Archive | July, 2010

talent show

20 Jul

As I prepare my presentation for tomorrow’s trial (organize, make an outline, mark exhibits, mentally arrange witnesses in an order that will accommodate the schedules of 4 doctors AND make sense to the Court, re-read the medical evaluations, and make a list of elements to prove), my children are putting on a show of their own.  Anna has found a spare harmonica and given one to Henry, so now they are both serenading me with the happy sounds of the harmonica.

I am feeling stressed, anxious and unprepared to start tomorrow, but they have taken my mind off the scared feelings for a full hour now.  There’s nothing you can do in the face of such chaos but laugh.  And, like Henry orders me: “Clap, Mom.”  Wish me luck.

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All fun and games

10 Jul

In an attempt to re-invent myself as a “fun mom”, I decided to take Wade and Henry to see Toy Story 3.  I think I was a fun mom when Wade was born, but then Anna came along so quickly, and then I was the mother of two young children, and then we had Henry, and so by the time the older two were old enough to go and do, Henry was with us, and I always stayed home with the baby.  By choice, really.  I was always so tired that being home alone with just one child seemed like a real break for me.  Especially as he couldn’t talk back.
 
And with other factors coming into play, our roles evolved that Hal was the Fun Dad and I was the get-it-done Mom.  I was responsible for enrollments and deadlines, school supplies, homework assignment checking, bedtimes, laundry, room inspections, meal preparation, trips to the doctor, completion of chores, bath insistence and manners training.  Which is to say, that I took on something of a drill-sergeant role in our home.  Tough love is my specialty.  And I am good at it.
 
But I am not that much fun.  Some of you sit and brainstorm with your children, you do crafts, you play games with them, you read unlimited books, and you await the new Harry Potter movie as much as they do.  I know you.  You are FUN MOMS.  We couldn’t be more different and I am jealous.
 
I have found that being divorced involves a great deal of re-inventing myself.  So if I can don a pair of roller-skates and a faux-ponytail, I have what it takes to become a fun mom.  At least on occasion.  Anna is at camp this week, which is a whole ‘nother post, and I have been the parent of two boys.  It is very quiet and there has been no arguing or talking back.  Really.  So I decided that I would take the boys to see Toy Story 3.  I couldn’t believe that their dad hadn’t taken them – he loves going to movies.
 
First we went to Der Wienerschnitzel, which is essentially a hot dog stand, for an on-the-road supper.  Henry wasn’t feeling good and only had a bite of his corndog.  I put the rest of the corndog in my purse so that he would have something to snack on when he decided that he was hungry.
 
We went to the show at 6 p.m., but actually didn’t stay because our movie (the non-3D version) was at 7:30.  As we left the parking lot to go home for the interim, an old white suburban filled with teenage boys – not nice-looking ones – more like thugs – pulled out of a parking space as we passed by.  I tooted the horn to alert them that we were right behind.  The driver of the vehicle then got right behind me in the parking lot and crowded my rear bumper.  I really did feel threatened.
 
I turned right out of the parking lot onto Sherwood Way and tried to put some distance between the boys and me.  They were clearly following us.   As the suburban approached my van from behind and sped to line up right behind me, I looked around for my cell phone.  But it wasn’t there because in my efforts to be FUN MOM, I had deliberately left it at home.  I wanted to be present, in the moment, and fully engaged.  I didn’t want to be distracted by text messages and facebook updates.  Plus, I never imagined that we would be harassed.
 
The suburban pulled into the left lane, with all four nasty occupants leering at me and laughing.  You can tell when a teen-aged boy is up to no good, and these were not nice boys.  They were punks, plain and simple.  They probably all have probation officers.  I picked up the corn dog and held it to my ear – the ear AWAY from the window, you understand.  And I pretended to talk.  They swerved into my lane as though to hit my car.   I made sure that they saw me fake-calling the cops.  I also studied their license plate and memorized the numbers after I spoke them aloud into my corndog cell-phone.  They immediately turned off onto a side street.  And I instantly forgot the license plate number as the adrenaline overtook me.

Had I been in possession of my actual blackberry smartphone, I probably would have called the police to report what was actually a felony – aggravated assault as they had threatened to harm me with a deadly weapon – their vehicle.  It was scary, and I was scared.  If you know Wade, you know that he read my fear and became afraid himself.  It was a crappy event, but we weren’t hurt.  And it did teach me that even the fun moms need a cellphone for emergencies.

Warning: avoid Toy Story 3

8 Jul

if you are sensitive to stories about abandonment and children growing up and moving on.  Or if songs about friendship make you sob.  Otherwise it’s a must-see.