Monday, May 22, 2017

A Boy's Life Is Complicated


"What?" I walked to the back door, hoping that whatever Zane was excited about was not squishy or stinky. 

"There's a bug outside!" 

"There are lots of bugs outside, son." I started to turn around and head back to whatever I was doing, but Zane grabbed my hand.  

"No, Mom," he said as he pulled me outside.  "Come see!"

And there, in the middle of the patio, was this huge bug, legs up in the air.  It was as long as my thumb, and very dead.  

At least, we hoped it was dead.   You really can't be too careful with creepy crawlies.  

But I'm supposed to be the brave one in the family. After I established that the bug in question was not a giant cockroach(my persistent phobia), I flipped the bug over. A Rhinoceros beetle revealed itself.  A beautiful insect, and I was sorry that it was dead, but secretly not so much.  I explained to Zane that this was a perfect specimen, as it appeared to be completely intact. 

"You should take it to school and show your teacher," I said. Zane was skeptical, because he really wasn't convinced that the colossal beetle on the patio was actually deceased.  It still retained that lifelike sheen, as if it were about to slowly shamble into the grass.  I got one of those plastic tubs from the kitchen, and used a stick to roll the rhinoceros beetle into it.  Then I put the lid on and handed it to Zane.  
"Put it in your backpack for school tomorrow," I told him.  Zane was now in a quandry.  He wanted to be brave, like his mom.  And he wanted the 'street cred' that he would get as a nine year old with a beetle on steroids for show and tell.  On the other hand, creepy dead insect which might not actually be dead? In his backpack, possibly eating his lunch?  Big negative, Ghostrider!
My son and I share a fascination with insects and other creepy crawlies...from a distance.  Like pictures in a book kind of distance.  We enjoy watching bugs on television, for instance.  Or bugs on the other side of the glass at the zoo.  Bugs in the house, not so much.  I know that my issue stems from straight up heebie-jeebies--the feeling of those little hairs on insect legs crawling on my skin!  GAHHHH!!!  It is possible that Zane has picked up on my anxiety.  Kids are sensitive to such things.  Or perhaps genetics play a role.  All I know is that when there is a cockroach in the house, Zane and I are on the couch, feet up, while Larry dispatches the intruder.  

My boy sucked it up.  He put the container with the big beetle in his backpack.  He checked it three times before bed, to make sure it was still in the container.  He checked it in the morning.  I'm sure that he checked it on the ride to school, but I was driving.  His teacher was suitably impressed, and Zane basked in the glow of teacher approval. 

"She said it was cool!" Zane told me on the way home from school.  I told him that I was very proud of him for taking it to school.

"Okay," he said. "Can you take it out of my back pack now?"


Tuesday, May 2, 2017


Random things today!
I've been buying those prepackaged salads for my work lunch.  I would love to be like those perfect women who spend their Sundays cooking and preparing their lunches for the week, but I also want to spend my Sundays not attached to a stove or in the kitchen.  So I head over to the grocery store, where they have wonderful salads all ready made.  I don't have to worry about throwing a bunch of stuff together in the mornings, I know exactly how many calories I'm eating, AND I get my veggies for the day. It's a win-win.  Plus, I found this edible cookie dough!  Yes, I know that all cookie dough is edible, but this stuff is supposed to not make you sickly if you eat it. It comes in a cup that I can take to work and have for dessert after my lunch. To make up for that salad I just ate instead of a cheeseburger.

Soccer season is almost over. I have become healthy enough to occasionally spend Zane's practices walking around the fields.  There's a sign saying that the distance around the field is a mile, but the pedometer on my phone says it's more like three-quarters.  Not that I'm complaining.  I've found some random along the way.  I'm glad that I am not the only Texan interested in preserving scientific facts rather than someone's "alternatives".  Facts are facts are facts. We all have our own opinions, and that's just fine.  But our opinions should be informed by real data, and there shouldn't be any debate over that. And we should at least be willing to listen to people and to consider their perspective, instead of unilaterally shutting them down. 

Dave Grohl, for those who don't know it, used to be the drummer for the band Nirvana.  However, he's been very busy since then, just being a musician and helping other musicians.  He's the hardest working man in show business, James Brown notwithstanding.  I found this quote from Mr. Grohl on the internet, and it resonated with me. I think I will make a poster and put it on the wall in my office so that the students who visit will  see it. Middle school kids try so hard to be like everyone else; but maybe they will at least think about this quote.  Maybe it will make sense to them someday, and maybe it will help them make a good decision one day.  
That would be really cool.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Spring Has Sprung a Leak

I wish that I could say that I've been romping about in the meadows, full of glee.  I wish that I could say that I have spent hours flitting from flower to flower, inhaling the wonderful aroma of spring.

That would be a lie. 

While I love the spring, with the warmer weather easing the pains in my joints, the spring does not love me back.  Random pollen, from plants that NOBODY else is allergic to, cause me to sneeze uncontrollably and leak various colorful fluids from my nose and eyes.  This certainly makes the many meetings I attend more interesting.  I used to try and pass off my tears and runny nose as something else, but now I just grab my inhaler and look pitiful.  

I could wear a mask, like I did when I was going through chemo.  I could just stay indoors for three or four months. Or I could move to Canada, where I can't possibly be allergic to anything. Except perhaps bears.   

The pollen here may cause me consternation. Oh  yes.  However, I love the colors of the wildflowers strewn all willy-nilly on every patch of grass larger than a postage stamp.  I love the glory of the mountain laurel trees, with their purple, grape-smelling flowers. It's an awesome display, every color represented, and I find myself inspired in spite of the need for tissues.  All too soon, the flowers, and the color, are gone, until next year. 

Kind of a silly metaphor for how fast life passes us by.  I had better enjoy it while I can!