Monday, August 9, 2010

Stop looking at him like that, he's only a baby

I was waiting for Ben to collect his instrument and backpack out of the van this morning when I dropped the crew off at the high school. I looked into my rearview mirror, to watch him get it. It's early when I drop them off, and I am still pretty sleepy, which means I am not beyond driving away before he's completely done, hatchback up and all.

I looked at the line of cars behind me and about two cars back, I see one of the girls I know--her hair is longer and I think she might be a senior this year. I was smiling to myself about how much she has changed since I first met her when I saw her cast a furtive glance at my van.

And push her hair over her shoulder and look back into her car (she was getting out too). And then look out of the corner of her eye at my car. As I watched her movements, hair swoosh- look-wait, don't look--no, I gotta look, it suddenly dawned on me what was happening.

Nolan and the others had walked away. This girl was eyeballing Ben, the boy wonder.

Ben has grown pretty tall over the summer and I predict he will be taller than Nolan by the end of the year. Big green eyes, nice smile---I have to admit that he is a good looking boy. But I am his Mom, of course I think he's a looker.

It appears someone else thinks so too.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Strangers like family

It was like a scene from a movie:

The freeway had little traffic, a beautiful dawn was lightening the sky, and I had a van full of teenagers I was driving to the dreaded zero hour talking about their weekend plans. I saw a highway patrol motor officer coming up behind me and instinctively checked my speedometer to confirm I wasn't over the limit, then I continued on listening to the chatter of the kids.

I felt him rather than saw him slow down a bit as he passed me and looked over just in time to see him turn and give me a prolonged half-salute/wave. I smiled, returning the greeting, touched by the moment. As I watched him get smaller on the horizon, I swallowed the lump in my throat, reciting a little prayer that no matter what his day might bring him, that at the end of it, he be returned......safely home.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

And then there are laughs that amuse only me

We had "Meet the Teacher" recently at the elementary school. We always go just to make sure the teacher assignments are what I thought (ahem, unofficially requested) them to be. Since I have volunteered so much in the past, some of the teachers are old favorites, and I like to say hello.
Of course, I didn't leave work on time, so I was late, and the kids had already gone around to meet their teachers. I decided to make the rounds anyway and as we were heading back to the car, I ran into one, an old favorite who has a child Nolan's age. We've compared notes over the years about what the kids are doing and my two that are still there really enjoy his class, so I was a little surprised that as he came up to me, smiling, holding out his hand, he looked like he was struggling to remember my name.

"Hi," *pause* "Eri...Erika," he said, stammering a little. He had that look on his face people get when they know they are saying the wrong thing but it's too late and they've committed, so they say it anyway. He shook my hand a little awkwardly, so I said, in a low voice:

"I thought we agreed never to repeat my stage name."

Had he been paying attention and not looking over my shoulder to take in the chaos around us, it would have been pretty funny. Instead, he turned his attention back to me and asked "What?"

"I said, 'How was your summer?'"

Monday, August 2, 2010

An impromptu laugh

I was laying in my bed earlier this evening with Audrey. I was stroking her hair and talking to her about her day. She is impatient about really, really wanting us to get a kitten. She asks about once a week, and I know her Dad is close to caving. Well, maybe not super close, but she looks at him, and pleads, and I can feel his resolve slip a little each time.

It's like watching an iceberg melt. It might take a while, but it still melts.

"Mommy, please can we get a kitty? Pleeeeeaaase?" she asked.

"Sweetie, no, not now."

"Why not?

"Because it's not the right time. We have 3 dogs. Coco wouldn't do well with a cat. And then there's the litterbox...."

"But I'll take care of it, I promise!"

"No, baby, I don't think so. You're gonna have to wait a while before we get a cat."

"Why do I have to wait a while? Why do I have to wait?"

"Because it's not always a good thing to get what you want right away. Sometimes, you have to wait to get what you really want...."

At this point, her Daddy exited the bathroom, and at just that moment, I continued: "...and eventually, if it works out, you get it. Your Daddy is still waiting for The Perfect Wife."

I looked over to see if he heard me just in time to see him lower his head and grin widely. Even after all this time, it is still nice to see him laugh at something I said like that, to render him speechless with something simple.

"Your Mama is perfect," he said.

Of course he did. He was just at the level of the bed that if he hadn't said that, or something, he'd have been speechless....and doubled over.

Five ounces of happy

My former neighbor was once showing off her brand new fancy coffeepot one afternoon. "It's so much nicer being able to make our own espresso at home," she said, "because Starbucks can get expensive when you drink it all the time."

I commented to her that I only drank coffee when I was at work, so the occasional Starbucks splurge didn't hurt too much.

She looked at me, horrified. "How on earth do you make it all day, chasing around the children? I never would have survived mine without coffee."

"Lately, I'm either pregnant or nursing," I giggled, "so it's not such a big deal. Besides, I looove coffee, and if had my own pot, I'd be dangerously addicted."

Fast forward about 10 years.

I made it through two years of waking up at 4:45 a.m. to get the band kid rolling for zero hour. I stop on my way to work and occasionally get a caffeine hit at whatever place hits my fancy. At work, we have the fancy Flavia machine.

And this weekend, I bought my first real (not teacup sized) coffeepot. It's not fancy, but right now, it's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

MMMMMMM. Bliss. Why did i deny myself so long??