Silence Works for Me

I did something a little naughty, a little sneaky yesterday. I revealed something to my husband that I’ve been hiding since May.

Let’s backup and I’ll start at the beginning.

My husband called me at 9:30 yesterday morning. His grandmother has been in the hospital for the past few days because of pneumonia. She was supposed to come home over the weekend, but she’s worse off than they thought and now they are keeping her for another week. Poor woman.

So, he suggested we meet for lunch and then we would make a trip up to the hospital to see her.

When he called, I was still in my gym shorts and without makeup (which, I’m embarrassed to say, is usually the case because I like to get all of my sweaty work – working out, housecleaning – done before I get cleaned up because hello?! Who wants to take two showers in one day? Not me!). I jumped into the shower, got all dolled up and he came to pick me up. We ran to Hallmark, picked out a nice get well card for her and then headed to San Francisco Oven to have an early lunch. (I had the chicken salad on a croissant – why yes, it was as good as it sounds. *grin*).

We had a really nice lunch. Actually, we always have nice lunches. As mentioned, my husband and I are great friends – we always find stuff to talk about.

ANYway, on our way to the hospital, I looked over at him and said, “I have a surprise for you.”

And judging by the look on his face, we weren’t exactly thinking the same things – if you know what I mean. *nudgenudge*

I pull out a check and hand it over to him. He takes one look at it and then chuckles. “You sneak! How long have you been holding out on me?”

“Since May,” I tell him and immediately feel an overwhelming wave of relief wash over me. I don’t like keeping secrets from my husband but sometimes? It’s necessary.

I just finished another school website. But my husband didn’t even know I had been working on another project because I hadn’t told him. And I hadn’t told him because whenever I’m working on something, he tends to nag question me about it a thousand times a day.

And that just puts too much pressure on me. I’m VERY easy going when it comes to business (HINTHINT). I prefer to have the project finished before I accept (full) payment because I want to make sure we’re all happy with the results. Nothing freaks me out more than doing a project for someone, presenting it and they think, “I just paid x-amount of money for this crap??”

Just the thought of that makes me break out in a cold sweat.

I also don’t push people. They will get back to me when they have a chance. I hate to be a bother. (See? Very easy going). And I figure, if people need to make payments on the balance due, then so be it. It’s all about the budget, we all know this.

But the husband. *sigh* He’s an accountant and very task-oriented. And he likes to get things DONE. As in NOW. As in YESTERDAY. So, he doesn’t QUITE understand my laissez faire attitude about my work.

So, I’ve found it’s easier on me if I simply don’t tell him anything until everything has been completed and I have the check in my hands.

I wasn’t sure how he would take the fact that I kept this from him. At first, he was amused. Then he was delighted (it was a nice chunk of change, after all). But then, he got to thinking about it and he became a bit annoyed.

“This makes me wonder how many more things you’re keeping from me.”

Ah, if the man only knew. *wink*

So … I’m learning to keep my mouth shut. Not only in regards to my projects, but in parenting, too. I’m finding GD opens up a lot more to me if I just simply SHUT UP.

For instance …

MK had to stay after school yesterday for pep band practice (he’s LOVING it btw. The music is really kicky and fun). So, it was just me and GD. I asked him the obligatory questions, “How was your day? Did you hand in your graphic design project …”

And I got the obligatory answers, “Fine. *grunt*”. You know how it is with teenagers.

We got home and I went about my business. Out of the blue, and completely unexpectedly, GD walks up to me and tells me about his good marks he received on his weekly Japanese tests (he has two – written and oral – yes, he has to speak Japanese, in front of the class!). He’s quite proud of himself (as are we!); he’s getting a B+ in the class (this is the same boy who failed Spanish).

After I praised him, he went on to tell me about the conversations he was having with an online buddy of his who is Japanese. They were chatting with each other in Japanese. How cool! And how cool is it that he volunteered that information to me??

And then later, as the husband and I are watching “Mad Money” (that show is COMPLETELY over my head but Jim Cramer amuses me because he’s so dramatic), GD shows us the graphic design project he’s been working on.

It looked professional. And I’m not just saying that because he’s my son – it honest to God looked professional.

We were very impressed.

So I think it’s safe to say that this school year is going very well for GD. And I think he’s enjoying himself. I can’t TELL you what a relief that is to me. I mean seriously, GD hasn’t shown this much interest in school since second grade.

Thank you God.

GD and I will have a little more “alone” time today. I have to pick him up from school and take him to a dentist appointment. They are prepping his bottom teeth for a retainer – he has a pretty narrow jaw and if they don’t put a retainer in, it will gradually shrink back and throw his bite off.

I had to give GD a note to give to the attendance office this morning. This meant *gasp* he would have to make a trip to the office and get a pass so he could leave class. I’m curious to hear how that process went.

At 11:15, he’s supposed to walk out of class and meet me. I’ll take him to his appointment and grab something for him to eat while he’s being worked on. We’ll have lunch together afterwards, I’ll coax him into taking some Tylenol (because his mouth will likely be sore) and then take him back to school.

He was a little bummed because I wasn’t going to just allow him to take off the rest of the day, but he’ll get back to school at about 12:45 – leaving a good two hours of school left before he’s dismissed. It’ll be easier for the boy if he’s there as opposed to taking the initiative to find out what he missed later.

Later, we’re all supposed to head back up to the hospital to have pizza with the husband’s family and his sick grandmother. He has family in from out of town and we had originally planned to meet at a pizza parlor but considering poor Nanny is stuck at the hospital, we didn’t feel right leaving her out. So we’ll gather together and eat pizza in a little reception area the hospital said we could use.

I dread it. Not because I don’t want to see his grandmother (I have a soft spot for her – she helped watch GD when I was still working – but that’s another story), but because that hospital STINKS. It smells like sickness and death and the air is so close it’s suffocating. I’ve already told the boys to try not to touch anything and please, don’t put your hands by your face.

I guess you could say I’m a bit of a germ freak. Or just a freak – that works, too. 🙂

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Video Moment: Crazy Possum

This video requires an explanation…

I was sitting at my desk (I work from home) when I looked outside, in the back yard, and saw this crazy possum walking around our yard … in broad daylight.

First of all, a possum during the day? Don’t they usually sleep?

I grabbed our video camera and began to tape this crazy animal walking around in circles (my husband added the Van Halen song – clever, eh? *grin*)

The only thing we can figure is that the critter must have gotten clipped by a passing car and became disoriented. He literally couldn’t figure out where he needed to go. And if you look closely, it looks like he’s limping.

Poor little guy.

We later found him, dead, under our shed.

Through the Eyes of a Teenager

I watched “The Secret” Saturday on the treadmill … and it got me thinking.

First of all, if you’re not familiar with the story – a mother and her daughter are going on a trip. And they have an accident. They are laying, side-by-side in the emergency room and the mother wakes up long enough to tell her husband that she loves them (they have a great relationship) and just when you’re about to get all gooey over the lovey-dovey stuff, the daughter flat lines.

The mother goes crazy and DEMANDS that her bed be rolled closer so she can hold her daughter’s hand. She’s screaming her name at the top of her voice – it brought goose bumps to my arms, quite frankly. I can’t imagine witnessing my child’s death.

I guess the trama of the situation is too much for the mother and she also flat lines. The doctors are on the verge of pronouncing them both dead when suddenly, they discover a pulse in the daughter.

The daughter wakes up, but she’s not HER, but rather her MOTHER. What follows is a series of coping scenes, blahblahblah. I won’t spoil it for you.

But suffice it to say, it was a bizarre, and rather interesting premise.

It got me thinking about my son’s high school experiences and what it was like to be a teenager in general. There is a lot of pressure – both internally and externally.

The girl’s raging hormones is one issue. She’s incredibly angry, insecure and horny all at the same time (remember those days? Ugh). And then, there’s a scene where she’s walking into school, as her mother, mind you, so everything and everyone is strange, and just a bit scary, given the personalities of some of the students.

I pray GD doesn’t have to walk down hallways like that. But how do I know?

I’m switching tracks for minute to tell you about a conversation we (the entire family) had over the weekend – stay with me, I have a point, honest.

MK plans on playing with the high school band at an upcoming Friday football game (he plays the saxophone, for you newcomers). So, we’re going to both support him and to attend a football game – the first one GD has been to since starting high school.

He’s not thrilled about going. In fact, he’s being a downright jerk about it. I think it’s important for him to attend at least ONE high school football game for the experience, right? And who knows? Maybe he’ll enjoy himself.

But I don’t understand where he’s coming from. WHY doesn’t he have any school spirit? When I questioned him on it, he said he didn’t mind going to support MK, but he had no interest in supporting his school because he hated his school.

Hearing him say that just breaks my heart. I mean, I couldn’t stand high school at that age, either. But I DID have school spirit and would defend my school to anyone who bad-mouthed it.

The way he said it led me to believe it goes beyond the normal homework/structure/getting up at an ungodly hour to attend school issues too. He told me that he hates his school because of all the crap that goes on right before his eyes.

The same kind of crap that was going down in the high school hallway in the movie.

The loud laughter. The shoving/pushing. The teasing. The tough talk. The crazy clothes combination. And the drug/cigarette exchanges. Right in front of his eyes.

This makes GD VERY uncomfortable. In fact, it’s safe to say, it scares him. We’ve talked to him about the dangers of smoking/drugs since he was a small boy in grade school. He knows how it can mess up your life.

And yes, he told me that kids have offered him smokes/drugs.

He doesn’t like any of it. He doesn’t like being around any of it. And of course, I don’t like him around it, either. But if you think, for one minute, that kids in private schools, Christian schools, even some homeschooled kids, aren’t offered smokes and/or drugs when you’re not around, you’re kidding yourself. It happens everywhere.

As a result of this crap that’s going on around him, he has lumped all of the bad into his overall opinion of the school. It sucks – mainly because of the few trouble kids. So, we talked about trying to focus on the good aspects of the school. His great teachers (which he seems to like this year), his buddies. The fact that they are pretty cool about leaving him alone and allowing him (encouraging him even) to take responsibility for himself (unlike his grade school who were CONSTANTLY breathing down that poor boy’s neck. I know they meant well, but geez louise, enough already).

And the fact that he hasn’t been to any sporting events and witnessed the excitement of the game, the crowd and the peppy cheerleaders leading the pack, well, I think he needs to experience that and see for himself that his school? Is not all bad. He just needs to be exposed to more good things. (We also plan on attending the school musical – I think that would be something else he needs to experience – especially since I talk about my AWESOME drama days when I was in high school).

Watching “The Secret” reminded me of all the crap teenagers have to go through nowadays. It’s so easy to bury our parental heads in the sand and just assume that when we drop our children off at the door, their day is going to be as innocent and carefree as their grade school days.

They are not.

Their days are chocked full of angst, insecurities and uncomfortable situations. And if I could live my son’s high school years for him to spare him the grief of simply being young and unsure of where he fits into the human race, believe you me, I would.

Though the movie wasn’t that great (though it wasn’t that bad, either), it did encourage me to look through my sons’ eyes and see their world from their perspective. Though I will never fully know what happens to them while they are walking those hallways, I think just being AWARE of their difficulties will help me, and them, get through these difficult years.

Weekend Snapshot – Caught in a Web

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Share your weekend snapshot.

Pulling Down Cobwebs

Our house is one huge spiderweb!

The husband walked around the house Saturday and swept all of the webs and half-eaten insects off our house. Not to mention, the HUGE spiders with the HUGE bellies that were busy sucking the brains out of said insects.

We pulled down quite a few pod-looking things, too. I’m guessing they were baby spider sacks? I have no desire to find out for sure.

Seriously, it was nasty. Some of the webs extended from the top of our gutter all the way down to the ground! It was like something out of the Munsters’ TV show.

I guess the spiders are gorging themselves on insects before winter sets in? I’m not exactly hip on the whole spider-cycle thing.

All I know is – they are gone now.

At least until next weekend.

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Monday Morning Meme – September 29th

All you have to do is answer the questions below either in the comment section, or on your blog. And elaborate! Make these questions show your unique and special personalities. This meme entry will post at 12:01 every Monday morning and will be the first postentry listed on WFK all day Monday morning. (This is an all-day Monday meme, so please, play all day!)

Monday Morning Meme at writefromkaren.com

September 29th Questions:

1. How do you define happiness?

2. What did you have for breakfast? (If not this morning, tell us what you had the last time you had breakfast).

3. On a scale of one to ten, how sick are you of the presidential campaign? Do you talk about politics on your blog? What about in real life? Why or why not?

4. What about your life today would surprise your teen-aged self?

Monday Morning Meme Participants

1. Marianne
2. Sue
3. Judy
4. Jodi
5. Carolyn
6. Jen
7. Dawn\’s Daily Life
8. an URGENTish open letter to John Mayer (Jen @ mommablogsalot)
9. Jen @ mommablogsalot

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.

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Sunday Scribblings – Wedding

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October 28, 1987

Dear 22-year old self,

You have just started the bank. Congratulations! This means you’ve taken a HUGE step forward in your financial career (of course, that will fizzle out shortly after you have your first child but we’ll talk about that later).

The sexy guy you now work with? The blonde hunk in the drive-thru? Guess what. You’re going to marry him. I KNOW! How cool is that, right? He’s smart, funny, fun to be around and he will end up being your best friend and the best thing that ever happened to you.

But first. You will live together for two years – a trial marriage, if you will. Your family will not approve. But you’ve lived your life on your own terms at this point in your life, why change?

Those two years will be great – one big party. You’re going to get married on May 26, 1990. And you will use your student loan to help pay for it. (Don’t freak out, it’s really the only option you will have at the time).

It will be a small and intimate wedding, only about 75 people will be there. Don’t be depressed – that’s all you ever wanted, you just don’t know it yet. Your best friend Melissa will be your matron of honor and your husband’s best friend, Alvin, will be your best man. Your mom will make your wedding dress and it will be beautiful. You will look and feel radiant.

You will be late to your own wedding. You spend way too much time at a friend’s house getting your hair done. This will make your future husband very nervous and he will think you backed out.

But you arrive (fashionably late) and you will get stressed out trying to dress and look your best.

But once you start walking down that aisle on your father’s arm, your nervousness will dissipate and suddenly, you’ll feel like laughing because it truly is the happiest day of your life. You have no doubts – none. You know this is the man for you.

I hate to spoil the actual wedding for you, but I will tell you this – you will barely remember your vows because you will be distracted by the fact that you are getting ready to fly off together to a remote island (Cozumel, Mexico) and that you will no longer be alone in life, but part of a couple.

And you and your future husband will giggle together because you have a strange sixth sense when it comes to knowing what the other one is thinking.

Life will be very good for several years. You will have two boys and though it will freak you out that you’re a mother, you’ll adjust.

One word of caution: 1997 and 1998 will be very tough on your marriage. You will need to do a lot of soul searching; you will need to grow up. For though you may deny it now, you are, and will be, very immature.

You’ve been warned.

For now, enjoy your youth. Enjoy your journey – it will be a great adventure.