That’s Cub

In every woman’s life there are defining moments.  There are milestones such as college graduation, falling in love, having children, etc.  Once children are a part of the picture, suddenly their milestones become our treasured markers of the passage of time.  For instance, the first time Full Speed reached earnestly to play with a toy hung from the arm of his baby carrier, I was overjoyed.  I was convinced by this simple act that I had given birth to a certified genius.  We were at the mall and the air was heavy with the scent of salty pretzels and my overblown perceptions of my ‘super baby’.  Still, it was an awesome moment and to this day whenever something great befalls my kiddos, it’s like it is happening to me as well.

That’s why when my boys lined up against the backstop at Wrigley Field before the start of the game, I was giddy with anticipation.  Mad Dog had arranged for them to be part of the nine lucky kids that got to run on the field and meet a player.  We had no idea which player it would be.  We hoped for the best and made peace with the worst (you know who you are).  I was seated alone and peered anxiously at them to see where they would run.  Once given the signal, they were to sprint to the position that would coincide with the player they would meet.

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Mad Dog stands center watch over the lucky 9.  Full Speed is at the right end, T.Puzzle third from right in red hat.

I almost couldn’t take it.  Who would they get?!?  Who!?!

Finally, they were off and running.  It seemed obvious Full Speed was headed towards the outfield.  But then, oh my god, T.Puzzle ran to FIRST BASE!  He was going to meet ANTHONY RIZZO!  I repeat….ANTHONY RIZZO!

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Is it obvious he’s my favorite player?  Hmmm, what gave it away?

I jumped for joy and screamed so loud the fans in my section thought I had lost my mind.  I was able to compose myself enough to articulate that both my kids were out on the field and one was meeting ANTHONY RIZZO.  This made sense to them, but I could tell they still thought I was mildly insane.

T.Puzzle had a brief exchange with Anthony (yeah, I’m now on a first name basis with him), and got him to autograph a baseball (proudly on display in our front room).  It  took all of two minutes but for me, it is a defining moment that still brings me great joy.

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Harder to see, but Full Speed meeting J-Hey in the lower left hand corner.

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Full Speed jogs off the field after telling J-Hey he’s ‘much bigger in real life’.

Full Speed was sent to right field and had a lengthier exchange with near-giant Jason Heyward (well, giant compared to Full Speed and most of America). J-Hey was so genuine in what he said to Full Speed, he is now Full Speed’s favorite Cubs player. I love that, clearly he is a player that is gracious and I’m so glad he had such a positive impact on Full Speed.

Now, That’s Cub.

 

7+9=Never

This is an extremely busy time of year.  For our family, it can feel even busier because we have birthdays and a wedding anniversary tucked in between all the major holidays.  Somehow, we make it all work and manage to celebrate each and every milestone in our own way.

This morning as I began my walk to school with my recently turned older boys, T.Puzzle commented since now he is seven and Full Speed is nine, I should let them have a little more freedom.  They both wanted to start walking independently earlier on our school route.  Each had different points that they thought were suitable for me to turn back and let them walk the rest of the way on their own.  I was open to hearing all of their ideas as I do see real maturity and growth in both of them.  T.Puzzle had lagged behind as he often does and when he finally caught up to me to plead his case for more independence, he looked different to me. I didn’t know if it was a recent growth spurt or what exactly, but something certainly had changed.  He seemed lighter.  So light in fact, that I soon realized he didn’t have his backpack and we already had walked halfway to school.

Let’s just say, it’s real hard to convince your Mom for more independence if you can’t even remember your own backpack.

Better luck next birthday.

T.Puzzle+7=AWESOME

T.Puzzle+7=AWESOME

Teacher Tears

As you all know, yesterday at Target was a complete disaster (see Duck and Cover). I called in reinforcements for the afternoon because little T.Puzzle’s behavior remained naughty throughout the whole day. Our babysitter came in the afternoon so I could pick up Full Speed from school without having to take little T.Puzzle. Then, Mad Dog and I would go on to have a lovely date night in which we saw the movie ‘Date Night’. In my opinion ladies, Mark Wahlberg steals the show. Check it out.

So, as I make my way to pick up Full Speed, I feel a few minutes of freedom from my  T.Puzzle-related anxiety disorder and savor my five minute solitary car ride. When I reach Full Speed’s classroom he is out on the playground. His teacher always chats with me about his day and upcoming classroom events. As she approaches she says, “Oh man, I almost cried today.”

My heart drops. Oh no. Don’t tell me Full Speed had a bad day, too.

“What happened?” I anxiously venture.

“He just looked so grown-up in his cap and gown for graduation pictures I couldn’t take it. He is such a little man.” (Yes, there is a graduation for voluntary pre-kindergarten. I know, it’s a bit much.)

I let out a long breath that I hadn’t realized I had been holding. “Oh, thank God he had a good day,” I say.

If he hadn’t, she wouldn’t have been the only one holding back the tears.

A First

Full Speed had another bad report from school. Make that a rotten report. Not only did he not listen when his teacher told him not to throw mulch on the playground; he launched a handful that hit a classmate in the face causing a cut on their eyeball (thankfully it turned out to be minor).

There are many firsts in a young life. The first time a baby smiles is pretty awesome. First steps and first words are pretty spectacular, too. Then there are the smaller milestones, like using a sippy cup, getting rid of a pacifier or being big enough to wear hand-me-down spider-man pjs that one of your favorite cousins gave you.

Firsts are sometimes the things that will keep an overwhelmed mother going. They carry enough sparkle to help you shine through the tedium and get you through your worst days.

However, if the first involves your child being the only classmate to receive a red mark (bad) on the day a brand-new behavior charting system is implemented at school, you kind of want to curl up in a corner and hope that no one can see you. I think I did for a moment close my eyes and hope that like a child, if I couldn’t see the world, the world couldn’t see me. What I wouldn’t have given for some invisibility spray.

To compound an already strained situation, the boys were awful at Tae Kwon Do. Little T.Puzzle ended up disgraced and unceremoniously placed in time-out AND Full Speed lost his belt when his poor behavior report was read at the conclusion of class.

I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or simply shut my eyes again.

Thank goodness tomorrow is another day. Maybe my boys will be perfectly well-behaved. There’s always a first, right?