Monday, September 14, 2015

How Was Your 1st Day of School? GREAT! I Called 911!

I am not kidding.
The first day of school was a half day. Ahh the half day, the bane of working mother's everywhere. 
Anyway, Prince #3 had permission to walk with his peeps to the taco place for lunch. He had to text when he got there and when he got home. No exciting news in the text messages. I think I got a 'here' and a 'home'
So why did the lad call the po-po? It appears that some misguided soul was attempting to break into a car in the strip parking lot. Unaware of the eagle eyes of eighth graders he was employing a bent hanger as well as a crowbar. A little heavy handed for a guy who might have just locked his keys in his car. Plus the boys said he looked 'sketchy.' There you have it.
When asked what they did after reporting such criminal activity he stated, "Then we booked it!"
Let's hope they paid for their tacos first.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

And Now For Something Completely Different

Fellow Queens,
Some of you might remember that a million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I completed my first marathon. It was 2 days after my mother's death, a total blur, but I finished. The 10th anniversary is upon us and I have signed up to run again, only a half marathon this time. The forms ask why you are signing up. I'm sending this link, its the best answer I have. 
Thanks for indulging me.
Go chase those boys!
Queen Linda

My body is a temple.  And not the temple of doom.
I was a late bloomer to physical fitness.  I had an idyllic childhood spent exploring creeks and riding my bike through the neighborhood without a helmet.  We played on Clifton Avenue until the street light came on signaling our return to the house for bedtime.  We weren’t involved in the organized sports that now over-schedule our children and provide an avenue for parents who through their kids wish to re-create their glory days on the pitching mound.  When my children ask me what the name of my T-ball team was, the All Stars or maybe the Wildcats they guess, I tell them we didn’t have a name and that our roster was made up of whoever was around.
My junior year of high school I started walking through the neighborhood after dinner and homework.  I had one mile route where I regularly saw a lady walking her yippy dog and the wheezing jogger guy.  I used the time to think, decompress and try to push aside racing thoughts about grades, boys and the looming SAT test.  I got faster as I later continued my walks at the athletic center of the university I attended.  I remember one guy incredulous at the fact that I could walk faster thank he could run.
After college my exercise consisted of navigating the streets of Manhattan and later chasing my kids. Four years ago a YMCA opened in our neighborhood.  I realized that after three pregnancies and a combined two years of nursing that my body was mine, mine, mine!  And it was time to whip it into shape. 
I started slowly, 20 minutes on the treadmill, a half an hour on the stationary bike and then worked up the guts to take a step class and body sculpting class.  I got toned, lost some the last niggling baby weight pounds and could choose to take a nap when the baby went down instead of involuntarily crashing along with him.  I was feeling good.  Then came the dare.
After congratulating my fellow gym rats on their latest marathon finish one spandex clad goddess said, “I bet you could run a marathon.”
“Can not!”
“Can to!”
I sounded like a six year old. 
“You could and you know you could,” was her parting shot.
Me?  A marathoner?  They had to be joking.  I had never run in my life, except when being chased.  I don’t want to do something I like for five hours never mind something I loathe.  I am in my forties, for goodness sake, and I happen to be very fond of my knees the way they are thank you very much.
But the seed had been planted.  It was nurtured by a group of fabulous marathon mommas, my husband and my three boys.  If they all said I could do it, that they would support me, and me being the kind of person that hates to lose a bet, I decided to do it.
We started training in May, six months before the race.  Following the bizarrely named fartleks method the plan was to run four minutes then walk one as we built up the mileage over the weeks.  Our runs took place early on Sunday mornings first through the neighborhood then around Dallas’ White Rock Lake.  I think what kept me going we the deepening friendship with my four fellow weekend warriors.  I had known Meg for years; she and I had walked a previous half marathon together.  Mary and Brenda had boys who attended the same school as my oldest son; Lisa what a good friend of theirs.  Our runs became a forum to re-hash the week, ask advice and laugh a lot.  Our runs morphed from simply catching up to school concerns to frank advice about aging parents and religious platforms.  It wasn’t simply a long workout anymore; it was an hour’s long therapy session.  We all felt rejuvenated, healthier and confident in following my gut.
    Three weeks before the race I got a call from my sister saying that my Dad had brought Mom to the hospital.  No need to go up to Tulsa he reassured me.  Everything would be fine. They were just running tests.  I wanted so much to believe that that I stayed put, reassured late that night by another good test result.  The next morning was a big run, 18 miles, two times around the lake.  I checked in with Dad after the first loop.  Mom had a good night he reported and they were on their way to the hospital to see her. When I told him I was half way through my workout he told me I was crazy and should go back to bed.  After the second loop I checked my voice mail, my sister had called, Mom was on life support.  My friends watched me alternately keen and walk in circles in the parking lot as I got the details, assuring my hysterical sister that it would be all right.
“I’ve got to go, I gotta go,” I kept repeating.  I insisted on driving the three minute trip to my house with Mary riding shotgun.  The only thing I remember was her saying, “Taking that turn a little fast.”  I was in such a hurry to leave that after I insisted that I didn’t even have time for a shower Mary said, “For everyone involved, please take one.” As I washed away the morning’s workout, they finished packing my bag.  After Brenda led a quick prayer in my driveway I was off.
The next three weeks were spent in the ICU vortex.  You don’t know what day it is, what time it is.  You just sit, keep vigil and wait for the inevitable end.  Mom died two days before the race. 
I decided to run.  The staid statement - Mom would have wanted me to - doesn’t work here.  Mom briefly did Jazzercise and after that thought that serious workouts do your body more harm than good.  Then again she was the kind of woman that, if she wished, could talk you into believing that cigarettes were good for you.  I truly imagined her, with heavenly bourbon in hand, laughing her head off at me. 
While my sisters shopped for an urn I started the race.  My friends figuratively carried me across the miles.  My husband and kids cheered along the way, my 4 year old running along side me until he was out of my husband’s view and then turned back.  With one mile to go I spotted the finish line.  “I’m going!” I threw over my shoulder to my friends as I pulled ahead.  I thought about Mom’s departure from this world, the soaring peace she must have felt at the end, finally free from tubes and monitors.  I imagine that she raced to it.  My paced picked up and I began to sprint trying to match the speed she must have flown at.  I thought that if I went fast enough I could insure her serenity, if I went fast enough I could mistakenly dodge the looming grief.  I crossed the finish line at full speed and into my husband’s arms.  I looked over and saw my Dad, kids, sisters, nieces and nephews beaming at me.  The race was over, my goal achieved. 
Completing that marathon turned out to be so much more than just achieving a goal toward a healthy lifestyle.  I got to deepen friendships, feel the never ending support of my family and face loss. 
Yes, my body is a temple and in it reside love, support and Mom.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Parenting Advice from Billy Bob Thorton

I will take parenting advice anywhere I can get it but never in my life would I think that I would get sage words from Billly Bob Thorton, but it is true.

Thorton plays a hit man in the FX remake of Fargo. A character from the past, Lester, wants to reveal him. Thorton looks at him with dead eyes and says “Is this what you want? Lester? Is this what you want? Yes or no?” Needless to say things don’t go well for Lester. You can see a really bad quality version of the scene here. Careful, it is gruesome!

I tried this on Prince #3. He was gearing up for some sort of adolescent angst riddled argument. It probably had to do with his aversion to showering after basketball practice. Really? Isn't showering what boys his age love to do? Are we out of shampoo again? Eww, eww, eww! 

I fixed him with my most deadly Mom stare. "Is this what you want? (pause, pause, pause) Christopher? (pause, pause, pause) Is this what you want?" 

I didn't even get to "Yes or no?" He tripped over himself sprinting down the hall.

You don’t challenge hit men and you don’t challenge Mom.         

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cement or Not to Cement

A McMansion is going in next door to me. I am not happy. Yesterday they poured the foundation. I had to go to work before the workers finished. I left Prince #3 a note:
Dear Christopher,
Whatever you do, don't play in the wet cement next door.
Either way, that's a win-win.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

New Neighbors

A couple moved on to our street this week. I saw them in their front yard and I went to introduce myself.
"Hi, I'm Linda. I live in the house over there with the huge pirate flag."
"Oh," they murmured. "That house. Hmmm, yeah, we were wondering about that."

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The 12 Days of Christmas For My Fellow Queens aka Moms of Boys

In the spirit of the holidays I have composed a little ditty for you, sung to the tune of The 12 Days of Christmas.  We will just start at the twelfth day; by the time you repeat the 'eight maids a-milking' part five times you want to stick a sharp candy cane in your eye.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, 
My sweet kid gave to me
 Twelve gummy bears, 
Eleven dead batteries, 
Ten asks for weapons, 
Nine coughs in my face, 
Eight screaming tantrums, 
Seven dripping mittens, 
Six fights with his brother, 
Five - water - balloons, (NOT IN THE HOUSE!!)
Four half-eaten cookies, 
Three evil grins, 
Two sugar highs,
 And a hug and kiss on Christmas morn!

Enjoy your friends and family. And remember what the Grinch learned, “Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we.”