Thursday, July 25, 2013

All To Himself

Andy spent the night at Grandma's. Mostly because he loves being at Grandma's/ Partly so he could avoid cleaning his room. But you know how that goes. No, I didn't touch it.

Joey came home to find no Andy.

"Where's Andy?" he demanded.
"He's at Grandma's," I told him with a smile. Joey hasn't been able to stay at Grandma's since he started bolting, because Grandma can't chase him down, so he's been getting a bit grumpy about it. Therefore, I added, "Since its just us, we can do anything we want! What would you like to do?"

"Go pick up Andy."

Artiste at work

But what this meant was Joey had me all to himself all afternoon. So we went to lunch at his favorite spot, and picked up some more paints and some tiny canvasses he saw at the craft store, and spent a good amount of time painting and mixing colors. All this time, we mostly scripted Blues Clues episodes, to his great delight.

Then he looked at me and said, "Let's go to D's". I called up D's mom, and they were delighted, so off we went. He got to spend a few hours with his buddy down the street, who isn't in ESY this year for reasons unknown.

To end this perfect Boy Afternoon, we played some Joey's Clues to find out what Joey wanted after playing at his friend's house, and it was Take A Nap. So I tucked him into bed. He asked me to read him two books- one was Goodnight Moon- and sing. I haven't been asked to sing in ages. He wanted the ones he liked best when he was small: Michael Row Your Boat Ashore, and The Fox, and Shoo Fly, and Wheels on the Bus, complete with our own special silly verses. If he didn't take up the whole bed, I would swear he was 5 again.

Summers are hard. The schedule is up in the air, even if you are actually liking school for the first time in a long time and getting to indulge in your new art interest. Now having your constant playmate at home is hard. Having long afternoons to fill is hard.

Sometimes, its nice to have a Mommy break, and be little again-- when things weren't so hard, and they were familiar and happy and simple to process (at least it seems so now, when you have already processed them). So we spent the afternoon having a break, with plenty of hugs and kisses and Mommy all to ourselves.

Now, its time for me to go get Andy, and see if I can get him to pick up the trash in his room.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Spirit of Adventure

A very dear and respected friend wrote to me this week, and ended his letter with an invitation to join him in India. He is getting older, and I worry that each visit he makes to India- and each letter I get from him- may be his last. You know I would totally get a ticket and go, if I had the money.

The invitation included the boys.

I read it, and re-read it, and turned it over. How much I wanted to be taking the boys to India now! The boys are old enough for the trip to really mean something to them, to be a watershed moment of their lives, for good or ill. But life has intervened on my plans. I am just now getting a full-time gig, and it isn't a permanent one (its a year-to-year contract- the new "trend" in academia). And then there are the boys' needs- Joey and heat don't mix well, and there is one thing India is- hot. Even in the coolest part of the year- which would them bring in the problem of crowds- it would be, for Joey, hot. Not to mention the new, the unexpecteed the unpredictability, and the shear overwhelming different-ness of India...

But I also know my friend has a child of his own, now grown, with special needs every bit as great as Joey's. I don't know if he has ever taken his child to India, but somehow, I suspect he has.

And he invited my boys to go to India. What an opportunity, to have my boys be in India with my friend and I, and exploring India...

So I put it to them: would you like to go to India some day? Not today. Not this summer. But someday. And Joey came back without skipping a beat, " Yes!"

Andy put in some rambling no-ness, which was distracting. Had I really heard Joey say he wanted to go to India? Did he understand what it meant? We talked about India being a different part of the world, a different country, and what travel might mean- a long airplane ride (my kids have never been on an airplane), a stop in London (they love their London Olympics video game, so I thought this might perk interest from Andy), and... the heat.

"Yes," Joey chimed in cheerily. "I would like to go to India!"

That's my boy. I know what I'm saving up for this year. And we may not go this year, or next. There are a lot of challenges to be met and considered. I know there will be challenges we won't think about until they appear before us. But Joey wants to go to India. You know I need to make that happen.