Frostbite. See, for a minute there I had you thinking I was getting all into the holiday spirit and singing and shit, right? Nope, it looks like cold and sluggish mornings and stiff finger joints. On the news this morning they were talking about how we are *this* close to beating the record low temperatures, and I was sitting there thinking, “Are we are excited about this WHY?” Still, it makes me laugh when people (including myself) complain about the cold; after all, it IS winter in Idaho, I don’t know why we are so surprised every year when it gets, you know, cold.
Moving on (albeit slowly), Sam had his first orchestra performance last night, and what a difference a year makes! While I would not venture to say that they were GREAT, in comparison with last year they are appreciably better. They played about six songs, and this year they were recognizably songs, which was really neat. Underneath the sour notes and the awkward screeches, there is a hint of real music shining through, and I think that some of these kids could become quite good. I don’t know yet if Sam is one of them; he hasn’t been practicing like he should, for one thing, and for another, I couldn’t pick him out of the other 20 kids playing. For all I know he is terrible, sounding like two cats fucking, and the other kids are encouraged to play loud enough to mask him out. *shrugs* He seems to really enjoy it, and that is what matters to me. The Student Teacher they had for the orchestra last year was (ahem) not invited to come back this year, and instead these kids get to have the REAL orchestra/band/choir teacher, and she? Is good. If she is still around when I turn 40 and give myself those violin lessons I have promised myself, I will ask her to teach me.
It has already been a busy week-the party on Monday night (which was okay; ONE family member talked to me, yay!), Sam’s concert last night, and then I have Parent-Teacher conferences at Hannah’s school tonight. Tomorrow night is blessedly empty of plans or obligations, and then Friday is the AA Christmas party (The last two years we have had a canned food and Toys for Tots drive as part of the Christmas party; last year it took two pickups to get all the stuff to where it needed dropped off. How cool is THAT?). And then on Saturday is the Sadie Hawkins Dance for Eli and his girlfriend, as well as the party for my office. In one sense, it has been a hard week for someone as unsociable as I, but at the same time, at least everything is over with all at once.
Oh, and remember when Sam wrote to President Obama? He got a letter back from the White House on Monday. It was a form letter, of course, but the stamp they use for the President’s name looks very, very realistic, AND someone with lovely handwriting wrote the name and address; I could see the marks where whomever picked up the pen and began a new letter. Very cool; he took it to show his classroom yesterday, and wanted me to be sure and “put that on your blog, mom. They need to know that he really does listen.” So-you HAVE been told.
Last night was a lovely night. We got home late (for us) and ate a hurried, thrown together dinner, and then it was time for the little boys to head to bed. This is always a half-hour ordeal, because first I have to go in and sing “Twinkle Twinkle Star” and say prayers, and then Steve has to go in and sing “Okie Donald” (Old MacDonald) and one other song of Owen’s choosing, then Eli has to….you get the idea. It sometimes annoys the shit out of me; can we just be honest and say out loud that sometimes we just want to sit down and watch TV or read and NOT have to drag ourselves into the room? Last night, like he ALWAYS does, Owen said,”You come into my room?” and I found myself getting exasperated; I said, “I don’t know, Owen, I have only been coming into your room every night for the last three and a half years!” but of course he didn’t get it and just said, “Okay!” Talk about making me feel like I was acting like the three year old! Still, no matter how annoyed I get, it is always good to have that bit of time, in the quiet dark, and just BE with the little boys. Sometimes Sam will want to talk, and if something has been bothering him this is when I hear about it most of the time. Always, Owen wants to kiss me on each cheek twice and then kiss my mouth and hug me, and I always leave the room feeling peaceful; I don’t know why I don’t remember that before I get all huffy.
After everyone else was asleep, Steve and I were all snuggled up under the electric blanket and just talked, which we don’t get a chance to do as much as I would like. I mean, we TALK, all of the time, but rarely do we have the chance to just talk. Last night it was about God, and what do we think some after this, after we are done here, and why ARE we here-and maybe everyone has these deep kinds of discussions on a regular basis but WE don’t. I can’t explain it, really, and it wasn’t even so much what we talked about as how good it felt to simply be laying in bed with someone you love and talking; not about the kids, the jobs, the parents, just-talking.
So-this is my day, my week, my life-and I simply cannot believe how much better a place I am in as compared to last week. Instead of feeling beat down and despiring that this is my life, I feel like I have been given a lot of different things over the last year and I need to simply hold them in my hands and cherish them. Yes- this is my life, and I am grateful.