Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Monkey...Addendum

Actually the original book T made had a small void. Two pages in the middle had stuck together unbeknown to him, so they were blank once the story was written and illustrated. At first he decided that we just had to overlook that and turn the page. But then he was inspired to add more depth to the story. I kind of didn't want him to potentially wreck this book, so I reminded him he had to be sure it fit with the story.
Here's how the book reads now:

The Monkey

Once upon a time
there was a monkey
that was swinging
on the tree.
(Below script: 4 green trees and a brown monkey near the largest tree.)

then his tummy felt
its hurting. It was
A baby. He was so
Happy. He never had
a baby. In his hole
life. He had too babys.
(Below script: 2 trees, bushes and a monkey with 2 circles for the stomach area.)

And then when they were
done swinging on the tree,
they had Bananas to eat.
And then they took a walk.
then they had to run because
there were asteroids falling
from the sky. but they were
not DeAD. They runed fast.
(Below script: A big blue sky with 16 red asteroids all lined up in row with orange flames. Many brown monkeys with arms flailing. Yellow and brown dirt with black round coals--all lined up in a row to match the asteroids falling.)

then there were fire.
everywhere. a lot of
dinosaurs were dead. 100 of
dinosaurs were dead.
And then he thinked that he
wanted another baby.
He told his Docter. Can I have
another baby? the Docter
said yes. We will Give you
another baby. He was
going to get another baby tomorrow.
(Below script: Black and blue sky. Blue and red flames everywhere. And 3 monkeys with dragging arms. I think they are tired.)

And then he had a
baby. twice. And then
they were A family
that lived in the
Jungle. oo. oo. ah. ah.
(Below script: Blue sky with 2 clouds and one sturdy tree with 3 brown monkeys. One monkey has a happy smile, the other 2 are faceless.)

The end by T-----

Quite exciting now, huh?
I told him I was so happy with the book that I took it to work and showed everyone. And I even put it on the Internet. He was quite worried about that.
"The Internet?! Someone might make fun of me."
I assured him all was OK. I didn't put his real name on it.
"Whew. Well, that's OK then. Did they like it??"
He was so excited to read the reviews!

Thank you so much for your kind words. You made our day brighter.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Monkey

I was presented a book yesterday, quite proudly, by my son.
He wrote, illustrated, and bound it professionally...with well placed staples.

It's called, The Monkey.

The Monkey
Once opon a time
there was a monkey
that was swinging on the tree.

(below script are 4 trees in technicolor crayon with a brown monkey near a tree)

Then his tummy felt its hurting. It was
A baby. He was so
Happy. He never had a baby. In his hole
life. He had too babys
(below script are two trees, 2 bushes and a monkey figure with 2 circles for the stomach area)

And then he had a baby. twice. And then
they were A family
that lived in the Jungle. oo. oo. ah. ah.

(below script is a big blue sky, 2 white clouds, one tree and 3 brown monkeys around it)

I was so proud. Now that's a keeper.
I wonder what that means..... lol
Coincidentally I had some down time at work and was working on my own book for him (the story of his conception). Writing it is tougher than I thought. I'll be editing it for a while, before I'm happy with it.

And THEN....this morning I had an offer to consider taking ownership of frozen embyros. My knee-jerk response is, "No, that's lovely, but I'm very happy with the one child I have."
But I've decided to really think it over before I answer.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Contents of a Heart

While T sits on the toilet, and I stare at the mirror applying various powders to enhance what I like and disguise what I don't he says,
"Mama, do you know what's in my heart?"

"Um...blood?", I say, thinking he's talking about it in a literal sense.

"No. Inside my heart there is another heart because I love you."

I peek around the door frame, "I love you", I say with a sudden sense that my heart contains a few extra hearts too.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Yep, still warm...

Last Thursday, Mark phoned. It was weird to hear his voice--sounded exactly the same as I remembered him--back when he was a young teen. We talked for over an hour about all that we remembered and things that have happened over the last 20 odd years or so.
Against his parents wishes, he opted against going to college and felt his place was "out in the world, finding his own way." His parents were worried and when he didn't land a job quickly enough, his father offered him a position at his firm--as a laborer doing concrete work. His father was hoping to show him how hard that life can be and help him see how college would be the best place to put his energies. Mark said he came home and dropped down on the floor to sleep, every day that first week. But when that first pay check came, he thought "I can do this!" and decided to study for his masonry license. So that's what he does--concrete work. Plus he started his own Landscaping Maintenance business too (I think mainly the yards in his own neighborhood). He has an artistic flair as well and really likes to put his own touch onto everything he does. That I'd guessed from his ability to learn and play the piano.
He'd had several long term relationships but none that felt felt right to take it to marriage. And he's not gay. That was nice to hear! He's been a "free agent" for about 18 months now. Maybe he's ready for a new relationship...
But one thing kind of bugged me. Maybe it's just me trying not to dash any one's dreams, but when he spoke of his hopes of being a father since he was about 27 years old, that sort of gave my heart a pang. And then he told me that his parents were disappointed in not having any grandkids (his only sibling-a brother, is also childless), I felt sad for them all. Mark said that he considered adopting but knew that his parents wouldn't consider that child their "true" grandchild without any genetic tie. He feels pretty pragmatic about it and says that maybe that's the way things will be--just accept how things are and be happy for what life brings. I think that's a lovely view and I appreciate optimism, but it's apparent that his dream isn't totally dead.
If he and I were to couple-up, that dream would certainly be gone. This bod will not produce anymore babies. There's a boy here that would LOVE to have a father, but still....
You know?
I'm probably jumping the gun and making decisions for people that I have no business making. Heck, I haven't even SEEN him yet. This probably will go no further than, "Hey, it's so nice to catch up. Let's stay in touch." But then we really don't.
We made plans to see each other on Saturday, but I'd forgotten about a prior appointment, and as luck would have it, he called and left a message that Saturday would be his last sunny day to finish his yard maintenance duties before the first of five storms predicted for the week would arrive. We both copped out, for acceptable reasons. We left messages for a reschedule.
And that's yet to be arranged.
To be continued....

Friday, January 8, 2010

Embers Raked?


'Member how I said before that I was hoping to rake a few embers from my past to see if I could find a date?

Well, I found an ember that seems a little warm.

He found me on FB. His name is Mark.

Way back when I was 18 or so, I worked at a Pizza parlor in my town. All day long on weekends and after school there was a boy-about 12 years old or so that used to hang out and play video games--Pac Man and Centipede were big then. It was obvious that he had a big crush on me. But please. He was 12. Just a kid. But a sweet kid, did well in school and he played the piano beautifully too.

Eventually I left the pizza parlor. He visited me a few times at the video store where I next worked and then we lost touch.

I do remember one time--he had come to my house. He must have been about 16-17 years old by then. My parents weren't home. And so my brother, sisters and Mark decided to play a drinking game: Quarters. Our drink of choice that evening was Peppermint Schnapps. Well, if you've ever had schnapps, you know you won't be playing quarters long before everyone is slap-happy and slurring. I don't remember much about anyone else, but I do remember that my balance was WAY off, I hit my head on the floor at some point, and then I was upstairs with a quite, ummm, well, determined Mark, doing something most parents expressly tell their kids NOT to do. I couldn't believe I was doing it either--with this kid who suddenly looked and acted so..... grown up! I don't remember much else, except there was more than the usual fumbling with a condom....

I think that's the last time I'd heard from Mark. It's also the last time I've EVER touched Peppermint Schnapps.

But now he's in his 40's, older and wiser and probably a lot more interesting than he was at 16. He never married or had kids (and sounded a little regretful about that). He still plays piano too. We've made plans for coffee or beer--whatever time of day seemed to match the drink of choice, and catch up.

But he's already starting his emails to me with "Hi Beautiful" so I think this has some potential for fun...and maybe more.

The Year of Love

A few months after T turned 6, I noticed a change in how he related to me.
He looks at me with such longing sometimes.
He makes school projects for me to show me how much he loves me.
He draws pictures of us holding hands surrounded by lots of colorful hearts.
He writes me love notes and even long letters about how much he loves me and misses me when I'm not with him.
He snuggles with me whenever I'm near, or plays with my hair.
He wants to "crumble". (like hugging and wrestling mixed together)
He's genuinely upset if I'm upset--even if it's him that I'm upset with.
He told me recently that I smelled like "fresh air all mixed together with love."

Wow. That really got to me. What a poet.
There are so many little things that he does that show his love and affection. And I drink it up. I save all the pictures, notes and letters. And I will write down the clever things he says here, so I won't forget and will, one day, re-live them again.
I hope this phase lasts a long time. I imagine, from what other parents have warned me, the teenage years will be the opposite. But for now, I will live in the moment.
It's good to have a 6 year old boy. I am blessed.

The Year of Death...and Thoughts on Religion

When my son was 5, I found he was suddenly SO fearful of death. He didn't want to die. What did it mean to die? Where would you go? A hundred questions that I didn't have really good answers for. Well, actually I thought I had good answers, but nothing I said would reassure him that all was well. He was in a near panic whenever his mind rolled around to the ideas of death and dying--and it happened frequently. I tried to reassure him that we would be together for a long, long time and that he was so healthy, surely he would live to be 120! "120??! I don't want to die at 120! I don't want to die ever. I want to be with you." Oy.
But it got me to thinking about how he looks at death/dying and also just what my thoughts and beliefs were on the subject--AND where religion plays into that. I wanted to tell him of a lovely place where all good people will go when they die. Something wonderful to look forward to. But I wasn't sure how much I believed of it myself. Do I really believe in God, or Jesus or a place called Heaven? I know I want to. I think there is some higher being or force which I'll call God, but I'm pretty sure Jesus Christ was a very influential man with a great message for the masses. But THE son of God? No, I don't think so. I think we are all the children of God--who or what ever that is. There must be a great intelligence that creates such wonderful things in nature, with such obvious order, balance and purpose. To me, Nature is where proof is that "God" exists.
My parents came from families where religion was not a big presence--except how to avoid it. My father's father was not welcome in the Catholic church due to impregnating his girlfriend. Back in the 1920-1930's in Holland religion ruled most behaviour in some way or other. He never lost the need to cross himself before doing something potentially dangerous or risky, but he disliked the church--and sent that message to his children along the way.
My mother's family didn't follow any religion either--the family used to be some sort of Christian faith, but fighting between Catholics and Protestants and trying to rule their respective followers with fear turned off my mother's father so much that he turned his back to all religions.
I went to a few churches with friends as I grew up and didn't really find any one of them that impressed me as a place I needed to go. Again--yelling at the congregation about how they are all sinners and need to repent--a total turn off. I felt I was a good girl and tried my best most of the time. I didn't need some stranger to tell me how I've sinned and I can't help it.
T has asked me a few times if we can go to church on a Sunday. I'm not sure where this idea came from. Probably someone at school. But I'm OK with that. I found a church with English services offered (they have Spanish and Chinese in the hours after) 9:45 AM every Sunday. I think it's a Christian faith, but one place is as good as the next when we're just shopping. So far, I haven't found the energy to get dressed and out the door in time. But we will. Soon.
I feel the need to teach T about faith. It can be a lifeline in times of trouble. Something bigger than yourself to hold on to when life strikes you down. But part of me thinks I'm just telling him a story to delude him so that he can pretend (and really believe) that Good will prevail and God has a plan for each of us. It doesn't feel too different from what I'm doing with believing in Santa Claus. To believe in something magical and amazing and have your wishes come true. The feelings and memories of times with family during the holidays--that right there can sustain a person during some dark days. And if that can help my precious boy during his long, long life then I'll do it.
I sort of envy those that have such a strong faith in their God or believe that Jesus is their savior to return one day.
For me, it's a process.