My Son is Seven

Seven. It’s the magic number…(everyone…sing along!) Oh wait, I think that’s six.

He was actually 4 or 5 here.

He was actually 4 or 5 here.

My son is now seven. And it is a magical thing, because boys are magical—if you are able to stop and just see it. The kids are with their Dad for the week (God help me) and I have been able to gain perspective with a bit of distance. I don’t like the distance—write that down—but there are good things about it.

As I was thoroughly cleaning his room, I am reminded of him everywhere I look.
He wanted Transformers for his birthday, but we quickly realized even I cannot change the robot into the truck in under 30 minutes without swearing. He is slowly giving up his Thomas the Tank Engine phase, which started only 2 years ago. He still loves playing dress-up but only if the costume is right-in-front-of-his-face. He cannot be bothered to look for the costume. He really enjoyes Legos but gets frustrated easily.

The amount of energy this child has could power the world for a year.

He loves it when you read to him, but don’t expect him to sit quietly at the same time. Instead you will see him go from this side of the bed to that side, to OFF the bed to get another toy, to have 2 toys engage in conversation with each other then suddenly…”Wait Momma. How can Jack and Annie go into the Jungle at night without a flashlight?” proving he was paying very close attention the whole time.

He loves to play any board game or card game. He also still loves to SPINNNNN wildly around the living room like he did when he was 2. When he watches TV, rarely is he sitting on his butt. More likely he is sitting on his head. He never walks. Never.

He loves playing video games but always makes sure his sister is close by to “help” him get to the next level. He absolutely loves babies. We have a friend who has 12 cats. That’s right, 12. When we visit, you can see him sitting amongst his pride, like a Momma Lion.

I’ve mentioned more than a 1,000 times, “You cannot attack-hug people.” This is when you run up to a friend and suddenly give them a fierce hug. He will eat all your food—like that of a teenager—when he is going through a growth spurt. ALL OF IT. He is the same height as his sister who is 3 years older than him and is one of the tallest in his class.

He’s not so fond of his sister’s pet snake. He’d rather have a dog. He tells me he is big enough to go to the playground by himself (100 yards away) but often asks me to read my book by his nightlight as he falls asleep. He also doesn’t like to let go when I hug him goodnight.

He doesn’t like to play by himself. He craves attention and people. The kids come home from school while I am still working and I was getting frustrated when he would ask 100 times, “Can you play NOW?” What I find works is for him to play next to me. Just having me there is enough. He is getting very strong. He is my go-to-guy to help me carry out the garbage, bring in groceries, or do the laundry in the complex basement.

He and I like the same kind of music—mostly classic rock. But anything with a good guitar lick or strong drumline will do. He tells me his favorite is Stevie Ray Vaughn. Everytime he writes or draws, he sticks out his tongue and licks his lips. Everytime. His favorite thing to eat is Mac & Cheese.

My little boy isn’t so little anymore. I can’t pick him up but I still have to cut his meat. I cannot give him a piggy-back-ride, but I still have to help him zip his jacket sometimes. He can pop a wheelie on his bike but if he scraps his knee he still wants me to kiss it.

Don’t grow up so fast. Slow down.

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Details of Crazy

It’s been a month. Life got crazy…and here is where I detail the crazy.images

Last month we all exhaled from Christmas. And in our neck of the woods, Christmas came with every known virus you could think of. Everyone we knew got hit with at least 1 awful sickness. Some people got many. Have you ever read Stephen King’s “The Stand”? Hello super-flu! If you haven’t read it—your an idiot. You need to read it. ALL of it. Yes, all 1,436 pages.

Then there was my son’s birthday. At Chuck E Cheese. I was pleasantly surprised at the experience because usually CEC reminds me of every gross, germy, money-sucking, child-overrun play establishment. And this one serves beer. But this CEC was clean, orderly, and helpful. However the weeks leading up to it were murder. “How many more days till my party?” “When’s my party again?” “I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL MY PARTY!!”

His father wanted to buy him Transformers this year. He wasn’t having any luck finding them where he lives. I volunteered to help him out. Only to find out—it took me 30+ minutes to transform ONE of those things. Now he owns 5 of them. His father wrote me a check and was surprised I was willing to help him. Generally I steer clear of anything money-related with him. For the past 7 months he has been employed and Child Support Enforcement has been sending me regular checks. Yah for money! I thought…give him a break and help him out.

Bam. Unemployed again with a text telling me he’s sorry but the check is going to bounce. Hey Lucy, wanna play football?

Lastly, the weather has been kicking my ass every joint in my body. My rheumatologist would say it’s not the weather when I feel this bad. It’s the disease. And it means we need to do a better job of managing it. One thing I haven’t really tried is exercising. Who wants to exercise when the day after it leaves you in a ball of hurt?! Can I get a hell-yeah!?

In January our YMCA was offering half off their joining fee. When I calculated what I pay for a babysitter to “save my sanity” for 2 hours once a week, I realized the YMCA monthly fee was LESS. This Y has a rock wall, a heated pool (about 78), a HUGE hot tub, and indoor track, a Tween center, an endless supply of nautilus/running/biking equipment, a huge playroom, and a boat-load of classes. Drop the kids off and get time to myself while exercising. What could be better?

Here’s the rub: the day after I exercise—ball of hurt. And that’s where I am today. But I can’t give up.

So, please pass the anti-inflammatories, and the ulcer medicine (from too many anti-inflammatories).