Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dad, Can I Go to Sex Ed?

The other day Tom brought a permission slip home from school. He has reached the ripe old age of the school puberty talk and needed our signature to attend. For some reason, Tom always wants me to sign things like this while Dylan is crying, Logan is asking me to help him spell something and Ethan is reading me his after school book. I told him I would look at it right after dinner and make sure everything was taken care of for school the next day. Apparently, he didn't think I would get it done.

As he was getting things out of the fridge for dinner while Gary was stirring what ever we were having in the pot on the stove, Tom asked completely nonchalantly, "Dad, can I go to sex ed?"

There are times in life that you REALLY, REALLY wish you had a camera. This was one of them. Gary's face was priceless. A mix between shock, confusion, and a bit of, "If I ignore this, will it just go away?" mixed in for good measure. I reassured him that he did indeed hear Tom correctly.

Needless to say, we signed the paper.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and the big maturation discussion has arrived. Tom came home from school busting at the seams with all his new found information. Being a girl and never attending a boy class on the subject, I was a bit taken aback by the amount of information. Tom wanted to debrief. I wanted Gary to be there. We agreed that when Gary got home from work, the three of us would sit down and talk all about it.

Tom was very excited to show us all the fun things in his kit. Mostly facial cleanser and deodorant because boys break out and stink. This was one of the main topics I gathered. He also learned quite a bit about his anatomy. From growing taller and getting muscles to what may happen while he's sleeping (I think you know what I'm saying here), it was all covered.

I think I made it through most of the conversation without blushing and giggling like a little girl. I'm still wondering where my baby went. How can it be possible that he is learning about puberty when it seemed like yesterday we were worrying about teething and potty training.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Underwear and Toothbrushes

I'm not sure I will ever get Dylan potty trained. He is by far my most challenging. Yesterday he pooped in his underwear and then, ever so quietly, he went in the bathroom and took them off and put his shorts back on commando. Today we found the underwear, which apparently is more than a one-day process, wet on the sink next to his brother's toothbrush. He had scrubbed his underwear to get them clean. Where does he learn these things? He's never seen me scrubbing his underwear with toothbrushes. This morning, the boys were all sitting at the table ready for breakfast when I had to tell them that I threw all their toothbrushes away and they could pick a new one from the closet this morning. They asked why and I said something I never thought I would need to. "Because your brother was cleaning poop out of his underwear with them." Honestly, where do these ideas come from and can you buy pull-ups for kids going to college because I think Dylan may need it. Ugh.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rough Couple Months

The months since we have been home from Utah have been some of the roughest months since we've been in Arizona, or anywhere in the distant memory for that matter.

Soon after we were home, we found out my dear friend, Amy Tacey, was in the hospital. Amy had been battling cancer for three years and things had taken a turn for the worse. She fought hard and was as stubborn and determined as anyone I've ever met but that evil disease finally took her three weeks ago. She left behind a sweet husband and four adorable kids, three of which are around my boys ages.

I know they say that grieving comes in stages and right now I'm not even sure what those stages are but I know I've been going through some of my own. It's still crazy to me that she is gone. I seem to sway between the guilt and the anger parts of grief right now. I feel guilty that I feel so sad about her leaving. I mean, I only knew her for a year. Do I really have that right to feel this depressed? What about all those amazing people she touched for many, many years? Don't they get to have these feelings more than I do?

And then the anger sets in. I'm not angry with Amy. Far from it. She is my hero. So positive. So determined. So full of life and love and all that is good in this world. I'm angry that even though I knew she was sick even before I met her and that the outcome didn't look great, I still let her take up residence in my heart. She instantly became my friend, my ally, my confidant. I couldn't help it. She was fabulous in a down to earth, sometimes life gives you lemons, when will the dirty diapers ever end, excuse me while I lock myself in my room so I can hear you over my children sort of way. It was like she was the only one who understood me at times here at the Canyon. She also stayed home with her little ones and I never felt like I had to explain that while, yes, I loved doing it and wouldn't change it for the world, I still wanted to pull my hair out most days. She gave me an insight into this new world we had moved into and helped me navigate the acronyms and the expectations. So, if I knew she was really only going to be here for a little while, why did I let her move into one of the biggest rooms in my heart? Why?

The answer is so simple and it does help the grieving. I let her become a part of my life because she made it better. Just because she is now gone, does not mean she has stopped making it better. I look at things differently now. I enjoy the little things a bit more. I hug my kids a bit tighter and kiss my husband with a bit more feeling all because of Amy. She taught me that life is what you make it and you better make it great.

I miss you Amy!