9/11

Today I woke up, did my usual FB check on my phone… making my plans to skype later with Bojana, and I saw the news stream. Everyone remembering the 9/11 attacks. I was instantly depressed. It’s not like it took me by surprise. I was not… “oh yeah, today is the 11th,” but more like the darkness I knew was coming a few days ago had arrived.

My chest hurt. Lump in my throat, but I had my 3 kids and 3 more that slept over to make pancakes for so I pushed through it and remained normalish.

It’s my PMS week though. I don’t care if that is too much information for you. It’s what it is. So I knew I would not have a chance to make it through the day without crying.

But I’m not a masochist, so I did not seek out 9/11 stuff on TV, or the web. I would limit to scanning status updates on the FB. I did catch the news tonight. I figured I should, out of respect. Dammit. They showed THAT footage.

It’s so hard to watch isn’t it? Seeing the second plane hit… being all confused still….and then the tower crumbles. Then the next one. I was squirming in my chair, covering my eyes, holding my throat and reliving it.

I had been 30 years old with a 1 year old daughter and pregnant with #2. The phone rang just before 7 am, but I didn’t get to it in time. I thought it was my husband on his morning commute and called him but he said it wasn’t him. We didn’t have caller ID. I have no idea who called and woke me up that morning. Then my husband asked if I was ok, and if I was watching the news. So I turned it on with him still on the phone piecing together what I was seeing. Before it made sense I watched the South tower collapse. By the time the second one came down I was on my knees sobbing. I could not believe this was happening.

Some people are more emotional then others. I’m definitely of the MORE emotional types and the sadness I felt in those days was the deepest I have ever felt. I was scared, hopeless, helpless, in a pit of absolute despair. And pregnant. I started to worry that my sadness would affect my pregnancy. I bet a lot of pregnant women felt that way. What kind of a world would he be born into? Everything was different now.

And River IS a different kind of kid. I do think my sadness affected him. I truly do. He is very sensitive and very empathetic. His poor little heart. He asked me what 9/11 was tonight as the news was on. He knew some of what happened because I would always lose it at Fire Station field trips when they would demonstrate their locator beeper. Tonight I got out our magazines that we had saved from September 2001. We talked about the pictures, the bad men, and all the heroes. Tears running down that boys face.

I really don’t know what else to say.

One time….at Church Camp….

For the last four years, my kids have gone to a week long overnight camp at a local lake with our church.  Vacation Bible School, but kicked up a notch, what with the swimming, canoeing, and sleeping in musty cabins and what have you.  I have always been the ‘cabin mom.’ There for my own kids, and usually bringing a few others along too.

This time, I can’t stay because camp is much later in the summer, and I am back to my full time schedule.  When another mom said she would be the cabin mom this year and stay with my kids, I was all..”Sweet! Cool! Win win.. kids get to have fun, and I get to be kid free for a few days! I’m gonna crank my inappropriate music, curse in the house, and I’m going to karaoke at the ‘sino with  mah fren Jen.  Bring on the woot woot!”  And this year’s mom  is great, loves my kids, and I have taken her daughter to camp with me for the last few years, so it’s her turn I suppose.  All good, right?

Not so much. 

There’s a lake.  There are spiders.  There are mice. There are places to fall.  Nightmares to have. Feelings to get hurt. I. Won’t. Be. There.

My kid-free time is really not all pink puffy clouds now.  It is a big gray worry cloud.  I have no doubts in the cabin mom’s capabilities.  She rocks.  But this is the first time they’ve been to a camp without me, or anywhere for that long without a family member there.  So its weird. I have to let it go.

And then… Ruby passes the Life Guard’s swim test, and won’t be wearing a life jacket in the lake.  *Gasp*  She is a great swimmer, there is an attentive life guard, and a designated swimming area.  I have to let it go.

And then… River gets invited to go on a 5 mile hike with some of the dads and boys.  His dad is not there.  So, I put his booster in the car of a dad I hardly know, kiss him, “be careful” and I have to let it go.

<insert heavy sigh>

I’m not as cool as I think I am, clearly.  But hey.. despite my guilt leaving my kids to defend themselves against the spiders and such, I did find some moments of humor.  Church camp graffiti cracks me up:

photo 3This one, really?  Pray! We are Jesus Freaks!

And then there is this one:

photo 2Because written in sharpie on the wall of a cabin really makes you feel it.

And then.. oh…. those teenage girls…..

photoDreamy life guard, or ‘gaurd’ as they would prefer to spell it.  And let’s clarify that she means Alex, and not, you know, Sarah (awkward).  I love it.  The best part is when River saw all of the writing on the walls and bunk beds, he just rolled his eyes and said, “hmpf! Teenagers.” A few more years he’ll be writing on those bunks, and I’ll pack the sharpies in his duffle bag.

Mom, you are a bad influence….

Again.. that’s my boy. He said that today after I shamefully cracked up my family with the comment, “Um…that guy over there ought to close his mouth.” Which made them all look and then laugh as a guy ordering Teriyaki stood at the counter with his mouth in a stupefied puckered “O.” Then they all realized it was not nice.. they all felt guilty a bit. I just said, “Yeah, well be thankful your face isn’t stuck like that.”
I know, I know… but you should have seen him, really.
And then later.. I was still feeling a bit.. rowdy we’ll say. Kids were kickin my last nerve to the curb and I needed a mental escape. So.. I pour myself the last of a bottle of scotch, crank The Killers, and decide to clean the kitchen. Lots of dishes to do.. but The Killers awesomness is endless so they kept me going. My brain faded into fantasy land where I was bouncing at a concert, rocking out with my bad self. My family watched on…
Eventually, I opted for something a little harder…in music that is. Remember I finished the Scotch.. and no true Scotch-Irish girl will put any other liquor to her lips after that. So I throw on one of my all time favorite bad ass songs, Battleflag by Lo Fidelity Allstars.

Hey mr. policeman
Is it time for getting away
Is it time for driving down the mother fuckin road
And running from your ass today

My kids just look at me.  “Uh, mom.. we totally heard those bad words.” (My last nerve gasps its final breath).

I have no shame.  None.

WHAT did he say?!

My son cracks me up.. oh my gosh the things that boy says, really. We had a long but fun day today. My hubby was pretty sick, so the rest of us were out of the house entertaining ourselves. The. Whole. Day. Lucky for me I was able to see an old college friend, meet his cool wife and their adorable neverstoppedmoving little girl. But this blog is about River, now nearly seven, and the things he comes up with.

By the time we dragged ourselves back home we were all in a tired, happy, delirium. We wrapped up the evening in our favorite way: PJ’s on and sandwiched in Mom and Dad’s bed to hear the next few chapters in Peter and the Shadow Thieves. Things were really starting to heat up…no really, my kids were getting too warm under the down comforter in fleecy jammies. So.. River.. who prefers no jammies, but undies and a T-shirt announces matter of factually:

“I’m going to sleep in JUST MY UNDERWEAR!” and he tears off his t-shirt.
“Thanks for the announcement Riv, can I continue reading?”
“What Mom?!?! I’m just hot! But not in the gross way.”
“Huh? What’s the gross way?”
“Well, YOU are hot in the gross way, you know mom… like FASHION?!?!?!?! (Says with the ‘duh’ tone)
He means HAWT. He thinks his mom is gross HAWT. That is funny, and kind of gross, but mostly cute.
photo4
And here’s a great one from the past, when he was only 3 or 4. My mom recalled it over Thanksgiving:
My beloved granparent’s home smells. Respectfully, I know that the homes of many elderly people smell, my grandparent’s home was that plus the smells of three large, hairy, lovable, however stinky, companions (labs). So I forewarned my children to NOT SAY ANYTHING about the smell. Cuz if I didn’t say something about IT, they were sure to say something about IT in front of my dear grandparents. With the kids prepped, we enter the house and hit a WALL of thick smell. Ruby, God bless her, did not say a word but just plugged each nostril with a finger. Awkward, but silent, none the less.
River.. he totally got, in his young age, that we were to stow our own comfort for the sake of good manners. After a while.. he sighs, and says,”I’m just going to head out side for some fresh air.” I’m not making this up people. He was at best 4 when he said this. He lingered outside for awhile and when he came back in, he said loud and proud,” You know mom, I’m kind of liking in the smell in here now.” He was trying to make my grandparents feel good. I was too overcome with love for my thoughtful and compassionate boy to care that the entire room was silently aware of the smell that surrounded us.

Stuff that cracks me up……

We all need to have things to crack up over. There are the usual things that suit my sense of humor:

Other people falling down.

Comments that aren’t intended to sound naughty but do. (aka That’s what she said)

River speak.

Pranks.

Hilarious commercials.

And this:

I came across this show when my kiddos were little. It is for toddlers and is on CBC (all good things come from Canada). It is one of those shows that, while it is for kids, there is plenty of grown up humor to keep you sitting there with your kids. Little green kid Mona, hangs with her Nana and Nana’s dog Russel, while her mom is off at work. Mr. Wooka is the neighbor man who puts on the puppet show. I just don’t know how to explain the humor in it. For me, it just kills me folks. Kills me. The people are brilliant.

Now, River is ALWAYS cracking me up. Tonight was no different. The kids were getting ready for bed and River uses the phase between clothes and PJ’s (naked) to practice up on his armpit farts. It is like swimming, or riding a bike, there is a moment when it just clicks, or farts if you will. He realizes that he has got it, and can do it over and over, unfailing. “Momma! Listen! Listen!” BBLLLLTTT! BBLLLLTTT! He is so proud of himself that in between farts he does a little proud boogie in his birthday suit.

I’m rolling on the floor.

Zero

Today I got nothin for you. No-thing. Zero. Can’t think of anything witty to say. Or profound.

Except that maybe I could tell you that I love my kids and my son cracks me up. We got caught up in a cheesy movie on Disney tonight… basically some kid hits puberty and turns into a merman. Normally kids would grow hair.. this one got scales. What cracks me up about River is that as he is watching a glistening, sparkling, underwater moment, he extends his arms out sweetly into an arch, mimicking the mermaid mommy on the tv. He forgets that there is anyone else in the room. Until, I snicker. Then he spins around and thunks me on the arm and says in his most threatening 6 year old voice, “Don’t tell anyone!” Whoops. I just told….uh….EVERYONE! But he is just so cute! I love to see them get pulled into the “feel good” of these movies that would make one, not in the presence of small children, want to barf. I mean really, the predictability, the Cheese for Pete’s sake! But they are not for us, these movies are for kids. Mine are dreaming of mermaids right now I’m sure.

Oh… and Oh…mah…golly goodness! I had to have the birds and bees conversation with my daughter last night! She is 7. I will blog on that later. I am still reeling from having to “go there.”

I guess that was not zero after all. It was 254 words to be exact.

Peace (255)

River Speak

My son is hilarious. He has natural wit and accidental humor. Here’s a few of my fav’s from his mouth…. and as he comes up with them, I’ll share more:

Post Hurricane Katrina, I’m in a bad mood, kids won’t clean up their room. I say, “You know, I’m just gonna pick up these toys on the floor and send them to the kids in Louisiana and Mississippi, because the hurricane washed all their toys away and they’ve got nothin’ now!” That night at the dinner table, River announces to his dad that he is going to send some of his toys to “Mrs. Ippi” because her kids lost all their toys in the storm.

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The kids and I are sitting at the table with one of my friends and her two kids. About to eat lunch, River says, “Wait! We have to say grace first!” My friends daughter, who is an absolute hoot in her own rite, says in a very matter of fact way, “We don’t say grace. We are not Christians.” River looks around the table at all of us, grins, and says with the appropriate tone, “Awkward!” Folks, he was like, four years old!

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I am driving the kids home after school one day, talking about their day. River holds up a paper ghost, wearing glasses, playing a guitar, glued to a Popsicles stick. Ruby tells me about her day. Then we are quiet…just heading home. River breaks the silence to announce that,”Mom, F#ck is a bad word.” Me… “OH MY GOSH YOU BET IT IS! WHERE DID YOU HEAR THAT? THE BUS? SOMEONE AT SCHOOL? SOMEONE IN KINDERGARTEN? WHO DO YOU KNOW THAT IS SAYING THAT WORD?!?!?!? I am clearly freaking out. He starts to cry. Oh…..um…..oh……did you hear momma say that word? Daddy when he fell the other day? Honey…honey… it’s ok, you can tell me. Through his tears he tells us that they were studying the letter F that day in school. The kids were sitting around sounding it out…”Ffffaaaahhhh, Ffffaaahhhh, Ffffaaaahhhhrog.” You get the idea. Well, that’s when my boy dropped the F-bomb. Accidentally of course. I asked what his teacher said about it. She said we don’t use that word in the classroom. Clearly. But it has been heard on occasion at his home. To top it off, he says to me, “Mom, I don’t know bad words, really. But I know bad manners.”