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My own behind was numb from an indoor plastic chair on the pool deck when my daughter bobbed up from the kiddie pool and gave the news.  “We found a weanus tickler, she said.”

Which is why I’d like to talk about 14 different emotions at the same time.  Only I won’t, except to say that I had them and to add that had someone else been seated in a chair beside me pretending to read a magazine, I’d’ve fainted.

My daughter went on.  “The jets,” she said.

By which time I let out a pathetic half- laugh that really meant, “Uh…somebody help me here,” but came out, “um, honey, let’s leave the jets alone.”  

I’d have dismissed the whole thing had my son, on my next breath, not been standing in front of one of the pool jets with the front of his swim trunks down.

Which is when I squeaked, “son, put your pants back on,” but meant, “YOUNG MAN, BACK AWAY FROM THE JETS!”

Heh.

I think the grin on my face might be permanent.  The smirk certainly is.

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At six o’ clock last night I ceased parenting.  At least effectively.

The Gonzaga men’s basketball team, whom I’ve yet to see play–even on t.v….in something like decades…was, well, playing.  Which, I’m sure, is a normal occurence in the winter. 

Only last night’s game meant a little bit more.  As in the winning team would walk on air to the NCAA tournament.  And though I couldn’t identify a single player on the team, nor do I have a vested interest in Gonzaga,  I suddenly couldn’t miss this…because…

because Gonzaga needed one more person inches from the screen biting her nails.

The only weird thing?  

Me.  Trying to work a remote.  And parent from my peripheral.

Heh…I did my best…

to watch the game, that is.

And my kids…

my kids poked around their imagination, and came up with a way to shove everything from their suitcases, plus a hotel towel or two, down their pajamas and still zip the things up.

Uh…hard to be prouder.  Which is why I present…two hefty looking children who–bless their hearts–let their mother enjoy a basketball game.

 

Memory Lane

It wasn’t so much that I played a rousing game of Memory tonight.  Or that my son, with whom I played, kept checking on the same two pieces only to find they were still not matches.

No…no…it wasn’t that.

It was that the game–the box, the lid, the square pictures, the whole thing–was mine.   From, uh, three decades ago.

Which says something, I suppose.  About my mom.  Who…

who had no business saving a game ain’t nobody played since the second grade.  Only she did.  Which makes me smile.  Because… there’s just something I can’t quite articulate about turning over the same cards with my son that I once cherished in my four-year-old heart.

I could not have forseen this moment.  Nor planned it even yesterday.

My game. My kid. My Our joy.

Thanks, Mom.

The same child who barfed on the gym floor of the YMCA at 1:15 p.m., in the van on the way home and twice more before 11 p.m.  en route to grandma’s house is also the child who perked up this morning at 6:51 and announced in my left ear that he was starving.   “Stuh…R…ving.”

By which time he skittered out of our room and returned two exhales later with an unopened carton of milk and a ziploc bag with pickles.

His breath said he’d already had a pickle.  And the milk…well, the milk just needed to be anywhere but on my chest.  Which was when I got up…and followed the child whapping his pickle bag on the wall, to the kitchen. 

That he would settle on cereal was just as well.  We didn’t have ice cream.  And we try to save ketchup for later.  Much later.

As the only other person awake, I was the sole witness to my son’s mini buffet, which went like this:  bite of pickle;  bite of cereal.  And then a repeat of the pickle-cereal cycle until two pickles were nubs and the cereal just a bunch of floaties.

Only all this means nothing.  Except to say that the same child who just hugged me smelling like chips has apparently made peace with his stomach.

Granted our kitchen floor isn’t a place I’d recommend a picnic.  But it was the place where everything converged.  In the seconds it took me to dial long distance, my son who’d demonstrated all morning what a perpetual whine could sound like, showed up with his dump truck and a load of books.

My daughter had an urgent question about, well, nothing very urgent.  And just when the lady on the other line answered, the cat scooted through the flap on the cat door and flopped down his fourth bird this week. 

On the kitchen floor.

I pointed hard enough at my son and his dump truck to stop the truck in mid-roll…and wrench my shoulder.   I narrowed my eyebrows at my daughter who made eye contact on the third time she asked her question.  And I rifled through the bottom cabinet for a pair of leather gloves to remove the bird whose heartbeat–dog gone it–was still perceptible and whose death on my kitchen floor was the last thing I wanted.

By the time I’d tossed the limp bird out the back door and had mopped the floors where the bird had wriggled, there wasn’t a soul in sight whimpering for my attention.

But then…

I was no longer on the phone.

Beep Beep

He wasn’t there long.  Just a brief burst through the door.  Five seconds or so.

But with his hand still twisting the knob, our son, our soon-to-be four year old announced with firework excitement, “I just told the truth!”

By which time my husband and I looked at each other, nodded without snickering, and then praised the heck out of the kid who tooted his own horn.

We ain’t much for traffic.  But this kind of ‘honking’…heh…we figure we can handle.

Almost Generous

Webster gives such a tidy definition for generous: freely giving or sharing.  Sort of pocket-size. 

I like it.

And I’d like to think my kids understand what it means to be generous…the kind of generous that blesses the socks off of someone else…but I’m…

I’m not sure they’ve got it down just yet. 

The sourdough bread crusts my daughter said were too tough for her teeth were freely given back to me in the kitchen on an otherwise clean plate with the words, “you can have these, mom.”

That both our toothbrushes are blue was reason enough for my son to ask generously this morning if I wanted to trade with him.  As I declined, I graciously yanked mine out of his hands and rinsed it for two minutes under hot water.

When I opened the new sour cream, my son generously volunteered his finger to do the repeat sampling.  Quadruple dipping, if you will.

My daughter thought of 14 reasons why her brother should not sleep in her bed despite his being too scared to fall asleep in his own room.  However, she generously loaned him the floor by her bed, which he accepted and then zonked out tucked up like a beach ball in less than three minutes.

At the same time she didn’t share her bed with her brother, my daughter generously allowed the cat to stretch out beside her.  By which time she covered him with a blanket and he purred out of control.

A quarter of the way through sorting the clean silverware, my son decided that he would wrap the rest of the knives, forks and spoons in a towel and freely give them back to me to sort.

In the van, with threat of a time-out, my son generously allowed his sister to pass to her seat without ramming his boots on the passenger seat in front of him or causing a four minute ruckus.

My son, with unwashed potty hands, grabbed my cheeks and emptied his heart.  “I love you so much, mommy.  And I love daddy.  And I love sissy.”  And then as fast as he’d showed up, he zipped away to race a dump truck down the hallway.

Heh…do they ‘get’ it?  Not so much. 

But…dear Jesus…I pray that they will. 

I pray that they will understand that when they freely give or share, that they can’t help but be blessed as well.