Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy 14th Birthday, Son #1

Happy Birthday, Son #1! He has really impressed me with his sense of responsibility this summer as he looks after his younger brothers and ensures the chores are done before I get home from my part-time job.

I do miss our really, really late nights watching TV together (until 3 am or later). Since I work Monday - Friday, I just can't keep the same hours that we did last summer. We're both night-owls.

The photo above was taken last year at Boy Scout camp. It's one of my favorites. Dear Hubby and I took him out to dinner at the restaurant of his choosing (Olive Garden). Pasta with marinara sauce, and a whole lot of breadsticks.

If you're interested in reading his birth story, click here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Happy 12th Birthday, Son #2

Today is Son #2's 12th birthday. Just like last year, he's spending his birthday at Boy Scout camp in the mountains of northern Georgia. Earlier today, I received the call that he's feeling a little under the weather and running a fever of 101. There's a medic tent - doctors and nurses - at camp, but they recommended the 45+ minute drive into town to visit the ER as a precaution.

Apparently there was another scout from different state that came down with flu-like symptoms on Sunday, so I think the medical folks wanted to be extra cautious. (The other scout - and his troop - are segregated away from the rest of the kids).

It's a bummer to be sick on your birthday, but especially when you're missing all the fun camp activities. Fortunately all the cultures came back negative and Son #2 was allowed to leave.

The two adults (troop dads) who took Son #2 to the Emergency Room also took him to a barbecue restaurant. A nice change from the camp mess hall. Probably as big a treat for the dads. Also in attendance was Son #2's best friend (his dad was one of the leaders to accompanied him to the hospital). As you can see from the photo below, he's obviously feeling much better.

That's probably the world's most expensive ice cream sundae. ;-)

He returns home Saturday evening. We'll celebrate his birthday then and take him to his favorite Japanese restaurant for a late dinner. I sent a little gift up with one of the dads who's attending. The rest of the goodies will have to wait until Saturday.

I miss him a lot. He's a very affectionate kid - even at this age (I'd better enjoy it while it lasts, I'm told). He's blessed with a great sense of humor. If you're interested in reading his birth story, click here.

* photos taken with cell phone and emailed to me. A nice treat for me.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Baseball Season Is Over

Baseball season is officially over, at least for our family. Son #3 (age 7, pictured above) played his final game tonight. His team, the Marlins, did well. They won the last nine games in a row and finished either first place or second. His age group doesn't have a tournament.

Son #2 (age 11) also had a great season. His team, the Astros, finished second for the season. They do have a single-elimination tournament but unfortunately he'll miss it. The tournament starts Saturday but Son #2 leaves for Boy Scout camp that very morning. Here's hoping the Astros will go all the way and win the championship.

Monday, June 08, 2009

I Hug a Little Longer & Squeeze a Little Harder

As I mentioned in my last post, Son #3, age 7, spent a glorious week at Cub Scout Day Camp. Each day, he took the 40 minute trip to the country to a property filled with woods, hiking trails, lakes. He enjoyed BB guns, archery, slingshots, nature centers, crafts, swimming on the beach at one of the lakes – all well supervised. I’d pick up Son #3 and he’d chatter all the way home about the wonderful time he had that day.

Across town another mother was preparing her 7 year old son for sports camp (a different camp, closer in town). She too expected her child to have a glorious week. Her afternoon ended up vastly different from mine. Rather than being regaled with stories of her child’s adventures during the car ride home, she was summoned to the emergency room of our local hospital. Her son had been involved in a swimming accident. During supervised swim time, he somehow slipped to the bottom of the pool unnoticed for who knows how long. To the counselors, it probably seemed only a moment. For the young boy, it proved too long. He was stabilized and transported to the Childrens’ Hospital in the city. A couple of days later, he was declared brain dead (kept on life support so that he can provide the gift of life to recipients of his organs – the ultimate gift).

This young boy, and especially his mother, have been on my mind all week. I cannot imagine the horror of what the family is going through. Although I don’t know them personally, our paths must have crossed many times. In the days since his death, I’ve learned that his family attends our church, the boy attended my son’s school (perhaps in the same grade). He played baseball in the same 7 year old league at our local recreation district park. Certainly if they never met at school, he and my son have faced each other across the baseball diamond.

Aside from the legacy of life this young boy leaves behind through organ donation, he leaves another legacy of sorts. Because of his family’s heartbreak, I hug a little longer and squeeze a little harder.

I wanted Son #3 to take a nap yesterday so I decided to lay down with him. Normally, I’d wait until he dozed off then I’d leave the room to tend to some chore or task that I thought I needed to be completed. Yesterday, though, I stayed the full two hours and simply watched him sleep – thankful for the time that I have with him. I’ll bet the other boy’s mother would give almost anything to have one more similar moment with her precious son.

I have no way to end this post other than to offer prayers to this other family and ask that you do the same. And to remind you that life is fleeting and precious. Take that extra moment to listen more carefully, hug a little longer, squeeze a little tighter, laugh a little louder.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Busy Week

Son #3, age 7, has been attending Cub Scout Day Camp all week. It means waking an hour plus earlier and driving into the country. I'm not a morning person, but he had a blast! Archery, BB guns, arts, crafts, swimming, hiking - he loved it all.

As for me, I planned to volunteer at camp this year but because I made two trips to the Washington, DC area in the past month to visit my mother, I didn't feel right taking off yet another week of work. Especially since the person I share my job with is leaving (see last post).

This week I managed to put in extra hours, which worked out well because it's a more direct route from my office to the location of the camp, rather than from my house. My problem is that although I managed to make Son #3 lunch and slather him in sunscreen each morning, I more or less forgot to make my own lunch. I completely raided my Boss/Friend's candy stash (I owe him a bag of Hershey's minis). Bite-sized chocolate bars and Diet Coke will only carry one so far. When I crash in the late afternoon, it isn't pretty.