Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Generous Heart

You know that awkward moment when the teacher puts you on the spot in front of 23 kids? Guh. Why do they do that? 

Mason's kindergarten teacher -- who we like very much -- invited me to be a part of a tradition she does during a student's birthday week. Basically it's some form of show-and-tell every day of an entire week. Gratefully she gave Mason a short week. 

I'm sure you can guess her reasons. During the presentation of his life on a poster board -- 5 years condensed into 10 photographs -- he stared directly at the poster board and read word for word the captions I had written. These captions said things like, "My brother Cooper and I built a replica of the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster." and "I volunteered to paint the cafeteria last fall." Come on, the kid was reading it having never rehearsed it! I was both totally proud and somewhat aching at the awkwardness.

His teacher wanted him to improvise, however, and was trying to get him to talk into a microphone. Hated it. But he endured. Oh that's when sweet kindergarten teacher said, "I'm going to ask your mom to list some of the reasons she loves you so much." 

Is this a test? Am I supposed to cry? Or am I supposed to let things just eloquently roll off my tongue like a Hallmark card? Pah-lease. I decided blubbering would be frowned upon. Basically I said, but I can't remember exactly what I said because I was mostly concentrating on not crying....

1.  When Mason was born, one of the reasons he stayed at the hospital (they had just seen his grotesque NICU picture) so long is that he had what is called a generous heart. Generous is a word we use when we mean big. He was born with a big heart and he still has a big heart. He is kind and gentle and generous of his time, and his things. He never wants to leave out someone. 

2.  Have you ever noticed Mason doesn't talk as much as some of your other friends? (Can I tell you how many times small boogery children point out this when I'm in the classroom volunteering?) And when he does talk he speaks very quietly? Well, I call this soft spoken and it is one of my favorite things about him because I know he listens to others before speaking. When he does speak, he means what he says. 

3.  And last, he's creative and I love creative people

And here is where Mason interrupted me and said, "What about those LEGO crayons?!?!" What a transition! Basically he gracefully got me off the hook and allowed me to stop talking and start handing out tiny LEGO men made of melted crayons. He then bragged about me while I bragged about him. It was excellent. 

Tonight, as tradition dictates, I tucked in 5-year-old Mason for the last time and said good bye. sniff sniff. Thankfully Mason, reassured me with, "I'll still be the same person tomorrow." And just as I'm wishing they didn't grow so quickly I'm reminded of a conversation I very recently had with Mason. 

He asked, "Mom, do some kids grow up and never leave their mom's houses?"

Tentatively I answer, "Yes. Why? Do you think you wanna do that?"

"Well, I been thinking about it. " And that was the last I heard of that. Until today when he twisted off the stem of his apple in 29 turns and declared that is when he would get married. Great. Idea. 

PS -- I'll be writing about the party on my sewing blog later this week.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

How Was Your Weekend?

9:51 a.m.
Depart Snake River Landing where we had breakfast with the siblings and their families.

Once we hit the freeway and can see fields with irrigation pipes rotating along I ask, “What was your favorite part about Idaho?”

Cooper: Do we have to tell you? Don't you already know?

Mason: Going in grandpa's boat.

Mom: No [in answer to Coop], if you want to keep your thoughts to yourself, you can.

Cooper: It was playing with Baby Henry.

Mom: Awwwwwwww.

A disgusted, "I've got pop-rock on my cheek" from the backseat. Mason and Cooper loved the treat Uncle Trent got them at the sweet shop. 

At 11:30 I decide to stick my finger into one of the tubs of delicious fudge my brother bought for the kids. Which then makes me spontaneously laugh as I remember the midnight meme review. 

Mason screams from the backseat as we pass the mountains in Morgan. He has noticed the mountain monogram and clearly considers it a welcome sign to the rest of our journey.

Stop for gas and McDonald’s in Evanston. This was a highly anticipated stop for the boys. They had begged for McDonald’s all week after a TV commercial announced that Paul Frank toys came in Happy Meals. But I had staved them off knowing they may have to eat there twice in one day. But when the time came, we basically forced ourselves to go there to keep our promise. When they got their toys, they shrugged their shoulders and marched right back up to the counter and asked if they could trade them in! Stinkers.

Leave Evanston.

Stop for a gas up and bathroom break in Laramie. This is quick and mainly because the gas station is one of THE worst I’ve ever seen. But alas, not THE worst because that honor belongs to a small joint in Wolcott, Wyo. Or maybe Sinclair, Wyo. But for now, I’ll tell you about Wolcott. Remember when we stopped there and it was closed? And then we stopped there again and I had to wait in line for the stall. While I was waiting I could hear a woman of advanced age (you may ask how I knew this, I could see her feet) was mumbling and grumbling. Then there was a gasp, a thump, and the stall door flew open. The woman then began to curse, lamenting with specific disdain the size of the toilet and the stall. The poor thing had tried to sit down on the toilet, which was very small, and had lost her balance. Then her head hit the stall door very hard, in fact hard enough to make the door fly open, as she dropped the last few inches to the commode. I laughed until I nearly peed.

When it was my turn, I found that indeed the toilet was low. With my quads and my OCD I wasn’t about to actually sit on it. But even in a state of careful air chair, I found it hard not to find the stall door with the top of my head. The other yucky feature of that bathroom is that while you were crouched in a position found only in martial arts films you were forced to look straight down the bathroom drain pipe which had no grate cover. Bad situation.

Cross the Colorado state line while Rio is playing for the second time today.

After struggling with our rear-seat entertainment system (in-car DVD) I hand the remote to Cooper and order him to fix it. This was met with what we’ll call mild resistance or rather a fuming 7-year-old who shouted, “I. Am. Not. A. Tech. Nology. Expert!” I think it’s time we all got out of this car.

Pull into our neighborhood. As we pass familiar and much missed sites – Super Target, Five Guys, Runner’s Roost, Safeway – I sigh and ask the boys what they are going to do when we get home?

Mason answers, “Brush our teeth, and go to bed!” Enough said.