Friday, March 31, 2006

I Stand Corrected, Dammit! (That'll Be $.25 Please)

Sgt. York is in kindergarten, which makes him an authority on the English language and it's use thereof. For the past few weeks, he has been doing something that annoys me a little and some days, down-right pisses me off. First of all, he corrects me every time I say "that-a-way". I wouldn't mind it so much except for the fact that any time we are together, he corrects me about 20 times (which suspiciously just happens to be the exact amount of times that I say "that-a-way" in his presence). "Grandmaaaaaaa...Stop saying 'that-A-way'." It really irks him. I tell him to stop going "that-A-way" and I won't have to say "that-A-way" anymore. Blpfffff!

Another thing he does is to inform me each time I say a cuss word. Dayum! I didn't know I cussed so much. He tells me I have to put a quarter in a piggy bank for each cuss word I say. Well, I don't yet have a piggy bank but I have promised to pay my dues as soon as I get one. At the rate I'm going, I'll have to go by the credit union and see if I can take out a small business loan to catch up. I told him, when he first starting pointing out my indiscretion, that I would use the money to take us all to Disney World. Either I gotta clean up my act or we will be making a world tour real soon. Geesh! Leave it up to the little ones to show you your shortcomings.

In other news, Sprout is ready to come home. He has had enough of life overseas and is sooooo looking forward to American soil again. Hopefully he can hang on for just a little while longer without going berserk. In the meantime, he is enjoying reading about the little leprechauns. Seems this is all over the Internet. Downright amazing.

Monday, March 27, 2006

I Gotta Stop Surfing

I just did a google search with the words "son in Iraq" just looking for blogs. I came across this story. Wow! I'm not sure if I would thank my kid or want to kill him if he called me from a war zone with gunfire and shouting going on in the background to tell me that he might not make it out alive and he loves me. I want to say "that poor, poor woman" but I guess knowing that your child's last thoughts when he is faced with impending death are of his loved ones is a gift...a hard gift...but a gift nonetheless. Luckily, this mother also heard the roar as air support arrived and her son and his friends were saved. Patton (or whoever said it) was right...war IS hell.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


My alarm cat went off at 4:00 a.m. this dark Sunday morning (by dark, I don't mean dreary...I mean pre-sunrise). I find that my alarm cat is most often more accurate than my alarm clock, the only problem is that I can't program the alarm cat NOT to go off on the weekends. But, the good thing about the alarm cat is that it has an actual working brain, and it knows when I need get up, even if I don't know myself. Take this morning for instance...I really planned to get up early to call Korea this morning, but had my alarm cat not gone off, I would have slept through the opportunity, probably getting up at my usual 7:00 or 8:00 am, which is 10:00 or 11:00 pm in Korea and really too late to call and bother a resting soldier who hears reveille bright and early every morning. So, after throwing the alarm cat off the bed about three times, I wake up just enough to get out of bed, walk through the dark house with a large dark fur-ball following me, traipse through the kitchen into the laundry room to the back door and stand there with the door wide open to God and everybody while the alarm cat tries to decide if she really wants to go outside. After about five seconds, I make the decision for her and drop-kick her butt out the back door.

By the time I get back to bed, I look at the time on the actual alarm clock and, as always, my brain does a quick calculation to determine the time half way around the world, the current home of one of my heart-strings. It must be that once you become a mother, your brain is somehow tied to your children so tightly that you almost automatically know the exact time, date, barometric pressure, wind speed, and weather conditions surrounding your children at all times. Maybe that is why we instinctively know when one of our children are cold, whether they know it or not.

By the time I have made the trip to throw the alarm cat out the back door, I am wide awake. I log onto the computer and check to see if my soldier is online. This is our routine lately. I check for him online before making a call, just to see if he is available. No need to run up unnecessary international charges if he is in the middle of a poker game or working late on some special project or chatting online with his real friends (me whining "Don't worry about me, I'll be fine."). He answers right back that, yes, he is available and, yes, I can call him. He says he tried to call us but the Vonage phone he was using is out and his cell phone has been long dead and to please call on his roommates number. I dial that long stream of numbers and in seconds I hear his voice once again. Talking with him only once weekly, our conversations are long and sweet, the usual boring dribble of our mundane lives. He wants to know the boring things, the normal things that are happening back home while he is so far away. "How is so-and-so?" " Have you been to such-and-such a place lately?" " Did you-know-who get over the flu yet?" He mentions his fears that his friends won't be the same when he returns home again, and he is right. He will have changed and they will have stayed the same. And the truth is, he won't be calling here home for much longer. The longer he is away, the further away he drifts. This is not a bad thing, it is a normal thing that happens when children become adults. They tend to make some other place their home. It is what each parent ultimately strives for but at the same time absolutely dreads.

Sprout is doing good and is now counting down the days until his return to the states. I guess his military life will be a constant "counting of days" as he will always be somewhere else looking back, at least for a while. There will come a day when he will be home whereever he decides home is for him, and then our job as parents will be completely finished.

A sad but good day that will be.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Tired of the News

If Greta Van Sustern is the queen of the All-Natalie-All-The-Time news, then Brian Williams is the king of the All-New Orleans-All-The-Time news. Now, I can somewhat understand Greta's situation. She is on a cable news network that is trying to fill 24 hours each day. That's fair enough even if it is over-kill. What, pray tell, is NBC's problem? Why story after story about New Orleans? It ain't news no more, for Pete's sake. They have 30 minutes a night (minus 15 minutes of commercials) and spend 5 of those minutes telling me that New Orleans is still a disaster area and that George Bush knew the day before the hurricane hit that the levees might not hold up and he could have ordered them rebuilt if he was any kind of a decent president.

This is why I don't watch television news anymore. News was meant to be read, not heard. Why? Because you read it, absorb it, and let it go. Repetition has it's place in the first grade classroom while reciting the ABC's and on the gym floor while trying to get in shape...nowhere else. Repetition on the nightly news is a form of brainwashing and is also boring.

Luckily, the media's right to Freedom of Speech is exactly equal to my right to Freedom of the Mute Button.