Monday, October 17, 2011

Racer's death leaves little boy searching

I saw my son get kicked in the stomach this weekend. It was hard to watch.

He was sparring at tae kwon do class, and he let his guard down. His sparring partner didn't mean to hurt him, really, but he saw an opening and took it.

My boy didn't let on he was hurt, though. He just took a deep breath, gave me a thumbs-up and sat down.

That was Friday. Sunday afternoon, he was watching an IndyCar race with his dad when tragedy struck - popular racer Dan Wheldon was killed in a horrific, fiery crash.

My son, 8, is a big IndyCar fan. Like thousands of others, he was a fan of Wheldon. But he didn't see the crash - he'd left the room briefly. My husband had to tell him later. My husband, a former sports editor, was upset, too. He'd interviewed Dan several times, knew him to be a genuinely nice person.

He told Sean straight out what happened. "That's terrible," my son said. And he shut his door.

Later, though, Sean started talking about the crash. "I didn't see what happened," he told me. "Maybe I should watch it on YouTube."

"No," I said. "I think you should just remember him as a good racer and a nice person."

"Okay," he said.

He came up to me later. He was clicking his tongue, a nervous habit he has. "I didn't get Dan Wheldon's autograph when we went to the track," he told me. "I wanted to, but I was out of paper, " he said.

Click, click, click.

"I was out of paper."

"It's okay," I told him, and I gave him a hug.

He walked away, still clicking and frowning.

I watched my son get kicked in the stomach this weekend. Twice.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The birds and the bees and the bunk beds

Sometimes, moms just try too hard. Consider this funny anecdote I came across:

Little 9-year-old Tommy had been playing outside with a few other kids when he ran in, breathless, to ask his mom a question:

"Mom!" he said. "What's that called when two people sleep in the same room and one is on top of the other?"

Well, Mom was a little taken aback, but she decided to tell him the truth: "Well, honey, it's called sexual intercourse." And before she could say more, he said, "Oh, OK," and ran back outside to play with the other kids.

Five minutes later, he was back. And he wasn't too happy.

"Mom," he said, annoyed. "It's not called sexual intercourse. It's called bunk beds. And Jimmy's mom wants to talk to you."

(Hee hee!! I'd love to take credit for this, but I can't. I read a version of it in a little magazine called The Body Mind Spirit Guide. I adapted it just a little. There was no author, or I'd happily give a name.)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It's School Picture Day! Are you ready?

Ahhh, School Picture Day. If you're lucky, your little darling gives you the flyer, and you know it's coming. But sometimes, it's just a last-minute surprise.

Regardless, it's a big day. Grandma's waiting for those updated photos, after all, and those new frames you bought on sale won't fill themselves. So you need to be ready. But there's something about School Picture Day ...

That makes your children forget how to smile and only bare their teeth like angry wolves, thereby making you wonder why you sprung for Package D for $29.99.

That reminds you your daughter needed her bangs trimmed. A week ago.

That lets you study the complexity of a cowlick up close.

That makes your son extra chatty while he's brushing his teeth that morning, resulting in the inevitable dribble of white toothpaste down his brand-new, straight-from-the-closet brown shirt.

That tells everyone what an inept seamstress you are, since all the threads are hanging from the top button - the only one showing in the photo.

That reminds you your children might not own any shirts without cartoon characters on the front.

That makes you really, really happy there's such a thing as Retake Day.