Friday, April 20, 2007

Like Stuff?

I breezed by MamaLang's last month and she mentioned that Design Mom has RANDOM GIVEAWAYS! Today is another such giveaway. Some of the cutest baby clothes I have EVER laid eyes on. I do not need baby clothes, but I know there are a few of you expecting, or they would at least make a great gift for someone you know who is expecting. The winner is picked, randomly, (hence the name) from the comment pool. That's right, all you need to do is comment over at The Design Mom's blog, and you have a chance to win. Go check it out! And tell me if you don't secretly wish you were expecting! And Thank You! MamaLang! (and Design Mom!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

For What it's Worth

I've been reading posts, and comments on posts about the shooting spree of the student at Virginia Tech that resulted in his death and the deaths of 32 others at that school. Senseless violence are two of the words that come to mind when I think about this. Troubled youth. Gun laws. But more than anything, I can't keep my mind from wandering to the parents, and in particular the mothers of the students who fell victim to a troubled soul's homicidal action. Because I can't help but imagine myself in this type of situation. I imagine that I would feel great relief if my son chose to go to college over going to war. I have, and will only ever have, this one boy. If, when he is grown, he chooses to enlist in the military services, I doubt that I will ever sleep well again. But college, that's supposed to be a "safe" environment, right? How many of the parents whose children perished due to the senseless violence on Monday thought the same thing? During the age of conscription (the draft), college and grad students were exempt. The draft ended in 1973, but I think, for those who are old enough to have lived through those times, that sense of safety from the violence of war still lingers. Some of those who would have been eligible for the draft during the Vietnam War are the parents of college-age children today. It's bewildering, the thought that I can't guarantee my son's safety, that there are fears and monsters that I will not be able to banish. Right now, I want to believe that he is safe in our home, safe as long as we are with him, able to remain an innocent child blissfully ignorant of the pain and suffering in the world around him. Of course he will grow up, and like a kitten his eyes will open to the harsh light of the real world. Mama cat teaches her kittens how to defend themselves and prepares them to go off on their own. I have but one chance to get this right - one child to raise - and I know that my entire being would collapse and shatter and withdraw from everyone and everything if I ever lost him. My heart goes out to those parents who suffered such loss on Monday, and every single day we loose troops at war.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Home Again Home Again, Jiggety Jig

Sometimes, when I get home from a trip, I am so exhausted, and I am just the world's worst crank. Yet other times, when I get home from a trip, I'm still exhausted, but I find I have a lot more patience with Ben.

Maybe I'll put in a DVD, and Ben lets me take a nap while he watches it. Then later, when I'm making dinner, Ben checks the fridge for chocolate milk (not there) but finds his partially eaten pbj from yesterday, and carrot and celery sticks from today's lunch and says "Oh, I can eat these." And instead of saying, "Um, NO, I'm making noodles for dinner..." I say "Are you really hungry?" and he laughs, and says "Oh yes, I'm aaaaalways hungry!" We talk about going out for a walk to look at flowers after dinner. And even though I napped way longer than I intended, and it's after 7:00, I say, yes, a short walk after dinner to look at flowers would be nice.

I make noodles and Ben eats them and shares his carrots and celery with me. We put on our boots and coats and go outside for a walk. Ben picks a strawberry blossom (he puts it on Buddy's grave) and we pick Forget-Me-Nots and Candy Tuft and rosemary blossoms and head back into the house to put them in water.

Now it's after 8:00 and Ben has school tomorrow, but he needs a bath, so I fill the tub and tell him this is just a short bath with no toys. He says "Well, you could sit on my step stool and we could talk about stuff." "Stuff," like if the bathtub was a space ship. Or a double space ship. Or a "three" space ship. I teach him the word "triple."

When the bath's done he stays in the tub to watch the last drops swirl down the drain. Dried, dressed, and teeth brushed, we crawl under the covers for stories: a two year old issue of "Your Big Backyard" titled "Hoo! Here Come the Chimps" We read it form cover to cover. He's asleep by 9:15.

My husband is working the graveyard shift all week. By the time he gets home tomorrow morning he'll have been up for over 24 hours. During the 4 days I was away, I averaged about 4 hours of sleep each night. I am as amazed by my patience today as you probably are, maybe more as I know how I can be. I only hope I can keep riding this wave. Things run much smoother when I'm not so concerned about rules or schedules or, hey, nutrition. Pick your battles is my new mantra. Have fun with this delightful child. Enjoy him. He is precious and will not be a puppy forever.

"What's this machine called?" Ben asked earlier this evening.
"Uh, a post-it note dispenser?" I answered.
"Well, where are all its gears?!"
That's my boy.

still life with post-it note dispenser and flowers