Turn Around and Swim

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Thank Goodness He Ate the Sour Crouch

Happy New Year! Goals started and failed and re-evaluated and started again and then dropped and left for 2017. It happens. Always. Every year. The one constant. 

Yet for the boys they hold a very literal and special meaning to the idea of a “do over”. This year was all about their academic goals and being their personal best. As mother, I’m all in!

So, because I fear of the Italian Moliok and superstition of not consuming a pig and fermented cabbage on New Years Day would bring gloom and doom to Camp P, I ventured off bright and early on 1-1-2016 to gather up a piggy and some kraut. If I’m gonna do this, ingest this delicacy and force it onto my kids, I’m at least gonna do it in better quality format. 

Whole Foods surely must sell and offer up a cleaner pig? Surely organic sauerkraut would taste better than the Eagles nest pouch of slop. So I decide to leave the boys home alone while I run to the grocer. Ten minutes into the ride and with only freeway cement between them and myself, I freak out. 

  

Source:  yahoo images. 

I rethink my whole leaving 3 boys alone and no amount of pork or sauerkraut can change my luck. But I proceed on after calling them 3 times and forcing them to stay on speaker phone with my parents who I remind you are 35 minutes away by car. Yet, I guess we would know if the $h*ts gonna hit the fan even if we can’t help. 

Anyways, I try to select the best piece of pig $26.99 a pound can buy us and after a stressful attempt to walk away from the garbage, I make my purchase. 

The kids survived their Home Alone event and as far as I know there aren’t any burglars having a fake shotgun tear up their minds. I survive the whole ordeal of coming to terms I have to prepare up a pig for health, wealth, prosperity and whatever else legend says. 

Now I have to get the boys on board. So naturally I add some white wine to…I don’t know maybe tenderize the meat? Umm no, because wine makes everything fine. And then viola! Piggy on some kraut. I tell the boys it’s a must and put the fear of the Italian superstition wrath into their minds. I also explain their goals won’t be met if they don’t at least try a little. Because working hard for success isn’t enough anymore, we have to eat pig flesh and soiled cabbage to succeed in 2016. 

They hold their noses, take a deep Ujjayi breath and bite, chew and swallow. Instant luck for the next 365 days!  

 Source: yahoo images 

So fast forward to February when typically most people, including myself, damn you Starbucks, lose sight of their resolutions. Well not the 3 P’s. Report cards came and the results were as follows:

Peeno – all M’s or E’s with +’s. Or whatever alpha character was assigned to denote above average or excellent or emerging. It’s kindergarten and you know that crazy alpha numeric point system you need a masters degree to figure out. All I need to know is will he be able to read and can I assign him chores?

Noochie – straight A’s oh except for Religion at a B+. So close little fella. He has since spent every night in 3rd Quarter having a one on one with the big guy up above. 

Nickelbass – WTF?!? All A’s and B’s. My boy who worked so hard and all the pork and cabbage in the world could not make him perform how he did. This kid worked so incredibly hard and busted his a$$ to achieve the marks he did! Amen to that!

So upon further review and 3 sets of eyes waiting for my reaction to their report cards, I literally jump for joy. I go into the whole Vince Lombardi of what it takes to succeed speech,  how incredibly proud I am and always go the extra mile because it’s never crowded talk. They are delighted. I am delighted. And then Peeno chimes in.”Well you know mommy, thank goodness you forced us to eat that sour crouch, because now we became smart!”

Eh! However they want to relate my fear of superstition to, well then, God Bless. They became smart and we don’t have to eat pork and kraut until 2017! And when in doubt my friends, eat the sour crouch! 

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Over The Hump and Through The Week to Back to School We Go

Back to School…Back To Reality

The kids know the way to carry on through the day, la la la la!  And that is exactly why I am both anticipating and saddened for the start of school.  This is that bittersweet time of the year where families settle into the big routine and big yellow makes its way down ever street, alley and corner in cul-de-sacville.  I am part anxious for this moment because it means this year I have two boys off to school.  Yet, it also brings with it the realization that my babies are growing up and growing up fast!

I remember four years ago when I sent my oldest off to Kindergarten.  It was with great hesitation that I did.  He was a little on the shy side then and I worried how he would do.  I participated in every event at the school just for a chance to be close to him.  Cookie Castle Co-Chair, school photographer, room parent and attended every parent teacher meeting like my life depended on it.  I also had a test your patience 13 month old at home. 

So on that note, it would be a lie if I said I wasn’t anticipating my second sons start of Kindergarten back then.  Four years ago, it seemed like this day would never come.  Now, it is almost here and I absolutely do not want to see him go!  I had a moment yesterday all to myself.  I went out on the front porch at the break of dawn and opened his Kindergarten packet.  Therein contained his bus number, teacher assignment and supply list.  As I started to leaf through the contents of the packet, I had a moment.  A tear started to stroll down my cheek and in an instant I was sobbing and couldn’t believe I ever wished for this day.

It was there in that moment that I wanted him to be 13 months again!  As I stared out into the front yard I could see him waddling down after my oldest son saying, “bye-bye” and waving his chubby little fingers when the bus drove away.  I remember thinking as we walked back up the driveway,  it is now just you and me kid.  Now fast forward four years and what I pictured yesterday is a glimpse in the past.  It is time to walk down the driveway again, holding onto another hand and wishing him off.

I know I am going to be a mess and then I will look at my youngest son as we hold hands back up the driveway and once again think, it is now just you and me kid.  Then what?  Then what will I do when big yellow takes all three of my boys in a few years? I will be walking up the driveway not holding a hand, but by myself.   I will probably be a wreck but then like all things, we move on.  We step forward.   We anticipate the next path our lives weave even amongst all the uncertainty.  With anticipation, we can only look forward and cherish the past.

So big yellow, be good to my boys.  Protect them from careless drivers.  Cushion their bottoms through all the first day bumps.  Give a soft jerk if a bully is going a bit too far.  Hold them safe for me.  As you drive away with my babies and I become a distant reflection may the hum of your engine calm their nerves.  Upon the conclusion of the days’ journey, open your arms and let them scurry out to meet mine!

I will welcome our reuniting with fresh-baked cookies and milk.  We can talk about the journey and another milestone completed during dinner.  When we are getting ready for bed I think I might just tuck them in one extra time.  I might head back into their bedrooms for one more kiss and hug.  And when they drift off to sleep, I will whisper out one more I love you!

That was then…

…this is now!

    “Think what a better world it would be if we all-the whole world-had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. And it is still true, no matter how old you are-when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.”
Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten