Tuesday, May 18, 2010

awards nights

Last night and tonight were Academic Awards night at the high school. It's a special occasion and tonight I thought how we take it for granted now, and what IS that about?

The first time was when John was a freshman. An invitation came in the mail and John told us we'd have to dress up. The program was formal and a bit dull, stuffy musical selections and predictable speeches. But when John shook the principal's hand and received a letter in academics, it felt absolutely miraculous.

I told him if he never, ever did another thing educationally, he'd done enough. He'd vindicated our homeschool as good enough.

He hugged me around the head and laughed.

Someone we know commented to John that perhaps he could cover up that word 'academics' on the letter.

John is awesome. He said, "Why would I want to do THAT?"

Maria's awards were for her grades and also awards in English and Math. Jay's awards were for having a gpa over 3.8. He ducked his head and the principal draped long braided cords around his neck. He's to wear them at graduation in a couple weeks.

So it's over, and he did good. And Maria survived her first year and left feeling accomplished and proud. Whew.

Yeah, and we've got Mr. Timothy. He brought a bucket of some kind of weird little hairless caterpillar things to me in the living room tonight. He calls them inchworms, but I think of inchworms as tiny and light green. These are bigger and ugly-ish. (Emphasis on the ish.)

After we looked at them, he said, "Now I'm going to release them onto the inchworm tree."

The inchworm tree? I had to see this.

A silver maple, ordinary. I dunno.

Last night John called to tell me Tim's been leaving too many messages on their answering machine, and did I know he was calling them?

Umm, no. I did not know this.

Fourteen messages, some long, with music playing. Oy.

This isn't the first time he's had fun with the phone. A few years ago I had a call one day from a woman asking if everything was okay. There were strange calls coming from our house.

I said, "Who are you?"

She said, "I'm Suzy, from your phone company."

I looked in the family room. The kids were all there, art spread on the table, t.c. in a walker watching Arthur with Julia. I'd been putting away clothes, and this all looked very ordinary.

I said, "Who was using the phone?"

They all pointed at Tim. I told the lady, "We've found the culprit. He's coming to the phone now to apologize."

She said, "Oh no, no, no."

Oh yes.

Tim took the receiver. (This was the rotary phone in the kitchen.) He cradled it in both hands and said, "Rady? I'm reawwy solly about the phone calls."

Sigh. He means well.

I think.

The last few weeks have had a number of defeating moments...which then color other things, causing me to read in, which is something I try not to do. It's better to take things at face value and not create imaginary scenarios about what other people are thinking or intending.

So if an award that felt MIRACULOUS 15 years ago feels pleasantly ordinary now, how about in the other direction--could things that feel crappy now feel like ho-hum ordinary eventually.... I'm looking around at life and thinking yes. No doubt it's about perspective mostly.

There was a time when I'd have been perfectly mortified by a kid doing tricks with the phone. Now? I follow up, but can't work up any real excitement. Lucky for Tim, eh?

It's a perfect, warm evening, stars in the sky, and I'm thinking about a glass of wine on the patio. love, Val

Oh, this is funny though-- Today I showed a house, a distressed property. It's in a pretty neighborhood, but the house is in tough shape. Okay, this grossed me out, and I've seen a lot of grossness...but there were icky bugs floating in the toilet. I called to the buyer and asked him what they were. He pointed his little laser light pointer at them and said, "Ah yes, cockroaches. A nice touch." Oh yeah. That cracked me up. Laughing's good.

a funny pic

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