The New View

For most of their walking lives, my sons participated in their father’s Parent & Tot class at GymCarolina. First with Nathaniel and then with Aidan, I played with him in the foam pit, helped him across the balance beams, caught him on the other end of the trampoline track, and played peek-a-boo in the giant caterpillar.

As I helped Aidan in the class, I’ve also been able to look across the gym and see Nathaniel upside down on the rings or doing new tricks on the rope or bar over the pit. I’ve gotten some brilliant pictures and precious memories that I will treasure forever.

Today, however, I had a new view. A new session started, and Nathaniel moved up to the next level boys’ class. And Aidan George – our little boy – let go of my hand, and moved out of his daddy’s Parent & Tot class into Coach Teri’s Preschool class.

And I sat up in the parents’ viewing area from above.


I’d anticipated enjoying being able to sit back and watch them both, but I foolishly worried how Aidan’d handle it. I even told the gym manager to
flag me, you know, if he needed me.

He did just fine.

However, I was surprised when I found myself jealously eyeing my husband’s Parent & Tot class and its very familiar pattern around the gym stations. He managed this brand new large class of nine toddlers and their parents brilliantly. He really is amazing at what he does; there’s a reason his classes have waiting lists. And I was lucky enough to have a front row seat for years.

But now I see Aidan climbing the ladder wall all by himself. Nathaniel finishes his turn on the rings, looks up, and gives me a big smile & wave. They’ve all got this. This newfound independence was surprisingly heart wrenching.

But it is also pretty amazing.


Tooth Fairy Visit…third time’s a charm

Nathaniel lost the first two teeth he, well, lost. We’ve suggested he write a note to the tooth fairy, but that idea never took flight. So when he lost his third tooth this past week, we put it in a very safe place.

However, very late into the night, Nathaniel was still not asleep. He said wanted to catch her and ask her some questions. He told his father he was closing his eyes, but “listening for the twinkling of her wings.”

Of course, the tooth fairy will not appear unless he’s asleep. We explained this, several times. But for a while there, it looked like he would not be deterred.

Nathaniel woke me up early the next morning with his $5 bill. “Mom! Mom! She’s very sneaky!”


All That’s Gold Does Not Glitter

All week, Nathaniel’s told me that he’s “making a surprise for me at school, but he’s not allowed to tell me.” Details continued to emerge, like it involved my wrist and it was for Sunday.

Six-year-olds are terrible secret keepers.

Still, when he gave me this, I was indeed surprised. Any lady loves jewelry for Mother’s Day. However, I can’t imagine anything from Tiffany’s being any more beautiful.


PB & J

So, Nathaniel brings lunch every day. Corey has faithfully made his peanut butter and jelly all thought his kindergarten year. (He’s offered other sandwiches, but no joy.)

But today, Nathaniel wanted to BUY lunch. He’s BIG now. He’s SIX. So off we sent him to school today with lunch money and a much lighter backpack.

And driving home I asked him, “So, what’d you buy for lunch today at school, Nathaniel?”

“Peanut butter and jelly.

…Mommy, why are you laughing?”

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes…

It’s been a year.

Over a year.

How do I measure it? So much has happened, that the task of updating the family blog has just gotten more and more insurmountable as time has passed. In fact, it has become a daily dragon from which I’ve been hiding, telling myself I’ll get around to slaying it someday.

For starters, it’s been moved here to WordPress. I use WordPress for several of my blogs for school, and thought my familiarity and frequent use would mean I’d update more often. However, as you can see if you look back, when importing it from Blogger, the font sizes have gone all ‘wonky’. Also, all the videos did not transfer. So, my grand plans to make things “easier” will probably pay off in the long run, but in the meantime, I’ve given the dragon extra fire-breathing power.

And then there was what to put on the first “official return” blog. Nathaniel’s kindergarten year, now in the fourth quarter? Aidan’s potty training success and reading progress?

Today is Easter, and seems the perfect day for the blog to be reborn. After all my analysis on how to start, I’m just going to jump in and start small and simple: A story from yesterday, just a day in the life of my two boys, now three and five-almost-six.

We had finished Saturday’s gymnastics classes, had lunch at Burger King, and the boys had played outside while I caught up on some reading. We were then headed to the park to enjoy the beautiful outdoors.

We were driving to said park destination, when from the backseat, Nathaniel said, “Mommy, can you drive me to nearest bathroom, pronto?”

I hesitated, mostly out of surprise from the use of the word, but Nathaniel must have been concerned that I did not understand, because he followed up with, “Pronto means quickly in French.”

We were in the middle of nowhere, but I was eventually able to pull into a little gas station we’d never been to before. Nathaniel insisted that he could go in by himself. He ran to the door, then stopped and ran back towards the car. Thinking he’d changed his mind, I opened my car door. However, when he ran up to me, took the paper crown from his head and handed it to me.

“Here, Mommy,” he whispered. “I don’t want anyone in there to know I’m a king.”

Damage by Daylight

Here are the final pictures taken of Homer when Corey and my dad went to clear out final paperwork, etc. We’d thought there’d be a wait for the insurance company to get an adjuster out to look at the vehicle. Turns out, after we’d emailed these pictures, they didn’t even send a live person to look at it.

The internal pictures, where Nathaniel was sitting, break my heart.

Things don’t always look better in the morning.

Corey drove to Hilton Head right after work yesterday. It was not surprising, really. I told him not to make the long trip – we were safe and there wasn’t anything he could do, but honestly, it was really great to hug him.

He and I drove up to the site of mile marker 14 this morning to see of there was anything worth retrieving. I did not have high hopes, but Corey would not be deterred. So, the boys stayed with Nana & PopPops and off we went.

While the dark of night was so disorienting and the events beyond terrifying, seeing the aftermath in broad daylight was . . . truly jarring. It was a bucket of ice water to the face. It forced a hazy horror into clarity and made us realize the full force of how very lucky we actually were. The following pictures don’t do it justice.

You can see our last set of swerving tracks in the grass before we hit the guard rail, which we apparently hit dead on, not glancing it into its side. (I had honestly not realized this.) All the damage was toward the rear right of the van, as you could see from the previous post’s picture. This should give you a clear idea of the extreme angle we came at it, and why I thought we were going to roll:

Here is the guard rail up close. We found shards of the dark van window glass shattered for over twenty feet in every direction. Two tension rods were snapped. You can see one on the ground, it was thicker than my thumb:

Here is the damage at another angle. Notice the short stretch of guard rail ending with a rectangular black and yellow caution sign and a steep drop off:

And here is the same caution sign up close, and the small ravine we narrowly avoided: