Monday, May 30, 2011

Nathan Rides the Rails

Dear Son,
This weekend you were able to visit Thomas the Train as he visited the old Heber Valley Railway.  You were so excited to go with Mama, Daddy, Uncle Nate and Aunt Al.  You had been marking off the days on the calendar for weeks.

It was overpriced and chaotic and totally worth the look on your face.

Our coach window was open.  You put your hand out the window and touched the side of the coach.  "Mama," you said, "I'm TOUCHING Thomas.



It really was a perfect day.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Serpentine! Serpentine!

It happened again today.

I'm not sure if you're supposed to have a "favorite traffic interaction", but a single police car slaloming for all he's got to stop 6 lanes of traffic singled-handedly is totally my favorite traffic interaction.

There's something about watching people obey police officers that are just trying to help that makes me want to do the "STAND UP" portion of "I'm Proud to Be an American".

Except I'm driving and standing up would be bad.

Anyway, from the Countdowntohomecoming archives, I give you:  Police Improv

So there I am, in the commuter lane, minding my own business. Suddenly, on the far right lane, a highway patrol officer flips on his lights and his siren. He's only 2 cars ahead of me, so I'm RIGHT THERE for the action. I watch to see who he's going to pull over (and no, it was not me).

To all of our surprise, he begins slaloming back and forth across all 7 lanes of traffic. It's a weird thing to watch. At first you wonder if he's OK. It seems like some sort of automotive seizure. Then you frantically try to remember your Driver's Education days to see if they told you what this means and you remember that they only went over what to do when the lights and sirens are behind you and that slaloming was definitely NOT covered. Meanwhile, he's still slaloming and everyone's slowing down and trying to "SLOW" since that's what we think it means.

Of course, there's a couple of idiots who think that the entire freeway has spontaneously decided to drive 5 miles per hour for no good reason that start trying to whip around cars and get back up to the open space they can see. Seriously, friend in the white sports car... Think for two seconds. What are the odds that everyone - EVERYONE - would drive that speed simultaneously without reason. I know based on what you see on TV and music videos, sometimes it seems that people regularly break out into synchronized dance moves, but that doesn't really happen. Maybe you should get out more. People just aren't that organized.

I actually found myself talking to Mr. White Sports Car from inside my car. As I was yelling something like, "Pay attention! There's a policeman slaloming ahead! STAY BACK!" I realized that while I know the universal sign for choking, and I know what sign indicates "This is a McGruff house and it's safe to ask for help", I actually don't know enough signs to say "Police Slalom Ahead!!!" I really should have studied more Sign Language.

Which also makes me wonder how the police train for these types of things. I think they should have an improv class. It would be like, "OK, Officer Jenkins, you're up next. The scene is: Large debris on the freeway and you need to slow down all the lanes of traffic by yourself. Go!" and then Officer Jenkins would be like, "What's my motivation again?" and the teacher would be like, "Give me "Panic" and he'd be like, "OK. I'm ready" and then he'd start flipping on the lights and sirens and slaloming all over the place. And then everyone would clap at his brilliance except for Mr. White Sports Car who shouldn't be there anyway because this class is just for policemen.

Mr. White Sports Car really is an idiot.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pardon Me, Miss... Your Threat is Showing.

Dear Sweetness,
It's so fascinating to watch you reach different milestones.  Some of them are social.  Others are verbal.  Others are physical.

You've recently picked up on the "threat" option for inter-personal communication.  I'm sure it's from the elementary school aged kids that are there in the afternoon at your daycare.

You have the concept generally correct.  "When I don't get what I want, I will threaten something worse".  However, your execution leaves something to be desired.  Mostly from your side.  You don't realize that the threat is actually supposed to be something your audience will dread.

I give you an example:

You love trains.  Mama and Daddy and Nathan are going to ride the little local train up in the canyon in a couple of weeks.  Since I told you we had tickets and were going to do that in "14 sleeps", you've been using the potential of NOT riding the train to ME.

If you don't get what you want, you huff, fold your arms and say, "Fine then!  I can't wanna ride a train wit Mama and Daddy then!"


You don't realize that Mama and Daddy really don't care about riding the train.  On a scale from "1 to huge deal in OUR lives", it's on the "1 side."

If this were a card game and you said, "Do you have 'Not ride the train'?" I'd say, "Go fish".

That's just how it rolls when you're old, honey.

Similarly, last night you were your evil alter-ego, Señor Grumpy Pants.

Now, mind you, there have been occassions when you're having a total melt-down when Mama will say, "Should we say a prayer?" and I pick you up and hold you on my lap and we say a little prayer and ask for help to calm you down and help you feel better.

Now last night, Señor Grumpy Pants decided to THREATEN Mama.... WITH A PRAYER.

You said, "Fine then!  I'll fold my prayers!" and you huffed loudly and folded your arms, closed your eyes and bowed your head and said, very curtly and with staccato precision,  "Thank. you. for. my. Mama.  Thank. you. for. my. Daddy.  Thank. you. for. my. food.  Help. me. a. not. be. so. GRUMPY.  A-MEN!!"  and then you looked at me triumphantly with a "take that, woman!" glare.

I hope you didn't notice how fiercely I was biting my lip.

I said, "Wow... you SHOWED me!  Mama will think twice before making you dinner again.  Please don't ever PRAY in my general direction again, Nate!"

You gave me a smug look.

I had to walk away so I could laugh.

I know someday, you're going to be all attitude.  Someday you'll recognize that words hurt and that people who live under the same roof can make life hell for other people in the family.

For now, I will take your toddler threats.  I am so grateful to have you as my son, even if it means I occasionally have to parent Señor Grumpy Pants.

I love you,

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Dear Sweetness,
Today was Mother's Day.

I hate this holiday.  I think I always have.  I don't like Hallmark telling me what to do, so I completely loathe this day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day...

Don't even get me started on Arbor Day cards.

Church is also hard on this day.  I have had many Mother's Days without children.  Many, many years where I didn't know if I'd ever be a mother.  I've been OK with the fact that other people could have what I could not, but I know this is a hard thing for many, many women.   I know many women who avoid baby blessings and who can't stand hearing that someone else is expecting.

It can be very, very difficult to listen to Mother's Day talks about perfect mothers.

I was talking with the guys at work about Mother's Day and I said, only partially joking, that maybe instead of handing out potted plants for Mother's Day, the church should give out razor blades.  We beat ourselves up waay too much, I think.

But it's more than that, really.  I've realized in the last year and a half since you came into my life permanently that EVERY DAY is Mother's Day.

Thank you for being my son.  Thank you to your Haitian mom, B, who made the decision to let us raise you because she could not.  I know she wanted to raise you.  She changed her mind when you were about 7 months old and she took you home for a few months.  I'll never know what she went through when she decided again to place you but I'll always, always be grateful she did. 

You have changed everything in my life, Sweetness.  I don't need one day per year to realize that.

I love BEING with you.  I love living life with you by my side.  I love - not being a mom, but being YOUR MOM.

I love you,

Friday, May 6, 2011

So Interesting to Hear Your Thoughts...

Dear Sweetness,

Today on the way to Jessie's we saw a hot air balloon.  You'd never seen anything like that before. 

You said, "Mama, what dat ting?"

I explained it was a hot air balloon and that there were people in it and that they were looking at the valley.

You said, "Mama, I wanna go in one.  Please, please, please?"

I explained that it would, indeed, be very fun to go in one but that it was very expensive.  I said, "That means it costs a lot of 'monies'." (using your word for "money")

From the back seat you sighed loudly and knowingly.

"Sigh... Like elephants," you said. 

Yes, sweetness... just like elephants.