It gets better…

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The other night, while walking through Costco, my husband and I enjoyed a hilarious conversation. To the best of my recollection, it went something like this…

Me: As the boy and I were driving home from the mall this afternoon, he tells me he’d like to call his friend and apologize for not going to Cedar Point (amusement park) with her (Senior skip day) today… of course it’s like two in the afternoon when I hand him the phone. So the call went right to voicemail and he said, “Uh hi, I want to apologize for not getting back with you about going to Cedar Point today….” “Buddy, elaborate…” I whispered to him. “You see I have strep throat and I don’t want anyone to get sick. Well anyway, I’ll see you at school tomorrow, bye” and disconnects the phone.

Hubby: He’s so goofy.

Me: I told him the same thing and he replied “I have a lousy conversational style on the telephone”. *Note I’m usually imitating his voice at this point.

Hubby: I reiterate, he’s so goofy! (we both smile and laugh)

Me: So we’re driving along and the phone rings and it’s his friend, returning the call to tell him that her voicemail won’t open, so she’s wondering what the voicemail said and he replies, “Oh yeah, I just said I’m sorry I can’t go to Cedar Point with you today…” and she replies, “Well it’s the middle of the afternoon now, we wouldn’t be going anyhow…” He grimaces and replies, “Yeah, but you know what I mean…” and she says, “It’s okay, I got a lot of stuff taken care of at the University for next year today…”  So, their conversation progresses to his wanting her to sign his school shirt on Friday and her reply is typical, “I’ll take up the whole shirt if you’d like…”

Hubby: Does this story get better?

Me: Yes, goofball, it get’s better–now listen… So as their conversation is beginning to wind down, she says, “Oh hey, if you happen to see my mom and she asks you about Cedar Point, please don’t tell her we didn’t go… you see she threw $50 at me for the ticket and I really want to keep that money. Dylan turned and looked at me with a startled smile on his face and I began to laugh. Then she said, “Wait, did you just tell your mom?” “Uh, I guess this would be a good time to tell you my mom’s phone is connected to the car radio…” and I jumped in and said, “Hi Sweetheart…I won’t tell your mom… I mean, I’ll try to avoid your mom at graduation if you like…” “Oh, Hi… no, that’s okay. A head’s up next time would be nice Dylan,” She said which drew their telephone conversation to a close.

Laughing my hubby replied, “You’re right, it did get better. What a goofball our son is..”

Me: The apple does not fall far from the tree…

a good transition…

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Originally my plan today was to write about my birding adventure Saturday afternoon with the boy and his bestie Alexa, but I have been derailed. You see this morning, the boy sat sullen on my dormer steps and worried that he shouldn’t attend school today. Considering that today’s schedule involved taking three final exams, I couldn’t see a reason why he should stay home–even though, if this were any other day of the school year, I probably would have allowed the absence.

You see, yesterday following school and after complaining of a very sore throat for two days straight, I urged my husband to take the boy to an Urgent Care to see if he might have something worse than our belief of seasonal allergies in overdrive. When they arrived home, I asked, “Well?” “They took a rapid Strep test which came out negative, but, because his throat was red, they put him on antibiotics, just in case,” He explained. “At the very least, he’ll begin feeling better…” I offered and then made him some scrambled eggs to take with the medication.

“How do you feel this morning?” I asked as he sat there in a quandary. “So much better… but if I have Strep, I don’t want to get anyone else sick…” He said before adding, “I was so looking forward to the Senior walk too…” “What’s the Senior walk entail?” I asked. “After exams, my class meets in the cafeteria, where we throw away all of papers and turn in the books. Then we triumphantly exit the school, while the underclassman clap and cheer us on,” He explained. “You could still participate in this…” I offered. “Mom, you know me…” He lamented and immediately I understood. The boy who loves to give hugs would be handcuffed, in fear of getting anyone else sick and this thought alone, hurt his heart. “Bay offer high fives instead or tell them, the truth…so they hug at their own risk,” I offered. He nodded and prepared for school.

A few minutes later, both kids loaded in the car, we made our drive to school–for my son’s last real day of high school.

A few hours later, I received a call from the school–the boy–telling me he’s been released from school and needed a ride home. Finishing things up with Mrs. K, I departed to pick the boy up, not thinking of anything other than the task at hand. When I entered the school, I asked the door greeter, where I might find my son. “Who is your son?” She asked, confused by my presence. “Dylan…” “That’s your boy? I love him. Absolutely love him!!” She replied before instructing me toward the main office. I smiled, thanked her, then turned the corner for the office.

Upon entering the office, I found one of the boy’s teachers from last year and asked the staff at large, “Anybody see my boy?” His teacher, Mrs. McKinely offered, “Yes, just a minute ago, down the hall…” I thanked her then turned to leave but was stopped when she added, “I’m really going to miss him. Dylan is a breath of fresh air… a really cool kid who came into his own. The school won’t be the same without him”. I smiled and thanked her, and then turned to leave the room. A moment later, I found my son and we walked out of the school together toward the car.

As we walked I mentioned what the door greeter had said, and how Mrs. McKinely had offered kind words as well–except, I couldn’t really tell him that because I began choking up with pride and tears. “Are you okay?” He asked wondering why I couldn’t talk. I laughed, “This is dumb,” I said, trying again, but failing miserably. “What’s dumb…?” He asked again, and I laughed again. “This is. I’m walking out of school with my baby, a soon to be high school graduate and I’m crying… the nice words and everything are so overwhelming for a mom who has worried about you these last four years,” I said and then laughed and then cried again. “Mom, it’s okay…” He said in a comforting manner and then said, “I’d give you a hug…” to which I replied, “I’ll take one later after your third antibiotic,” and we both laughed as I began to drive away…

All the while, still trying desperately not to cry thinking about how far my little bay has come…

 

 

 

Mr. Spitz…

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Last Thursday morning, I informed the boy of my desire that he receive a hair cut, following school that day. To which he replied, “I’m not sure I’ll have the time”. Knowing Thursday’s he doesn’t leave school until 4:30 pm due to film club, I acknowledged his late release time but added, “I think we’ll still have time,” a bit annoyed by his assertion. “But I have that One-Act tonight,” He replied. “One-Act? What One-Act?” I asked. “I guess I forgot to tell you… the drama club is producing a One-Act tonight and tomorrow and I have a role,” He explained. “A speaking role?” I wondered. “A non scripted role as a waiter…however I’ve been encouraged to ad lib,” He replied with a smile. “Does this waiter have a name?” I inquired and he replied, “Yes, Mr. Spitz… I gave him that name,” He added with a broad smile. “Ohhkay…” I said encouraging him to elaborate… “I named him Mr Spitz as an homage to wait staff that spit in your food…” He finished. Shaking my head back and forth I said, “Let’s hope you don’t infuriate any wait staff in the audience…”  Which only seemed to make his smile grow wider.

****

Having had the opportunity to see the One-Act play Thursday night (also-I was successful in getting his hairs cut too, with plenty of time to spare), I strongly encouraged my husband and daughter to accompany me to Friday’s performance. The doll saw this as a wonderful opportunity to see “J”, who also had a small role in the play.

When we arrived, the forum was quickly filling up  but we  managed to find three open seats up toward the front. The doll entered the row first, followed by myself and then her dad, forcing her to sit next an older lady.  When “J’s” character arrived, I took a few pictures with my iPhone, more as a way to tease the doll(which of course made her face grow red w/embarrassment), than for any other reason. 

The hilarious play “Love is Blind” written by the drama teacher, offersed several glimpses at first dates gone awry. Every one of my boy’s ad lib’s as the bumbling waiter  Mr Spitz. (Who did pretend to spit in a wine glass as a way to clean the glass), brought bursts of laughter from the audience, so much so that his drama teacher made a point of telling him (in front of me) that he should pursue acting at the university in the fall–he would be a wonderful addition to any theater team; to which the boy demurred.

In the meantime, the doll met up with a few of her friends who also came to see the play (and support J and a few other classmates), but I noticed she kept looking over at the older woman she sat next to with great curiosity. Casually walking over toward J and the woman, I realized what all the fuss was about–the woman was talking with “J” in a familial way. A moment later, the drama teacher came over and was introduced  to the woman where he gushed about “J’s” acumen for acting. Then the woman reached up, pet “J’s” cheek, before embracing him and saying her goodbyes–all the while the doll curiously looked on-while desperately trying not to be.

Later when we exited the building I looked over to her and said, with the most incredulous, over the top voice I could muster, OMG doll, you sat next to “J’s” Grandmother!!!” Seething back at me she replied, “I can’t believe my own mother is mocking me about J”, then laughed and added, “But can you see why I think he’s so cute?” And then gushed. I smiled and nodded adding, “I’m not mocking you… rather gently teasing you, that’s all”. “Whatever you say mom,” She said and then added, “Well?” “Well?” I mimicked before realizing I hadn’t answered her really important question, “Oh, yes, I can see why… you most definitely could do worse,” Which seemed to set her mind at ease. 

Yet, in hindsight made me worry that I’d just given her permission to agree to date him, if given the chance. I guess we’ll have to see…

 

 

 

ode to spring…

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Spring is in the air as is young love… or young crush rather. My doll has had an interesting few weeks here as her girlfriends became aware of her “crush” for “J” and have been needling her ever since. Not that she really minds, but rather the widening circle of who knows could potentially lead to him knowing-which terrifies her to no end.

“Mom, I just relegated Jacob to the friend zone,” She told me the other night. Looking back to her, she looked very uncomfortable-like she had swallowed something awful; as she tried to reconcile what she just did.”Jacob? Who’s he?” I wondered. “He’s the one I tell you about all the time-he’s nice but really moody,” She explained. “Okay…” I replied and then waited for her to continue. “Well, on Instagram, he posted a picture of his new kitty (as a point of reference, ever since her birthday, the doll has been envious of every animal picture her friends have posted on Instagram) and I told him I thought his kitty was cute.” She began. “Emboldened that I commented about his kitty, he told me he liked me and wanted to know if we could get together this summer sometime. But I told him I would rather we just be friends…” She explained further. “You are aware you’re allowed to blame me…right?” I asked her. “Yeah, I just feel really bad that I turned him down…” She said as she sat down next to me.

Wrapping my arm around her shoulder and pulling her close, I replied, “Is this because of “J”? “No. I think this has more to do with his moodiness than anything else,” She replied. “Then don’t feel bad. Perhaps you’ll become better friends and see what develops from there,” I said and she nodded in agreement. A few days later, after she confided in her friend Heather, she told me, “Heather and Jacob are friends and she told me not to feel bad for turning him down–in that he’s not a very nice boyfriend”. “Perhaps your instincts were right then?” I offered and she shrugged, but was decidedly more relaxed by her decision.

“Plus…this leaves more time to pursue “J”” I said, knowing full well what her response would be. “MOM!!!” She said and then we both began to laugh.

****

migration season…

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White Throated Sparrow

This Saturday, the boy and his best friend Alexa, will accompany me out to Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, located along the banks of Great Lake Erie to participate in the annual Warbler bird migration across the Great Lakes. But I have to tell you, I’m chomping at the bit to get out there now… The wide variety of birds usually hang out for about two weeks before continuing on and we are at the end of that two week jaunt. “You like birds more than us…” My doll interrupted as I busily focused my camera lens before snapping a picture near one of our feeders the other night “Hush!” I said before adding, “The birds are more exciting and colorful than you two…” Which as you might expect, resulted in my shoulder connecting with her slapping hand, accompanied by, “Nice mom, nice”.

Female Grosbeak waiting on a friend.

To be fair, what began as my attempt to connect with my son (his love of birding) has blown up into my own love of birds and their migratory habits. For instance, who knew there was so much difference between a white crowned sparrow versus and white throated sparrow versus an singing sparrow versus a female grosbeak? I mean seriously, not long ago, I figured they were all the same bird. Yet, just like everything else in this world, diversity rules and the many birds who fly through this area in early May are as diverse as they come and their little nuances make for some excitement-especially when they don’t hang around this area long.

Honey, I’m home…#NorthernFlicker

 

So until I can get out to the Marsh this weekend, I’ll have to be content taking Mr. L and Mrs. K out to the many Metroparks, Window’s on Wildlife centers in the hope of seeing someone out of the ordinary.

Is this a bird, or a plane or a…?

 

 

 

 

Senior Week…

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When I picked the kids up from school on Friday, the doll came to the car and said, “The boy’s going to take a while coming out, he’s busy collecting signatures on his shirt”. “On his what?” I asked not sure what I heard. “His classmates are signing his shirt,” She explained. When he emerged from the school, his smile was wider than his face, “Mom, my shirt is covered in signatures…” He said with a laugh. “Really?” I asked, as I turned around to see him open his coat and reveal his heavy signature laden shirt. “Lord, is that your entire class?” I asked admiring the number of visible signatures. “No, I’m going to bring it back on Monday to get the rest,” He explained before adding, “This kicks off Senior week…the last full week of school before finals and graduation,” at which his sister added, “Yeah, he gets to wear jeans to school all next week”.

Time seemed to stand still for a moment when the boy said, *Senior Week* and then it felt as if all the air was released from my belly when  *The last full week of school before finals and graduation* came from his lips. All this ragamaround filling out paperwork, applying for loans, applying for colleges, pushing to do his homework, pushing him to essentially get out of his own way of success… all is coming to an end and I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel.

“But don’t worry mom, I won’t be wearing the shirt–that would be gross…” He said which brought me back to the present. “Well, we can all thank God you finally figured that out,” I added and he agreed with a chuckle.

****

This morning, after yelling for the kids to get up for school (as they slept through their alarms), the boy and I continued our daily morning ritual of arguing about his time management; I came to an important conclusion. Next year, I will not miss screaming at my son to take a five minute shower to wash both his hair and essentials while he yells back how impossible a task such as this is.

No sir, I will not miss this daily dumb, morning ritual.  Instead I will embrace the here and now and say, “Hurrah, for Senior week!!!”

Hurrah indeed.

kids and their ways….

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Yesterday, on our way to  the grocery store, something I said to Mrs. K, made her reply excitedly, “You’re right?” I smiled back at her and said, “Maybe with you, but never to my kids–just ask them!” Which made her laugh and agree, “Yes, parents are always wrong with teenagers.

Later that day, while at the grocery store, we ran into an old acquaintance of mine with whom I introduced to Mrs. K. “Does she take care of you?” Sandy, my friend asked her. “Oh very well, yes,” Mrs. K replied. “She must be like a daughter to her,” Sandy replied and I cut in and said, “Oh no, better because she let’s me boss her around,” Which made Mrs. K giggle. “That’s true…” She added. “When was the last time you let your kids boss you around?” I asked and we all smiled in reply. “Exactly! No, Mrs. K and I have a great relationship…” Before we parted company.

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The kids don’t have school today due to testing for the Junior class. Yesterday, the doll, luxuriating on the couch turned to me and said, “Tomorrow, I’m going to eat pancakes and lay around all day. ALL.DAY!” Looking incredulously at my daughter, I said, “What make this different from any other day on the weekend?” Without missing a beat, she replied, “It will take place on a Wednesday…”

*****

When I arrived home for the evening, I found two kids laying on the couch and sofa, lost in whatever was playing on their devices. Meanwhile, the dishwasher I had asked them to empty, still contained all their dishes. “Hey, so I ask you to empty the dishwasher and instead I get to kids engaged on the internet, ignoring me? What the heck?” The boy immediately said, “Dollll?” “Why are you pointing the finger at me?” She asked. “Because I nominated you for the job and Dad agreed you’d be perfect for the job…” Dad, seated next to the doll looked at the boy and said, “Leave me out of this”.  The doll who did not take kindly to her brother’s reply said, “Why don’t you get off your lazy butt-you who never does anything?”

“I know…” I began, “why don’t you both get up off your lazy butts, get in the kitchen and unload the dishwasher!” I interjected. The doll immediately popped to her feet and continued to yell at her brother as she walked into the kitchen. “NO I DON’T WANT HIM IN HERE WITH ME. HE NEVER LOADS OR UNLOADS THE DISHES. HE NEVER GETS INTO TROUBLE, EVER!” “I beg to differ, in fact he loaded the dishwasher the other day,” I replied. “No he didn’t!” She argued, refusing to back off her position. “Doll, you made dinner right? What did you do with the dirty pots and pans?” I asked and waited an eternity (ten seconds) for a reply.  “Yeah, he loaded them while I cleaned up the stove and counter. Quit your pity party. I mean hell, I don’t ask you to do that much around here… I mean you’re both in charge of keeping the downstairs bathroom clean, but it looks like a hurricane came through in there,” I added. “I DO CLEAN THE BATHROOM IF YOU DIDN’T KNOW!” “No you don’t, otherwise….” I began but was cut off by her angry reply “I CLEAN THE BATHROOM ONCE A MONTH!”

“Funny, I didn’t know germs only accumulated once a month…” I replied and then made the boy go clean the bathroom, while his sister unloaded the dishwasher. “Good God you two,” I muttered under my breath,