Posted by: Calvin | April 20, 2011

Sisterhood Solidarity

Girl friends have a way of communicating with each other to show solidarity.  It is at times a secret language.  A few well said words that mean one thing to you and something else to all others.  They can be so simple, but say so much. 

Each year in fall and in spring my sons get picked to play on a baseball team.  The boys wonder about who the other players will be.  I wonder who the parents will be – the ones that I will spend hours with in the stands 3 – 4 nights a week.  I have made some pretty awesome friends in those stands.  Others, well . . . I do not miss them one bit.  The two previous teams my boys played with the son of an awesome baseball mom.  She knows baseball, she is witty and she is not afraid to whisper to me under her breath say how she really feels.  Her secrets are safe with me.  She is usually right on the money.   Before long, we were not just friends in the stands, we were just friends.

We are on different teams this year.  So, when I had problems with a borderline evil mom who made the first half of our season a living hell for me, my husband and my son, I sought her out and used her as a sounding board.  Of course, she was on my side and offered great advice.

Tonight, her son finished his practice early and she came over to the stands say “Hi” to me while I watched our game.  We chit-chatted, and then before saying her goodbye . . . she whispered in my ear while nodding toward the evil mom . . . “What did she do to her hair?”   Sisterhood solidarity at its best.  Subtle, but spot on to put a smile on my face.

Posted by: Calvin | November 22, 2010

Mama Bear is NOT Happy

Every so often, something happens that stirs up my inner mama bear.   I do not think there is a mom alive that does not have that instinctual internal ire that gets set afire when she feels that her child has been treated unfairly or unkindly by someone.  Today I was reviewing a grading sheet sent home regarding Mojo’s recent Spanish project.  The teacher had commented on the oral presentation section:  “Fluency – stuttered quite a bit.”  (The words in italics were underlined on her sheet.)  He had 2 points taken away for what appeared to be fluency and pronunciation.  The assumption being one point for each.

Here is the thing . . . Mojo stutters.  It is no secret.  He has stuttered all his life.   He has been in speech therapy for years.  Notwithstanding, he stutters every day, all day.  He stutters in normal conversation with friends and family.  It gets worse when he reads aloud  and speaks publicly.  In this case he was orally presenting a Power Point presentation in Spanish, which is not a language that he knows or is regularly exposed to.  Of course he stuttered quite a bit

The teacher’s comment aroused my inner mama bear.   She should have known better.  We are more than half way through the second semester for crying out loud.  She is supposed to be on Mojo’s side with me.  Now I see her on the other side, the side  from which Mojo needs protection.  When I thought of who someday might be the person who made Mojo feel bad about stuttering, I did not envision that it would be one of his teachers.   After this it is going to be harder to drop him off, kiss him good-bye and wish him a great day tomorrow.  This mama bear is NOT happy.

Posted by: Calvin | October 17, 2010

Hello My Name is Calvin . . .

. . . and I am a Facebook addict.  I do not want to be a Facebook addict.  I never meant to be a Facebook addict.  It has been fun reconnecting with people from my past (some more than others) and chatting at all times of the day with people all over the map . . . BUT, this is getting crazy.  I even have a Facebook application on my phone and check for updates at red lights.  Surely, I have better things to do a red lights . . . like watching to see when the light turns green.

Many of my “friends” are people I  knew from high school.  Many I knew well and am so glad to catch up with them again to see how they have grown over the years.  I have also figured out that I really missed out on getting to know some fun, quality people back then.  It is nice to have a second chance in cyberspace.  Other friends are people who I see all the time and others are people who I have never met in real life.  I do feel that I have gotten to know my friends a little better, and that is a good thing, BUT I could still stand to spend less time logged in.

The worst part about Facebook is the games.  Perhaps it is truer to say that I am a Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook addict.  For a while I was a Farm Town and other “ville” addict, but I gave those games up cold turkey.  My previous laptop, may it rest in peace, got a virus and I decided that it was because of all those silly “ville” games.  However, I also managed to convince myself that the viruses did not come from Bejeweled Blitz.  So, I continue to waste time playing that darn game.  Tonight my son pointed out that I have nothing to show for the time I have spent playing Bejeweled Blitz and he is so right.  Then I remembered this lonely, neglected blog.  At least if I spend my time writing a blog post, I have something to show for it.   Even if no one reads it.

From now on, when I get the urge to waste time on the computer, I will try to spend the bulk of my free time blogging, reading or writing e-mails to loved ones and much less time Bejeweled Blitzing.   Who knows, I may even convince myself to turn off the computer and just hang out with my family sans the computer!

Posted by: Calvin | January 29, 2010

Family Business

Today the business that my grandfather started nearly 80 years ago shut its doors for good; a victim of the flailing Michigan economy.   It served us well for all those years, through the ups and downs of the cyclical recessions that came before.  This one was just too long and deep.  Tomorrow I will wake up in a world that is different from the one I woke up in the last 45 years of my life.  Tomorrow I will march on.  Tonight, I mourn the loss.  Farewell family business.  You will be missed.

Posted by: Calvin | October 26, 2009

Overcoming Your Fears

Mojo was up to bat.  He was hesitant.  In two previous games he was hit by a pitch.  Both times he took his base but paid the price with a big bruise.  The first in the middle of his back, the second on his inner thigh.  He was on deck watching the pitcher throw one bad pitch after another.  The fear became more acute with each bad pitch he watched.  His teammate walked.   It was his turn to enter the batter’s box.  I watched from the bleachers to see him take his turn at the plate.  Mojo was not moving fast. In fact he was barely moving at all.  He had tears in his eyes. 

A fellow parent in the stands said, “that is your son, isn’t it?”  “Yes,” I replied.  The caring father said “He was hit by a pitch last game, wasn’t he?”  “Yes, and the game before too.”  The parents talked about how hard it must be for him to take his turn at bat.  Next, we see Mojo’s Dad leave his post as third base coach.  He motions “time out” to the umpire and approaches Mojo.  They have a private father/son chat as we all look on.  Mojo stands tall then enters the batter’s box.  Dad returns to third base.  The first two pitches are balls.  I am nervous and worried that he will be hit again.  I hold my breath wondering if he will give up baseball if he gets hit a third time in as many games.  He swings at the next pitch and hits a hard ground ball up the third base line.  It quickly goes past the third baseman and Mojo easily reaches first base.  I let out my breath thanking the baseball gods for helping him face his fears.  Mojo is not done.  With the assistance of a few passed balls, he stole second, then third, then home!  His team went on to win by one run that night.

At home after the game we share a celebratory ice cream.  I tell Mojo how proud I am of him for facing his fears.  Mojo looks up at me with his beautiful eyes, with lashes any super model would covet, and he says, “Dad told me that if I didn’t get up there and hit the ball he was going to sign me up for ballet lessons.”

Posted by: Calvin | April 27, 2009

Swine Flu Memories

I distinctly remember the first swine flu scare in the 1970s.  I was about 11 year old. 

There was a mandate that all people, young and old, receive a swine flu vaccination.  The shots were offered at the local high school.  We stood in a LONG line that started outside on a hot summer Michigan day.  We stood in line for hours.  As we approached the front of the line, there were murmurs that they were running out or the vaccines and we may or may not get a shot that day.  Somewhat apprehensive that we had wasted so much time in that awful line, we finally made it into the makeshift clinic and saw the multiple cubicles with sheets separating the families to simulate privacy. 

Finally it was our turn.  We entered our assigned sheet walled cubicle where we were met by a nurse.  We answered many questions about our medical history and our current health and then . . . we got our shots.  We walked out of the cubicle and I felt dizzy.  Next thing I know, I had my first whiff of smelling salts.  I was told that I turned white and feel into the arms of a handsome volunteer doctor.   My Mom was very proud of me for my excellent timing.

Anyone else out there have any memories from the swine flu scare in the ’70s?

Posted by: Calvin | April 7, 2009

The Talk

At breakfast club with Alto2, Belle and another boy mom, we discussed the need to have “the talk” with our boys.  I thought about it more that day and Alto2 e-mailed a great article on the subject.  My 10 year old had some trouble falling asleep on Saturday night.  We were the only ones up.  Primed with fresh information and gumption, I figured I would broach the subject.  I started, “You know, your getting older and soon your body will start changing.”  His eyes said, “What are you talking about?”  I continued, “For instance, you will start getting hair on your legs, under your arms, all over, just like Dad.”  He looked at me funny.  I asked him if he had any questions, he inquired, “Can I get a cell phone soon?”  I said, “Don’t count on it!”  . . . tucked him in . . . gave him a kiss on the forehead and said, “Good Night.”  I’d say that went well.

Posted by: Calvin | April 6, 2009

Go Spartans!

Tonight my alma mater has a shot at the national title in basketball.  To do my part I am baking a green cake.  I will use white icing and put a big sugary S on top.  I am not sure that it will make the difference between a win or a loss, but it should taste great.  So far it smells great!

My boys are thrilled at this idea.  My husband is bummed that I didn’t make a blue and orange cake when his UF Gators played in their multiple national championship games.  He is right, making a blue cake with orange icing never crossed my mind.  That sounds disgusting.  If the Spartans win tonight, I will have to start getting used to the idea.  I am sure that the team cake will become a tradition!

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Posted by: Calvin | February 15, 2009

A Gift For My Valentine

My husband has been having a stressful time of it at work lately.  The one thing that clears his mind is fishing.  Yesterday morning I called him on his cell phone and told him that the boys both had a baseball practice Saturday, that there was no need for both of us to go to their practices, and that I thought he should just go fishing.  He asked me at least 4 times during the day if I was sure that I was fine with him going.  I assured him that I had everything under control.  He seemed more relaxed just knowing that he was going to go fishing the next day.  He invited only one friend to join him, a friend that helped out and did not need to be entertained.  My plan was working.

Off they went this morning.  As I was arriving at baseball practice #1, my cell phone rang.   It was Fisherman.  There had been an incident.  Not too bad.  They had stopped for gas and supplies.  Somehow, the friend closed the van door on Fisherman’s head.  It knocked him to the ground, and there was a lot of blood. 

One trip to Urgent Care, three staples later and two of them went fishing!  Mission accomplished.

Tomorrow the whole family is going out in the boat for a pleasure trip another family from Michigan.  Hopefully without any incidents!

Happy Valentines Day!

Posted by: Calvin | February 14, 2009

My Baby is 8!

Happy Birthday Mojo!

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