Yesterday was a good day.
Leo spent the afternoon at Parkland registering for classes. He texted me at one point, while he was waiting for an appointment, and sent me a picture of his new ID. He said, “I know you’ll want to see this so I’ll just show this to you now.” I, of course, excitedly said, “I LOVE IT!” and he calmly replied, “of course you do.” I love that boy so much. Thing #1. He seems pleased with his classes too…well, except the required public speaking class…ha. It’s exciting to see him moving to this next phase of life. I remember he liked middle school more than grade school, and high school more than middle school…the more autonomy he gets, the better. Then he can just go about things in his quiet, competent way. We’re busy planning for his fall…talking about cars and busses and schedules and a laptop to use. I’m so proud of who Leo is. I don’t write as much about him here because I try to respect his privacy, but Leo is an utter joy to me. I also understand Leo as we are so much alike. The other day I was recounting a childhood story of mine to Owen and he was laughing at me and saying, “Mom, that’s crazy, why didn’t you just ASK your grandfather for the red metal cup when he got you a coke?” I replied, “Think of Leo,” and he immediately said, “Ohhhhh, yeah, I see.” Leo and I, we understand each other pretty well.
Thing #2, well, he’s a whole different kettle of fish. As I commented on Facebook earlier, “He may be the death of me, but it will be a fun ride.” He’s delighted with his new glasses, particularly with the clip-on sunglasses. He thinks that’s hysterical.
I love them both so much, and all I want is happiness in life for them. I know that’s a lot to ask of life though; it’s not so easy for many of us to find happiness, at least when we need it the most. I was horrified by the news of Anthony Bourdain’s suicide this morning. I was blearily trying to wake up, as this medication really knocks me out, but once I looked at the news on my phone all sleepiness vanished. I keep reading the news stories over and over, thinking one of them will be different or explain it so it makes sense. The pain of depression doesn’t make sense though so I know I won’t find that. I am so utterly saddened by this news. I read about other deaths, like Kate Spade’s just this week, and was saddened, but Anthony Bourdain? That hits close to home. He felt like one of us. I pray my boys don’t ever find themselves in that dark place.
My beloved sweet peas.
RIP Anthony Bourdain.
I find it hard to believe that my sweet Leo has officially graduated high school. I thought he might say he didn't want to do the ceremony but he DID and I think he was kind of excited. Thank God it wasn't held at Central, with no air conditioning, and instead at Krannert Center's Great Hall....a lovely space. He didn't even grumble about me taking pictures.
All I could think was of his first day of kindergarten. I remember sitting, waiting for a staff meeting at the museum to start, and oversharing, as I am wont to do. Somebody asked me if I had shown him how to open a carton of milk, and all I could think was, "OH MY GOD....I DID NOT ADEQUATELY PREPARE MY BABY!" He of course did fine, and his classroom had a train set so all was good. And seemingly overnight, there we were, at Krannert, waiting for the class to walk in. It was surprisingly moving. I just am so proud of Leo, the person he is, that I can hardly bear it. My sweet boy. My sweet man. Wow.
And I did pretty good at the ceremony...a little wobbly here and there...but did ok. I feel like I'm doing a bit better....off to see the doctor on Monday to talk more. For now though, all I can do is stare at my guy.
I know the world is busy outside...a really busy weekend in Champaign, but it's quiet in my house, well, at least since Owen left for band practice. Lord that child will be the death of me. BIG conversation about grades this week. He looked and me and calmly said, "I just don't care." And I said something to the effect of, "I DON'T CARE THAT YOU DON'T CARE." Brilliant parenting, huh? An email from a teacher said he was always nice and agreeable but didn't follow through. I just shook my head and thought, "welcome to my world." Owen saw it as a positive, "Look, she says I'm nice and agreeable!" I just glared at him. Then he and Ernie dragged out some old camcorders from the basement and we found a tape of the boys running around outside when they were somewhere around 1 and 3 years old. So different and so much the same.
This little sandbox video might actually be from the day that they kept arguing over the sandbox and I finally, in my great parenting wisdom, said, "Now look, this half of the sandbox is for Owen, this half is for Leo." I went back in the house and came out later to find Owen in distress because Leo had scooped all the sand into his side of the sandbox. As he reasonably pointed out, I had told him to share the sandbox, not the sand. Ah, my sweet peas.
Picked up on Sunday
I slept late today, late enough that I feel I lost some of the day, but I seem to be needing lots of sleep. I am feeling better, less dizzy, fewer headaches. More tests and appointments this week, but I will head back to work tomorrow. Today, another quiet day. I was sorry to miss John Prine last night, and my beloved Fats Kaplin, but happy Ernie and Owen got to go, and Owen's friend and bandmate David/Guthrie. I wish I could have seen John Prine dancing around his guitar, but that's o.k., I have it in my head now.
Two of my favorite boys, they even share a birthdate.
I am officially a bad parent. I haven’t scheduled the Fall parent teacher conferences. At this point I know to a T what will be said in them. They’ll say Leo is a good student but isn’t good at asking for help if he needs (See: apple and tree). They usually seem to like him because he meets their eyes and smiles at their jokes. He’s a nice boy that Leo is. Sometimes they’ll throw in a wildcard like telling me he is funny but that’s pretty much it. Owen’s teachers will smile and sigh at the same time, and tell me he’s bright and a good student but he’s not so good at getting his work in. Then we all usually end up laughing at something they say he said or that we tell him that he said. We leave and get ready to do the exact same thing all over again the following semester. Eh. I’m just a bit worn down. How the hell do people do this with lots of children?
I’ve got a busy week coming up. Lots to do at work, then Thursday evening off to Space in Evanston to see the Flamin Groovies, then back probably that night, work meetings and events on Friday, work all day Saturday at our Open House and then have to attend a couple of work events on Sunday, then another week at work and then BOOM, Peter Case and the debut of the Taxi Boys. And then it’s November. Help!
Oh, by the way, I've been listening to Peter Case's newest album, Hwy 62. God it's good.
In the spirit of fall…do we call this Native American Corn now?
And yes, this would look better if the laundry wasn’t at the table, but I try to be honest, for better or worse….
You gotta love a teacher who says to your kid, "We love your parents, and you know you are driving them crazy, right?" I giggled and giggled, which I was able to do as he brought his grade up somewhat. Geesh.
Life is so damned unexpected and that just never ends, now does it? I guess I thought it would end and we'd be able to see around the corner. Where I got that I got that idea I just don't know.
If anybody needs some hostas, please let me know and you can come dig up a few.
I'm so tired I can't see straight.
Reportedly it takes Health Alliance 3-15 business days to approve tests.
Emails from teachers. The teachers are great to reach out but I'm at my wit's end and don't even know what to do about things.
I have no idea what to do.
I have no idea what to do.
Sometimes I google that to see if I'll get some inspirations.
Trying to figure out a low FODMAP diet. Jesus H. Christ. They're telling me not to eat garlic or onion or asparagus. I can't even wrap my head around it. I feel personally INSULTED on behalf of asparagus.
I refused to try to get a stool sample this morning. I announced that I just wasn't up for it. Leo asked me to please stop talking about it. I told him to just remember that life is very undignified and much of it seems to revolve around poop. Of course if we hadn't had children and cats perhaps that wouldn't stay with me quite so much, but I didn't tell him that. He just shook his head and went to school.
As much as I want to kill Owen, he's set up the photos on all our messages so that his comes up with this picture:
and Leo's messages come with this picture:
It's all you can do anyway.
Getting ready in the mornings with two boys with very different approaches to being on time is interesting. Well, make that three boys. And interesting isn't the half of it. Yesterday morning we couldn't get Owen to get going. Ernie finally told him they were leaving without him. I continued to try to get him out of the house to no avail. Ernie came back and I said, "He's not ready, we're going without him." Ernie said when he got home Owen was waiting, thinking he was going to get a ride to school. When Ernie explained that he had forfeited that, he was shocked and said, get this, "but I'll be late." Needless to say he walked to school.
Last night he was over at a friend's house (no school today) and he got home at twilight. Ernie and I were sitting in the yard. I'd found a library book on my laptop and was reading because God knows I wasn't up for the news. Owen ran in the house and came back with his Mother's Day present. He made me a cutting board in school. I had told him I wanted to win the Nick Offerman cutting board but I didn't...so he made me a cutting board.
It's gorgeous. Utterly gorgeous.
And thus, he survives.
My sweet pea.
My sweet, sweet pea.
There's a strange feeling of limbo, or timelessness, when spending time with someone after surgery. Ernie's still in a fair amount of pain, trying to take just enough pain medication to dull it without completely knocking himself out. It means he drifts in and out of a light sleep. I'm in the other room reading. I check on him periodically but mostly I sit here with the faint sound of the tv floating into the room. The fact that he's watching a Buster Keaton movie and so it's the soundtrack to a silent movie that I hear makes it all the harder to feel as though I'm in my regular life.
Today, perhaps I'll drag him out with me when I go to pick up our vegetables. I need to get Owen to work after school, Leo and his physics project home safely and over to Sue's to check on the cats. Somehow I have no other goals for this week. I've checked in on my work email and am now content to sit and read a mystery set in Eastport, Maine and sip iced tea.
Last night the boys were up late with Owen helping Leo with his Physics project. After we went to bed they headed out to the garage and dug out a drill that Leo said, "had to be from the 40's." I looked at everything spread over the kitchen peninsula this morning and just smiled. I didn't even nag them about not putting it away. They both spend plenty of time in their own rooms with the doors shut. It seems the doors open and they go back and forth only after we are in bed. I'm always happy if I get up to go to the bathroom and find the hall light on and both doors open. I don't bother them but just creep back to bed quietly.
That's enough random thoughts....back to Eastport I go....
reading about Eastport made me miss Maine...here's a shot of the blueberry barrens near Cherryfield, taken only last year...seems much longer ago....
Friday seems a million miles away right now. I must push through the week somehow. Last night I hated the whole world and skipped dinner. Instead I ate a couple of roasted shrimp and a handful of pecans and downed a margarita. It was that kind of night. Judi liked margaritas...I only drank them with her. It was her birthday on Saturday so we bought a bottle of cheap margaritas in her memory. So, after a long interaction with a child that explained to me that he COULD get all A's but he just didn't see the benefit of it, I said to Ernie, "GET me a margarita! NOW." He obliged.
One should never give birth to children that can talk circles around you.
Or are more stubborn than you.
I actually stayed calm though.
But I needed that freaking margarita.
On to Eric and Peter and Thomm!
I'm doing a vaguely Chinese spread....sesame noodles with shrimp, hoisin pork with rice and a bunch of vegetables. Bring anything you like! Can't wait!
This song, a cover of a Guy Clark song, is stuck in my head....
Can't wait to see our guys.
16-20 size shrimp, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted in a 425 degree oven for eight minutes. You can tell how bad a mood I was in that I didn't devour them all....