”. I don’t dislike being any one of them at once. Just maybe not all of them at the same time.