For lack of a better working title, I’m sitting on a bench waiting for my doll and her friends to come off the roller coaster of the same name. This is their second time on this fast moving line, ride and the bench looked like a good place for me to write a quick blog. So let me tell you, we’ve been here about 5 hours and have gone on 4 rides due to long lines. The doll and Emily almost fainted in one line so we jumped out. Good thing too, the ride broke down shortly thereafter. Perhaps the girls put a curse on it. Hydrated, we press onward… See ya Monday!
Entering the church, I found a relatively empty pew and sat down. Looking around, I noticed all the other parents who took time out of their busy schedules to participate and witness their children’s last day of elementary school. The guest speaker, their retiring librarian noted, “Every day is a blank page. Every day you have the chance to start over, start anew, don’t forget or lose sight of this. Every day is waiting for you…” Which I found extremely interesting.
When a writer is confronted with a blank page, they have two choices: Write words into a story or stare at the blank page. Lately, I’ve found myself doing a lot of staring at the blank page. Not for lack of material, mind you, but rather the opposite–too much material to focus on or narrow down to a single event. Shake my head, I honestly don’t know where to begin…I guess you could say, “I’m at a loss for words…”
You know admitting this aloud is causing my friends and family to shake their heads in disbelief, “Marsha, at a loss for words? Who’s she trying to kid…?”
But in all honesty, I am, and here’s why…
As I mentioned earlier, I sat in a relatively empty pew and watched my daughter, in full cap and gown enter the church. I could tell, the nervous energy that woke her up two full hours before her alarm clock this morning, paid off by the waves of hair which draped her face. In addition, she also had plenty of time to apply makeup and mascara, making her look far older than fourteen to me. As she entered the church, our eyes met briefly and she smiled, before returning her attention to the task at hand–walking down the aisle without tripping or falling in her high wedge shoes. All the while, the only thought that came to my mind as I snapped picture after picture, was how beautiful my baby looks today.
She literally took my breath away.
Now she’s fully prepared and ready to begin this new leg of her journey. She’ll enter high school in the fall and begin to fill all those blank pages with friends and memories to last a lifetime.
…And while she’s filling up those pages, I’ll be here, writing and filling my blogs with more boy and doll stories. The witness to their many achievements and growth over the years…
But for right now, please excuse me for staring…
I gave the boy back his iPod today, under strict rules that he gives it back by 10 pm this evening. “I’m going to need it tomorrow at school, though,” He yearned. “Why?” I asked. “Because I have two open periods before my only exam tomorrow and so long as I agree with my teacher on every point, I’ll pass that test-easy peasy”. “You know, not having the device these last few weeks helped you pass those other tests. I see this as a trend…” I tried. “Mom, that had nothing to do with my passing,” He tried. “Give it back at 10 pm without fuss and we’ll determine your use of it in the morning…” I said and handed him the device.
“Mom, this was essentially my last day of school…” My doll said when she walked in the door. “Tomorrow is a field day, Thursday is graduation, Friday, Cedar Point,” she explained. “Are you sad?” I asked. “Are you on something?” She asked, surprised by my question. “No, just wondered…” I replied. “To be honest I a bit melancholic? I mean, I’ve been ready for 8th grade to be over since September, but I’m going to miss my friends–seeing them every day.” “I hear ya doll, but you’ll see plenty of them over the summer and I’m sure for at least the first year at CCHS, you’ll see them around, if not having them over for scary movie sleepover nights…” She nodded her head bef0re adding, “This week is flying by…”
“I hate to tell ya doll”, I thought to myself, “Your life is like that Kenny Chesney song, “Don’t Blink” I did and look what happened….”
For my birthday, I’ve decided to have an elephant day. What the heck, the elephant is always in the room so we might as well make this beautiful creature relevant. How about we all take a day where we see everyone through rose colored glasses instead of noticing everyone’s flaws? Let’s simply be happy we woke up this morning… I know I am.
Happy Elephant day….
I had a blog written and ready to post about an hour ago but a problem arose when I went to hit publish. It disappeared and I haven’t been able to find, nor recreate the blog from scratch. After many many attempts, I’ve decided this was God’s way of telling me I was too long in the tooth on this blog and to write something else, albeit shorter. So, here we go…
The boy had a term paper due in Creative Writing which encompassed all of his writing assignments from the past year, due 1st period, Monday morning. What this essentially meant was all hell broke loose Sunday night when after sending me all his papers in pdf form to be printed our printer decided to go on strike and the realization that most of the stores needed to bind all 33 writing exercises/assignments together, closed at an earlier time that he expected.
How do you spell stress? _________ (Insert boy’s first name)
However, all was not lost. One store, that could not help him Sunday night, opened early enough for him to finish…so long as the boy downloaded everything to a flash drive. So while he re-edited his paper, I loaded his flash drive with the corrected work. Then in the morning, while he jumped into the shower, his father took the flash drive over to the store and was able to get everything printed and bound to be turned in that day. “Bay you owe your dad a big hug…” I said. “I owe you both big hugs, thank you..” He returned before his father drove him to school.
Today, his grade posted on the report–an A+ which in some small way I believe we all received.
Since his work is still on my laptop and since he’s not here to disagree, I thought I’d share one of his works, albeit abridged. Enjoy!
*Note, snarky comments aside, are mine.
Ten things I worry about…
1 Missing school
2 Being too tired to work Huh? Explain why you’re too tired? I don’t understand…
3 Falling over a railing A reasonable worry while on vacation.
4 Dad going off the reservation in a spectacular way That would be interesting to see…
6 Dying of stress
7 Not getting my work done Time management skills, go figure.
8 Getting cited for no reason by Ms. Timar French teacher no love lost there
9 My house burning down
10 Getting yelled at by my mom His father and I both make him worry. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing…
Ten People I don’t want to forget
2 Great Grammy
5 Sister Maria Kindergarten teacher
6 Mom He recently told me he loved me too much to argue with me… Glad I made this list.
7 Dad Hasn’t gone off the reservation yet…
8 All my wonderful teachers Except Ms. Timar…
9 The close friends I’ve made
10 My sister Like she would ever let that happen…
“Did you remember to take your meds this morning?” I asked the boy about ten minutes into our birding adventure. “No, I did not. Why do you ask?” He replied with a smile. He knew why… One of the reasons the boy takes medication is to help him stay focused on the tasks at hand–such as school work or chores at home. The other, equally important reason is so he has some impulse control. Since he was very little, he’s displayed the ability to talk to us “lecture” style–that is to say, he conveys every bit of information that happens to pop into his head-relevant or not. His medication helps prevent him from going off topic. Since he chose not to take his medication that morning, we were all treated to a boy who talked loudly, giggled and sang nonstop, all along the boardwalk path at Magee Marsh.
“The first rule of birding…” the boy began to explain, “is to not be afraid or embarrassed when I ask people what the heck they are looking at.” She nodded, tho, clearly embarrassed a moment later when he asked someone what they were looking at. Then he pulled out his Sibley bible book of birds and along with another man, began paging through until they found a marker to identify the bird they saw. “You see, birding is a community sport, where everyone joins in to help the common man understand ..” He droned on and on. “Don’t you ever get tired of listening to yourself talk?” Alexa asked, causing a smile to erupt across my face; “As a matter of fact, no I do not…” He replied with a smile before I interrupted their conversation and said, “The first rule of birding is to shut up. How can you two see any birds if you’re too busy talking and scaring them away?” They both stopped talking long enough to laugh and agree before the boy couldn’t control the impulse to pick up where he left off.
Alexa, being more of a novice birder, decided to label all the birds she came across with a unique name, “You are a Whirlygiggle…” She said as she snapped the picture. “No, that’s a Downy Woodpecker…” the boy corrected. “Perhaps to you, but not to me…” She replied and continued on. “Mom, tell her to stop being annoying…” He said to me. “Bay, that’s like asking the pot to call the kettle black…” I said and they both laughed. “Be nice, she is your guest…” I added. “Yeah, and why didn’t you ask me to come along last year?” She added. “I don’t know, I didn’t think you liked this…” He said in defense. “I told you I did…” She added and started to lecture him.
I saw this as my cue to put some distance between us.
Close to the end of the boardwalk, we happened upon a pretty cool sight where three Chestnut-Sided Warblers all occupied the same virtual space. What was most remarkable about this was almost no one noticed. They were too busy trying to take the picture of a Cape May Warbler, a seldom seen bird to our area; jumping from branch to branch in the next set of bushes over. A kindly gentleman alerted us to their placement and I snapped a quick couple of pictures, before moving on. The boy, on the other hand, struck up a conversation with the gentleman about what possible conversations those three Chestnut-sided warblers might have been having. Alexa shot me an “Oh Brother!” look of exasperation as the two continued their imaginary conversation and all I could do was smile in return. Yep, that’s my boy!
So, while the doll was trying out for the high school dance team, Saturday morning, her brother, sat at a grocery store with several other people, impatiently waiting to be interviewed for a job. In the meantime, his mother, who did a little shopping while he waited, made the decision to hurriedly drive across town, hoping to kill two birds with one stone.
Earlier in the year, the boy’s friend, Alexa (his prom date) asked if she could accompany us (the boy and me), the next time we adventured to find the migrating warblers at the Magee Marsh Wildlife Refuge in Ottawa, Ohio. As word spread among their friends about our pending adventure, other classmates jumped on board to attend. The plan (Note God laughing) was to meet at the high school around 11:30 am, then caravan together to the wildlife refuge.
Of course, that’s not exactly what happened. The boy’s interview took longer than expected and I underestimated how long it would take to pick up Alexa from her home across town. By the time the interview had concluded, the boy walked home and met us, almost at the same time we pulled into the driveway. After a quick stop to change clothes and pick up supplies, we drove toward their high school, a half an hour later than planned only to discover the parking lot empty. “Dammit!” The boy uttered. “How many said they were going to come?” I asked. “A few. I feel bad we were late…” He said.
We arrived at the refuge about an hour later and then marveled, not only at the egrets and herons which dotted the swampland but also, the large bald eagle sitting in a nest, 50 feet up, that greeted our entrance to the parking area. Of course, the scene was made even more majestic by her mate which sat twenty feet below, playing sentry. After parking the car, I said, “Bay, you might want to put on the gloves I brought for you…” Taking a look at the sun trying to peak through the clouds the boy declined, “No I think I’ll be fine…” “Bay, it’s windy, going to rain and it’s cold, wear the gloves…” I urged, making note that Alexa and I were both wearing a pair. “No thank you…” He replied and I, like God, laughed at his plan to keep his hands warm on a day when he should have worn gloves.