Wednesday, April 16, 2014

He'll be 6'5" by Mornin'

He hasn't stopped eating since he got home.  He's already eaten 3/4ths of an organic pizza.  "I think I'll make some spaghetti, too."  *dumped in entire bag
Meanwhile, he'll munch the salad while he waits.
Taught him how to cook for himself just in time.  

From Riverboat Imp to Young Man with a Crush

Jack Looking UP
October 26th, 2006.  On a riverboat chugging down the Mississippi.

I've started calling Jack a man recently, since he's grown taller than me, and also because it makes him more likely to help out with the bigger chores around here after I insist that it's a man's job (as opposed to a boy's).  Each time that I do, he looks at me with a great sense of responsibility for that privilege and with a particular pride that reveals how much he admires his father.

But my little boy, that joyful little imp, still skips circles around my mind.  I don't see the little guy with the cherub face any more, but I remember every bit of that spritely love that whirled around my world for years, needing his nose wiped, or a lift up to the hip, or a slurp from my drink while his snot dripped down the straw as he sat on my hip.

I don't want him to stay little.  I don't need him to.  In fact, I need him to grow big and independent so that he can help me lug my mulch, clean out my barn, tear out the volunteer trees in my rose bed, start dinner when I'm twenty minutes from home and running late.

Mostly I need him to be happy, and right now he's happy.  Every achievement makes him happier.  Every self sufficient skill he's mastered puts him more at ease, and me as well.  He's happy to help his mother.  Happy to be compared to his dad.  Happy to be turning into a man.  This is how it is supposed to go.

Many yesterdays ago, I chased him around that riverboat chugging up and down the Mississippi River.  He was in his famous orange coat, laughing that uncontrollable laugh boys get when they're having fun and being ornery, because they just figured out they can get beyond the reach of a parent, and that's hysterical.

Yesterday I asked if he wanted to keep me company on the trail.  The treadmill sputtered into death, and I had several more miles yet to go.  He said, "Sure," and after we pieced together an inadequate cold weather running ensemble, we went.  He went off ahead of me, too fast, but that was alright.  I passed him up again after a half mile and kept going beyond him, trusting he would follow just fine, and not get discouraged by his old mom pulling away.  Sure enough, we met up at an underpass and he came charging at me with melodramatic teen-like open arms.   The graffiti there struck us both as funny, so we paused our lives together and had a laugh, then walked it back, talking about the girl with the yellow hair in the art class after his.  She knows his name, but he doesn't know hers or what to say to her.
"She's pretty."
"And nice.  I think.  She seems nice. I've seen her with other girls, and she seems nice."
"You should figure out a clever way to find out her name, I think."
"Listen. Someone will say it.  Then you can say hi to her, and it will make her happy that you know who she is."
And he smiled.
And that's where we are.

I saw as many twinkle-eyed smiles as a mother could see.  Somehow I knew I'd need the memories of both my little imps to soothe me through this middle life and beyond, so I collected those moments for years.
I didn't miss much with him.
Which is why I don't need things to stay frozen in time to suit me.

He's a man almost, and I'm happy about it.  

© Copyright 2014 Angeline Larimer

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Repost Thursday: I Only Regret The Worry That Ta...

"Jack has attended an incredible public school since the 1st grade.  We owe them our sanity.  We owe them our son's happiness.  His speech delay could not be fixed with the snap of the fingers or a quick fix new drug.  He needed patience from educators who believed that he would get there.   These people have been incredible."

This revisit choked me up today.

Life in the Pumpkin Shell: Five Years Later: I Only Regret The Worry That Ta...: [Originally posted 1/18/2008] Because of my son's misdiagnosis, I was forced to make a choice. A dozen or more educators and healt...

 © Copyright 2014 Angeline Larimer

Throwbback Thursday: The Four Year Wiggle Rotation

"What makes us wonderful as a species is our ability to love. We should teach that most of all, and we should start teaching it from day one and never stop." 

Life in the Pumpkin Shell: The Four Year Wiggle Rotation

 © Copyright 2014 Angeline Larimer

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Why My Reviews Never Get Published

A little special something I do with my pal Muffins is I like to send her links to dresses that get recommended to me on Facebook while we're chatting.  Even if we're talking about death and dying, I'll send her one.
"Too fuchsia for a funeral?" and she'll always say I'll look hot in it, even if her opinion on the dress = "meh".

The more links I send per conversation, the greater the amount of worrisome things there are on my mind =  I'm desperate for comic relief.  I think she's the same way.

So there's a dress I like that looks like it has stars on it.  I asked Muffins to take me to the Fall Dance wearing it.  (Either her or me.  Doesn't matter.  It's called "Starlight Hearted Dress" which would make a great prom theme.)

Before Muffins came into my world, I used to amuse myself by reading Amazon reviews.

See:  "I Know What Yellow Looks Like"

This dress won't leave me alone, so I considered getting it, possibly, maybe, with no good reason to ever wear it unless we do manage to pull together that Over 40 prom I've been scheming about.

I checked the reviews.  This was a favorite:

"My boyfriend got me this dress for our one year anniversary (and my future prom dress) and it is so gorgeous! I was fawning over it since I "picked" it in Be The Buyer. My boyfriend got me an 8, and I'm always in between 8's and 6's. I could have gotten a 6 here.... but I'm still comfortable in an 8 :) The sequins are awesome and I think they look like stars/constellations :) I'll put up pictures later... It's really comfortable and not scratchy at all. I would say buy this dress! It's totally worth it for a special event :)

Here's what I'd end up writing if I were to get this dress:

"My husband thinks I'm going crazy and I'm sure he's probably right.  He came home from work the other night and found me scrubbing the toilets while wearing this dress.  'Where did you get that?' he asked, and I started crying.  'I don't know what's happening right now,' he went on, and I squeaked out something about how all my high school boyfriends sucked total fucking ass, to which he replied, 'I think you missed a spot of crusted urine underneath the seat,' and then I attacked him with the toilet brush.  He's in intensive care because of a nasty viral infection that put him into a coma (or he's just faking it).  I wish I'd never purchased this dress.  It has ruined my life.  BUT, I should mention that I purchased a size -2 and could totally have gone with the -4, because there's absolutely no way in hell you'll ever know whether or not that's true.  LOL. *sob*. Just kidding.  (No I'm not.)  Please wake up, Tom."

© Copyright 2014 Angeline Larimer

Saturday, April 05, 2014

444.17 Miles to Go: The New Record Is 16

Longest run today.  It started last night, getting the kids and me to bed at a decent hour.  Then again this morning, 7:00 am.  My long run running crew lives an hour away near the best trail this state has to offer in my opinion, plus the location gives opportunity to see other friends and family, so off we went...

Facebook blurb:  "Training for a marathon as a mom while husband/father is trekking across Ireland with his father over spring break means getting the kids up early (neither complained), bribing them with Starbucks breakfast sandwiches, driving an hour+, meeting grandma at a gas station to take Jack horseback riding, and Pick to a friend's house to hang out with her pal. . (-: And then there was Carrie & Sarah who ran the 16 miles with me, otherwise... hm. I'd have slept in.

It's not just about the miles, or the commitment, but this wonderful discovery of just how many people have my back so that I can do this."


There are multiple reasons for both genders training, but if you're a woman runner, you know that there are extra reasons to prepare.  Biological excuses aren't accepted at this level of running.  It's something you train through, pay attention to, make adjustments for, find out what you can handle, but you go regardless of how you feel, preferably with ladies who understand, because you want this for yourself.

I was cold when we began.  And tired.  And I hurt in places.  So it figures it was the best run ever.

At mile 8, we'd run over the road that led to my high school, and I remembered the days in gym class when we girls moaned about having to do a mile in under 12 minutes for an A.  We managed to do 16 today at an average that would have been under 11 if I hadn't had to stop and do business on the side of the trail TWICE.  It was an empowering thought, that I'd be able to outrun my 17-year-old self.

The same thing keeps happening every week despite adding a mile to my longest runs.  When I see that 5k marker, I get that 'almost home' euphoria that the horses always got after a long trail ride back when I was a kid.  Stored energy comes from somewhere and the brain shuts off in order to ignore any thought that might get in the way of finishing as quickly as possible.  You see that sign, you think, "A half an hour or less if I'm tough," and you go.  Because at this point, a half an hour seems pretty quick.

All three of us did this at the same time.  It's very cool to be that in sync with other human beings.  We were chatting, laughing, enjoying the day, discussing how the knees and hips felt, and then there was a collective silence.  Just our feet hitting the trail together.  Rushing water, happy birds, distant traffic - those sounds my mind has learned mean we are very nearly home.  And as much as I enjoy going out, getting back in one piece is a feeling that can't be replicated.

Only ten more miles to add and I'm a marathoner, thanks to these ladies.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Miscommunication For Real: Jack Stuff at 13

"Can I get the mail?"


"We got something from Hustler."



"Give me it right now!!!"

"What's the matter with it?"

"Nothing.  I thought it was something else."

And he smirked.

And I said, "Jack Lewis!"


"Nevermind.  Never ever ever mind."

And he smirked again.

(Hustler #$%@ing  Mowers.  For godsakes.  It's been a looooong week.)

Regarding Jack Lately:

He went to get the mail because he's expecting a package with Legos in it.  The boy cleaned the horse barn by himself this week, no complaints, cleaner than the palace (provided it's a clean palace). 
The really cool thing about exploiting a child with an eye for detail and a strong sense of honor for doing what he's told, is that he does immaculate work.  Even the pony boys were like those lucky people on the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy show (dated?) when they come back to their apartments and find the space converted into a magical realm.  The ponies hesitated walking in, all happy and grateful, but a little afraid to put their hooves down on the fresh fluffy sawdust.  I could tell they were wondering if it was heaven and they'd died.  

To reward Jack (and since he endured the all girl slumber party with patience), I let him order some Legos. 

The other thing about Jack is that I offered him a certain amount of allowance for the barn work, and he did not even try to negotiate higher funds as he browsed and saw other more expensive options.  It was accepted that the amount I was offering would be the end of it.  Because of this, I said, "You also helped clean the house for your sister's party.  I can give you some extra if you find something pricier."  He declined.  Pick, on the other hand, heard me say that.  It's sort of the reason she wrote, "You give him special treatment," in her dreaded (had it coming to me) note.  I used this moment as an example to plead my case.  "When you refuse to be happy with what you're given, people aren't as eager to give you things.  Your brother is always appreciative of whatever he gets and never argues for more or about how things are unfair.  In fact, he has never said, "Why does SHE get that and I don't?"  Not once.  Do you understand how his way is more likely to attract a positive response from us?"

She frowned. 

"You had a slumber party and you didn't have to shovel manure for four hours.  You wanna shovel manure for four hours?"


"Thank your brother for helping you clean the house."


(We snuggled later.  It's fine.)


Jack's growing a lot.  I always write this, and he always is.  Kyle stopped by last night, and Kyle had seen Jack five days ago.  He said, "What?  Jack!  You're two inches taller AGAIN."  Jack's taller than me.  He's gaining on his dad.  I don't think anyone doubts he'll reach 6 feet.  This is a lot of work for the body, all this growth, all the systems coordinating to make it happen.  Lots of hormones.  He should probably sleep 12 hours a day and eat every four hours, but he can't.  In the meantime, school requires the ability to focus.  It's a biological clash, but we're working through.

There has been frustration with homework this year.  It's gotten us all a bit exhausted.

I'm considering going back to a GI Tract repair regimen, but Tom would like to go to the pediatrician first. Both kids have been having trouble focusing this year, actually.   Good friends cut sugar out of their granddaughter's diet, and this I'm told helped with the attention levels a great deal.  Jack has expressed feeling much better when he hasn't had sugar.  We have been incredibly busy, however.  Healthy eating always goes by the wayside.  
It's also that time of year when lovely junk floats around in the air thanks to spring, and I notice more jitters, higher irritation levels.  I read a few years back that elevated histamine levels are being connected to OCD symptoms.  The immune system remains on alert for cold and flus, but begins sweeping out all the lovely allergens.  I've long been convinced Jack has an overactive immune system, so instead of the sneezing, watery eyes, running nose business that people think is their spring cold, Jack sleeps poorly, struggles with memory, gets more tongue tied, and he seems cranked up a bit.  When you ask him to sit and focus, he panics, because it's pretty frustrating not being able to get the brain to stay put long enough to finish an assignment within a reasonable amount of time.
I will boost his vitamin C.
And get him back on his liquid vitamins + magnesium
And make sure he's eating a green salad a day.
But I have to get myself back onto that schedule, and force it as a priority.
It's not easy, but it needs to happen.

Everything else is good.
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