days 132 – 145: what I remember

Hankster finished his eagle-scout project! (In one day!) We’ve been talking about it since he was 8.

I always give bean the spoons while I’m unloading the dishwasher. He takes them out of the utensil cage and puts them back in, takes them out and puts them back in, takes them out and throws them on the floor. Finished with the dishes, I pulled out some blueberries from the fridge and placed them in a small bowl for him. He looked at the bowl, looked around, looked at the bowl again, looked up at me for a while, the finally, gingerly, picked up a large spoon that was still on the floor and began to the painstaking process of trying to spoon the blueberries one by one. He usually eats blueberries with his fingers, but this was the first time he had a bowl of blueberries (I usually give them to him one by one) and the bowl must have signaled the necessity of a spoon. Not being provided one (he has a very special spoon) he did what he could with what he had available to him. With him, smiles are so easy.

On our anniversary, I was reading in bed next to A and right before he drifted off, (in truth I thought he was already gone,) he kissed me on my elbow.

For the first time in his life, bean let me put him down in the middle of his nap. I stayed with him, but I did things I normally can’t do when I’ve wrapped him or he’s sleeping on me: reading and taking notes, knitting, not sweating…

Bean has a new tooth coming in.

On Memorial Day, A and I did Murph: 1 mile run, 100 pull-ups (ring rows for me), 200 push ups, 300 squats, and another 1 mile run. We did it an hour apart, but we both finished in 40 minutes and change. Two best parts: first, remembering the soldiers, the sailors, the marines, the coast guard, and the airmen who died for us, for our freedom, for lives which are worth living. Second, remembering the first time I attempted this workout with A, doing it completely wrong (100 of each movement vice the rep scheme shown above,) taking over an hour to do so, and thinking there was no way I’d ever be able to do anything even close. That was three years ago. A came up to me afterward and told me what a great job I did and we smiled at how far we’ve come, and how far we have to go. I’ve never felt connected to A at the gym; he’s so personable and so friendly and so outgoing, plus a coach, we always go our separate ways. That moment we had, where he came up to me and smiled at me and spoke with me, I finally felt like I was wanted. I finally felt like I belonged.

We saw a butterfly. bean was on my back and boom was being stubborn and a butterfly flew up from the flowers and all around us before she went on her merry way. bean tracked her flight while she was in sight, a smile of wonder on his sweet face.

day 131: no phone

The week without a phone continued. Sleep came easier, smiles were freer, and time passed slower. But no phone meant no contact, and that is playing with fire given a little boy prone to mischief. So a phone came home, (my mom’s phone, thank you mom!) and, though it was still disconnected, life nonetheless became a little bit more connected.

day 129: row, squat, run

bean and A accompanied me to the gym, where rowed 1000 meters, squatted 95 pounds 30 times, and ran 800 meters. It was a great workout, made sweeter by the presence of my family. As always, I should have gone heavier, and I should have gone faster. And as always, I’m glad there’s a next time.

day 128: squash

e wanted to play with the baby acorn squash sitting on the counter so I put him on the ground and let him have at it while I loaded the dishwasher. I ended up doing a load of laundry and swifing as well and realized, suddenly, that all was quiet on the western front. I march to the kitchen and there’s boomer, eating the raw acorn squash, breaking the tough skin with her needle-like teeth, and e cozying up next to her taking little bites of his own whenever boom rolled it away. 

day 126: the big partayyyy

Well, bean’s party wasn’t straight out of Pinterest, and it wasn’t on top of the tallest tree in the realm (it wasn’t a dog party, not even a big dog party; nope not a dog in sight!)  

We woke to a cloudy rainy day: the coldest day in weeks!  A was at the gym already but bean had on a smile and boom was keeping her barking civil, so I rushed to whip up some edible cupcakes. 

A came home, balloons in hand, and we (including the nap-less e) made our rainy way to the gazebo, optimisting in tank tops and shorts, saying fie to the weather! After all, the weather app said it definitely wasn’t raining and it definitely wasn’t cold. Who were we to disagree?

We had a lovely reunion with mom and dad and Henry, Karl, Margaret, k, G, and g and were only missing Maddy. Half an hour under the spitting sky and we moved to the clubhouse, at which point the sun woke up and joined the celebration. The food, and the Roys, were still an hour away and we all just chatted and had a grand old time with lots of balloons, happy that it was finally a bit warm.

Cake time came and went; indeed e couldn’t smash the cake at all and it ended up in the trash, but he had fun with the “frosting.” (I just put some coconut butter all over it; it’s his favorite, I think. I could just be force-feeding it to him though! But he does always open his little mouth for another bite.)

After the cake and the candle and hugs and the goodbyes we went back inside and had a bath. He fell asleep in the warm water as I cradled him in my arms. 

day 125: cooks in the kitchen

Friday rolled around and I certainly wished there were some cooked in the kitchen. A cook, a baker, and a pastry chef would have been money. Alas, there was only me (and A, but I was far too stubborn to accept help!) 

The first batch of cupcakes were awful. The frosting was a success, but too sweet for e. The smash cake was so hard it was unshmashable, and the prospect of the gathering of the two families together was giving me nightmares. 

Fun was interspersed, as it always is: we strolled through Del Ray Variety and ordered red balloons and blue balloons, and we stopped by Swing’s for some sustenance. We held hands as we held bean, and it was all perfectly fine.

day 124: moms’ club

bean, boom and I were on a stroll through the woods when lo and behold we came upon a forest clearing filled with strollers, and babies, and mommas, and bagels and coffee and shrieks and laughter and loud athorotative no-nonsense mom voices.

We sat by the playground and observed, I very openly eavesdropping and bean very joyfully throwing all of the woodchips out of the swing area into the green green grass, sometimes pausing to munch on the mulch by sweetness. Boomer was in a protective mood and howled at three little kids who approached to closely before I could grab her muzzle and embarrassingly shush her.

It occurs to me that I ought to join such a group. Bean seems to find other little ones quite fascinating. I’ll be sure to leave the boom at home.

day 123: radford high

A returned home from coaching and we gathered in the kitchen: windows open, toaster toasting sweet potatoes, and eggs in the frying pan. Suddenly, a hullabaloo! And I realize it’s coming from A’s mouth; he’s yelling out he window with great enthusiasm! 

It seems we have a friend in the neighborhood after all. The chief of the police station lives right down the row; A coaches her and her comrades every Wednesday afternoon.

A few minutes later I find myself on the shared balcony overlooking the pool, declining a beer while attempting to hide behind my sweet and explainably shy little boy (sadly, I don’t think I can give myself the excuse of stranger danger.) My own social anxiety is overwhelming.  It’s been over a year since I’ve hung out in casual company. 

I stumble through conversation and light upon the fact that  the chief attended my high school! Good old Radford. We didn’t bond over it too much (it was so changed between the years we each attended) but it certainly brought me back to those idyllic days of beaches and surfing and sand on my shoes and salt in my hair and sun on my skin. And I know someone else close by “gets” it. It’s a comfort to my lonely soul.