Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Harder Route


Jack Lately - Age 15 - A Lovely Time For Us

I think what I'd like to say here is that I am so proud of my kid.  Both kids, but my boy is leaving the home first someday, and when I revisit old blog posts on here, and channel the younger me who was stressed out so much about how it was going to all turn out, I am often speechless, overwhelmed, grateful, emotional - watching my boy doing everyday normal things so fantastically.
I was thinking about this the other day.  Thinking how grown up he has gotten.

We'd gone to the movies, just Jack and Tom and me, because Pick was at a party, and so the three of us opted to see Star Trek together.   We went early, as the day was too hot to do much else anyway, and then afterwards decided to get some Panera, sitting ourselves outside on the patio of the establishment, watching the traffic of 465 skim across the setting sun.  We talked about the plot, then other Star Trek plots, and he mentioned some things about the movie that he noticed were a little weak - not complaining about them, but as a fan of films and clearly someone who paid attention to each and every detail.  He kept talking, and I encouraged Tom to join in. It's not exactly Tom's thing.  He likes woodworking, banjos, walking around and not talking very much, but there was a moment - I can't remember what exactly - when Jack was talking about the plot, and Tom looked at him impressed.  I think Tom had said something, and Jack said, "No, I know what you mean.  I thought that, too, but it was something else..."

It was just the three of us eating dinner, and it was lovely.  And I thought maybe we overdid it all those years, in fact.  He is so polite.  He leaned over me just now and said, "Excuse me, mom," as he picked up a highlighter.  He will see a pet mess on the floor and clean it up immediately - even though he still smells things very sharply, and germs still tend to bug him (though, in all fairness, I think everyone who steps in dog poop wants to take a shower after).  He will clean the horse stall so clean, there really is no one better for the job.  He won't complain about it. Maybe a groan at first, but then he's off.  He'll push mow my garden paths for me.  No complaints.  He'll see me taking a picture with my phone, lean over my shoulder, smile and say, "Yeah, that's a good one."  He helped me catch a moth the other night, and led me to the front door so we could let it loose outside -- even though he still admits to being nervous about flying things.  He has sympathy for them, too!   When Wina was sick, shortly before our poor old dog died, he lifted her outside so she could go potty, and then he'd pick her back up, soothing her the entire walk back, putting her gently back onto her bed.  "Good job, girl," he said to her.  Last night, Tom and I smiled while eavesdropping on Jack talking to the cats.  "Suzie, you're being stubborn.  Calvin, I think she needs to be let outside if she doesn't straighten up.  Suzie?  I fed you, now stop with that mewing!"  *She was consistently mewing.  "Alright, Suzie.  You win!  How do you put up with it, Calvin?  She's such a princess."  When Jack comes home, Calvin the hunter becomes a different animal.  He finds Jack and falls to the floor sprawled out at Jack's feet, no shame, begging to be patted.  He has the enthusiasm of a dog for his master, while still using the customs of the feline.  Jack knows exactly where to scratch, talks gently to Calvin, and Calvin meows back.  This cat rarely does this to me, almost never to the other two, but it's Jack whose affection gets begged for.

Jack watched President Obama's speech last night, sat next to me and clapped throughout.  After the President spoke, he said, "I feel better now."
"I wish that I could meet him."
"You did."
"Yes.  He waved at you eight years ago."
"It really bothers me that I don't remember that!"

He's writing a book.
He's doing awesome in driver's ed.
We can't go anywhere in this town where a teenager doesn't say, "Hi, Jack!" from across the way, and instead of ditching us, he shyly waves back, then redirects his attention onto us.  
"You want to go talk to them?" I used to ask.  "That's okay."
He is still shy because he can mix up some words, and he knows it, and even though no one (that I know of) is still judging him for it, he is very hard on himself.  Possibly why he bonds with animals.  They're easy to talk to.

He's asked me if he could take up piano lessons again.

"I really need music in my life," he said after his sister's last concert.  "It's good for me.  I need it. I'd like to do piano again if I can."    He says things like that, and I have two responses.  The mom of a regular kid who says she'll look into finding a piano teacher, and the ghost of a scared woman finally getting her reassurances.  He is my child whose eyes tear up while listening to Beethoven.   Don't even try to interrupt him.  He will be the first to clap at the end and then he'll look at me and say, "That was so beautiful."  He will tell that to musicians.  "I really enjoyed that.  Thank you!"  He will say that to his grandmother (who plays the viola).  "It's so amazing what you do, Grandma.  So amazing.  I loved the show."  Chokes her up every time.

The best is when he makes his sister laugh.  She is so smart.  So clever.  A true comedienne in her own right.  If he can make her laugh, it's a huge achievement, and he does it so successfully, it's the best sound in the world.  To hear her laugh, and see his face beaming has healed portions of the past- but when they both go back and forth with the joke, like a comedy act, I know they'll be in each other's lives in the future.  He'll have to be the one checking in, I'm sure, but if she ever needs anything, he will drop everything to be there.  I know this.  Laughter in the kitchen while they're co-making dinner is how I know they'll come home often for the holidays, and take care of each other after Tom and I are gone.
He is a good person.  A very good person.  They both are.  I insisted on manners.  I still come down hard on him if I sense a bad mood coming on.  I've made others uncomfortable with how strict I've been about his good manners.  I don't regret it. It's been so worth it to see the faces of those who weren't expecting him to say kind out-of-the-ordinary things.

But what I was thinking about the other day was how lucky we are that he'd sit with us at Panera, no complaints, and want to talk and talk and talk to us about everything.  How lucky am I to sit and sip my iced green tea, listening to my husband and my son diagram the lives of Spock, making future plans to see the original television series in order to fully understand the motivations of Khan.

"All I know is that I can't wait to see 'Dr. Strange' when it comes out," Jack said, shoving the last of his sandwich into his mouth. 

"Should be a good one," Tom agreed.

'I'm so lucky,' is what I kept thinking.

So normal to everyone else.  So lovely to me.  

How much he's grown.  

That's where we are these days.

Writing his novel with Calvin at his side.

Why I Had a Daughter

Found these on my phone.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Team GG's Team Page for Teal Ribbon Ovarian Cancer Run Walk 2016

This race always gets me. 
If you can help out or participate, please do.  The family who created Team GG participate every year in memory of their daughter/sister/wife/mother/grandmother GG.
She is very missed.

Team GG's Team Page for Teal Ribbon Ovarian Cancer Run Walk 2016

© Copyright 2016 Angeline Larimer
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