Sunday, September 30, 2012

Planning Ahead

STM has been taking Rojo to the "truck store" for lo, these many years (like 14). That's what Rojo named Home Depot due to the fork lifts and other assorted trucks that are in and around the place. Typically, they go on a Saturday or Sunday morning, count the trucks, buy a bunch of candy at the checkout stand and come home. Each year Rojo makes it a little more complicated, now he'll pick a random one, nowhere near where we live, and make STM take him there. They've been to Sherwood, Beaverton, Mall 205, you-name-it.

Last weekend when they were there, STM asked Rojo, "Would you like to work at Home Depot when you finish high school?"

"No," he said.

"Think about it, and I'm going to ask you to tell me more about that later," STM said.

The next day STM asked again, "Have you thought more about working at Home Depot when you are done with school? Maybe you could greet people? Maybe you could help put things on the shelves?"

"No, I cannot work at Home Depot because when I'm 25 I'll have my kids, and someone will need to stay with them. If I am working at Home Depot, nobody will be home with my kids."

Hadn't thought of that.

"So, what about your idea of working in a preschool? How would that work? Who would be with your kids when you were at that job?" STM asked.

"They would BE in the preschool!" he said.

Obviously.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Generosity


It's interesting to note that when doing a Google image search for this Corita Kent print, I found it from own blog, long ago.  I was hoping to get a better image without the glass and glare, but go ahead and say it with me... there are no accidents! I was the source of what I was looking for!

Yesterday Rojo and I met with his new-ish Developmental Pediatrician. It was only our second appointment with her, and the first one was four months ago. He was all out of sort at that appointment, and she really didn't see the true Rojo. This time, she did. She was asking him about his summer, how school is going, etc.

"I worked in a preschool," he said. Then he went into a long description of how you get to the preschool from our house, by bike.

"Did you get paid or were you a volunteer?" she asked him.

"I got paid $5.00 a day," he said.

"What did you do with your money?" she asked.

"SPENT it!" he said with emphasis and drama.

"No, you didn't," I corrected, "tell her what you really did with your money," I said.

"I gave it away," he said. "You know how there is church at 5:30 on Saturdays? You know how there are lots of homeless people? They are really homeless. I gave my money to them."

The doctor teared up and looked to me to validate the story.

"Yes," I said, "he gave almost all the money he made this summer, away."

"Those people are really homeless and poor," he said again, "so I gave it to them."

"I wish I could clone you," the doctor said with love in her eyes.

I looked up and saw that since the last time we were there, she had hung up some art (she had just moved in the first time we were there). She had up the exact same art we have at home. The Corita that I got when I graduated from college in education. Long before I knew just how "special" the children in my life would be.

"I have that same exact Corita at home, framed exactly the same way. I've had it for almost 30 years," I told her.

"Mine is about that old, too," she said. "My parents had it in our house when I was growing up, when I became a pediatrician, they gave it to me."

Each child is special. Give lots of love.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Deserving

I had lunch this week with two friends I've known for 31 years. I am still shaking my head and marveling that we've gone from talking about boyfriends, to husbands, children, and aging parents, and right around the corner: grandchildren and retirement.

We were reminiscing, talking about life in the past and life now. One of them has a seven-year-old from a second marriage, he's a great student, easy, happy kid and she is grateful. "You deserve it," I told her.

"No. I don't deserve it," she quickly corrected me. "Nobody deserves anything. You don't deserve the good things that happen to you, and you don't deserve the bad. They are all just part of the story."

Have you ever heard anything so wise?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Are you anywhere near as excited as I am for the "Gray's Anatomy" season premiere tomorrow? Were you also three, count 'em, THREE seasons behind until you got your priorities straight and all but pulled all-nighters with Netflix to get caught up? Are you, too, feeling like 2012 hasn't totally been in vain due to this significant accomplishment?

Well, if that doesn't impress you - how about this: I haven't had coffee in two days. I'm drinking TEA, and we all know how I feel about tea. I'll spare you the details and just say that it was quite obvious that coffee wasn't my friend. I'm hoping we can reconcile down the road, but for now at least, it's me, my tea, and "Gray's Anatomy!"


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Let us Remember



I get Rojo into bed, pull up the tangled sheet from the foot of the bed, re-arrange the comforter on top of his long body, go to shut the shades and he starts praying out loud, "In God's name we serve each other with kindness, justice and forgiveness. Amen. Now go write that one down before you forget it."

Done.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Amen

So, I thought the background I picked last week was artsy, but one of my most artsy friends said it was "nightmarish," so it's gone. Not trying to scare anyone, here! Someday I am actually going to figure out how to put photographs in the header that aren't super gigantic, but that day is not today (or the last several days I've tried it).

We had Woohoo home from college for the weekend (actually, it was Saturday afternoon until Monday morning). We all sat down to family dinner on Sunday (lest you be impressed, please know we have not sat down to dinner since she left a month ago), and we were all exhausted from a full weekend of Rojo. He was just extra everything this weekend, for all kinds of reasons I'm guessing, and having Woohoo home was "weird," he said.

So, picture us all crawling to the table, already on our last legs, then us turning to Rojo to say the prayer and him saying:

Lord,
May our souls be forgiven,
Our hearts be open,
and attached to each other.
Amen.


Amen.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

In My Path


Look at these four little beauties that literally, were right in front of me today when I went on a long walk. Couldn't help but see them. They were right there all along. Just like love.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Answering My Bell


When I decided that I was ready to wrap it up as the leader and host of the support group I'd been running for a number of years (6? 7? I lost count), the other women in the group banned together and presented me with a lovely gift. They gave me a trip to the beach and a gift certificate to a local spa. I was told I could take my whole family, a group of friends, just one friend, or go alone - whatever I wanted.

I, being me, chose to go all alone. I know some people think that's crazy or weird, in fact, I only know of one other person that also likes to take time away to be alone. I just do. In fact, I can't get enough of it. When I'm alone I don't have to answer the bell. For anyone. It is the only time I can be entirely selfish, sleep when I want, do what I want, eat what and when I want, talk when I want, be silent when I want, watch what I want, read what I want. Just what I want.

So, here I am, taking them up on their offer and enjoying the Oregon Coast. It's hot in Portland this week, so that means it's foggy and cool here - a 30 degree difference. I love it. I went on a walk after I arrived and had settle in. Sorry, my phone takes terrible pictures, but you get the idea. See all the other people walking on the beach, too? Exactly.

And look what I found just as I was heading back up the trail to the house. Just needs a period after it.





Come join me over at Hopeful Parents! Thanks!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Gold Star

We had a great weekend - Friday we went to Rojo's high school's first home football game. We wore our "spirit wear," he conducted the band, he followed the mascot around and best of all, he took off a couple of times to go hang out with friends.

Saturday morning I took Flicka over to my mom's early in the morning so we could drive down to Eugene to watch the U of O game. She said, "Sonam and Kunga are going to the game, too, look for them!" I didn't want to tell Rojo we might see them because I was afraid it would be too difficult and knowing we would arrive late in the first quarter and leave in the fourth, I didn't want to get his hopes up (and hear about it non-stop for the two-hour drive).

STM rode his bike from Portland to Turner (past Salem, like a four-hour bike ride), and Rojo and I drove down and got him on the way. Right before we made it to Turner Rojo says, "I'm going to text Sonam and tell her to call me at 12:30." Granted, driving to Eugene would make him think of her, but I had said nothing. He didn't hear back from her and I wasn't sure just what he wanted to talk to her about when/if she did call.

We got to Eugene, parked a long ways, hopped on our bikes that STM had all loaded up on the back of the car, and rode to the game. There's a foot bridge from the campus to the stadium, there were some other stragglers like us, arriving late at the game. All of a sudden, THERE were Sonam and Kunga, on the bridge!

Sonam was holding her phone in her hand, and was just checking it to see what time it was and if she should be calling Rojo right about then (it was nearly 12:30). Come on. WHAT are the chances of that? About 100% when your name is Rojo. We walked a ways with them, visiting, hugging, and telling them we'd hook up in the stadium at some point. Then we hopped back on our bikes and rode the rest of the way.

Got to the stadium and it appeared that people were sitting in our seats, so we went over to the student section and sat down in some empty seats. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a woman stand up to take a picture with her iPhone. "Is that Sonam?" I asked STM. Sure enough, there she was, about two rows down from us. I'm telling you, there were over 50,000 people in that stadium. HOW could we not be able to sit where we were "supposed to" only to sit RIGHT by Sonam? Long story short, she was with another family and so three of them were in their season-ticket-holding-seats, and she and a friend were "students."

Turns out no one was sitting in our seats and eventually a marshall pointed that out to us and had us move, as I guess he wasn't buying we were students.

So, today Rojo had me taking him all over tarnation, meeting his every request. We did yogurt with liz in Lake Oswego. We were at Trader Joe's and Safeway before most people were out of bed. We were at New Seasons. We invited Nancy over for Beer O'Clock which was really water o'clock. Basically, he said, "Jump!" and I asked, "How high?" all day long. Something new and different.

Cleaning up after dinner I spotted the chocolate bars he has me buy so he can give them away - you know the ones, the little three-packs that they sell at Trader Joe's? The ones that are just the right size? I pulled out two and asked, "Do you want to take these to your teachers tomorrow?"

"Care! You read my mind. You are thinking what I'm thinking. You have been doing that all day. You just know what I'm thinking and boom, you say it. You deserve a gold star."

Going to the drawer he pulls out a Post-It. "Gold," he writes on it, handing it to me, "You make a star," he says. I do. He puts the Post-It on the calendar on the fridge right over this weekend and says, "This was a gold star weekend."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Buddies


Rojo doesn't want to go to frozen yogurt with just me anymore. Passe. He wants to go with me and a buddy. He has many, but the ones his age are often busy when he wants to go - especially now that school has resumed. Fortunately, many of his buddies are also my buddies, and they are kind enough to go (not that they really have a choice, what with his twenty million texts/e-mails/Face Time requests).

We picked up Kathleen after school on Tuesday and took her to yogurt, and on Wednesday the plan was to take Nancy. Over the summer Rojo had me driving to hell and gone with Nancy for frozen yogurt, and then we tied it in with a trip to Target. One thing turned into another, and the next thing I knew he and Nancy were a pair with one list and cart, and I was on my own, shopping at Target (bliss).

So, Wednesday came and Nancy rode with me to get Rojo from high school, we went to the yogurt place next to Target, and then did our mutual shopping. Rojo had his very specific list: Pop Tarts, granola bars and Capri Sun, three things he considered "musts" for an early morning meeting he has next week, one in which he has already volunteered to bring the snacks. He's like me (times 10), doesn't like to have things on the To Do list too long, likes to get them on the list and OFF!

We had a pre-arranged time and place to meet (23 minutes later), and I got to the spot and they weren't there. Just then a text came through, "Care, we need five more minutes, please." I decided to go see what they had in clothing to kill time, found a Carrie Link dress and threw it in the cart. The extra five minutes cost me an extra $29.99, but watching Rojo and Nancy come around the corner and put their things on the conveyer belt without me, then walk out of the store together with is hand upon her shoulder? Priceless.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Music to my Ears

So, here's a little snippet that should bring hope to all of you raising kids that like to KNOW when things are going to happen, that like to have them happen the SAME way each and every time. Am I talking to you?

We left the house early today (couldn't be because I was dying to get him there or anything) and he noticed while driving, that we'd probably arrive 5-10 minutes earlier than usual.

"I'm not sure my classroom will be open yet, but that's okay, I can hang out in the hall or something. I'll just wing it."

And apparently he did just that. I never heard another word from him until I picked him up at our appointed time - at which point he kept me waiting 8 minutes.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Three Journeys

I was just curious how many posts I'd written between this blog and my old one, "Fully Caffeinated." Turns out I've written 1,661, over six-and-a-half years. When I feel like I don't have much to say, that must be why - I've said it all. Maybe I'll just start posting pieces that say, "Ditto."

That being said, there are always little things that come up that I think, "I gotta put that on the blog." I am not the TV watcher in the family, and if I lived all alone I don't think I'd even have one (but I'd have Netflix on my laptop). Nonetheless, Oprah has this amazing show, "Super Soul Sunday," and I never miss it. Each week she has someone on that says something I ruminate on the rest of the week. She's had Jill Bolte Taylor, Marianne Williamson, Michael Singer, and Reverend Ed Bacon, to name a few.

The most recent one I watched (I'm using my DVR to catch up), was Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, a Sufi mystic. Never knew a lot about Sufism, just knew I loved me some Rumi. Vaughan-Lee said in his interview, there are three journeys: the journey from God, the journey to God, and the journey in God. He didn't say this, but I have decided that the journey in God must equal heaven - being one with God.

Just me, or could you spend all day pondering that?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

This is the Day that the Lord Hath Made, Let Us Rejoice and Be Glad!

A friend just e-mailed me with that refrain from a favorite church song of Rojo's. And it's true, the Lord did make today, and it's every bit as true, if not truer, that I am GLAD!

Rojo is at school! He was super janked this morning and had me out the door WAY before time to go. We took the long way, we dropped something off, and still we were there way too early.

For the last few days Rojo has been telling me he hopes a boy we'll call K., will be one of his assistants this year. We kind of know K., his younger brother was in Rojo's class for a few years, and K. lives in the neighborhood, I am acquainted with his mom. We know enough of K. to know he's wonderful, let's just say that.

Anyhoo. Rojo got it in his head that life would not go on without K. as a helper, and so he somehow got K.'s cell number and began texting him multiple times to see what could be arranged. Today when I dropped Rojo off way too early, THERE was K., already there, standing outside ready to walk up to the car, help Rojo unload all his stuff, and escort him to his classroom, whereby I imagine he helped unpack all the stuff and make some sort of sense of things.

I teared up seeing K. there early, ready to help, answering the bell. More than that, I was reminded for the one trillionth time, that Rojo will be okay. It is not all up to me. He can advocate for himself. He can make stuff happen. He knows when he needs help and he's good about figuring out the perfect person to "offer" that help. HE WILL BE FINE.

Came home from this whole scene and was all wound up, put the leash on Flicka and took her on a power walk. Walked by my friend L.'s house. She came outside and we chatted. Told her the story of K. Told her how he was met with open arms and a loving heart. Told her that Rojo will be okay.

With tears in her eyes she looked at me and said, "Oh, he'll be FINE!"

And I believed her in the bottom of my heart.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Not a Mark on Him

So. We've made it to the day before the first day of school. We've survived summer camp, sending Woohoo off to college, and a whole host of other challenges this summer, but I'm not quite sure we'll survive the day. It's only 10:41 AM and I am already on my third just-get-me-through-this beverage. Since it's a tad early to crack a beer, I'm relying on the ol' standbys of caffeine/dairy/fat/sugar. They never fail to add that extra element of liquid stress to the already stressful situation, and I never fail to rely on them to do just that.

Rojo has, as I've said before, had a great summer. He does not want it to end. Period.

I do.

I am, by all intents and purposes, at his beck and call, every minute he's awake and not at work. "CARE!" he calls a million times a day, full of another great idea of how we can kill time, usually involving buying something junky to eat. Usually I comply. Usually I indulge, as well.

I think the first order of business, beginning tomorrow, is to go on a health kick. I told STM that. "STM?"I said, "I am going to go on a health kick when Rojo goes back to school." He looked at me like I had three heads and handed me a beer. Let's face it, we all like me better under the slight influence.

Can't talk now, gotta chug my Starbucks Double Shot and take Rojo to frozen yogurt now. We've already been to Trader Joe's. And Plaid Pantry.

Thank you for your prayers.

Amen.