My husband has been gone these past two evenings, leaving home around six-thirty, to be up at his mother's before seven, the time at which the shift of "Bill's Girls" ends...
But that's another story.
Having this time "alone" with my boys, I forget to:
1. think about Dinner,
2. prepare Dinner,
3. clean up after Dinner, and
4. clean up after cleaning up after Dinner.
Don't get me wrong here, my husband appreciates everything (just about) and anything (almost) I manage to get on the table. And likewise. And I really do enjoy it when we all sit down to Dinner, and light the candle, and say nummy-nummies, and talk non-stop about our days. Or at least try to. Usually the conversation does a degenerate doublebackhandspringdismount off the table and into the sewer by the time Dinner is over. Such is family life with three boys.
For the past two nights, though, it's been dinner. Frozen pizza. Michelina's microwaveables, single-serving yogurts, Wheat Thins and cream cheese, juice....whatever else they can scavenge for themselves in the kitchen that requires the bare minimum of preparation. Can't say as I blame them.
Meanwhile, I take a bath. When Bennett interrupts my bath to tell me he wants to listen to Christmas carols, I ask him to ask Grant to put on the Traditional Christmas Carols Pandora station for him. He wants the music on to help him finish up his GT geocity project that's due tomorrow. Grant robotically does what is asked, then returns to his Manga book, which he borrowed from his friend Mika who borrowed it from a friend. In the back of my mind, I think, "That's what makes a book truly good." Even though I could never read it.
You people who have no kids, yeah, I'm talking to YOU! You have NO EARTHLY IDEA what parents and teachers go through during the weeks before Christmas. It's just one deadline and due date after another. Book Project? Check. Final GT project? Check. Scrooge Musical? Check. Orchestra Concert? Check. Concert Band Performance? Check. Poem Memorized? Check. Goodies baked for teachers? Check. Goodies packaged and labeled for teachers? Check. Goodies in backpack to take to teachers? Check.
And those are simply the activities that my family experiences outside the bounds of The Little School. LSV has its own built-in stressor (not counting The Ball and Medieval Day and Robin Hood Family Book Club!): The Beta Quadrant Show. In Three Days. I know what overwhelming satisfaction and happiness will come after we've successfully pulled it off, so it's worth it. But the working up to it....... it's just so much.......work.
After my bath, I plan tomorrow's LSV schedule with an attention to detail that would make someone with ADD proud (because they do, you know, pay exasperating attention to detail. When they want to.).
What was the main idea of this story again?
Oh yeah, I got to spend time with my boys this evening, just helping them with projects, and hanging out. Which brings me to the fact that all I originally started out to say in this blog post is that I would like to share two funny things that made me laugh tonight, one involving each of my sons.
Bennett's gem: Up in his bunkbed, while hugging me good night, he asks, "What, exactly, is the meaning of humbug?"
"It means when you.....you know, when you feel.....well, it means...it means humbug."
Seriously, that was my answer. Good thing the boys thought it was hilarious. Remember when you first realized that some words truly have no definitions? They just ARE? And that to know the word, you have to know so much more than the word? You need its context, its story, its period, its character. Having just played the young man Ebenezer in Scrooge, and actually getting to say "humbug", well... he realized he already knew what it meant.
As for Grant, tonight he finished writing the entire Desiderata in calligraphy. Of course, it's not in any kind of font I tried to teach him, like Carolingian or Gothic. No, of course not. Instead, it's his own script he "invented". Then he refused to use lines under his parchment (ugh!)..... , and refused to start over if he made a mistake (ugh!), but damn! he wrote THE WHOLE FUCKING DESIDERATA in calligraphy! By candlelight. And now he wants to make copies of it, bind them, and sell them at SPQR on Thursday night during the Medieval Fair portion of the show.
Only one small problem while trying to make the copies ... the printer wouldn't work. Grant had just replaced the ink cartridge, and something was wacky. Right at the point when he was most peeved at the printer, I casually, only a bit cruelly, said, "You know, there's a low-tech answer for every high-tech question."
He turned on me as if I were a vampire and he had a wooden stake in his hand. "No. Way. I am so NOT copying this whole thing over ten times. No Way."
It was at that moment, I think, that he truly got the whole "Writing During the Middle Ages" thing. Oh, he knew it on an intellectual level, how monks spent years of their lives copying manuscripts, and about the importance of words and the significance of access to them. But this was visceral. And it was terrifying.
And it was very, very funny.