The Photos of Summer:Day Six
June 26, 2012
You are never too old for an ice cream sundae on a hot day.
You are never too old for an ice cream sundae on a hot day.
My yard looks so good now. The grass carpet squares have taken and merged together, forming what looks like wall-to-wall grass carpeting.
Lesson learned last summer: grass needs watering.
Lesson learned this summer: water is not free.
I could just sit and admire my lawn all day. Which is good because I got my first water bill since putting in the new grass and I can no longer afford to do anything else. If you need me I will be outside watering the lawn with my tears.
Home from a sleepover party, where, it would seem, there was little actual sleeping that happened.
Sunrise over the rural highway
Never in my wildest dreams did I think we’d be spending our summer driving all over hell’s half acre for track meets.
Suddenly his limbs seem to stretch on forever.
On the first day of summer I give to you an overly processed photo of the pool where we hang out these days.
I don’t think that I have mentioned it here, but my four younger kids are on a track team.
It has been such a great experience, which I am sure is due in a large part to the coaches.
My 13 year old son did track in middle school this year, so he already had a little bit of experience and knew what to expect. But the other kids were pretty clueless, I mean running around a track a couple times doesn’t seem that intense. But it is. Even my 13 year old quickly realized that this was not at all the same as middle school track.
The first week my daughter cried on the way home every day. It was “too hard.” She was “too slow.” It was “so tiring.” But every practice day she was dressed and ready to go.
If you saw her now you would never guess that she initially felt that way. It has been a great lesson in perseverance.
Aside from running they also participate in a couple different field events. Long jump is their favorite.
I love how his shirt says “FLY” on the front of it.
And of course I have a million photos of them doing it because it is the easiest to photograph. Running around a track doesn’t produce very many interesting photos. Not that it stops me from taking them.
If you want to be humbled, try doing the long jump yourself. Or not. Save yourself the humiliation.
I’m not even sure how someone who is only 49″ tall can jump 11 feet. It doesn’t seem like it would be possible.
Last summer there was a drought here. I’m sure I mentioned it a few million times. And my sprinkler system stopped working, so even the limited amount that we were alowed to water I wasn’t able to. I tried (half-heartedly) keeping the lawn alive by watering it with a hose. But in the end this spring found me with a yard of dirt with the occassional patch of weeds. All of the plants and flowers in front of the house died. Every last one. It was such an eyesore.
I kept getting letters from the Home Owner’s Association, but as I told them, I refused to put in new grass as long as there was still watering restrictions.
Also I found out that grass is freaking expensive. EXPENSIVE. I honestly had no idea. I mean, it is just grass.
I decided that my children didn’t need both kidneys.
The first thing the kandscaper did was take all the top layer of weeds and soil away. And spread new soil all over the yard. It amused me immensely when my neighbors asked at the end of the day what I my plan was for the yard and I said, “Oh, just this,” while doing a sweeping arm motion. Most of them didn’t know what to think, because given the state of my yard before this I guess anything is within the realm of possibility.
And one morning I looked out and saw this going on.
Well, I knew they were coming. It’s not like men just showed up on the front lawn and began installing what appear to be grass carpet squares. Though how awesome would that be!
And now I have this. (Well, I also have plants and flowers too, but I have thus far neglected to take a photo)
Hallelujah. It’s like a green carpet.
I am also fitting my children with shock collars so that they don’t walk across the grass or the flower beds.
Before the landscaper left he set up the sprinkler system and gave me instructions on how to hand water the flowers once a month with miracle grow. I don’t think that he fully understands the depth of laziness and general loathing of all things gardening related. I am trying to convince myself that gardening is my new hobby. I keep repeating to myself, “I love gardening. I love going outside and digging in the dirt! And splashing myself on the legs with the hose while watering plants. And sweating. I love sweating! Gardening FTW!!!”
That is what I keep repeating to myself every morning as I pack lunches. Seven days. I give myself a pep talk, “You can do it, Chris!” Good Lord, I am so tired of trying to come up with different things in the lunch bag.
But as tired as I am of it, my kids have grown weary of eating the same thing every day. So now their lunches are just a crap shoot.
Actual things I have said this week:
You’re tired of sandwiches? Well, here are some crackers, a string cheese, cheetos, and beef jerky. No, I don’t know why I put a spoon in your lunchbox.
Don’t want your standard turkey grinders with lettuce and cheese? Okay, Here are 4 Peanut butter and fluff sandwiches, an apple, two clemetines, a honey bun, a rice krispie treat, bag of goldfish crackers, and two cliff bars. What do you mean you are still hungry?
Your sandwich tupperware was empty when you opened it at lunch today? Well, you always bring the sandwich back home uneaten and throw it away. I thought I’d just save us both the trouble.
Seven more days.
And then I plan on doing something really crazy, like sleep in until 8:00!
Seven more days until I begin hearing, “What are we doing today, Mom?”
Eight more days until I begin mentally counting day to the first day of school.
In other news, my 13 year old has bounced back miraculously well. It is amazing how quickly kids heal. I would still be whimpering in the corner. He now just looks like a picture of collagen lip injections gone terribly wrong.
He finally went back to school today and the amount of work he has to make up is staggering. He spent a good six hours yesterday doing school work related things and was still telling me about other things he needed to get done.
This week was Miles week at school to be the class “star” which basically means every single day he had to bring in something. Monday was a poster all about himself. Tuesday he had to bring in an estimation jar, which is a jar filled with something and the kids have to all guess how many of the something there are in the jar. And then I guess they count it and see who is the closest? This was difficult. I don’t have any things to fill up a jar. One of my sons suggested rice and while I found that very funny I am sure the teacher would not. So Tuesday morning found me scrambling around the house. I finally grabbed our jar of cotton balls off the bathroom counter and sent that in with him. Wednesday he had to bring in a book he liked to read to the class.
Today I don’t know what he was supposed to bring in because we couldn’t find the sheet. I may have been a little bit overzealous in my paper purging yesterday. But I only have SEVEN more days to get rid of all the crap the kids have been hoarding for the school year and get rid of the toys that are never played with. All my big plans for things I was going to accomplish during the school year while the kids were at school have fallen down to these last seven days.
I broke my own cardinal rule and ran out on to the field when my son was injured.
My 13 yr old son plays on a 7-7 football team, which, for the uninitiated, is pretty much like playing tag. Tag with aggressive, fast, competitive kids. My son and one of his team mates violently collided head-to-head, or more accurately teeth to head. They slammed into each other and both immediately fell in opposite directions onto the ground holding their heads in their hands.* They laid there like that for what seemed an eternity, but in reality was probably less than 5 seconds. Through the sea of legs that surrounded them, I heard my son cry out in pain. If you knew this child, you would know that he is not one to complain about physical injuries. He has broken his finger, taped it up himself on the sideline and continued on. He dislocated his shoulder, popped it back in himself and continued on. So this was unusual.
And so I ran across the field to where he was on the ground. I pried his hands away and looked in his mouth. At this point all I saw was blood and what appeared to be a deep gash inside his lip from his braces. I wasn’t all that worried. As I walked him across the field he started saying, “My teeth, Mom. My teeth.” I sat him down on the sideline and took a better look in his mouth. The four bottom front teeth were pushed back, like they were all leaning backward, and one of them was pushed so far back that the root was coming through the front of the gum. It was horrifying on so many levels.
Immediately I gathered up all of our stuff, my kids and the extra kids I had brought. One of the moms thrust an icepack into my hand. (I don’t even know who it was, but thank you! Also I need to be more prepared.) I think I was driving on autopilot, trying to stay calm and make sure everyone else was calm. My son was in so much pain that he was shaking, though it didn’t stop him from turning around and (playfully) punching his girlfriend when a VW bug drove by us. It made us all laugh because it is so typical of his personality.
We lucked out at the emergency room and it was completely empty when we arrived. We were taken right back into a room. They gave him some heavy duty pain medication. And then he felt well enough to respond to the many, many texts he was already receiving, as well as texting me. His mouth was so swollen he couldn’t talk. The doctor came in and examined him. He needed stitches (5 or 6 of them, I’m really not sure) and we would need to see the orthodontist about his teeth. He felt confident about the viability of three of the teeth. I would have preferred to hear better news.
I wrote the above two days ago, on Mother’s Day.
Yesterday I brought him to the orthodontist, who pushed the teeth back into place, replaced the broken brackets, and put in a new wire. X-rays showed no obvious root fractures, so it looks like all of the teeth might just make it. I believe the orthodontist’s words were extremely confident they would be just fine, though I guess it can a while for nerve damage to show. I’ll take that. He also said that the braces are what saved his teeth from being completely knocked out.
My daughter made me a book for Mother’s Day. Full of all the reasons she loves me. There was one page that I found disturbing. It was a picture of me with the caption: My Mom Doing One of Her Favorite Things.
I swear I only go there for the cheap snacks.
*The other boy also went to the ER with a giant lump on his head and a suspected concussion.