Archive for April, 2011

lesson learned…

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Now that we live in Florida, we are in the land of beautiful weather 90% of the time. I will not lie. It is fabulous. My girls and I have been cold every day of our lives so the climate here is perfect for us. Luckily, I am a Southerner by birth so I know how to deal with heat and humidity. One of the cardinal rules is that unless you are up to your neck in a body of water you stay indoors during the heat of the day. For those of you who are not Southern, that means that from 1 until 3:30 you should park your behind in the A/C.

We live in a close neighborhood and many of the children at our elementary school live within just a few blocks of the school grounds. Naturally there is a large percentage of the parents who walk their children to and from school each day. Our house is just under a mile from the school. It is too far for us. We walk to the playground there on weekends but during the week it is just too much. Laura still has short legs and she tends to dilly dally whenever we go anywhere. That would make getting to school on time torture for all of us. I gave away my jogging stroller about a year ago and I refuse to buy another one. Our girls are just starting to master their bikes so they are not quite ready to handle riding through a crowd of parents and daydreaming children to get to school. I have said all of this ad nauseum. I have also explained that Laura and I not only have to walk home from school but we have to walk to school and back. When it is cooler in the fall we can walk with no problem. But right now, 2 miles in the hottest part of the day is a LONG way for a 4 year old…and her mommy….

So we drive through the car line instead. In the afternoons Laura and I wait in line in the van. We roll the windows down and turn the van off so we’re not just idling. I read my book and she plays with her toys or watches a movie. It is kind of a rest time for both of us, especially since Laura has recently given up her nap.

But lately Abigail has been BEGGING me to walk home from school. Relentless and unashamed begging. Please? Please. Please! Please? PLEASE??  For the love of all that is good in this world may we PLEASE walk home from school today???????

This morning I said yes. Abigail almost fell out of her chair. I decided that if she’s not going to believe her mother then she can learn for herself.

Laura loaded up some dolls in her little stroller. I grabbed sunglasses for everyone and we hit the road. It took Laura and I just over 20 minutes to make our way to the school. We got there in plenty of time for Hattie and Abigail’s dismissal. A few goodbyes later we headed for home. Our route wanders in and out of the shade but at that time of day a good portion is pure sun. 87 degrees of Florida sun bearing down. I didn’t say a word. My shiny arms spoke for themselves. Abigail did not complain once about the heat. She knew better.

By the time we got home, I was sweating like some kind of farm animal with a gland problem. Ick. The girls stripped down to their skivvies and in their overly dramatic fashion were taking turns in front of the open refrigerator door. I kept my big trap shut. Some things are better left unsaid.

I’ll be patiently waiting in the car line tomorrow afternoon…and you can bet that Abigail won’t mind at all…

ticket to ride…

Monday, April 11th, 2011

A dear friend of mine from high school passed away this morning. He had battled an aggressive cancer for over a decade and his passing is truly a blessing. As I called each of our gang to spread the heavy news, a bevy of feelings, memories and emotions began to resurface.

When I started high school I was leaving the awfulness of junior high behind and trying to start fresh. At my new school, I was lucky enough to meet a group of friends that accepted me warts and all. Daniel was one of that group. He was the epitome of acceptance. He was one of those people that was friends with everyone. We had study hall together my sophomore year and it was great. He was a good listener and I never felt judged. He was also a huge pain in the ass. We were in high school. Everyone was a huge pain in some one’s ass at one time or another. It’s the law.

At one point, Daniel left my high school to attend another across town. We were in and out of touch after that but each time we were together it was as if we picked up exactly where we left off. He remained on the list of “Friends You Can Call at 2 in the Morning No Matter What”.

As his cancer waged its heinous and unrelenting war, his smile never faded. He graduated from law school and passed the bar during breaks from treatment. He didn’t complain and didn’t let any of us know how badly he was feeling. He always asked about my children and put everyone else first. A true fighter. A few years ago, I saw him play guitar with a couple of guys from high school and he looked like he had won the lottery. He was so full of life. How interesting that the one of us with the most to bitch about was the happiest to be there. A great night that I will never forget.

I’ve often heard the comment “he went too soon” in reference to someone dying. While it was not too soon for Daniel to be released from his cancerous purgatory, it was too soon for a sweet, smart friend who at 35 never got his ticket to enter the adult amusement park. Rest in peace my dear friend…and enjoy the rides…