My almost-19-year-old son is not much of a communicator. It's something that I bug him about occasionally. It's a little ironic that I bother him about it, because I'm certain this stoic attitude came from me. I stil work on communicating with people I love. I am a little better at it now than I was at his age, but if I am speaking truthfully (and I'm trying), then the degree of improvement has been small-ish.
I added the "ish" there, because I'm also trying to cut myself some slack, but that's another topic, and this post was supposed to be about my son. SO...
My friend's pediatrician told her something very wise. There are three things you can't make kids do, as a parent: eat, sleep, and use a toilet. I never wanted to battle over food, because I didn't want food to have that kind of emotional baggage. I was very lucky to have two good, cooperative sleepers. The toilet?
After months of battling with my daughter about toilet training, I decided that I was not going to battle the next kid, and I let him decide when he wanted to do the whole 'potty like a big boy' thing. Which meant that he, like his sister before him, left diapers behind at nearly the age of four, when it was time for Pre-K. My sanity was saved, but not my budget. Diapers that fit a three-year-old kid are expensive!
As part of getting ready for Pre-K, he had a physical, like his sister had. He was very excited to get to pee in a cup! It turned out that there was just the merest hint of blood in his urine, and the doc wasn't alarmed, but wanted to do an ultrasound, just to err on the side of caution.
It was scheduled for the following week, and I spent some time telling him about how it wouldn't hurt, and that the doctor would be able to use a special machine to take a look inside of him.
Whatever I said, I somehow managed to increase his fear, rather than allay it, and on the way to the doctor's office for the ultrasound, he said, with tears in his little blue eyes, "Are they gonna take off my brown?"
He grabbed the skin on his arm, and said, "My brown. Are they gonna take it off to see inside me?" We are a pretty pale family, but the boy has always gotten a bit of a suntan, despite the sunscreen.
He thought they were going to remove his skin to look inside.
Let me tell you how much my heart broke for him, right there. Poor baby, had been worried for days but didn't say a thing, until he could no longer hold it in.
Ready for more?
The summer of 1999, I was getting ready to return to college to get my teaching degree. We had been talking to the kids about it for months, as it meant a few changes in schedules, etc, for all of us. The boy, now seven years old, asked again, with those damn blue eyes, "Mom, when are you moving into the dorm?"
Gah! How long he had been carrying that one around, I don't know, but he managed to break my heart again. He knew that college students lived in dormitories. The idea of a commuter campus was beyond his imagining. Older sister didn't seem worried about anything, so maybe he thought she wasn't concerned because she was nine years old, and maybe when you are nine, you don't need mom so much.
Lately, when he asks us about things like the Instructor-in-Training program he is joining at the martial arts school, I can see him framing questions carefully. I know there is some kind of fear in there somewhere, and now, if there were tears in his blue eyes, I'd have to look way up to the top of his six-foot-three frame to see them.
Damn kid. Better not break my heart again.
Okay, obviously I am too old for my own damn audience. The "Oscar-winning rabbit" part was facetious. That's how Bugs Bunny was introduced after 1958, when Knightly Knight, Bugs! won an Oscar for animated short.
The actor, who was invisible to us because we were several rows of people back in the crowd, DID rhyme with Lawn Men, however, and won an Oscar for his last major performance as a San Francisco city supervisor that was shot and killed by a giant Twinkie.
The concert? Was the same song, performed six complete, and two incomplete, times, and was incredible.
Or, my life is sufficiently un-exciting that I can "shake things up" by not centering Keely's button. Hold on people, it's gonna be a bumpy ride
You may be wondering why I am not at work today. You were, weren't you? You could tell by my typing, and this devil-may-care attitude that I am still in my jammies at 10:37 a.m., couldn't you? That's just how perceptive you are. It's why I love YOU best (keep that on the DL, I don't want to hurt my other readers' feelings--they're very sensitive). Any way, I am not at my regular job today, because an amazing opportunity presented itself, that I couldn't pass up.
What was that opportunity, you ask?
Well, here's where things get sticky. I can only say so much...you may recall that the film industry has tremendous tax breaks here in Michigan, and that I have previously had the chance to work as "background," or as a film 'extra.' On set they call us background, as in..."Roll film...background...and action!"
That's how important we are. We enter the scene before the actors. Except the actors are usually called "talent," to distinguish from us, the untalented, I suppose. And we aren't allowed to mingle with the talent.
So there's a film being shot here currently, and it stars that Oscar-Winning Rabbit that rhymes with Lawn Men. The movie's name comes from the title of the Talking Heads song that Buddy and I picked for our first dance at our wedding, 25 years ago.
So, when the chance came to be an extra in the filming of a concert scene with the original performer of the song? I jumped at the chance. Even better, they told us we could bring a guest between the ages of 18 and 50, so we just squeaked under that line there.
So that's this afternoon.
So far this post doesn't seem too random, so let's jump into the WABAC machine and head to...yesterday. Short trip. I saw my pain guy yesterday, Dr. R, and we tweaked the meds a bit, and decided it was time for a refresher of last year's ablation procedure. Not my favorite thing to do, but I went from January to August of this year with little or no pain at all.
The latest version of the Educator Guide from The Henry Ford, EDventures (get it?) is all published and pretty, and not only am I quoted in it, my picture is in it! I think I need to talk to those film people about moving me out of the 'background" category, and into the "middle-but-kind-of-out-of-focus-ground."
Go see Keely.
The BBC apparently believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here (My count is 38, I think):
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare