Saturday, March 29, 2014

"Hi, Mom!"

You know when the camera is on the sports player and they make the big play and then they smile and wave and say, "Hi, Mom!" My husband always grumbles, 'What about Dad?'  Well I may have figured it out, well, I probably already knew, but now I have definitive evidence.

Last week when the JV baseball team had a tournament in the middle of nowhere Oregon, about an hour and 20 min drive, I packed up the other kids on the first day and we prepared to spend the day at the ball park, which we did.  It was sunny and 60s, a rare treat for the first day of spring break in Oregon.

The second day the two kids not playing baseball gave me the, "Are you kidding me?" look as I asked them if they wanted to come along.  Pouring rain, wind, 40 degrees.  So off I went, dressed like I was headed to the mountain to ski, wearing more clothes than anyone should have to this time of year.  I tried hard not to have unkind thoughts about my friends in Mexico, Palm Springs and other sunny climes.

By the end of the first game during which there was a complete downpour and hurricane force winds I was frozen and wet.  My helpful husband was texting me minute by minute weather radar updates as to when the next downpour would occur.  He is so kind!

There was a break in the games so everyone went their separate ways for lunch.  When we returned at the prescribed time the game we were to follow was in the 9th inning, high school usually plays 7, and the score was 1 to 1.  The field was a mud pit and the rain was coming down in sheets.  When the winning run was scored the rain let up slightly.  They prepped the field for our game.

Since I had been sitting in the warm and toasty van, knitting away as I waited for the start, I put all of my winter apparel back on, got my umbrella and this time even added a blanket to the ensemble.  My husband texted the next weather update, 'all yellow and red on the radar', if you aren't up on the weather radar lingo, that's not good!

The parents headed toward the ball field like lemmings trying to find a spot out of the wind while waiting for the, 'Play Ball!' to be called. Then a true miracle occurred! Who says praying doesn't help? They called the game! Silent rejoicing among the adults.  Shuffling back to the van in my fashionable attire my 15 year old caught me up, "Thanks for coming." he said and kissed me on the cheek regardless of who would see. One more wave as he climbed in the car with his friends.

"Hi, Mom!" question answered.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tales of the most embarrassing mother

I have two teenagers now and I am acutely aware of the whole, parents are horribly embarrassing no matter what they do, wear or say, phenomenon.  I do try not to be too noticeable when with them in public, however I do reserve the right to publicly humiliate them in the name of appropriate behavioral expectations.

I do not care if they are with friends or not.  I have friends, I don't need more.  I will call them out if they are not performing up to the standards to which I am accustomed. We've been together for 14 and 15 years now, we should all have it down.

When these incidents occur the 10 yr old usually looks on amused and silent, taking notes on how not to get publicly humiliated.  Being #3 he is really good at this activity.  #1 and #2 prefer to attempt to campaign and negotiate themselves into a punishment far worse than the one I had originally planned on.  Now in my next life when I am queen of the universe we will be equipped with referee whistles for these kinds of interactions so everyone is abundantly clear when the discussion is over.  For now I give them 'the look'.  It has a 75%, well maybe 50% success rate.

It is becoming clear to me lately though that I am on the receiving end of my own array of 'looks'.  Almost all of them are to be interpreted as, 'OMG! Mother, you are killing me and any chance I will ever have to appear semi-normal to people outside our immediate family'.

Now as I was saying I'm aware of the acute anxiety they have, so I try not to dress like a total mom, but not too much like them either.  I attempt to be appropriately groomed if we are going to be in the same state together in swimsuits.  I try not to dance in public (it's hard sometimes) and I do try not to always listen the the 70s or 80s channels on the radio. Last week though new heights were reached in the area of teen aged parent induced embarrassment.

I have come to believe that the neighbors watch us leave the house in the morning for the sheer entertainment value.  I feel compelled to say that these are people that don't have children yet or have children all under the age of 10.  Their time will come.  On this morning the three kids and I were flying out the door.  All of us laden with the necessities of the day; lunches, sports bags, backpacks, water bottles and for me my uneaten oatmeal in a to-go container.

We set out to drop the oldest at the high school with his gigantic baseball bag.  Half way there, "Damn!" I exclaimed. "What?" the three chimed, "Oh, I forgot my oatmeal."  Then as I slowed for the stop light, a growing revelation that I hadn't forgotten the oatmeal, it was on the roof of the van!, complete with a spoon.  "I think it's on top of the van" I said.  "NO it's not!" the oldest stated, terror creeping across his face.  As if saying it definitively would make it so.  "I think it is.  I haven't seen it fall off in the rear views." - Yes I really use them.

We have now entered the drive at the front of the high school. He is horrified that there may be a container of oatmeal on the top of the van.  Stepping out he leaned back in the open door, "It's still there." he mumbled shut the door and went to retrieve his equipment from the back.  I leaned out and snatched it, spoon and all.  "Yay! It's still warm." I'm easy to please.

Extreme eye rolling and pretending not to know the obviously mentally ill woman driving the red van, as he entered the school. "Really, Mom?" was the only response from the 14 year old, who seems to be getting a PhD in sarcasm with minors in eye rolling, huffy breathing and looking indignant.  This I believe is a correspondence course given by the 15 year old.  "It's like a science experiment!" exclaimed the 10 year old.  "It is!" I cheered.  Since there had been a heavy dew overnight the moisture had formed some sort of suction with the bottom of the oatmeal container.  Eye rolling from the 14 year old - she is a great student.

But in the eyes of the 10 year old I am some sort of scientific super mom, able to perform experiments on the way to school, while driving.  Only three short years until I am horrifying him on a daily basis.  Life is short.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Writing with a family

People ask me, 'How do you get everything done?' 'When do you find time to write and everything else?'  The honest answer is, I really don't know.  I guess sometimes it really is like that saying, 'God only gives you what you can handle.' or maybe it is just the usual three ring circus of all families. There are millions more things I would love to do, learn, try, but you have to draw the line somewhere right?  So I continue to sew which I have been doing since I was 9 or so, needle work like cross stitch and embroidery, stamp cards and gift tags, knitting (couldn't stop if I tried), running and working out, cooking dinner for my family and friends when I make time to make sure the bathrooms are clean and then just the general everyday running of the house and family.  School, practices (there are too many to name!), dental and dr appts, volunteering at school and in the community, groceries, laundry, bills, dog walking, well you get the idea and you know how it is the list truly never ends.

Getting it done sometimes goes like this.  After all three children had returned from play practice and baseball for both boys, dinner was cleaned up, the dishwasher running and a load of laundry started, my husband and I both had a moment to sit down.

So while the 15 year old worked on a research paper in the family room, the 14 year old walked the dog and the nine year old shot baskets in his room (don't ask) the two of us retired to the living room. My husband is currently working on short story/ screen play which requires him to do some research on i tunes, specifically John Tesh (again, don't ask).  I'm kind of old school with my writing, so many times there is a hand written work that I have scribbled down on the fly, at swimming lessons, a baseball game, colorguard competition that needs to be transcribed.  My plan for this moment of calm was to transcribe a humorous essay I had written last weekend, reformat a short story I had written a few weeks ago to possibly enter it in a writing contest and catch up on the DVR.

Yes I watch TV, I admit it.  I have no lofty morals about the evils of the small screen.  We all need to escape sometimes, but if you remember I have rules about things. TV watching occurs while folding laundry, catching up on emails, knitting, crafting or multitasking in some other way.

I settled on the sofa, fired up the laptop, hit play on my favorite cop show and started typing.  In the background (use your imagination here) John Tesh played while my husband laughed to himself, typing away, the basketball repeatedly clunked and slammed into the backboard as the dining room ceiling sounded as it was going to come crashing down, the washer beeped, the dryer tumbled, all backed up by the shushing sound of the dishwasher.

Now I know that they say if you are going to write, to be a writer you need a dedicated space.  You need to set aside time and be be regimented in your schedule so that you write everyday in your most inspiring and productive space.  Well I guess my dedicated space is anywhere that my life is currently opening up a window of opportunity to get the words down, whether they're hand written or on the computer you can't stop the ideas from coming and when they arrive you just have to get them down.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Good News!

After texting my friends that I was now officially old because my 15 year old had just gone on his first date I received this response.

"You're not officially old until he drives you to one of your doctors appointments. This is my newly lowered expectation".

My response was, 'Nice! I'll take it'. I guess it's all about perspective.