Football has started. The third game was on Saturday. They lost the first game, due mostly to confusion as the league fired their defensive coach the previous night, not leaving time for a replacement, and angering the head coach who happens to be my ex-husband.
By the second game, they had a new strategy and a replacement defensive coach. They won by just over a 100% lead. The third game, last Saturday, they won by a 300% lead. The boys had a slight swagger after the game and straighter, although exhausted, shoulders. (I have no photos to show you since my camera broke again. But, there are other things of a sadder nature that have taken center stage and although I do miss having a camera, the energy I have is going towards those other things at the moment.) We were all quite pleased. I was satisfied as well that the opposing team did get their one touchdown. We are not at a college or national level and I hate for any of the kids to go home feeling like failures. I sometimes even cheer when the opposing team does something really great. Don’t tell.
Tyler is running for student body president at his middle school. His slogan, ‘Stay Fly, Vote Ty!’ is catchy. We spent the better part of Sunday attaching small ribbons of paper to Smarties and Dum Dum lollipops with which to ply his fellow students into voting him into office. Actually, I did the cutting and Tony helped Ty do most of the attaching. I didn’t even ask them to work it out. I didn’t even ask Tony to help his brother. I just sat back and basked in the wonderfulness that is your children cooperating completely undirected.
Devon made a paper airplane. It flew quite nicely off the top balcony. So nice, in fact, that he did it quite a few times. I was wishing for my marshmallow gun to give it a few pops on the way down. Just for fun. Dev is learning about responsibility. It’s a hard and very long lesson. I wonder when I’ll get to the end of it so I can let him know how it turns out? But, between now and that place, his dad and I are both encouraging him to stop working so hard and to possibly be more social. Go to a dance. Date someone. For him, work IS fun and even more important than school since he will use his computer and entrepreneurial skills for the rest of his life and history will last only till the end of the semester. So it makes no sense to him yet. And I can see why.
I’m thinking of taking a dance class with him. I told him so and after he stared at me in uncomfortable silence, he asked if we could possibly take ceramics instead. I suspect it is the lesser amount of time holding hands and waists with your mother that makes that more attractive. If the point was to satisfy my craving for dance lessons, I could press it. But since it’s not, ceramics class it is.
Tony has started a new painting. He did a large yellow moon with a slice of dark around the right side. Then he made some drips, which he rather likes and does not want to cover up, and wonders how he can get the background on without doing just that. He appears stuck but I have faith that he is merely paused. He is smart. He may even decide it is finished as is.
Tony never quite gets enough of me. Not Quite Enough. He frequently asks to take things back to his dad’s with him. Reminders of me. And sometimes of Joe. I always oblige him, not even caring what the thing is he’s asking for. I hope he sees the tokens at his other home and is a little less confused by his life. And I wished I enjoyed playing fighting video games with him more, since that is always what he asks to do first. Perhaps there is a class for that.
Alex turns 16 in mere minutes. A tiny breath away. She saves her money and does much thinking before spending it. A $70 homecoming dress? Possibly. She buys it and brings it home. But, no. It goes back because not only is it too frivolous but also the boy she liked when she bought it has since gone the way of the wind and it would only serve as a reminder. A 90$ hair extravaganza? With long layers and long bangs and multi colors of blond throughout, so many blond facets that it positively sparkles in the sunlight? Yes. That is absolutely necessary every once in a while. And right now is that while. I tell her she looks lovely. Joe tells her she looks lovely. The boys say something along the lines of, ‘Oh. Cool.’ I hope that is satisfactory for the moment until she goes to school and gets the oohs and aaahs of her friends to seal the deal.
My kid’s dad has the idea that an old Volkswagen will last a lifetime. As each child comes of age, he purchases them a diamond in the rough, to love and care for. To get to know at a deep level so they can bond with it and know every cable. Every wire. Every switch as they lovingly bring it to prime health. This, to him, is meaningful and right. To the children, it is horror at the beginning. Pure horror. The car does not run right. It stalls. It’s not what I had in mind. My friends all have cars that just go, you know, mom? You know what I mean? I don’t want to freak out every time I have to drive that car. Can you just ask dad to get me something else? This is the story I’ve heard twice and know I will hear once more. Not twice more, because Tyler alone will love it just the way his dad will hand it over. Tyler will agree that it is meaningful and right. And it will be.
Alex’s car is the yellow convertible Volkswagen Bug. It has a modified transmission and although it is not completely manual, it is not automatic. In my opinion, it has muddied the waters and makes it harder to drive. I prefer the purer breeds.
I’ve driven cars with non-working clutches where we had to pop it into gear by pushing it down the hill. I’ve also driven cars which are automatics and they, you know, just drive. I would be lying if I said I preferred the first since it’s the latter I have vowed to own the remainder of my life. But, since I don’t have spare thousands of dollars around which I could use to replace the car for her, I feel the need to be supportive, if not overly cheerful, in helping her learn to drive the yellow car that scares her. Devon is now a pro at his Thing. She is as capable as he. She can be fierce and fearless. With time, I’m sure she can learn to win it over, but in the meantime I’ll have to be strong to bite my lip and only say nice things about the convertible beast with the darling flowers on the steering wheel cover and the shiny silver running boards along each side. And pray that she does not ever drive it on a road with an incline until she learns to use the parking break like a third foot pedal and with as much ease as she answers her cell phone without looking at it. It’s instinct. After all, once she conquers this, learns to change the oil and the tire, I won’t worry so much when she’s out driving and 15 minutes late.
Joe has started his new job. He likes it. It’s closer to home by half. He can make it home in a hurry if need be, and I have needed him be once already and possibly once more this week, but it is a luxury I am trying not to overuse since the occasions we have had to use it for are, so far, not fun. It would be different if he was playing hooky and we went to the pier and fed the seagulls. That might be a good use of this new treasure.