Gumball Soccer

Last night tucking Jari into bed was a total and complete adventure. He talked and talked and talked without taking a breath. At 11, he was finally yawning and rubbing his eyes...and once again, I fell asleep before him, singing songs and rubbing his back as I drifted off still fully clothed.

Our conversation last night was started by a book I picked up in the library, called Just Ask. It is filled with one question per page of simple things a kid can answer, such as :what do you think your parents looked like when they were little, or what is your dad good at? The questions just get kids actively thinking about the things in their life.

One question, or rather the answer from my son, made me giggle. The question: What was it like living in your mama's tummy before you were born? With a sigh, Jari asked to skip that page. "It was so boring in there I can't even talk about it." he answered. But with a little prodding I told him it couldn't have been so very boring. "Oh yeah," he replied. "I didn't have too much room, but I sure could kick good in there, huh mama?" he chuckled. "I know, I know" he continued. "It was in your tummy I learned to be such a good soccer player. I think you ate a gumball and swallowed it whole and it came in your tummy and that was my soccer ball, " he went on. "And the way babies are curled up in their mama's tummy, they can do really good backward scissor kicks."

Jari paused for awhile as we looked over the illustration of the inside of a woman's body, with a baby growing in her womb. "Mama, I think I was much better at backward kicks even before I was born cuz I practiced with a gumball in your tummy!" he suddenly replied. "Mama, when you let me kick you all the time, I was learning to be a good soccer player. I think being in your tummy wasn't boring, but I got to play soccer all day long!!! And that's why I am so good at it now." he answered proudly.

I started to reply, but he flipped the page "Next one...."

So, now we know what babies do in their mama's tummy. Mama's just need to swallow gumballs whole and when her baby pops out, he'll be a little soccer star! Isn't imagination fun? In any case, I am enjoying the book as it gives me a very good view into his thoughts about life. And it gives him a chance to really consider things around him. And of course, let his creativity flow!

Oh, and it was me that gave him the opportunity to be the best lil soccer player there is, of course :-) See that there gold medal? GOLD!!! Yep, that's what he won at soccer camp last week. He is my "Rising Star"....and just how'd he achieve that? Kicking mama before he was born. I think I deserve one point for that revelation!


Me and My Man

Tonight, we're going to be kid-free, my man and I. It's such a strange experience as the kids grow up and have other agendas, and you find yourself alone with this person you chose as your life partner. What do you do, when there are no little people to keep tabs on? The answer should be obvious, but somehow it isn't. Life has gotten comfy and normal and it is just what it is. Having a major orgy together, as interesting as it sounds, just doesn't fit into the picture of life we have created together. But, you never know...

So, I've got steaks marinating in the fridge, took a little extra time shaving in the shower this morning, and cleaned up a few messes I have been meaning to do all week. When he comes home tonight, it's going to be him and I, maybe a movie after dinner, maybe a game, maybe a walk to the canal. I don't know what's in store for us, but I do know the balance has been tilted, what with our little peeps growing into their own.

Kaeden is happily tucked away at his home away from home having fun vacation outings with his friends while Jari has been attending soccer camp all week. Today I hope to watch him receive a trophy for one thing or another as he has definitley earned one with his dedication and fanaticism of the sport. And then, he'll head off for a sleepover with oma and opa, something he asked to do all on his own.

Tomorrow I plan to take Kaeden to the movies, Jari will be off galivanting with oma and opa, and my husband will be off to work. But tonight, just for tonight, it's me and my man. I hope we can find something to talk about that doesn't revolve around the kids. And if we can't find a happy medium in the verbal communications department, there's always an alternative. One way or another, though it's not a typical evening to come, it's going to be a good one...just me and my man!


It Hurts

It hurts.
I watch him prepare his bag, fill it with clothes and special mementos.
I watch him write a list of all he is to bring.
I watch him without him knowing.
I watch him, and it hurts.

Do you have everything? I ask
A mama and her son.
Yes, I wrote it all down, he says
And I check his list.
You need your coat I say
And I run out to the laundry line and tear it off
I smell his coat, but his scent is gone, clean with soap and sun and air

He pulls his backpack on his back.
He puts his coat on as I hand it to him
And his hand fleetingly touches mine
A mama and her son.

His touch makes me ache, it hurts
A stabbing pain in my heart
As he reaches towards me for a kiss
A kiss, something you do when you say goodbye
For me, a promise of my love
Tender lips touching
A mama and her son.

It's Saturday night, time to go
The sky just beginning to turn dark
As is my spirit as I hug him to me
His coat and his backpack covering
His body I long to feel in my arms.

It hurts, and tears fill my eyes
But will not fall, cannot fall
I must be brave, have courage and faith
This is best, this is what he needs
Goodbye my son, I love you.

And the door closes as he glances back towards me
Seeing the tears threatening to fall
And I smile, have fun this week, kiddo, I say
And as the latch closes tight, I hurt.

And one tear falls as I turn towards the kitchen
To where there is light
And I make a cup of coffee as I tell myself over and over again:
This is best, he needs this, he wants this
He loves this.

But I need you, I want you, I love you, my boy.
And it hurts.


Doctor Mommy

Sometimes we as parents do something that is perfectly right and it makes us feel proud of our parenting ability. In general, parenting is a difficult game and we usually come out on the bottom, either criticizing ourselves for what we have (or haven't) done, or being criticized by our kids when we do something they don't approve of...often! Though this may not mean our parenting skills are lacking, it does take some of the fun out of this lifelong game in which we have chosen to partake.

There are, however, moments in which we realize our ability and feel confident and secure with these young lives we have been given to teach, love, share, and bewonder. I had one of those moments this week. And it's just those itty bitty things that give us just enough ooomph to keep chugging along.

I noticed Jari was in the bathroom frequently. He has a pretty typical pattern and I know when he has to pee. And it's almost never at school. When he came home and told me he had to pee three times at school, my mama alert went into motion. I watched him over the course of a few days, expecting him to complain of burning or pain when he peed, but nope, he just had to pee a lot. One night as I was tucking him in, he told me he had to pee first...and this after just having gone. After singing him his songs I came down and made an appointment with the doc for the following morning.

The doctor took a urine sample (what a process "Ï don't have to pee now mama! I can't pee in that little jar! What happens if I can't pee?"...but eventually enough little drops filled the bottom of the jar) after I told him the problem and he asked ME what I thought the problem was (Uhm, I would assume it's a bladder infection, though without the pain or burning it makes my conclusion somewhat less viable...I thought I was in med school doing rounds...ha). The sample came back positive with little bladder infection bugs. I had concluded correctly!

When Jari asked what that meant and I told him there were some little bugs in his bladder that we needed to make go away with medicine, the doctor laughed and said he was going to use that explanation for kids from now on. Yes, young doctor, I could teach you a thing or two! But since I can't write my own prescription, please do so for me.

We were handed a prescription, paid our fee (which Jari was in total shock that 10 minutes could cost so much...ha! and when I told him he could pay it with his allowance, I was returned a hearty laugh in your face NO WAY! That's your job cuz you're the mama!) and headed to the pharmacy.

Like I said, it's just the little things. Being aware of your kids, knowing them inside and out, and recognizing that you do. I felt a great sense of pride that without any complaint I was able to pinpoint the problem and do what had to be done.

Being a parent is hard work. It takes energy, time, passion, money, and love. But recognizing that you're doing a good job with the health and happiness of your little peeps, that's worth more than all the money in the world!