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Peeking Blooms

Today were the Special Olympics spring games. This was Ben’s 6th year of participating and the fifth in which we were utterly miserable. Actually, it wasn’t too bad this year, because, unlike other years, we prepared for the misery. We wore long underwear and brought our stocking hats and mittens and wore winter coats over our Special Olympic jackets. But that wind…it was something else. It whistled straight through my knitted cap.

Ben did pretty well, even with the nasty weather. He got first place in the 100 meter dash, which means he could go to the state meet – except that’s the day of his graduation party. He’s not even going to do bocce ball this year because that competition is on his last-ever day of high school and I know he won’t want to miss that. So we’re done with Sp. Olympics until next fall. And who knows what will be happening then with him working and all the other changes in his life?


I’ve had sick people at my house for several days straight. David is getting over a nasty head cold and yesterday Lizzie stayed home from school. Today she went, but Sam stayed home. We got home from the Olympics and Will was stretched out on the couch (actually, I thought it was David, until David came walking into the kitchen from down in the basement – I don’t know how these guys can sleep with blankets over their faces. Paul did that, too. I can’t stand to have my nose covered.) He’s still sleeping. I don’t know if that means he’s getting sick, too, or if he just stayed up too late last night.

I am hopeful it’s going to pass me. Friday evening I was driving home after having spent the day in Omaha with Kathy and I am pretty sure I had a mini-stroke – I have not had one of those since Sam was three or four, I don’t think. I know that sounds scary, but it really isn’t a huge deal. In my case, my left side got really heavy and I could tell that the left side of my face was somewhat numb. Earlier in the day I had noticed some numbness in my left foot, but didn’t think anything of it at the time.

Things like that don’t affect me cognitively, but it did kind of scare me at the time because my mind immediately leaped to what happens if I do have another real stroke? How will we survive? Who will take care of the kids? And other normal concerns like that. I had already decided in recent days that I have got to be taking better care of myself. I’m having a harder time getting up and down off the floor and while I’m not gaining weight it’s all kind of settling in ways I don’t like. I want to be healthy going into the latter half of my life here. So having that happen was a huge push of “Yeah – you’d better take care of your body!”

I see my neurologist soon so I’ll mention this to him, but I really think what happened is that, unbeknownst to me, my body was fighting some germs and it manifested itself neurologically. Sunday and Monday I just didn’t feel the greatest – not enough to keep from doing what I needed to do, but I was dragging a bit. Saturday I really had a heavy left eye, but other than a sore shoulder and a bit of heaviness all down that left side I’m doing fine now. So, all this to say – I must have had a touch of sickness, too.

So, anyway – the craft show. That was really nice, as always. I enjoy those Moms Days Outs so much. That morning I wrote a long email and sent it to both of the kids’ teachers letting them know I was going to be out of town, but if the kids got sick they could have Will take them home since he was in the building observing that day and on and on. That morning was something else and I didn’t think I was ever going to get on the road. I heard back from both teachers right away telling me to go – have fun – and not worry about the kids – they’d take good care of them. So I was able to leave free of worry.


The other day I told Ellie her juice was on the counter – I had gotten for her. She replied, “Ok, thank you, precious Mom!” Not sure where that came from, but I’ll take it!

She’s actually been really good the last couple of weeks. I’m not sure what’s wrong with her! It’s too soon, I think, to hope that she’s finally emerging from this terrible place she’s been in since she was 3.


One day last week at school she got her finger pinched in a chair at preschool. It was no big deal and she didn’t even have a mark on her finger when she came home. But in her bag was a full page “accident report” detailing how the accident occurred and what action they took (gave her an ice pack), requiring my signature! Good grief…


I got a note from the school the other day informing me that Lizzie has missed five days of school this year and I am therefore in danger of being turned over to the county attorney for truancy. Are you kidding me? I immediately threw the letter away, but when I emailed Lizzie’s teacher to let her know Lizzie wouldn’t be in Monday I did mention how I knew this would keep me on the “watch list” for truancy and referenced the letter. She immediately wrote back and said she was so sorry about the letter. The school is required to send them out, per the state, but to not worry about it. I wasn’t. Besides, they didn’t even spell Lizzie’s name right. I’m not going to take anything too seriously when they can’t bother to check how my child’s name is supposed to be spelled.


One day last week Sam came home really excited. He said, “Mom, today I was a servant in shoes!” He had chosen to witness to a classmate on the ride home from school. I’m not so sure witnessing is what that song, “Servant in Shoes” refers to, but I guess that’s really the ultimate act of service, so it fits. He said this classmate assured him that he’s been to church once so he knows he’s going to Heaven. That left Sam pretty doubtful, naturally. I was still so proud of him. He’s not an outgoing kid by nature and it took a lot for him to screw up his courage to broach the subject with this other kid.


We got some new neighbors the first of the year. Well, “neighbor” as in they live in the same tiny town. They’re not next door or anything. There are seven kids and four adults in the house. I think I’ve mentioned them before. Mom is single and it’s apparent that different daddies were involved in making the kids. Mom is heavily tattooed, bleached blond, and has a husky smoker’s voice. But…before I go getting on my judgmental high horse, I have to say that as time goes on I am kind of impressed with her.

One afternoon last week some of her kids were down here playing on the trampoline with my kids, along with some other neighbor kids. It was a full yard! Pretty soon, one of mine ran in to report to me that the 14 year old girl had flipped the middle finger to the 13 year old neighbor kid. Ugh. So I went outside and very nicely asked her not to repeat that gesture in front of my kids or she would have to go home. She just stared at me. It wasn’t too much later and I had a knock at the door. It was Mom. Uh, oh. I was sure I was about to get reamed out for picking on her kid! Instead, Mom (whose name is Kim) nudged her daughter forward and said, “My girl has something to say to you” and the teenager muttered, “Sorry I showed my middle finger in front of your kids.” Evidently one of her younger siblings had run home and tattled and Mom was having none of that!

I was impressed and I thanked both the girl and her mother for the apology – which I never expected. Kim and I went on to have a nice conversation. She agreed with me in my assessment of the bus situation and admitted she isn’t real happy about her kids having to ride it, either. She said she’d drive them herself, but she “lost her license awhile back” (oh, dear…something tells me I can answer the “why” of that!). Somewhere in the conversation she commented that she, herself, uses swear words, but her kids “know better than to do that.” Later, Lizzie and I walked back into the house together and Lizzie said , “Don’t you think she’d be better off to just not swear at all if she doesn’t want her kids to do it, too?” That kid of mine is no dummy…


Well, I have quite a bit more to write, but I think I’m going to go ahead and post this tonight. The next two days are going to be crazy and I’m not sure when I’ll be able to finish up. I’ll post this and work on some school work. Have I mentioned that this term is killing me?!...

Oh, and the title refers to my children.


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