Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wanted: Joy

Today, I am seeking joy. Now, I know joy is more of an attitude than a "thing", but nevertheless, it has been sorely missing in my life as of late.

It kind of hit me yesterday, after I spent three hours trying to wrangle six boys to just work on their robot, for heaven's sake, and stop playing with my three year old's toys, and just get it done because I am giving up major chunks of my life for this and you are stomping on the ground of my self-worth!

Whoops - did I say that out loud?

It isn't just robots. Or boys, Or housework.

Okay, it is mostly boys.

I am being crushed under the weight of meetings, practices, rehearsals, competitions, school, and housework. Not so much the housework, as the lack of housework. You know it is bad when your kids write "Clean Me" into the dust of the schoolroom desk.

I digress.

During the Lego meeting yesterday, my head began to throb to the cadence of "What Will We Do with a Drunken Sailor" (my Lego team was singing this song very enthusiastically - I don't really know why. I was afraid to ask.).

I growled out a couple of useless threats to get them to work, and bared my fangs a little ("I will bite off the fingers of the next person to pick up and play with that darn button sound Thomas the Tank Engine book!").

That was when I realized the terrible truth - I not only have lost my sense of humor, but the ability to feel joy.

Joy is not "fun". It isn't entertainment. It is the ability to enjoy life as it happens.

I don't have it anymore. And it is now my goal to find it again. I am going to reclaim joy.

I think a vat of ice cream, some good chocolate, and a week alone with a pile of good books could go a long way towards reestablishing it, but I am not holding out for the impossible here!

Okay, so I just had to remind my oldest son, my man-child, that he was speaking in a voice to raise the dead, which lead to the inevitable pained "why are you always persecuting me" drama on my son's part. Not boding well for joy, here.

I know it is out there. I am gonna find it!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Death to the 'Stache

Today was a momentous day in our household. Our oldest son, The Young Adult, had his first shave.

Yes, he is still 13. Yes, he really....really....really needed to do it.

"How long did it take you to grow that mustache?" "Couple of days."

It is just wrong to put "My First Shave" into your son's baby book.

Reminds me of one of my favorite shows, King of the Hill. In the episode "Dale to the Chief", Dale says to his prematurely mature son Joseph":
JOSEPH: I had the scariest dream!
DALE: Oh. How about I read you a story? Just like I used to before you grew a mustache and became so frightening. 

Just looking at my towering, 13-year-old mustachioed man-child has been weird the past few weeks. Where did my baby go? And why do I seem to produce hairy children? The Young Adult gives every indication that he will be a Wookie when he matures. His armpit hair is more luxurious than what most grown men can produce. The Monkey calls it "fluffies" and is endlessly fascinated it with it when The Young Adult wears a sleeveless shirt.

I remind his younger brothers, who are yucking it up,  that they, too, may be shaving at 13. Don't. Mock.

ArtGuy took The Young Adult into our bathroom and led him through all the minutiae of what it take to shave properly and not slice your face in half. Romeo and I were the gawking audience.

It is done. He is clean-shaven. For now.

All clear!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ready, Set....Holidays!

Yesterday was the start of the holiday season. Wow! Already?

Yesterday was Halloween. We did not give out candy this year (due to tight finances), but after the boys got home from trick-or-treating, ArtGuy suggested we just flip the porch lights on and open for business, because they brought back a store's-worth of candy! I can't decide if my headache today is a sinus headache or sugar OD!

Those buckets were groaning with candy by evening's end!

Today, Nov. 1, is the feast of All Saints, one of my favorite feasts of the year. I have loved reading about the saints since I was young. A friend's post on facebook yesterday reminded me of the All Saints party our charismatic community threw every year. It really took the place of Halloween. The whole gym where we met was turned into a fair of games, cakewalk, and entertainment. And saints, of course. Even many of the adults dressed up. Each year I would hit my saint books, trying to find the picture of the most beautiful saint I could find (invariably St. Cecilia was pictures with shampoo commercial-ready blonde hair, flawless skin, and sweet blue eyes, and usually rocked a pale pink robe. Guess who I was most years?).  While we did not celebrate Halloween when I was young, we still got to dress up, and we left the All Saints party with enough candy to sink a boat, so it was no hardship to forgo Halloween.


The only difficult part I can remember is at school. The teacher would always go around the room and ask everyone what they were going to be for Halloween that year. I usually made something up, like an angel or cat. I mean, I wasn't exactly embarrassed of the All Saints tradition, but I just didn't want to explain to my classmates who St. Clare was, and why that made a better Halloween costume than Madonna (the singer, not the Virgin).

Now that I think of it, that was a wasted opportunity to evangelize, but what can I say? I was a shy child!

Tomorrow is All Souls Day, but it is also Cookie Boy's 12th birthday. One disadvantage of having a birthday 2 days after Halloween is that you usually are not wild to have cake or anything!

A few weeks will see us at Thanksgiving, then Advent, then Christmas.

Oh yeah - it is ALL starting up!

Eat your Wheeties!