Yah Mo Be There!

HH and I are back from Vegas…not well rested and certainly not rich, but full of fun memories and more than a few extra pounds.  Eating at Hash House a Go Go every morning did nothing for my muffin top.

Two comments here…yes, the bacon is also mine, and no, that’s not an origami penis in my lap–

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Helpful tip here– I adhere strictly to the diabetic diet and never eat more than 3,000 carb calories without balancing my meal with protein.  You’re welcome.

My wonderful in-laws stayed at our house and watched our boys while we were gone.  A good time was had by all, although my 14-year old Alex told me he missed listening to our alternative station in the mornings on the drive to school.  Nothing but oldies for him and his Papaw!

The funniest part of trip occurred yesterday morning, and I just hope it’s as funny in the retelling here.  Quick setup:  our son Alex is a freshman.  He signed up to be part of his high school’s volunteer organization, and the first specific opportunity was yesterday.  He was supposed to be part of a 20-person group that went to an office building to take some underprivileged and/or abused children trick or treating.  We thought this would be great, because Alex is so good with kids and loves them.

The email said to meet in the school parking lot after 2nd hour to arrange rides and to bring a hat or some simple costume that young children might like.  We bought a cute Dr. Seuss hat, I signed the permission form before leaving town, and everything was set, but Alex was a little nervous because he didn’t know of anyone else who was going and was afraid it would be all older kids.

I woke up in Vegas yesterday morning and turned on my phone to see this…

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Oh dear lord!  He got left behind…how embarrassing!  I could just picture him standing in the parking lot with his Dr. Seuss hat all alone.  The fact that he’s only been in the district a year and doesn’t really know that many people didn’t help.  I felt so bad for him!  I kept scrolling…

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Oh no!  Upperclassmen had to come back to pick him up.  This was a high school nightmare.  I was torn between laughing uncontrollably and feeling my heart break for him at the same time.

I sent a text asking if they had come back for him, and thankfully soon received a text back that calmed my spirits.

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You can imagine the word…hardcore gangsta rap.  Not something that we play much of…we listen to Eminem together (only the songs without much sexual content), but that’s about it.

I asked him if the seniors had been nice to him and about died when I got this response.

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I’m not sure when that kid has ever made me laugh so hard.  So glad that he “established” himself and yet still apologized to his mother for saying the word “shit.”

And finally, one last screenshot that made my day…

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One of the best things he’s ever done…and it all worked out okay, despite the terrible start.

Moving on to a completely unrelated topic–

Yah Mo Be There!  That’s what I think of whenever I see NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month.)  I think of the song, then I think of 40-Year Old Virgin, then I want to go watch a movie so I don’t have to sit and try to write, and blah, blah, blah.  It’s like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, novel procrastination style.

Still, like many other intrepid bloggers, I am going to attempt the near impossible and try to write 50,000 words in one month, starting tomorrow.  Of course, I’m going to do this without any clear outline of a novel, with Christmas approaching, with maintaining twice-weekly blog posts and with ratcheting up my running.

Lawd have mercy!  Anyone have any good story ideas?  Feel free to pass them on! 🙂  Maybe I’ll just sit down, open up Scrivener and feel the inspiration pouring out my fingers.  Or maybe I’ll stare out the window in 30-minute increments until I decide that I’m hungry or need to clean house, which is what has always happened in the past when I’ve tried to really start writing.  We’ll see…and as James Ingram and Michael McDonald pointed out–

It’s a long hard road

That leads to a brighter day

And

Well, it’s a doggone shame

But never too late for change

Inspiration everywhere!  Keep running, readers, and if you’re going for the NaNoWriMo challenge, good luck!  See you (hopefully) at the other end of 50,000 compelling words!

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Silence

It’s so quiet in this house.  After a flurry of early morning activity, two sweet boys are off at their first day of school, and I am sitting on the couch with some jazz music in the background.  It’s peaceful, and it’s sure nice to have control of my house again, but my mind is churning.

Our oldest started high school today.  He had butterflies in his stomach as we approached the school.  He’s so excited for the next four years, and we are for him, but I also feel sick inside.  The feelings that I have for him mix with my own.

It’s so strange to watch your children grow.  You see them go through phases and hit milestones that you’ve already gone through, and each one causes you to worry and/or feel excited for the child having his turn at things (and the added perspective of adulthood makes it worse, not better!) while also reflecting on yourself at that long-ago time (a perspective which your child isn’t aware of at all and could care less about.)

I never realized how bittersweet it would be to raise a child, how the mix of personal memories mingles with such a sharp sense of present and fading time.  I sent a 14-year old off this morning, but I saw a little boy in a superhero pj set with a removable velcro cape wake up on the first day of kindergarten.  I took a picture on the couch (iPhone in hand, texting!), but I remembered a proud boy posing out by the big tree in the front yard, wearing khaki uniform shorts that I searched everywhere for with elastic instead of buttons to make going to the bathroom easy on little fingers.

Oh how it hurts, and oh how I am scared of high school.  High school is brutal.  Who would go back and relive those years?  Certainly not me.  And in my case, just like my son’s, I started high school after only one year with my new classmates.  I still felt like an outsider, much like he does, and that’s not a great feeling in a world that’s so new and uncomfortable.

I worry, of course, about the academics too.  The clock starts clicking now on g.p.a..  Will French 3 kick his ass?  Why did they have to schedule his Honors Biology class for the last period?  Will he be able to manage it all?  Oh, if I could just take it all over for him, I would (but who am I kidding?  I don’t have the brain I used to and can barely remember to feed the dogs!)

I hope the next four years are some of the best of his life.  No matter what, I am continually amazed at what an incredible person he is becoming and what an inherently beautiful soul he has.  He is funny, caring and kind.  He is equal parts flaky and yet maturing.  I think of how I changed in those high school years, and I can’t wait to watch him grow.

But however he gets through it, and however well it goes, the young man that emerges will still wear a hero cape, still have that hair sticking up in the back of his head, still be the child he was all along.  The memories of that little boy are such a gift, no matter how painful it is for a mom to look back.

So he looks forward, and I flurry between looking back at him, looking toward his future, and doing the same with my own life, while trying to maintain a sense of appreciating the present.  Thank goodness our younger son started 6th grade and his last year of elementary today…I don’t think I could handle it if he’d started a new school too!  Thankfully, his district doesn’t begin middle school until 7th grade.  I’ll consider it a personal favor from God to spare me the mental breakdown I feel I deserve.

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An update on my half marathon training and details of my dramatic golf (yes, golf!) injury in my next post!  Happy running!