Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pitch and Praise


Why would I give up my long weekend to be with a bunch of crazy teenagers?

To get silly.  To feel human.  To be someone other than mommy.  To see Riley.  To be me.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ten Year Old Sentiments

He catches me at the sink, big construction paper card in his hands.  "I'd like to read you a poem," he says.  So I wipe my hands and turn to face him.

He stands like an orator, arms outstretched with notes before him, chin lifted confidently with the self-assurance of one who is about to blow someones mind:

This is a poem I wrote at school
And I hope you think it's cool.
I love you and there are many reasons why
Like in the morning how you say hi
And your loving eyes, as blue as the sky
And even when I forget to thank you
You remind me with glee.
Even though I sometimes forget you are cool
You still drive me to school.
I also love your art and just like your art
You have a big spot in my heart.

Happy Mother's Day!

And I think it's hilarious and adorable and almost enough to ignore the dirty socks on the living room floor.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Flung By The Fling

It's a typical 4:30 Tuesday.  I bounce between laundry and preparing dinner and checking facebook and planning out the we'll eat, return my brother-in-law's truck, zip to Walkerton for the Kijiji chairs - home in time to get the kids in bed and sink into some Being Human.

Zander's fingers suddenly stop their incessant computer gaming just long enough for him to mutter, "Oh, yeah, the Spring Fling's tonight."

I don't even wipe my pork chop fingers before I'm looming over him.  "What?"

"It's the Spring Fling tonight." Like it doesn't even matter.


A spark of fear in his eyes..."...the Spring Fling..."

"And you couldn't tell me about it before now?"

He shrugs and swallows and has no words.  He closes the computer.

"We have plans tonight, Zander.  I have plans.  You can't just dump this now."  Granted, my plans aren't spectacular or of any importance in the eyes of a ten-year-old boy but they are mine and I am comfortable with them and I do so enjoy a plan!

And it starts.  That intentional breathing that means he's working so hard at holding it together.  His eyes shine and swell with pools of tears and he opens them wide to stop the spilling.

"When does it start?"

"I don't know."

"When do you have to be there?"

"I don't know."

"Do you understand why I'm frustrated."

"Mmmmhmmmm."  And now his chin's trembling and he's looking up at the ceiling because if he looked me in my eye he would surely loose control of his.

And what I really want is to tell him 'too bad-so sad' and let him suffer in the ashes of his neglect.  (And no, I will not be responsible for not reading the newsletter and putting the date on the calendar.  If something is important and people are depending on you CLAIM YOUR OWN RESPONSIBILITY - as in, GET IT TOGETHER, ZANDER, AND OWN YOUR OBLIGATIONS!!!)  But it is not my prerogative to deprive his dependent classmates on their partner in the presentation - which apparently they've been practicing for the last three weeks...

"Call Britain and find out when you have to be there."  Now his eyes are red rimmed.  "Do you need some time to get yourself back together before you call him?"

He nods and bites his lip and disappears up the stairs.

And I roll my eyes and blow out my exasperation and want to strangle him and hug him all in the same moment.

When I go upstairs he's in his bunk, facing the wall, doing some weird breathing exercise that lifts his shoulders and bubbles out his lips.  I invoke my Power-Of-Mom and pull him against me like he's five and he suddenly blubbers over in a teary-snot-run-mess of briny apology and heart-break - like he can hold it together until he realizes that I actually love him.

And he clings and heaves and doesn't even have to say sorry because the puddle on my sweater says it all. 

We eat in a rush and I don't do the dishes and we get him there in time and I love how dorky and awkward he is up there at the edge of the stage with his hands in his pockets doing the Responsibility Rap (Oh, so ironic).  And we get the truck back to my sisters and we get the Kijiji chairs and we're home way past bedtime and hopefully Zander learned something from all of it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

On Our Way

It may have been right place, right time.  It may have been happy thoughts and love poured into these walls.  Whatever it was, it got us sold before we even had a chance to get used to the idea of selling.  Second person through.  Offer.  Done.

"We're really going to miss you around here, Amanda," says the sixty-something neighbor who flirts with every female in a ten mile radius - calling me Amanda even though I've told him a million times that I am not Amanda.

"We'll miss it, too," I tell him with a grin and a wave though I'm pretty sure I'm lying.

I do love this house and the memories we've strung up about the place - the laughs that rang against painted paneling and the tears and snot all ground into the creases of the floor from tantrums and fights and forts that fell off the kitchen chairs.  But I'm pretty sure I won't look back.  I'm pretty sure I won't be out at the deck barbeque, basting the chicken and wishing Mr. MacDonald would walk passed and say, "Oooeeee, Amanda, that smells good....what's for supper tonight?"

I was built for country.  I was formed to live where the moon is brighter and the sun sets beyond the dining room table and the trees moan and sing and the berries grow wild.  A place where my porch swing can be set beneath a branch, far removed from the probing eyes of the lonely seniors all press-nosed against their panes to see what those Rusnak's are up to now.  I was made for room to breath and be and sing with the windows open.  I was made for forty feet of laundry line - dancing sheets, those pretty maids all in a row.

So now we face the daunting task of folding up this life-as-we-know-it, packing it into boxes procured from the local liquor store, journeying it one mile down the south highway and building up into our own that home that housed my growing.

I will take my heart and hang it on the doorpost.  We will rub every little wrinkle with pieces of ourselves.  We will claim it as our own.  We are going home.

Yup - I was totally adorable!  That old green carpet is long gone from the dining room but I still get nostalgic for the days when we'd hide beneath the table with scissors and pretend we were cutting the grass...

And in my old bedroom - destined to be Zander's - where I plastered the walls with things I loved and taught myself guitar  and hid Sharpied poetry and sketches underneath the poorly laid carpet...oh, and Horray for paneling - double horray for painting!