While I looked around for my possibilities


The snow continued today. Despite the short winter, and the roads being too warm for it to stick around for long, my son and I are sick of it, and talked to the sky all day whenever we were outside. We caught snowflakes on our tongue, stared up into it, necks craned back, hypnotizing us, we shivered at times and brazenly went from place to place with our coats unzipped, fairly demanding that spring hurry up and arrive.

Despite the snow and the borderline freezing temps, we had a really great, busy day. He did not pass his swim class (exam was today), but I spun it in such a way that he felt ok about it. I talked to the instructor and he assured me many kids D’s age are still in a much lower level class and that most kids have to repeat this level and the next several times before they can move on. I told D about how I was placed into an honors class as a freshman, and how I struggled really hard to pass but it meant I was doing better than the best kid in the easier class, which was how they sold it to me. I didn’t buy it then, but hoped D would buy it now. All I knew by the time I was a jaded freshman was I was getting a C and a lot of other people had a better GPA than me because they were getting As. But I was very encouraging and he seemed ok about it, considering he doesn’t really like going. I saw a friend’s husband at the rec center, she has kids that go to my son’s school, and had that weird feeling I’m still not used to of seeing people I know out somewhere who aren’t theater people. Six years-plus into this parenting thing but the “community” part of it really didn’t start until he entered school last year.

After class, we came home and had a brief, disjointed lunch as this is the time of the week when I’m pretty much out of food, and haven’t bought more yet because what I buy for my week ahead alone is much different than what I buy when I need to pack a little kid’s breakfast and lunch every day the following week. He wasn’t that hungry and neither was I, probably due to our extra large breakfast of doughnuts and bacon (and lots of coffee for mom). The doughnut place is expanding into a new, bigger building next door. I hope they take credit cards at the new place – I always forget they are cash only until I pull up to the door. Luckily, I had cash on me.

After lunch we headed to karate. He isn’t taking a formal karate class, but they are doing an abbreviated program at his after-school, and this was a sort of extra credit session, which I figured would be a lot of high pressure sales and not much actual kids doing karate, but it worked out better than expected. I saw a girl who was in D’s kindergarten class last year; I’d become sort of friendly with the Mom and we chatted briefly – more of that weird community feeling – and then the instructor helped the kids all get their belts on and talked to us about discipline and order and how karate had helped him become a better young man and all that shit, which is fine. One of D’s buddies from after care was there, and they lined up together, which is basically the start of my son acting like a clown and a cut-up the whole time. It was like watching Daffy Duck do karate, I swear. He kept pratfalling and making these overly dramatic gestures and yelled louder than anyone, and it was all to try to make this kid laugh. Finally the instructor had to separate them.

My son is just not coordinated for stuff like this. Let him free-form dance and I find his movements to be graceful, strong and inspired. But try to get him to do specific, repeated movements and he’ll get it wrong every time they do it, no matter how many times they do it. He doesn’t just get things wrong, either, he gets them so wrong, it’s comical, and I couldn’t help but start laughing. The woman next to me asked if that was my son, that meaning the boy that was making everyone laugh and I said yes. Her kid, who was quiet, well-behaved and doing just what the instructor said, was next to my kid, and then we were both laughing because they were paired up, and my kid couldn’t do the paired moves right, which made the other kid confused. We were actually crying we were laughing so hard. The mom of the girl from D’s K class came up behind me, she was also laughing so, so hard and honest to god, it just went on and on and it was all I could do to keep it together.

Finally the tables were turned. A parent had to get up and take off their shoes and socks, and hold some plastic sheet while the kid ran from one side of the room to the other, then punched the plastic twice, then ran back. Then he’d have them run again, and again, and again. They probably did it 10 or 15 times. My kid may not be coordinated but he’s FAST and he beat all the other kids every time, at least when they all started at the same time, which wasn’t always the case since some were slow getting back.

Then they made the parents go to the other side of the room, and the kids had to hold the paper. Ha. I may be an old mom, but this horse has some life in her yet. If you only watched the portion of class where the kids did this and then the moms did this, you’d know D and I were related as I was faster than all the other parents, and was the only one not out of breath, even though we did it about 8 times. “You’re really fast!” panted the Indian woman next to me, whose son had been paired up with my kid during the latter half of class. “I’m a runner,” I told her sort of apologetically, and she said, well, that’s good, and I see where your son gets his speed. So then I was kind of proud. We may be weird and non-conformist, but we can make people laugh and outrun a lot of trouble.

Then we headed to the grocery. D was getting tired and I couldn’t think of anything to buy since I didn’t menu plan and have a real list with me. He begged me for pizza for dinner so we picked up movies from the library and had some pizza and watched some movie about cartoon animals from Brazil, which didn’t really entertain either of us, but we enjoyed snuggling under the blanket and D got up and danced every time they played tropical music. Maybe we should move to Brazil. People are loud and like dancing, they move fast and love the good things in life even if they don’t have a lot of money; family, friends, community, food, drink, music.

Things are definitely looking up for the week ahead. I have plans almost every night. It will be up to 47 tomorrow, 60 by Monday and 70 by Tuesday. This may have been one of your last gasps, winter. Not sure you can keep up with me now, as I’m heading into spring, the time of rebirth.


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