Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Choices

I was thrilled to join 8 other like-minded homeschooling mommas for dinner & drinks downtown tonight. Instinctively, I stripped off the worse-for-wear outfit I'd dragged myself around in all day, and slipped on a slick top & cool wide leg capris with my favorite Keene sandals. A night on the town! Yes.

Whee whoo, sopapillas--thanks to the generous table-feeder who picked up the tab on that one. I was happy to help polish them off, regardless of their high wheat content. Hey--it wasn't APPLES and honey for Rosh Hashanah, but...close! (HAPPY NEW YEAR!).

My phone was on its lowest volume, and then I left it at one end of the table while I chitta-chattahed on the other end. It was, apparently, ringing a couple times. Who knew? Not I!

So, I got in the elevator with two girlfriends to find it ringing again. My husband said, "Are you on your way home?" Yes, I answered... "I look forward to seeing you," he replied. I gave the gals this look like, "Hmmmmmmmm.... Wonder what hubby has in store tonight!?" LOL They raised eyebrows with me & we all giggled like young girls.

Yeah.

NOT!

Logan & Teagan had NOT stayed in the bed where I had read them stories, said prayers over them & tucked them compactly in for the night. Noooooooooooooo. No, no, no. They had been RUNNING around the house until after 10...which isn't too terribly abnormal, except that I thought they were both quite tired & knew it, and when I left they were these perfect cherubs!

Whaa haa haaa haaaaa haaaaaaa.

So, voicemail #1 was from my husband: "Lisa. I need you to come home right now. The kids are running around screaming and I cannot DO this right now!"

Tom has a 10 AM interview & a 2 PM interview tomorrow, one on Thursday, and another on Friday. He is out of work. My going out was a luxury (especially sweet since one of my friends had unexpectedly picked up the tab on my $3 mocha java & somebody else fed the table those lovely sopapillas!!).

Voicemail #2 was: "Lisa. The kids are NOT asleep--they have been running around and now LOGAN has run into a WALL! He has a huge goose egg. Please come home as soon as you can."

So.....

That gentle, seemingly seductive man I spoke with in our elevator call was a weary man who had calmed himself, and was giving me all sorts of grace to be out with The Girls for the night, but who really needed me NOT to have done so...

When I arrived home (after having listened to the vmails in the car), I found Logan awake, huddled on the floor with his head in a towel of ice resting on the dining room bench--his sister had collapsed across a chair and was sawing logs--but Logan had clearly been weeping for a very long time.

Logan: "I don't want you to tell her!" to his dad.

"It's too late, Son. He left me a voicemail," I said, gently.

"I don't want you to see it!" he cried.

"Sweetheart. I'm so sorry you ran into the wall--please let me hold you."

We curled up on the couch--and I pulled back his hair to see a massive goose egg, which was reported to me as having come down significantly in an hour and a half. It reminded me of one he'd gotten almost exactly 18 months ago by running head-on into his friend, Luke, under a parachute at his own birthday party. Good grief! How could this have been any bigger an hour ago!?!? I kept saying, gently, "It's OK, Lo. It's OK. Shhhhh. It's OK." His crying was sweet--he was genuinely upset he'd hurt himself, was not angry, and didn't seem to be blaming anyone. "Thank you, Mommy," he repeated, until we both settled into a really quiet place.

My husband is certified EMT, and reported to me that as soon as Logan hit the wall he screamed and cried--he did not lose consciousness--therefore, there was no reason to take him to the E.R..



"Babe," I said, "There are many ways to learn lessons, and I don't want you to have to learn the hard way! This," I pointed to the abrasion & bruise on his forehead, "Is the hard way. This is literally the hardest way for you to learn. I don't want you breaking a bone or a tooth..." to which he laughed and said he could put a broken tooth under his pillow for the tooth fairy!

I chuckled (since he caught me off guard), but was remembering the very real experience of last Sunday (9 days ago) when he was running through the house after his sister and tripped against the couch arm--hitting his mouth & teeth, but THANKFULLY NOT knocking out any teeth!! (<--that time, we DID take him to a walk-in clinic, as he'd broken skin on the gum line, his chin & his lower lip). We tend to call these "Boy Bruises," and I know this won't be the LAST, but Logan declared, "I will NEVER run through the house AGAIN!"

Never? Really? Well, now, THAT would be cool!



He started dreaming aloud, then, about how nice it would be to have a house with a large back yard, and a pool where he could jump in & swim--with a really tall diving board. See? My kid knows his needs! I had to share the harsh American reality with him, "We'd like that too, someday, but right now ALL of America is pulling BACK on spending, and we are not the only ones who are not buying homes with pools, Sweetheart. This is a very trying time for EVERYone."

He replied, "Yeah. Some people are homeless," remembering a man we'd given a jacket to in DC, and the classes he had at church through KidsServe about the homelessness in our area. He'd made meals & stuffed sacks with donated clothing and bedding for his peers whose parents have nowhere to shelter their children but a community shelter.

I sighed and responded, "Yes, you're right. Some people don't have homes. Some people don't have jobs--like Daddy--but Daddy has strong experience, and a lot of wonderful opportunities, and we know something fantastic will come our way very soon--maybe even tomorrow! But, we do need to be grateful for what we have, and learn not to RUN in this small space. It isn't really good for that."

He then went on with his dreams about a large room where he could run--and we shared our thoughts together about what that can look like with tables for his train sets and for his LEGO creations to be set up permanently.

It took another 20 minutes to settle him into sleep. He was so proud to tell me that he had held the ice on his head the entire time he waited for me--(90 minutes)! That is amazing, because Logan HATES ice on injuries. What a brave boy! I told him I was so happy to hear that...

I sang lullabies to him until his arms & legs were limp and he entered dreamland--like I did when he was a baby. My grandma's songs and my grandma's gentle strokes across his forehead (on the non-painful side).

Just before drifting off he said, "You shouldn't have gone out tonight. Daddy had to get ready for his interviews, and was on the computer, and he wouldn't lie in bed with us, or read us stories..."

To which, in Kirk Martin~Celebrate Calm styling I replied, "Logan, when I left here tonight your stories had been read, your prayers had been said, and you were tucked in to bed." (oooh!! I'm a rhymer!) "It was your choice to get up and be mischievous. You knew that Daddy had work to do & would not be able to be with you--that is why I took care of your bedtime routine before leaving. Remember, you chose to run around."

Mm-hmm. No yelling. No blaming. NO screaming. ;-) Just CALM discussion of CHOICE & CONSEQUENCE (not one any of us would have hoped for, unfortunately...)

He's OK, and I do NOT regret going out. I am SO glad I did! Now, though, I have to go iron a shirt & sew on a button for Tom. I'm happy to do it. It's part of that Discovering My Female Purpose that we women discussed tonight as we recalled holding our babies for the first time. I was MADE to be this mother. I was made to be this woman! I'm delighted to support my husband with a little thing like helping him look his best tomorrow.

Oh, and yes, I did advise my husband that if he had taken just 15 minutes to settle them back into bed when they first got up, read them one story & kissed their tender heads, one of those heads might not have a throbbing headache tomorrow morning...

Ugh. See? See? At last night's Celebrate Calm workshop, Kirk asked the crowd, "How many of you women are wondering how things are going at home with your husband and your kids right now?" as 53 women and 5 men filled the room. I raised MY hand!!

No comments: