Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Brother, My Friend

Reid didn't eat his dinner or follow directions really at all last night, so he didn't get to outside to play with Graham and Daddy after we cleared the dishes. His devastating cries accompanied by hot tears filling the rims of his glasses permeated my back as I stood at the sink rinsing ketchup off plates. I shut off the water, turned around and scooped him up, ignoring both his pleas for "Daaa-ddyyy!" and the crumbs begging to be swept off the kitchen floor. I carried my sobbing baby boy up to our bed and switched on the laptop - a workaholic's force of habit, yes, but also a good distraction that is not TV. Digital photos of my boys? Yes, that's the ticket. Reid and I flipped through jpg after jpg, reminiscing about when he was my baby in size, not just rank. And his tears dried easily.

"Go back to that one!" he would demand. "Look at me, Mommy!" pointing at the screen, and "What was I doing/wearing/eating?" He wanted to linger on the photos that included his bubby. And then I realized that the really devastating part of his punishment for not following directions was more about not getting to play with his brother than it was about not getting to go outside.

Those two are quite a pair.

I sought my soul, but my soul I could not see. I sought my God, but my God eluded me. I sought my brother and I found all three. ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

There was a hula-hooper in the corner at Kids Eat Free Night

It was a clown. Need I say more? What happened to the good old-fashioned clown we used to know? The one that made children laugh and was all full of happiness and goofiness and carried around a bicycle horn and was not remotely odd or slightly scary or seemingly drug-induced? Yeah...that.

Let me explain...

Tonight we dined at Jason's Deli. Me loves a good salad bar so I can't ever resist Jason's Deli. And Wednesday is Kids Eat Free night -- an even better reason to patronize this lovely dinner establishment. Because let's face it, spening $5 on a plate of Kraft Mac & Cheese that I know costs $.99 at the grocery store and that I know will get a couple bites of attention from my 4-year-old is just annoying. But a free plate of Kraft Mac & Cheese that might get a couple bites? You had me at hello!

Tonight there was a special extra something at Jason's Deli for Kids Eat Free Night.

A she-clown.

With a hot pink tutu, hot pink thigh-high leggings, sparkles, blush and a pig-tails wig. And? Three hula-hoops. And PG-13 rated hula hooping abilities. She was "performing" in the corner at Jason's Deli. Sort of entranced in her own clownish hula-hooping world.

It felt so awkward. At one point she walked in the back room to get a chocolate chip cookie. She sauntered out munching on it and grinned at us. Then, back to her corner. I looked around at the kids in the room, some of whom were occasionally watching her, others not really noticing, a couple little girls wanted her to make them balloon flowers. I wondered, "What is going on here?" Clearly, nobody really cared.

Is it Stephen King's fault? The downfall of clowns everywhere? Being reduced to a clownish, fuschia-wearing, sparkly teeny-bopping, multiple hula-hooping "performer?"

After probably about 30 minutes, her gig was up. She walked out to the parking lot at the same time we did, chatting away on her cell phone. Her Blazer had a "Bang This" bumper sticker. She loaded the hoops in the back.

But hey, the Kids Ate Free.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Conversations with a 4-year-old

Hubby: "Stop licking the butter. Don't put your finger in the butter."

Him: "But I like butter!"

Hubby: "It's for the corn. It's not for you to lick."

Him: "I want to lick the butter! I like licking the butter!" ... (pause) ... Is the butter meltingIs it smallerWhy is it meltingWhy is it getting smallerWhy does it do thatWhy can't we eat itWhy can't we lick butter? Why? Why? WHY?

Me: (futile attempts at answers to each question)

Him: (as Hubby's back is to us, in his loud-whisper voice) Mom! Lick the butter! Quick! Don't tell Dad!

Me: "I don't want to li-"



Yes, folks, we are still solving the world's problems over here at the Hawks Nest. What's new with you?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

How the drive-in reignited my love for Disney

When is the last time you saw a movie outside, from the back of your car, or bed of your truck, under a starry summer sky, the sound resonating from car speakers and maybe just a tad bit crackly?

It was Hubby’s idea. I was going to take Graham on a date to Toy Story 3. He’s been so, SO into Toy Story lately and didn’t even realize there was a third installment in movie theaters taking the country by storm. I felt like I was holding out on him, like holding a bouncy red ball over my head, too high for him to reach. But also? He didn’t even know there was a red bouncy ball out of his reach. To be fair, I just HAD to share it with him. And then Hubby discovered it was playing at the drive-in and suggested we make it a family affair.

“Yeah,” I said to Hubby, the light bulb slowly starting to glow in my mind as I tried to picture us at a d-r-i-v-e i-n . “Yeah, let’s go to the drive-in.”

Hubby and I reminisced about the old drive-in in our hometown. I remember being there in my pajamas, in the car, blankie in tow. I don’t remember the movie we saw from the comforts of the car, but rather just being there because it was different. It’s the “different” that we remember.

I think my kids will remember the “different,” too.

We popped popcorn at home first and put it in paper sacks. We filled up lidded cups. We packed peanut butter and crackers in baggies. The boys took baths and pulled on their pajamas. We loaded up the car and didn’t forget Buzz Lightyear and Jessie – so they could see themselves on the big screen under the stars. I grabbed their blankies. They didn’t care as much as I did about the blankie part. It just felt right.

The movie started “at dusk.” We weren’t sure exactly what time that was. There was some mystery to it all… who else a drive-in attracts these days, how exactly it all works once you get there (you park backwards, by the way, and open up the SUV hatch, sit on the back, pull out camping chairs and coolers – much more of a community experience than I remembered), how hot it might be and whether our car battery would die if we sat for two hours with the AC on (which we did not do).

They looked at the speaker-on-a-stick and asked if Woody was inside.

“Daddy, do you want a cold beer?” Reid asked in his loud voice during a quiet part.

“But that’s not HER cowboy, it’s HIS!!” Graham shrieked right at that heart-tugging part when Andy bestowed his beloved Cowboy Woody to the next generation of playmate.

Graham hopped down off the bumper and climbed up in my camping-chair lap to give me a big hug right at the point that Andy was playing with his pals for one. last. time. He’s not old enough to get emotional, but I think he knew there was something special about that part. Something… different. That boy has quite the intuition.

Did the drive-in reignite my love for Disney? Or did Disney re-ignite my love for the drive-in?

Maybe a little of both. It was different. It was awesome.