Are You There God? It’s Me, Crazy Lady.

I am suggesting a different type of prayer in the bathroom, but do whatever works for you

This morning started off swimmingly… I awoke with a start just after six a.m. as what I perceived to be Godzilla (turned out it was only Kid D) was stomping down my hallway, yelling at top volume about nothing in particular, turning on every light along his route and opening and closing every door “just because.”  Of course he woke his little brother, who was up too late last night and desperately needed to sleep in this morning.  Kid E came into my room in a foul, foul mood… extra whiny, croup-like coughing, hug-me-but-don’t-touch-me, “I gotta pee” and just plain miserable.  Kid C was upset that her hair wasn’t looking just right and wanted me to straighten it for her (she has been ten-years-old for about five minutes… no I am not using a heating appliance on her hair.  What is this?  Toddlers & Tiaras?).  Kid A was harboring residual teenage anger at me for not trying hard enough to rearrange the schedule for her to go in late to school yesterday or be able to see her boyfriend tonight, and somehow (and I DO NOT understand how), Kid B managed to sleep through all of this and almost miss her school bus, thus requiring me to drive her to school this morning.

It was too early (well, anything before ten a.m. is technically “too early” in my book).  I hadn’t even put my contacts in yet, let alone started my coffee i.v. and all of this was barreling down on me already.  Let me check the calendar – wasn’t Friday the 13th just last week?  And, dammit, when is Sheepdog coming home?  The “Yelling Mom” part of me wanted to shout from the rooftop for all of them to just shut the front door.  Sometimes you can stop the insanity by simply being so loud and insane yourself that your over-the-top meltdown trumps everything else and they all stop to watch your spiral into complete lunacy.  I’ve done that before and it can be effective.  Kid C was about two-years-old or so and having a nice screaming fit in the car seat behind Sheepdog, who was in the driver’s seat.  We hadn’t even pulled out of the driveway yet and I had had enough, so I turned around from the passenger seat and I looked at her and I just screamed at the top of my lungs.  Let’s just say that I caught everyone off guard and it’s probably a good thing that Kid C was still wearing diapers at that moment, but she stopped her fit.

So I’m lying in my bed this morning, having pulled all of the pillows over my head to pretend I am anywhere but there and chanting ever so softly, “Eff, eff, eff, eff, eff, eff me” and basically being the guest of honor at my own little pity party.  I was going over the planned events for the day and dreading all that I needed to accomplish was never going to have enough time for and basically setting a really bad tone for my day.  And I already knew that the kids were queering up the mojo this morning, so they wouldn’t be any help.  But then I stopped.  I mentally popped all of the black balloons at my pity party.  I remembered something that Sheepdog is teaching me, and I began to meditate.

Meditation for Moms is not easy.  True meditation calls for silence and a mental escape to your happy place.  How am I ever supposed to do that when I’m usually being beaten over the head (either literally with a toy or metaphorically with constant demands or questions or requests)?  I’ll let you in on a little secret.  Tell them all that you have to poop, then lock yourself in the bathroom.  It usually buys about two minutes of uninterrupted time, which is just enough for a quick request for peace, patience and clarity.  My family thinks that I poop all the time.  It is such a great plan that I don’t even care if they tell their friends.

Alone for just a few precious seconds, I quietly whisper, “Are you there God?  It’s me, Crazy Lady.”  And I ask for help and strength and patience and creative solutions and generosity of spirit, because all of those things are missing or almost depleted from my stockpiles.  I pray for the Kids and I pray for Sheepdog, especially if they are struggling.  And I also ask for thinner thighs, even though I’m not supposed to do that.  And then, if I have time, I pray for the people who I don’t really like, especially the idiots.  By then there has almost always been at least one knock on the bathroom door and I am pulled away from thoughts of warm sand between my toes.  But by then it is okay.  I take a deep breath as I flush the toilet for effect, ready to face what challenges lie ahead of me today.

Can I get an Amen?  And can Sheepdog please come home soon, because this single-parenting thing is definitely for the birds.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

Special Events Day

Today I am volunteering at my kids’ school for Special Events Day.  I used to be the kind of mom who just sent stuff or money in when they needed things, but I am trying to be a better person and a better mom, so this year I am a Room Mom (sorry, “Classroom Coordinator” so we don’t offend any dads) and a Team Mom (times two – how about that!) and I’m signing up for all sorts of things, left and right.  Last year the school had a similar Special Events Day, but I did not volunteer.  I don’t know if they failed to advertise or I was just not paying attention (most likely), or what, but I have been regretting my lack of involvement ever since.  This was a subsequent article that appeared about it in a local publication:

Elementary School celebrates “Public Safety Day” with Secret Service

Once a year, various law enforcement, fire and emergency agencies across the metro area pick one school to hold a comprehensive “Public Safety Day.” This year, a local Elementary School was chosen, and the Secret Service’s Operation Safe Kids program fingerprinted nearly 800 students.

The following agencies participated in the event: FBI, Secret Service, Georgia State Patrol, U.S. Army National Guard, U.S. Postal Inspectors, Homeland Security, ICE, ATF, McGruff the Crime Dog, Fulton County Schools Police Department, Johns Creek Police and Fire Departments, Roswell Fire Department, U.S. Probation Service and the U.S. Fugitive Service.

Now, except for the mailmen (really?!?) and the McDog, this is my ideal school volunteering scenario.  I couldn’t have written out a more dreamy guest list if I tried.  I can’t believe that I missed it!  I am a girl who appreciates all types of good-looking men, and even when you take an OK-looking guy and you put him in a uniform, his hotness quotient usually goes up at least a couple of points.

So when they announced that this year the theme was going to be Health-Wellness-Fitness-Safety and the Atlanta Falcons will be running their Junior Training Camp, I wrote an email to the volunteer coordinator that said the following:

To: Volunteer Coordinator Lady
From: Me
Subject: Special Events Day Volunteer
***************************
Ooooh!  Pick me!  Pick me!
Do you still need volunteers for this?  I will certainly lend a hand if 
there is a chance that it involves football players.  Or even if it doesn't, 
but I can't promise I'll be as excited about it then.

So I wished and hoped and crossed my fingers and was ecstatic to find out that I was chosen as a parent volunteer.  (How hard up are they for help, right?  That was my real email.)  So I brushed my teeth and put on my most flattering mom sweatpants and Kid A’s Falcons shirt and got ready to go meet some professional football players.

But no such luck.  I just got back from the Special Events Day festivities.  There weren’t any football players there because of the ongoing NFL lockout/ walkout/ strike/ freeze, or whatever it is being called.  The Falcons sent their Community Outreach team to run the show, which was entertaining (except for the dancing, A Night at the Roxbury style) and fun.  I had a great time throwing football passes to the fourth and fifth grade kids all morning, and we got some good exercise too.  Everybody worked up a good sweat.  And when our event was over, we followed the whole school outside to the playground where we all got to watch a helicopter take off.

The day really was special and I felt good about volunteering at my kids’ school, being a participant in our community, and contributing something.  I did it for my kids and their classmates.  I didn’t need to see young, strapping men who made their living being fit and strong and athletic.  I don’t need to be some dirty old lady who gawks at hot guys (not that there is anything wrong with that) and demeans them the way men often do to women.  So I gathered my things and headed out.  And when I walked out of the main office and into the parking lot, this is what I saw…

And I smiled.  I didn’t even see any of the ever-reliable firemen from Ladder 61, but I knew they were there.  I skipped back to my car, just happy to be me.

Volunteering really is good for you.  I think I’m going to keep it up.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

It’s Mayteenth… High-Five an Angel!

I don't think this is actually Kid C being born. But maybe it is. I was kinda out of it that day.

Ten years ago I went into Shore Memorial Hospital with some labor pains, but I had false labor throughout the last trimester and I was still ten days away from my due date.  Sheepdog was working in Philadelphia at the time and he had (rather inconveniently) taken the train to work that day, so he was hours away from being by my side.  Being a patient in the hospital brings feelings of helplessness, but being nine months pregnant and clumsy in your own body just makes it worse.  The staff was so helpful – hydrating me to stave off labor, even for just a little while longer, but they still didn’t discharge me.  Later in the day a new nurse came in and checked my monitors.  She then called my doctor and calmly told me that she was advising him to do a c-section sooner rather than later.  There was nothing blatantly wrong – no fetal distress – but this nurse had been doing her job for a long time and her experience told her that this baby should be delivered.

The rest of the afternoon was kind of a big blur to me.  I remember Sheepdog rushing in to hold my hand, frantic after his long day on mass transit.  At the nurse’s insistence, my doctor had arrived and was checking on me too.  They all agreed that this baby was being delivered on this day, but there was still no sense of urgency.  Then I felt like I had been stabbed in the side with a giant machete.  And again.  I remember being taken into the operating room and I remember getting an epidural.  I remember everybody coming and going from the room, but still not feeling like this was an actual emergency.  I even remember thinking that it would be cool to watch the surgery in the reflective ring around the operating light above me.  I felt the pressure of the incision, but I was no longer in any pain.

Then I heard a splashing kind of noise, followed by a frighteningly insistent, “Get it out!  Get it out!  Get it out!”  I think it was the normally very calm and soothing voice of my almost hippie-like obstetrician, but I wasn’t really sure because I had never heard him speak with any kind of urgency.  The rest of the surgery was controlled chaos, everyone in the room busily doing their jobs with single-minded focus.  I was asking (out loud, I thought), “Is it a boy or a girl?” over and over and over again, but I never got an answer.  After what seemed like an eternity, Sheepdog (who had been at the head of the table with me the whole time) told me that we had a beautiful baby girl.  I was so very cold and tired, but joyful over the birth of our third daughter.

I never passed out completely, but I do remember coming to in the recovery room afterwards.  The doctor explained to Sheepdog and I that the stabbing pain was a concealed abruption, wherein the placenta had torn away from my uterus.  That had caused significant bleeding in me and the baby had ingested some blood before she could be delivered.  She was having some difficulty breathing, but she was in the intermediary nursery (Shore is a community hospital and they did not have a N.I.C.U.) so they could monitor her respiration and the oxygen in her blood.  They never had to intubate her, so he was cautiously optimistic.  Sheepdog went to be with her immediately, but I was stuck in recovery, unable to see my helpless, sick new baby until the next morning.

Two very worrisome days of sitting by her side (me in a wheelchair… hospital rules), holding her tiny little hands and telling her all about the crazy family that she had been born into, and many tubes, monitors and tests later, Kid C finally was released from specialized care.  Her oxygen levels were stable and she was breathing very well on her own.  They even let us go home shortly thereafter, but I would forever be affected by this incredibly complicated weekend.

I kept Kid C close, even closer than I did with the other kids as newborns.  She slept in a bassinet by my bedside for over five months (I said it was because I was more convenient for breastfeeding, but I was secretly checking to make sure she was still breathing every five minutes).  I was intensely overprotective of her, even for a Type-A, control-freak, compulsively sheltering Mama Bear who was getting little sleep and had two other little active chickens in the coop to look after.  And Sheepdog?  He might as well have lived somewhere else, as he was still commuting to Philadelphia every day and I never had time for him anyway.

Then came September 11th, and everybody was holding their families a little closer, so I fit right in.  Then came The Story for Another Day, and Sheepdog and I moved our family to Atlanta.  By now, Kid C was just over a year old and she was running and playing and developing ahead of schedule.  She was fun and charming and silly.  I had started to relax my vigilant watch over her a slight bit, but it wasn’t until a specific day in the Fall of 2002 that I really was able to let go.  That was when I read the surgical report from the day she was born.

Because we had moved, I needed a new doctor.  I didn’t have one confirmed yet, so I had my old doctor send my file directly to me.  I was curious, so I looked through it and found the report.  It was technical and medical and official and void of any emotion, as any proper surgical report should be.  I read it many times over, always more stunned than the last time I read it.  I had done some research on concealed abruptions in my dad’s Gray’s Anatomy book the summer after she was born and I learned how dangerous they can be to both the mother and baby because they are usually undetected until it is too late (the concealed part is really bad).  I went over the report again, mixing in what I knew to be the facts and trying to make sense of the foggy parts from my memory.  Do you know how something can be staring you right in the face, but you are blind to seeing it until you finally get lucky and actually do?  Well, I finally got lucky.

I realized that my doctor and the surgeon who was assisting him, and especially the nurse were all angels disguised as medical personnel on that day ten years ago.  Yes, those people were experienced and talented and just doing their jobs, but mistakes happen and sometimes things are not clear while they are happening as they may be in hindsight, and there was no real reason that I should have been so close to the critical and capable medical intervention that I and Kid C so desperately needed when my placenta tore without warning.  Angels, lucky stars, fairy godmothers/ godfathers, guardians… call them what you want.  I believe that they were on duty for us that day.  And that realization gave me such a sense of peace.  So I backed off on the overprotective Mama Bear thing (not totally – I am still a classic Type-A, duh), and gave my daughters more room to grow and make mistakes and learn things on their own.

Often, and especially on this day – which Kid C has so lovingly called “Mayteenth” since she was little – I think about those angels.  I thank God for them and the so many others who have watched out for Kid C and the rest of our family over the years.  I am so incredibly grateful for all of the little and big miracles that happened the way they did in order to bring such a vivacious, crazy-haired, creative, kooky, burst of joy into our family.  Happy Tenth Birthday, Kid C.  Let’s go high-five some angels.

Top 10 Things

11. Do these bike tights make my ass look fat?

Top 10 Most Common Things Said by Sheepdog

10.  You’re gonna thank me for this after the Apocalypse.

9.  It’s Boots and Skirts Season, Baby.  Boots and Skirts!  It is the most wonderful time of the year.

8.  I think I’ve got time for a quick run.

7.  We have a lot of kids.

6.  I have to go out of town for work next week.

5.  It’s OK, I am a fast healer like Wolverine.

4.  Where do you want me to put this N.R.A sticker on your car?

3.  (tie) The Victoria’s Secret models ARE real girls/ You should definitely go with the higher heels.

2.  I’m still hungry.

And the number one thing said by Sheepdog…

1.  We should do that more often.

Wrangling the Entropy, Tip #2

I’m back today with another post on the laws-of-science-and-cowboy-metaphor-heavy installment, “Wrangling the Entropy.” I have been trying to organize a ton of crap and needing to rely on this stuff a lot lately, so I am totally going cheerleader for it today.  Ready? OK…

Tip #2 – Charts, Forms and Calendars

Today’s tip to Wrangle the Entropy has to do with one of my favorite things… visually appealing organizational tools.  I like color, I like art, I like pretty things that draw the eye, but most of all I like to kiss (keep it simple, stupid).  So I use all of these things to centralize and organize all of the things that I have to deal with to take care of my family business.  There are lots of very expensive software programs and products out there that claim to help you organize your life, but very few of them will actually do it.  Don’t waste your money.  There are many inexpensive and even free (gasp!) things that you can use to keep up with your Kardashians.

Charts are extremely helpful, especially for the little kids. With this kind of visual reminder, you will encourage them to be more independent and prepare for the events of the day. Use a magnetic dry erase board in their room with a 7-day format (you can buy them pre-printed or make a grid yourself). You can find pictures online and print them out on your home printer onto magnetic sheets (available at office supply stores) and use those to let them know what is happening on each day, even before they are able to read! For example, use a picture of a school bus on the days that they have school, or take a digital picture of their teacher and turn that into a magnet. A picture of a tooth or a stethoscope (or a syringe, depending on how much you want to scare them) can let them know they have an appointment coming up, and a cake or balloons can alert them to a celebration. Depending on the kid and their level of independence and ability to follow directions (yes, I’m talking about Kid C getting lost in the hallway between her bedroom and the bathroom), you may want to make a chart to remind them what to do each day when getting ready (clothes, cereal bowl, toothbrush, backpack, coat – whatever you want the routine to be).

Behavior charts are also useful for many families with young kids. These should be posted centrally so that you and the kids are reminded regularly to reward positive behavior.  My sister posts hers right outside of the playroom.  Use stars or stickers or whatever is handy (the price bar codes off of fruit work great too).  When Kid D Was three years old I found that a sticker for each good behavior (eating what we ate without complaints, staying in bed through the night, etc.) did the trick, especially when he could trade in five stickers for a new Thomas train.  Now we have about two hundred fifty of those die-cast metal trains in a drawer somewhere.  I should have charged him ten stickers a piece.  I am such a pushover.

I don’t eat this well. Only the Kids do.

Forms are also helpful for the repetitive, mundane stuff that comes up regularly.  My most used forms are simple word documents that I keep on my computer desktop.  The “Lunch Log” is printed out each Sunday and the kids fill it out to their liking.  The rule is that they have to check the fridge and/ or pantry to make sure that we have what they are writing down.  If we don’t, they are supposed the add the missing item to the grocery list.  It encourages them to have a balanced lunch, help with grocery inventory, and anyone can pick it up and prepare lunches from it for the next day.  This is most helpful when the kids scatter after school to their various sports and activities, and no one gets to complain that their lunch isn’t what they asked for.

I recently got a message from a middle school teacher that I was “the most organized parent” after using this form. So maybe I encrypt a little voodoo in there. I’ll never tell.

Another really helpful form that I use all the time is the “Reach the Teacher.”  I got the idea from a magazine years ago and I tweaked it to fit my needs.  You just set it up with your contact information and update it every new school year with their new teachers, schools and grades.  When you need to send a note to school, you just check the appropriate boxes and send it in.  It covers all your bases and is almost doofus-proof.

Calendars can get a little more tricky.  I am an Apple girl myself, so I keep my calendar on my desktop computer using the iCal program.  It allows me to link up with any of my mobile devices and they are automatically updated, no matter where I make a change.  I also notify Sheepdog of the things he is needed for by adding him as an invitee.  I recently looked into Google Docs and you can do the same thing with their calendar program for free.  I use color coding to differentiate between different kinds of events (medical, school, sports, travel, parties & play dates, etc.) so I can identify things at a glance.  The one redundant thing I do each month is to recreate the family calendar on a giant white board in my office.  I use the same color coding system on this and anyone can come see what is happening on any given day (they don’t have to be on my computer, which I am very protective of).

Yes, I blurred out all of our activities. I don’t want you all showing up for my annual pap smear, now do I?

On an end note… despite all of my charts, forms and calendars, I managed to completely miss Kid B’s once-every-twelve-weeks orthodontist appointment this morning.  Yes, even after a reminder email and a phone call from their office.  It was on my computer (laptop, iPad and iPhone too) and hand-written by me on the big wall calendar.  So, nevermind.  Don’t listen to me.  Apparently this stuff doesn’t work at all.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

Friday the Thirteenth

The things that scare me as a grown up are still the same things that scared me as a kid… the death of a loved one, being burned by fire, the loss of one of my six major senses (after five kids I have added “sanity” as one), and the cancellation of General Hospital.  But nothing, and I mean N-O-T-H-I-N-G, scares me more than the horror and suspense films I could not look away from as a kid.  I saw The Shining, Cape Fear, The ExorcistJaws I, II and III, and the seventeen thousand installments of  Halloween,  Friday the 13th,  Nightmare on Elm Street, and Poltergeist.  I skipped the really violent ones (like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series , The Saw ones, and the ones with that doll named Chuckie).  But the ones I rationalized as “my kind of horror film” I would watch multiple times.  I paid to see them in the movie theaters, then I would watch them again when they came out on HBO.  And then I would rent them on VHS and watch them over and over and over again, alone and in the dark for maximum effect.  Then I wouldn’t be able to sleep for weeks and taking a shower with nobody else home or camping at the lake was out of the question (well, camping has always been out of the question for me, but I’m really more of an indoor girl).

So today on Facebook one of my grade school/ high school classmates posted a link to a video done by the College Humor folks called “It’s Friday… the 13th.”  Of course I followed the link and watched it.  I have been listening to everyone from Kids A – E to Conan to the doofuses on Glee (actually, they were kinda OK) singing that brain-infesting song “Friday” that poor little Rebecca Black originally put out there for the world to make fun of see on You Tube.  And I just told you my childhood connection with the scary stuff.  You couldn’t keep me away if you tried.

The first time I watched the link was on an iPad and at 00:26 I reflexively pressed the home button and threw the $499 device across the room.  The second time I watched it, I couldn’t make it past 00:37, when Jason comes up to the van door.  Note that I watched it again.  And I’ve watched it three more times since I typed that last sentence, although I haven’t gotten much farther without having to avert my eyes.  At least I’ve stopped throwing the iPad.

Scary movies really should be just for teenagers.  Little kids have monsters under their beds even before they know that they can follow the light into their television.  Grown-ups have scary realities like unemployment, cancer and the Republican candidate for President in 2012.  The most teenagers have are the fears of bad grades, acne and not being able to access beer while you are still underage.  That stuff is nothing to be afraid of, so they actually need the bone-rattling panic caused by a really good poop-in-your-pants horror movie.  I highly recommend them for the 13 to 20-year-old set.

I have not seen the more recent (from the past 10 years even) horror films that have gotten some pretty good reviews.  The Scream movies are supposed to be good, as are the Paranormal Activity ones.  I just couldn’t bring myself to watch the trailers for those films, let alone the movies themselves.  Now that I think about it, I did see The Blair Witch Project and The Sixth Sense, but I watched them both in the middle of bright, sunny days with Sheepdog nearby.  And I only watched them once.

I guess I figured that I would get over the fear of horror movies eventually.  I keep testing the waters every few years – like by following the link, or keeping my eyes on the screen during a preview for a new scary movie, or even by trying to watch an actual feature film.  Yet, still to this day I am left rattled by the images and sounds that are burned into my brain by Jason Voorhees, Freddie Krueger and the little, fat exorcism lady who told us that the house was clear.  I think I have finally come to the conclusion that horror movies have permanently scarred and scared me.  I think I would be perfectly happy if I never watched another one again.

And I would definitely be happy if I never had to go camping again.  Scariest environment imaginable.  I’m just saying.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

Kindergarten Memories

Kid D's first day of kindergarten. Before he learned how to fake sickness or comb his hair.

I’ve been trying to plan Kid D’s kindergarten classroom end of the year celebration for the past couple of days.  My head is about to explode.  Party planning is definitely not one of my strong suits, so I do not know what I was thinking when I wrote my name on the classroom coordinator volunteer list back in August.  I think I was fooled by the fancy title.  If it had said “Room Mom” I definitely would have steered clear of that nonsense.  But I saw coordinator and thought, “Sure… I’ll create a couple of Google documents, send some e-mails, you know – coordinate.  I can handle that.”

So, as I sit here trying to come up with inexpensive, fun, creative, indoor/ outdoor party games, crafts and foods for five and six year olds that do not break any of the expressly written school party guidelines (“Spitting of any type should be avoided” – I kid you not) or offend / exclude any specific race, religion, creed or sexual orientation, I very naturally went into procrastination mode and started thinking about the fact that Kid D is going on to first grade next year, and before I know it he will be graduating from high school.  Then I started recalling all of the fun times we had over his first year of “real” school.

Like the second day of school when he started crying less than five minutes before the bus pulled up – over something completely inane – and got himself into such a tizzy that he wouldn’t even get on the bus when it was time.  I then had to try to stem the meltdown and figure out what he was upset about.  No luck there, but he seemed a little better after a few minutes so I drove him to school and had to walk him inside (still in my pajamas with coffee breath, no doubt) because we were now late and he had to be signed in.  When we got to the lobby he started a whole new level of screaming and crying that became so disruptive that the actual principal came out of his office to see who was apparently being violently murdered in his hallway.  So that’s how my son and I met the school principal.

And also there was the time when I was at a sporting event for another kid and a parent came over to introduce herself to me as the mom of one of Kid D’s female classmates.  She told me how much of a charmer my son is (I am aware) and that all of the girls in the class think he is dreamy (I was not necessarily aware of this) and then she asked me if I heard that Kid D told her daughter that he was going to kiss her so hard that he would knock her teeth out (um, zero awareness of this and actually at a loss for words).  I’m going to have to keep an eye on him.

Or the time that I realized that playing video games was clearly having a negative impact on Kid D’s behavior.  He apparently thought that staying home sick meant he could spend all day playing Wii in the basement.  One particular Monday morning back to school was really bad.  As per usual, Kid D claimed he was “sick.”  I was on to his scheme by then and wasn’t having any of it.  When threatened with losing everything electronic forever and TV for several weeks if he didn’t stop crying and get on the bus he replied, “You’re meaner than the meanest person I thought you were!”  Then he stormed off to his room.  I was furious, but I followed him and calmly replied, “I said ZERO electronics, so NO LIGHTS!” and the room went dark.

He’s had some great times this year as well.  He is reading chapter books fluently on his own.  He lowered his Hate of Writing from DEFCON 3 to just simple dislike.  He has gained a ton of independence and is learning all of the ropes of the elementary school jungle.  He is an outgoing, confident, smart kid who makes friends easily and plays sports well.  We are incredibly blessed to have him as a son.

I just hope I never get a call from the school principal telling me that he just knocked some girl’s teeth out.  How am I ever going to explain that one?

Wish me luck for tomorrow…