Thursday, July 31, 2008

now what?

I got a wild hair and started reading my old blog posts. I went ALL the way back. You know what? the thing reads like a diary of "memorable Daniel moments."
So I spent several hours copying and pasting the posts, in order, into a Word document. 126 pages later (in 11 point type), I have a "book" of mom memories. I'm planning to have it printed and bound for the future, just like a scrapbook. Someday I'll love sharing all that stuff with my boy - and blackmailing him by threatening to show it to his dates!

Friday, July 25, 2008

What not to do

When talking to your child who is spending the week at Grandmas: "Are you ready to come home?" "Do you miss me?" "I miss you!"
My well-intentioned husband made all these mistakes in one phone call, thus incurring the wrath of grandma as she had to contend with the tears afterward.
Oh, dear.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ups and downs

"I didn't like the ups and downs, mommy," said my boy after landing in Newport News. Safe in his grandma's arms, he called me right away. While he sounded a little shaky, it was pretty much from a bouncy landing.
But a couple of hours at Grandma's house and the flight was just a memory. "I went in Grandma's pool!" he reported that night. "We're going to the zoo!" "I rode the teacups twice!" All reports I've gotten from the boy in his absence.
Then there were the quiet days. "How many times does he watch Cars? Asked my mom. "I only let him watch it once," was my reply, but then, I'm pretty adamant about limiting television time. "I miss you mama," was his lament the next morning when I called from my conference in St. Louis. Oh, baby.
On busy days, he's fine. Quiet days are harder. But grandma reports he's been eating well and sleeping even better, so that's all good. And this morning it was "I'll see you Friday!"
This time, we'll drive.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The gift of giving

Faith has learned an important lesson. It's better to give than to receive. Well maybe not really "better" than getting presents, but at least she's recognizing the benefits of sharing. It's not an easy lesson for an only child who has no one at the house to , routinely share toys. But I was surprised how much enthusiasm she had for finding things to give to a 5-year-old girl with little more than the clothes on her back. Faith was scouring her toy chest, closet, drawers and even the attic to collect Polly Pockets, Barbie dolls and other toys. While I see my daughter as always wanting more, it's nice to know she can really do with less. It's obscene how many different dolls have been marketed along with her favorite movies and shows but it's refreshing to know that she is maturing enough to realize there are things she has outgrown. My friend has been routinely giving me clothes her daughter has outgrown, but I have seen her protest some of her favorite clothing items. "That still fits," she would say before her mother added it to the pile when she wasn't looking. When it came to Faith choosing the things to part with, I probably could have come up with a larger sampling for the girl, but maybe not. I get sentimentally attached to things more because of who gave them to me than for what they are. Maybe there's hope for the offspring of two pack rats after all.

Friday, July 11, 2008

What a trip

I'm sure Misty's little Daniel is going to have a blast as a big boy all by himself on an airplane. After our recent vacation I asked Faith what the highlight of the trip was for her. The airplane, she said. We flew from Chicago to Atlanta and she didn't even have her portable DVD player hooked up as the battery pack was stowed in Matt's carry-on bag. She enjoyed listening to Radio Disney, munching on pretzels and slurping down a Sprite. Keep in mind this is after waiting at the airport for about 4 hours before we took off following weather delays. It was pouring in Atlanta and by the time we had to wait for a second shuttle when the first filled up before we could get to ground transportation we got home close to 1 a.m. My husband and I both agreed that the drive up to Indiana didn't seem so bad compared to spinning our wheels waiting for planes, trains and automobiles to get us home. Grandpa was attending a convention in Orlando so he picked us up and we drove about 11 hours the first day and about 4 hours the next. Faith whined a little bit at first about the lack of room in the backseat but managed to make herself quite comfortable around the suitcases. She had WAY more room than a tiny airplane seat. On the drive she watched movies back-to-back and didn't start the "how much longer" mantra until we had almost reached our destinations. Grandpa thought it was amazing we hardly ever heard from her during the drive. The magic of movies!

- Liz

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Boy with wings

I've made an apparently controversial parenting decision.
Later this month, Daniel will fly, unaccompanied, to my mother's in Virginia. That means I will put him on a plane in Atlanta, a flight attendant will check on him regularly (this is a service the airline offers), and my mother can go through security to pick him up at his gate in Newport News. He'll be the first one escorted off the plane, and she'll have to show the pass the airlines give her to take custody of him. It all seemed relatively innocuous to me; after all he's been flying since he was five months old. And Newport News isn't exactly a big airport - six gates, last I was there.
But everyone I tell (including my husband's family) is horrified. I'm guessing they've never witnessed all the divorced mothers at Christmas, standing in the airport after putting their children on flights to visitation with dad. Or maybe they aren't used to flying. Me - I'd rather fly than drive any distance more than six hours. And with the price of gas, it's now cheaper to fly if you watch for a Travelocity sale. The cost of flying Daniel to Newport News? $69 plus the $25 unaccompanied minor fee. The cost of gas for a 1200-mile round trip? $300 And that's not counting meals on the road.
So he's flying to grandma's, alone. For the airline's sake, I'm sending him with his DVD player, headphones and a selection of movies. He's gotten adept at changing discs and starting the movie on his own. It's a 9 a.m. flight, a time at which he is usually pretty calm. I'm not worried.
But go ahead, tell me what you think. Have I lost my marbles?