November 20, 2011

What he said

We go from best friends to worst enemies and back to buddies again around  here with alarming frequency. (I’m talking about the boys, not me and Mark, for any of you wondering.) 

The general pattern starts with Thomas asking Andrew to play something with him. Andrew, after he makes Thomas beg a bit, agrees. They play well together for some period of time before Andrew decides that he needs to do something to exert his will over Thomas, just to make sure that everyone is clear on Andrew’s self-designated roles. The first time or two that Andrew does this Thomas might just go along with it but eventually Thomas remembers he has a spine and offers up a little resistance. From here things can go one of several ways, but the endgame is always the same; Thomas ends up sort of taking it and Andrew is still three years older and three years savvier.

This little scenario played out here a few days ago and just as  I was ready to jump in and defend my baby, my baby took care of it himself. He jumped up off the couch, approached Andrew who was sitting down and yelled, in his toughest tough guy voice, “ANDREW, DO YOU WANT A CHUNK OF ME? I DO NOT THINK YOU WANT A CHUNK OF ME!”

With that, he exited stage left and left Andrew speechless. 

Bravo, Thomas. Bravo.

November 17, 2011


Try saying Botafogo three times fast.  I can’t, which is why we spent last weekend simply yelling, “Come on, Blue!” or “Way to go, White!” Andrew was invited (proud mommy alert…) to play on a tournament team with other kids from his soccer league. He was very excited about the opportunity so we agreed to make it happen. When these opportunities are pitched to parents of young children coaches use language like “two or three games” and “probably just on Saturday and Sunday.” That ends up being code for “four games” and “also on Friday night” and oh, did we mention we’re playing in Kansas City, outdoors, in November?

Not only did we truck it over to the Overland Park Soccer Taj Mahal Complex four times in 36 hours, but so did our lucky kid’s grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins at various times.  It also took a village to keep Thomas from having to make that journey four times. Shoutouts to Grandpa and Grandma and the Rocks for saving him twice.

It was a lot of soccer, but the boys of Botafogo (which was a team name not chosen by them but assigned by their Brazilian coach) definitely learned a lot – about soccer and general sportsmanship - and also made some new friends as they learned to play with each other. They ended up playing well enough to earn the coveted title of U9 Boys division champions.


It might as well have been an Olympic win. I think he’s hooked.

November 15, 2011

Thoughts on thanks

I will be the first to admit that I frequently occasionally see the glass as half-empty when, really, I’m so lucky and the notion that the glass is half-full is actually a non-negotiable fact. And yet, my vision is sometimes a bit clouded. 

Yesterday it was clouded by having to go have a blood letting health assessment over my lunch hour under the guise of it being for my own good, but it really being so that our insurer can determine how much to raise our rates. It became further clouded when I left that appointment and discovered a low tire. It was the same tire that had just received an emergency fill-up four days prior along I-70 while I was on my way to a meeting. A detour to have my tire patched was not on my Monday agenda and that proverbial glass was feeling at least half-empty.  I spent that hour of my day engaging in some positive self-talk and left the repair shop feeling better than when I arrived. They repaired my tire at no charge and I walked to a nearby Walmart and knocked out some stocking stuffers. The glass was back to at least quarter-full. Then, as if on cue, my phone rang and I was made aware that Thomas was suffering from what appeared to be a classic migraine and had barfed in the principal’s office and could I please come get him stat and they thought a change of clothes were in order.

Empty.  Or at least decidedly low.

And then a funny thing happened. I had no choice but to focus on cleaning up my sick child; to try and make him comfortable and administer sips of Gatorade and watch him sleep on my bathroom floor for the next five hours. I felt simultaneously useful and worried about him and and fortunate for our relative health. Today he woke up feeling much better but kids who have migrained all over the floor at school aren’t welcome back on school property the next day so we spent today at home. What a treat. 

Half-full or at maybe even three-quarters.

We watched, at his request, a replay of the Stanford vs. Oregon football game and we rested on his Buzz Lightyear sleeping bag. We chatted about Santa and how large his toy sack might really be and pondered how it stretches. By mid-afternoon he was raring to go and asked if I knew of any Thanksgiving crafts.  BE STILL MY HEART. After a quick consult with Google, he was soon creating masterpieces with cotton balls, stickers, feathers and googly eyes and, with me cutting and him helping with glue, we had made this banner. 


Thomas decided he’s thankful for Heysnickle, his little blue bear. I am thankful for the boy that loves that blue bear and for his brother and his dad and the rest of our clan. Strangely, I also find myself thankful for an unraveled day that provided an opportunity look at the glass from a different angle - one from which it looks like it's overflowing.

November 10, 2011

We all have our thing

I don’t know the official name for this habit I have, but I have to (hope to?)  believe we all do it. You know that phenomenon where you get to the grocery store and, as you’re methodically pacing the aisles, you suddenly find yourself reaching for some staple that’s not on you list? There are just some items that you know in your heart you can’t overbuy. 

Even if no one has thought to actually write it on the list,  I buy shredded cheddar cheese each and every time I go to the store. We use it in lots of ways and if you get home and discover you’ve still got some in the fridge it freezes.  Milk? It’s a given we need milk.  It’s like a family rule; if you go to Dillon’s for any reason, buy milk.

We have recently discovered, though, that there are some staples that should be purchased only if they’re actually written on the list and even then, should be purchased only in a small quantity. And, said staples should not ever be purchased by one family member without first consulting the other.

Exhibit P…for pepper.


This is about 2.5 lbs. of peppercorns. Sadly? This isn’t all of it. We’ve got two small jars in the cupboard also. Anyone dining at Chez Henderson in the next, oh, say four years, should expect their meal to be heavily seasoned.