Above and beyond my call of duty

I hesitate to admit it, but I volunteered to have “the crew” over to spend the night after they trick-or-treat.  No, I wasn’t talked into it, I just opened my mouth and the suggestion flew out one day as mythankfulboy and I were driving down the road.  This will involve at least 7 boys under my roof after rowdy costume marauding and high candy intake.  I live in a 2 bedroom ranch house that is not yet adequately put back together from our pumpkin party because my back has been out.  What on earth was I thinking?

I was thinking that it would make B happy, and I am awfully prone to wanting to make that kid happy.

Tonight, at our chalice lighting, B asked me for what I was thankful before I was even in the groove.  It was an easy one, though, because today I tried a medication for extreme sleepiness that actually worked.  My stress level plummeted.  Thank you, thank you! Then I asked B what he would raise up tonight, and he said “You”.

Now ,I fell into this trap a few nights ago when he was thankful that I buy him stuff, but tonight he went on to say, “You’re the best kind of mom.  You do so much more than you have to for me.  I don’t really know how to explain it – it’s like you just keep doing – I don’t know how to say it.”   I offered, “I think there’s a phrase for what you’re trying to say, if I’m understanding you.  It’s ‘going above and beyond the call of duty’ and it means just what you said – doing more than you have to do, or more than is expected.”  He said, “Yeah. You’re not like other moms that way.”

I looked around the wicked messy house that wasn’t going to get much better before (and certainly not after!) the crew descended on Halloween, and I chuckled to myself.  I was once what my mother would have called “house proud”.  Things were in their places, their places were clean, and I was always involved in a project to make it all just a little more organized or quaint.  You could drop by anytime and I wouldn’t have batted an eye because nothing would have been covered in a layer of dust or smelled of dog and boy, and my pantry would have been ready to create a homemade risotto in honor of the occasion.  I had to make a conscious decision to let my house pride go in order to be in the moment with my boy – being a single parent and owning a business, there was just no other way I could see to do it.

How grateful I am that he noticed.

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Posted by on October 30, 2014 in Uncategorized


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I’m thankful for THAT

“Get in the bed NOW!!!!”

This is how we began this evening’s chalice-lighting. It followed “This is why you need to start your bedtime routine earlier”, “I’ll give you five minutes to finish that”, “That was a command, not a request”, and “I’m about to tan your hide!”

Such a peaceful beginning to our evening thankfulness ritual.

Tonight B was thankful for fans (the kind that blow air), shoes, pasta, and me. Me, he went on to say, because I buy him fans, shoes, and pasta. “That’s the only reason you’re thankful for me, huh?” I wondered exaggeratedly.

“Yep, I mean nope, I mean, wait, I AM thankful for you because you do those things.” “Ok, but are they the MAIN reasons you’re thankful for me?”

Painfully, this required thought on his part.

Finally, a lightbulb went off. “No! I’m thankful for you because I love you and you love me!”

“Oh!” I said. “Of course! Yeah, I’m thankful for THAT.”

“Yeah” he breathed quietly, as though it is the first time he’d ever considered such a thing.

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Posted by on October 29, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Sometimes you don’t have to say the words

Mythankfulboy and I went to the Renaissance Faire today – a beautiful fall day for it. We had not been in the gates 5 minutes when B was stopped by the shire’s huntswoman who wanted to shoot an apple off of his head with a love arrow to prove her talent to a staged naysayer (she accidentally shot the naysayer, who had to be led away to save her from falling in love with everyone in the gathered crowd). B did all the medieval games, from hatchet throwing to fencing, We watched fabulously talented artists do amazing shows, and one even gave him some quick juggling tips. B was mesmerized by his awe of the performer mixed with the warm, personal encouragement he got. We ate a smoked turkey leg (momma), chicken nuggets (SO un-medieval, B), fudge (B), and pumpkin bread pudding (momma), and we bought 5 of my favorite bumper stickers to give to people who compliment me on the one in my car. Then, of course, we bought the annual knife for B. Actually, to this point he has only gotten letter openers that looked liked knives, so this is the first year for an actual knife. It comes with many rules which, if broken, will result in its being taken away. We’ll see how it goes.

At the end of the day he cashed in the neon bracelets he had earned in the games for some bouncy balls and a heart ring. He unceremoniously handed the ring to me as we passed through the gates towards our car. I acted exceedingly touched, and then asked if there wasn’t anyone else he wanted to give it to. He said “No one that’s as good as you.”


You know, sometimes you don’t have to say the words “thank you”.

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Posted by on October 26, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Tonight I let B stay up a little late to watch Casper with me – a movie we’ve watched every Halloween for many years now.  It’s silly and sweet, just like we are.  Tonight it occurred to me that it’s also inclusive, but you’ll have to watch it to see what I mean.

So, at the quickie chalice lighting (which essentially means we didn’t actually light the chalice but still did the thankful part), he was thankful for traditions.  I was thankful he’s not too old for Casper.

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Posted by on October 22, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Straw consumption

Tonight we raked the straw the boys pounded loose from the straw bales at the pumpkin party this weekend, when they ran around on the tops of them – I had originally told B he would have to do the raking since he made the mess, but it was late and it’s supposed to rain tonight.

And I’m a pushover.  He was working so hard!  Anyway, we got it done, and played with the little ones next door as we worked.

At the chalice lighting tonight, mythankfulboy offered up baseball.  The older he gets, the more he eats, sleeps, and breathes it.  He was secondarily thankful for fire, and its consumption of said straw.  I was thankful for being able to share the bounty of pulled pork and corn chowder with a neighbor who was very excited to have lunch taken care of for the rest of the week.

Blessings multiplied.

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Posted by on October 21, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Thanks, in terms he understands


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Posted by on October 20, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Nice hair, B

Mythankfulboy got a spiffy new haircut this afternoon, and he looks so handsome.   I was SURE he would be thankful for it at our evening chalice lighting.  In fact, he had the day off from school today and he weeded, stacked wood, disassembled part of a pagoda, mowed, and weed-whacked in order to earn the haircut.  He was particularly motivated because of an announcement he paid to be made during the intercom announcements tomorrow morning at school.  Apparently they can pay a dollar to send a “shout out” to someone, the only rule being that it be a positive message.  Last week B bought one that said “Nice hair B!  From B”.   Then over the weekend he begged to get his hair cut.  You can see the power I had to get some work done around the house…

So, back to the point that I was SURE he would be thankful for his new, cool, hair, or for the lovely woman who cut it, but he was actually thankful for the crime shows Law and Order and Criminal Minds.  A boy after my own heart.  So, I was thankful for his great new ‘do, and for all the hard work that led up to it.  What a good boy.

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Posted by on October 13, 2014 in Uncategorized


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