Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Elaine prepared a lovely party for us. After treats and, for many, their first game of Pictionary, Elaine explained the idea of the autograph books to the children. At that point, we just sat back and watched. There were a few moments of awkward silence and then, of course, the girls started toward each other with grins holding books and pens out. I watched to see what Brighton would do. He stood for, oh, maybe twenty seconds and made a bee line to the Moms. “I want you to sign my book.” These gracious ladies helped him get warmed up. He stood patiently and watched every swish of their pens, flashed a smile and was off to the next one seated.
He had not been approached to sign anyone’s book yet, so I knew we had that bridge to cross. I had talked with both of them about some things/phrases they could write in their friend’s books, but I still didn’t think B really understood.
From across the room, I heard him ask, “Mom, what do I write?” He was standing with his good friend Naomi, who had asked him to sign her book. These two have all their classes together at Science Etc. “Whatever you want to write, Brighton. Just be sure to sign your name.”
“Mom, tell me. I don’t know what to say.” He was looking a little frazzled. Having the predicament of a loss for words was quite unusual for him.
Trying to keep it simple and help him out I said, “Just write, ‘To: Naomi, Love, Brighton’”
He looked at me like my nose had fallen off. “What?” I asked. He looked at Naomi who was waiting patiently listening to our exchange.
He looked back at me, “Okay, Mom, but I am NOT going to write ‘Love’”.
You think he missed the point?
That's Naomi's Mom laughing at B's honesty!
Some of the sweet ladies I get to hang out with!!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I had done it again. Company was coming for dinner--- soon---- and I had waited too long to get it together. I was zipping around the house looking at all the things I had wanted to do and at the same time choking down the reality that those things weren’t going to happen. By that point, I was hoping to at least change my clothes! It was T minus 30 when the phone rang. I looked at the number and I panicked. It was our neighborhood gate. Our friends, Remey and Kollin, weren’t supposed to arrive until 7:30! Why in the world were they so early??!! You just don’t show up that early unless you are ready to perform the last minute pick up, clear kid’s dinner table, check the powder bathroom, put out the appetizer, light the candles........ I picked up the phone and instead of hearing Remey’s sweet voice I heard, “This is Officer So and So with the Fort Worth Police Department. I need for you to let me in your neighborhood.” My first feeling was relief that I had a few more minutes so I turned my attention to the voice on my phone, who was NOT expecting dinner in a semi-orderly environment. As I gathered my wits, I had him repeat who he was. With all my superior investigative experience via “crime TV”, I wasn’t about to let him in our gate without some convincing and concise information. I was protecting the entire neighborhood! I asked him what residence or who in our neighborhood he was trying find. He clearly said, “The Sanders” and I thought, yeah, right. Our names are right there on the little device outside the gate, but why this impersonator would have scrolled all the way down to the “S’s” and not stopped up top at like “Andersons”, I didn’t have an answer for that. Not knowing how to ask him for our first names without sounding like Barney Fife, I did what any sound minded investigative wife would do. I stuck the phone in Jeff’s face. In 2 seconds I mouthed to him my 30 second conversation with this “thug” at our gate. Jeff listens for a minute and I am waving my arms with wild eyes reminding him that “he doesn’t know our first names!!”. Way too quickly, I hear Jeff say, “Okay,” and then, in disbelief, watch him press the buttons to let the “bad person” into our neighborhood. Before I could go into all my objections, he held his hand up and said, “It’s the police. I heard the scanner.” For just a minute Jeff and I stood staring at each other trying to figure out “the policeman at our gate” scenario. Then, in a flash, I saw a wave of understanding wash over Jeff’s face and he yelled for Brighton. I rolled my eyes.
B was torqued because two of his favorite things were going on: one, we were having company for dinner, and two, we had a friend over. At the speed only a 6 year old boy can reach indoors, he came running around from the kitchen to the foyer. The look on his Daddy's face brought him to a crude halt, “Sir?”
Very sternly, Jeff asked, “Brighton, were you playing with the phone earlier?”
Bingo! I was on Jeff’s page. All was clear. Bring on Officer So and So!
“Yes, sir. No, sir. I mean, I put it down when you told me to.”
A voice from the kitchen, “I told you not to do it, B!!” (Aren’t sisters great?)
Jeff asked, “Did you dial 911?”
That brought on “the look”-- the one that says, “I did it, but I don’t have time to weigh the pros and cons of telling the truth”. Nevertheless, “guilty” was stamped on his forehead, on his cheeks, his nose, eyelids, chin etc.
In true form, here is what he came up with, “I dialed a lot of numbers.”
Jeff opened the door and the police car was in front of the house. I have to say, I have NEVER in B’s 6 short years seen his eyes nearly pop out of his head. They came close one morning when I offered Pop Tarts for breakfast. Anyhow, this amusing face was quickly replaced with a look I know I have NEVER seen on this child’s face and that was TERROR. Sheer. And, no lie, this was his one and only question, asked at a magnitude of sound that interrupted our entire neighborhood’s dinner, “IS HE GOING TO TAKE ME TO JAIL???!!!!!!????”
While silly pictures of that danced through my head, compassion returned to me from somewhere and I got on my knees in front of him and gave him a passionate “no”, just like you would have. Well, he took off running and locked himself in our bedroom. (This is where he runs to “run away”. Thankfully, it’s not far.) I guess he didn’t believe me or I hadn't mustered up quite enough passion.
When Jeff called him, he emerged from my room, tow head down, hands in pockets and feet shuffling.
He looked about 3 standing in front of the man whom I had pegged only a few minutes before a criminal.
Officer So and So had Brighton admit his guilt and to B’s credit, from a tear streaked face, he immediately apologized and asked for the policeman’s forgiveness. The officer explained to Brighton how important it was to save “911” for real emergencies. To my relief and disappointment, the policeman turned out to be a big teddy bear..............with cool police stickers. I wasn’t sure how I wanted him to handle it. Sure, I wanted Brighton to learn his lesson that playing with the phone and “crying wolf” was NOT cool or smart, but then I didn’t want him to think for a minute that he wasn’t safe and secure in our home. However, I quickly confiscated the stickers. I wasn’t ready for “reward”.
Once our front door was closed and Office Teddy Bear had driven away, his adrenaline release came again in the form of tears. After much comforting by Jeff AND me, these were Brighton’s last words on the subject, “I am NEVER going to drive!!”
So, the visit from the policeman made quite an impression on Brighton and hopefully some changes when it comes to how he thinks about our phones. I could be wrong but I am guessing this is where we are on the other side of the “911 event”--- he will never make needless 911 phone calls and I will be driving him around on his first date.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
I don’t know about yours, but my kids have a mental block when it comes to differentiating between cities, counties, states, countries and such. Only a couple of years ago, if I asked Julia what city she lived in, she would answer, “Texas.” Every now and then she would say, “Tarrant NET!” On our way to Branson last spring, Brighton, our household’s only TRUE Texan, asked this, “Is Missouri in the United States of Texas?” These absurd questions and answers drove me to draw something resembling a chart, using that term loosely, from the classic, Concentric Circles of Concern. The chart goes from our cul de sac address to the outermost unknown galaxies. It may sound impressive but picture loose leaf college-ruled notebook paper marked up with a No. 2 pencil. While I thought it was a grand idea, just short of a moment of genius, it has only been semi-effective.
While taking Julia to ballet a couple of weeks ago, I made a quick call to TJ to see how she was faring with her four children on the road trip to New Mexico......by herself. Before I could hit “end”, Brighton’s questions started. First, we had to straighten out the mix up of what kind of skiing they were up to. With our chilly weather, water skiing just wasn’t adding up. He knew I had spoken with her during breakfast so he began pondering the idea, out loud, about how long she and the kids had been in the car. “Were they still in Texas?”, “Were they still in the United States of America?”, “Have they had a Blizzard yet?”, “What movies have they watched?”, “Do Bran and Hud get to play their DS’s in the car AND at their Grandmother’s?” Whoa--- the teacher in me backed up-- “still in the USA?”
I looked at him in the rear view mirror. “Brighton, they are driving to NEW Mexico. You know, the state beside Texas.”
“Oh, okay. Well, Mom? What’s wrong with the OLD Mexico?”