Posts Tagged ‘children’

I saw Tiger the other day.  As Rex and I rounded the corner of the shed, heading toward Rex’s poopy spot, Tiger jumped up from where his lifeless body had rested till we brought him to the farm to bury him.  His orange body flew toward our neighbor’s house and I even called out his name.  I swore Rex saw him too as he pulled my arm out of the socket (again) in his efforts to chase Tiger.  I realized it was not Tiger since we had buried him almost a week ago, but it was a vivid image.  I realized Rex had probably spotted a squirrel and, as usual, could not figure out where the darn critter had gone.  Rex apparently still needs to learn to look up the tree trunk and not just sniff around the bottom of it.

So Tiger has been on my mind.  This is the firs time in my four decades that a pet has been killed by a car.  My sons didn’t even finish their first decades before it had happened.  I suppose they’ll be wiser for it.

Then last night I swore I saw Tiger’s lifeless little body on the side of the street again.

It wasn’t there this morning, in the sunlight.  Shocking.

It wasn’t Tiger but some other animal done in by the road.  The boys found the carcass this afternoon.  They went looking for it because this morning Rex and I happened upon the two turkey vultures dining on it for breakfast.  I think the buzzards dragged it across the street to the grassy side of the road to have a more private dining experience.  Rex and I gave them a wide berth this morning and I mentioned it to the boys so they would avoid that part of the yard this morning before church.

This guaranteed that when we got home from the university this afternoon that they headed straight to that spot once they had finished their outdoor chores.  The turkey vultures (some call them buzzards) were gone.  The carcass was not.  My sons gave me a great moment in my tale of mothering.  I was able to call out proudly to them to stop looking at the carcass and come finish their homework.  A proud moment indeed.

Thinking of the turkey vultures made me thing of Bugs Bunny and the vulture/buzzard episode.  This made me look up turkey vulture and discovered that the old world and new world vultures are not that closely related.  There were some fancy biological terms that were more than my brain could handle at the moment, but still I now understand the difference in appearance.  I was more familiar with the old world than the new world.

This made me wonder how well the turkey vultures get along with the wild turkeys that live in our town.  And do they bother the lonely swan at the 7-11?  And finally it made me truly thankful that we found Tiger first and not the vultures.

And that is why I didn’t finish grading papers tonight.


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I’m not an expert and this comes purely from curiosity as I listen to many discussions and conversations sparked by the recent tragedy.  I just wonder about this.

Has anyone ever looked at the timing of the following three shifts in America.  The increase of women in the workplace (and thus no parent at home with the kids); the decrease in our students’ test scores (and the increase in students’ apathetic approach to education); and the increase in school/societal violence.

Now before your panties get in a bunch, I said women in the workplace because I’m referring to the feminist movement and the increase of women in the workplace that happened in the 70s-80s specifically.  When the term “latch-key kid” came into existence.  When cable and video games became convenient babysitters.

And before your panties get even more bunched, I don’t care who comprises the family.  I’m talking about having parents who actively raise their own children.  Parents who work together to have someone home with the children after school, during school vacations, to help parent them.  Monitor what the children are watching, playing, and doing after they finish their homework.  Heck, making sure the children finished their homework, reviewed for the test, and asked the questions that were still lingering about that day’s lessons.

Hubby and I each work two jobs.  But one of us is always home with our sons.  This takes a lot of careful and creative scheduling.  It requires sacrifices.  But we want to raise our sons.  We want to help them with their homework, take them to baseball practice.  We want them to learn what compassion, integrity, kindness, responsibility, and so many other values are.  We want to share in the many emotions they feel and will feel as they grow up.  We want to struggle with them as they work through challenges.  We want to help them develop into the young men they are quickly becoming.  I’ve digressed…but as it is for so many right now, my thoughts are swirling.

Still, I just wonder if there is any correlation in the timing of those things.

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I hugged my sons a lot this weekend.  More than usual.


I told my sons I loved them a lot this weekend.  More than usual.


My sons are sleeping soundly in their beds and my heart aches for the families that are grieving for the children not sleeping soundly in their beds tonight.


Let there be a light for the families to guide them through the darkness.


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Younger son and I went for a lovely walk in the park in a few weeks ago.  We had a wonderful time exploring the butterfly garden and the park.  And the old cliche is true, a picture, or in this case a slideshow, is worth a thousand words.

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Oldest son does not want to touch the crickets when feeding his lizard.  Only told me this after we bought the lizard and the crickets.  Tyrann, the lizard, did enjoy some mealworms this evening.  Younger son lost a darkling beetle while spending time with them.  Only told me about that as he was being tucked into bed.  I hope the little guy enjoys his adventure in the room tonight.  Youngest son was so worried about telling me.  I reminded him about the time older son let all of the beetles out in his room.  We found them, we’ll find this guy.

Tomorrow night we have the school dance party.  Oldest son is going to ask a girl to go with him.  It’s a big step and face it, if she’s already planning to go, she may say she’ll meet him there.  The boys have several people who have RSVP’d for their Halloween party so they are VERY excited.

All I have to do now is finish younger son’s costume.  I just can’t seem to find the extra orange broadcloth.  I’m sure it’s somewhere in this house.  For now, I’ll attach the slinkies and he can try it without the fabric covering.  He looks good in the Jack o’ lantern costume.  I still am not sure what I’m going to be for Halloween.  I can always be a pirate…but I’d like to be scary this year.  Hmmmm…what should I be?

I love Halloween.  It’s such a fun time of year.

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From the moment I woke up, about every 10 minutes, younger son asked me if I wanted to put up Halloween decorations.  This boy loves Halloween.  The house is now decorated.  Witches, Jack o’ lanterns, skeletons, and skulls are lovingly placed on every available space in the house.  The boys decorated the yard the other day.  Older son really likes Halloween, but younger son has a strong passion about it.

There was a time when he was about three that younger son wore a pumpkin shirt every day.  He had about five of them and we just had to keep them in a solid rotation schedule with the laundry.  He still has a deep affinity for pumpkins.  All things Halloween, really.  In an acrostic poem at school, for the letter “N” he wrote “Never brings skeletons back from the dead.”  He really does have an Addams Family vibe about him.

Today the boys decided they want to have a Halloween party.  Sure, it’s two weeks away.  We can plan that!  Actually, the house is already decorated and I have plenty of Halloween games at my disposal.  We’ll sending the invites out at school on Monday.  I’ll use beloved facebook to invite some other friends (yes, KH, faithful reader, check your facebook soon!)

I’m almost done making the boys’ costumes.  Older son’s costume doesn’t require much sewing-it’s more of assembling the materials for his original design.  Younger son is being a jack o’ lantern (again) and I now have the orange slinkies to make arms and legs that “pop out and scare people”.  I just have to make the fabric coverings for them.

Ah, Halloween.  This year I’m thinking of being a pirate instead of a witch.  We’ll see.



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The winds picked up this evening.  The nor’easter winds with their eerie, haunting howls.  The shrieks have been wrapping around the house all night.  The tempests have brought the ghosts in with them.  I’ve heard Mom’s door opening and closing.  Brigs snored at the bottom of the stairs.  A big one that even rattled his collar.  Creepiness is filling my home and I love every minute of it.

October is a magical month.  The leaves die and float to the ground revealing the skeletal arms of the trees.  Soon a walk around the block will echo with the crunch and crackle of the leaves under foot.  The night creeps in earlier and the moon always seems brighter.  Scarecrows adorn the lawns and the straw arms billow from the gales, stretching out to catch a person as he walks by their perch.

Colorful mums sprout from the ground and grow fuller each day.  The color of the leaves on the grass blend with the mums.  Pumpkins and Jack ‘o lanterns burst with color in a graying world.  Ghosts stories float to children’s ears, scaring them a little bit more until they cry out for the storyteller to stop.

In a few weeks. children dressed as cowboys, princesses, and monsters get to willingly approach strangers and ask them for candy.  Witches will cackle flying on their brooms overhead.  Scary moans and laughter, rattling chains, and haunting  music will swirl around and fill the night with spooky noises.

I can remember walking Brigs during October and always being thankful that he was a large dog.  Even though I knew I was perfectly safe, the hairs would stand up on the back of my neck.  Sounds would echo down the street and seem to be surrounding us at the same time.  I could feel eyes watching us.  I was sure of it and so I stuck close to Brigs.  I knew he would protect me.  This is the first autumn without him here to bring me comfort as the nor’easter ghosts settle in for the winter again.

Oh, I love the autumn.  I love ghost stories.  I love the look of the fog and the sounds of the wind and the leaves.  I love the smell of the wood burning in fireplaces to warm the homes with glowing windows as we all settle in for the cold.  A lot of Uncle Stevie to read in the coming months.  Old tales that are good friends that help to keep one warm during the winter months.  And to help keep the ghosts at bay.  Even as the gales blow around the house.

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No, I’m not wicked (or at least I try not to be).  No one threw a bucket of water on me to make me melt.  I just feel like I’ve been melting the past few days.  I caught something from one of the students in my class.  That wiped me out for the weekend.  Homework for the boys is getting heavier (a good thing, just a time management thing).  Work is sort of settling into the new semester, but there are always new technological challenges to face.  And comparatively speaking, while there was great sadness for me today, I know there are others feeling this sadness even more strongly at this moment.  My heart and prayers go out to them tonight.

There are families in this world that have experienced divorce.  My husband’s family has had a few divorces.  The interesting thing is that the family never exiled the ex.  The ex-daughter-in-law, the ex-sister-in-law were still daughters and sisters.  There is divorce in my family’s history too.  I’m still the daughter, still the sister.  That’s as it should be.  Other relationships don’t have to end because two people can’t live together or remain married.

I’m glad that today I could be there, in whatever small capacity it was, to lend love and support when these special people from my life needed it.  So while I have been feeling like I’m melting, today’s events reminded me that I’m not.  I’m loved.  And blessed with family in so many ways and from so many unexpected places.

When my sons are older, I’ll explain the whole history behind this other part of the family.  For now they know the most important part-more people who love them.



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The sand drips through that hourglass and I realize this year is already nearing the end.  How does that happen?  I need to make Halloween costumes, start Christmas shopping, and thinking of how much weight I’ll gain between Halloween and New Year’s.

Where does the time go?  I have set goals this year, little projects, and not many have been accomplished.  It’s not gnawing at my stomach like it used to and that’s good.  The priorities are clearer than ever in my mind and soul.  I know the important parts of my life.  In certain moments of my days I have to work harder to remember that, but it’s getting easier everyday to remember why I do what I do.

Two of my priorities are my sons (well, duh).  Oldest son is having some issues with recess.  So I’m working on a proposal to add some options to recess since he is not the only one having issues.  Younger son offers many areas of focus.  I picked them up from school the other day.  As younger son came out of the door, I worked very hard at keeping back the tears.  He was clearly very tired because the one tic was non-stop.  It broke my heart.  He and I have talked about the tics.  He is a little self-conscious about them, but says they don’t really bother him.  In so many words he said he doesn’t do them on purpose and has tried to stop them, but they won’t stop.

So I keep reminding myself that as the year draws to a close, I get to spend a Thanksgiving break and Christmas week with my sons.  Plus I took off work on Halloween.  Ah, some lovely breaks to daily life.  A day to sit and watch the hourglass if that’s what we want to do.  Or have an adventure or two.

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I let myself enjoy the weekend.  I let myself bask in that river in Egypt.  Da Nile.  I didn’t look at work email all weekend (which was a nice change– I have got to remember that I control if I check it or not).  In not checking, I didn’t think about work and I didn’t see the email from younger son’s teacher.  But I’ll get to that in a moment.

I knew I was wrong about the possibility of canceling the January appointment for younger son from the moment I wrote it.  As we sat eating a late lunch at Great Adventure I got my visual proof.  As he ate his food, younger son’s head was moving and he didn’t miss a beat.  His lip tic was happening too.  Hubby and I looked at each other at one point and just gave each other that look.  You know the look.  The look between a husband and wife that says everything it needs to without any words.

That was Saturday.  Involuntary movements were all of the map on Sunday too.

Then this morning at work I read the email from his teacher.  She had written to let me know he was holding his own in class, keeping up with the other students.  She also wrote to let me know she had noticed several head movements and noticed the sounds, the noises.  Small, quiet grunts that younger son seems to not notice at all.

January 3, 2013 is a long time from now.  I can’t not do something to try to help him (if you’ll forgive the double negative).  Hubby wants to look in diet and nutritional options.  What I wonder is if we try to help, will it make it difficult to diagnose something like Tourette syndrome?  I am going to call the doctor’s office tomorrow and let them know that we can’t sit and watch without actively trying to help him.  Perhaps if we keep a record of what we observe and what we try so they have a running record.

In college, we would say DENIAL all the time.  How it wasn’t just a river in Egypt.  We also said “Your MOM” a lot.  Don’t completely remember the origin of the mom reference.  It’s strange to be over 20 years out from college and be the MOM in denial.

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