Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Time and fireflies

As soon as we returned home from B's birthday party, we went into "manic mode" and began packing everything for our camping trip.



I tried to have as much ready as I could, but there are always things left to do.



So on Saturday, an hour after returning home, we were heading back out of the driveway, not to return until Monday afternoon.



I was ready for some relaxation.



We had initially been undecided as to where we were going to go camping. After finding out that B had been invited to a party, on the same day as his, at Lake of the Ozark, we decided that we would camp there.



We arrived just ahead of a thunderstorm. We "popped up" our camper just in time to climb in and avoid the rain.



After everyone getting their bearings, we left to go to Miner Mike's, the location of J's party. The kids had never been to Miner Mike's and once B was convinced that it "wasn't scary" we went inside.



It didn't take long for him to decide that "next year" he wanted to have his party there.



Is this progress?



And once he decided that the indoor roller coaster wasn't too fast, we couldn't get him off of it.



And considering that the kids rode the bumper cars approximately 1,874 times before getting off to try something new, I think they were a hit, too.
I love skee ball and it was really hard not to beg L for her to let her loving mama to play a few times.
And since B was playing the "it's my birthday card" all weekend, there wasn't a chance that he would hand over a token.


Shortly after B played skee ball, he decided that he would rather play the "train game". The train game consisted of dropping in your token and trying to get it to land in a train car.....and winning a few tickets.



(We know all about the high quality toys that can be bought with tickets....if you are lucky, you might even score a spider ring.)



Coincidentally enough, B landed that token into the slot on the top of the train car that caused the car to dump.
This caused the machine to start spitting out tickets....and more tickets....and more tickets.



Let's just say that B was really excited when he was able to "purchase" a toy story toy, a nerf football and a spider ring.



Oh, I kid about the spider ring.



It was a light up top.
*************************
That night we returned home and rode our bikes around the campground. There is nothing the kids like more than to ride their bikes on asphalt.



To country kids who have a gravel driveway, on a gravel road, asphalt is like "extreme biking".


They can't get enough.



Well, they can't get enough until they face plant into said asphalt.



B does this every time. Really, it is now a tradition and camping wouldn't seem right without a bike accident and nearby campers rushing to his aid.



*****************************
The kids also brought their nets to capture fireflies and when, instead, the fireflies landed in (or on) the net, L declared, "lightning bugs are just different around here...."
*****************************



In the middle of the night, around 2 a.m. I heard someone knocking on our door.


At least it sounded like someone knocking on our door.



But who, in their right mind, would be knocking on our door? Surely I was hearing things. Right?



Except all thoughts of it being my imagination was dashed when I heard it again.




"Steven...someone is outside or something is outside."


(Now I am sure that at this point you expect Steven to jump out of bed, sword drawn, ready to slay the person or beast that is outside.....however, instead he continued to sleep until I shook him.....and then, and only then, did he get up and look outside.)


What he saw was the what he described as being the "fattest raccoon ever".




Apparently, the "fattest raccoon ever" prefers Nature's Own Wheat Bread to generic Funyuns and is extremely dexterous and able to open TWO drawers on our food "cart".



The middle drawer which held the Funyuns and other assorted snacks and the bottom drawer which held bread and waffle mix.


Exhibit A:
Torn open sack of Funyuns (again, generic...don't email me, people) and bread. It was a whole loaf.







So, the next morning, as a way of channeling our disappointment at the loss of Funyuns (I don't like them either...) we rode bikes.



Monday, June 28, 2010

There is no stopping the hands of time.

A week ago B turned 5.



Yes.


5.


He tries to convince me to agree to continue to say that he is 4.


This boy of mine...he doesn't like change.


Last year he cried because he didn't want to be 4. Just 3.


This year he cried because he didn't want to be 5. Just 4.


He wanted, make that, NEEDED, reassurance that I would still call him by his cutesy, little boy nickname that I have always used....even though he was now 5.



And because his mama....ahem...me....doesn't like change either, I assured him that I would be calling him "Blakey", long after he was ready for me to stop.



However, despite the trepidation that he feels at growing older (he doesn't even know the half of it-wait until his first gray hair and wrinkle) he still enjoys the celebratory activities that accompany this yearly milestone.



(What was with all the long words in that last sentence? I couldn't stop it. They just came out.)


(WEIRD!)


(Anyway....)



Much thought went into the possible locations for his 5th birthday party. When I say, "much thought", I am hoping to convey the fact that he has been thinking/talking about this since, oh, I don't know, approximately the day after his birthday party last year.






However, keeping in line with the thinking of a boy who doesn't like change, he chose.....the exact same place that he has had his party for the past two years.
***********************

We celebrated on Friday night with family:






At the last minute he changed his mind from having a "farm cake" to having a "dirt cake". Why? Have I mentioned he doesn't like change? Have I mentioned that he doesn't want to get older?

A dirt cake is what he had for his first birthday.

(Yeah. It really is this bad.)

Thankfully, Linda is really flexible and rolls with the punches. She knows my children and hadn't even started his cake when I called her the day before.
After everyone had gotten their bellies filled with hamburgers and hot dogs, cake and ice cream, B started in on his most favorite part of the birthday celebration.

You know, I try and try to instill good manners and teach my kids not to be greedy, but when the kid gets in the floor and is surrounded by presents......well, the greediness comes out.

I am not proud...but I can't help it.

I think once he might have even shouted, "is this ALL the presents, or are there more?"

(Hanging head.....)

I am trying people! Really! I am!
I should have known what this gift above would foretell.

Yep.
I had a few soaking wet kids that evening.

A few soaking wet adults, too! (Thanks Caleb and Jason!)


Once he got the hang of the pump action, this kid was a machine.

Of course, his sister quickly rounded up some other water guns and stood out by the pool, loading two at a time, catching my cousin, Caleb, by surprise.


The kids fell into a deep sleep after everyone left, knowing that they would have to get up early the next morning for his "friends" party.

(We had a combined family/friends party one year for L and there was whining and crying and complaining.....and that was the ADULTS! Since then we have TWO separate parties!)
**********************
B wanted a "truck pull cake" for his friends party and he wanted me to make it.

Apparently this kid somehow has came to believe that I can decorate cakes. He should know that I am an amateur after his advice for me when decorating L's cupcakes for her birthday.

Knowing that I am not very successful in manipulating icing, I knew props were my best option. Steven and B often play with Steven's old stompers. He has many that he has saved over the years, along with a pulling sled.

(No coincidence that Steven was points champion in two pulling associations right out of high school..... lots of practice. Real trucks, by the way, not stomper trucks.)

I decided, with the advice of my friend, Joy, to go with a fence to add some height and dimension. I let B help me pick out "sponsors" for his truck pull.
Nesquik was used as dirt on the track. B was continually sticking his finger in and licking the icing off and the 'dirt' fell off the end of the cake. This caused my OCD to flare up but then realized that B was my toughest critic and he was giving it two (icing covered) thumbs up.



The kids had two hours to play and use their "imagination". B was so excited to have his buddies there to play with.



I think these two might end up married. Are arranged marriages still allowed?

Birthday parties: friends, cake, ice cream and presents......
Did someone mention presents?
He and his sister are the best gifts I have ever received. I thank God everyday for them.


I was unprepared for the truth about me as shown to me by my son....through him. We are so similar that in addressing the insecurities and misgivings that he has....I am addressing my own.

I love him so much.....words are just inadequate.

I hope that lessons that have taken me 34 years to learn are learned much quicker by him. I hope the lessons (and struggles) I still face, bypass him completely.

I hope the joy that I have found since having B, pours over into him and stays with him his whole life through.
I hope you had a happy birthday, buddy! Momma loves you!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The only way I knew how.....

I picked up the phone. Even though I was spending Father's Day with my husband and the father of my children, I had some guilt on my conscience that I wasn't even going to see my dad on this day.

He wouldn't care. He isn't really into "days" like this.

At least I don't think he is. He would never say and he is too hard to read.

We had planned a camping trip and were out of town so a phone call was going to have to do.

The first call I placed was to the house. He wasn't home....or at least, not inside.

Secondly, I called his cell. Voicemail.

I shrugged and looked at Steven.

"Just leave a message", he said.

"Um, Dad?" I said to the silence, "I was just calling to tell you 'Happy Father's Day'. I got you a card but didn't get a chance to give it to you the other night at B's birthday party....you left too soon. I will get it to you soon." (pause) "Um...well....I hope you enjoy your day! Don't work too hard." (Hanging up)

I turned and looked at Steven. "I didn't say I love you. I thought about it and then didn't. I thought it might be awkward for him....isn't that weird?"

I felt heavy inside. Partially because I want to have the relationship with my dad where I can give him a giant hug and say "I love you" freely, without giving it a second thought and partially because I felt like I should have went ahead and said it anyway....throwing caution to the wind.

It will never be this way. I know it. I can count on one hand how many times that my dad has told me he loves me in my lifetime. Maybe he said it more when I was younger....but I don't remember. It doesn't come natural to him and he will tell you himself that his parents didn't often tell him.

I am not sure how I broke the tradition but I did.

I gobble up affection from my children and can't tell them enough how much I love them..... I tell them many, many, many times a day.

I hope I always do.

I am sure that as they grow there will be times when they don't want to hear it and times when I don't want to say it.

I hope I still do.

**************
I felt bad just leaving a message so I called again and this time heard his real live voice.

"Hello?"

"Dad...hey! Um....did you get my message earlier?"

"Yeah? Well....I just wanted to say 'Happy Father's Day'..... Have you had a good day? Are you keeping cool?....."

The conversation just kinda trailed off to easier things to talk about: what he had done that day, the chores that he had left to do, the weather..... As we said our goodbyes I knew that I had another chance to take the first step and to say the words that were so hard to say.

And I still didn't.


I don't know if I shied away for me, or for him.

Either way....they remained unspoken.

******************
That afternoon, maybe because he knew it was in my head and on my heart, Steven asked me if I had heard the new song out by Bucky Covington.

I hadn't.

Steven doesn't generally take note of who sings what song -especially this "new breed" stuff. He suggested that I listed to it when I got a chance and I knew that I would.

************************

On the way home, as luck would have it, the song came on.

Although sung by a man, about a man, this song spoke to me. I KNEW the father in the song. He was mine. Everything about the song resonated within me.....it was written about the relationship I have with my father.

I was glad that Steven shared it with me.


(click above to listen)
For the longest time, I guess I thought he didn't give a damn.
Hard to read, hard to please- Yeah, that was my old man.
On the day I left for college, it was nothing new
We never had that heart-to-heart, he had too much to do.
He checked the air in my tires, the belts & all the spark plug wires,
said "when the hell's the last time you had this oil changed?"
And as I pulled out the drive he said, "Be sure and call your mom sometime"
And I didn't hear it then, but I hear it now......He was saying "I love you"
The only way that he knew how.
120,000 miles, six years down the road - a brand new life and a brand new wife
We'd just bought our first home
When he finally came to visit, I thought he'd be so proud
He never said he liked the place, he just got his tool belt out.
...and put new locks on the doors, went back & forth to the hardware store
Said "come and hold this flashlight" as he crawled beneath the sink
And "these old wires ain't up to code" and "that circuit box is gonna overload"
And I didn't hear it then, but I hear it now......He was saying "I love you"
The only way that he knew how.
Last Sunday, we all gathered for his 65th birthday
and I knew he'd stiffen up, but I hugged him anyway
When it was finally time to say goodbye, I knew what was next
Just like he always does...right before we left:
He checked the air in my tires, the belts and all the spark plug wires
Said, "When the hell's the last time you had this oil changed?"
And as I pulled out the drive he said "be sure and call your mom sometime"
And I didn't hear it then...... but I hear it now.
He was saying "I love you" the only way that he knew how.
The only way that he knew how.

(sorry....apparently there was a problem with blogger. It wouldn't let me center, or space)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sweet Sunday

Sunday morning during Mass singing the song they learned in Bible School.
L holding one of our friends baby piggies. (1 1/2 days old)


B showing off his piggy.


mmmmmm.........



Another baby with its momma.


My hydrangea. I said that it was the biggest bloom I had ever seen. Steven told me I probably hadn't ever seen that many. Hmpf!




My lillies.








Steven and B getting ready to go burn a brush pile.



What I didn't get photos of:
  • Eating breakfast with everyone from church and checking out the kids artwork.
  • Obtaining six (fertilized, we hope) chicken eggs for our hen to sit on.
  • Getting the nest ready for the hen.
  • The actual process of trying to get the brush pile to light.
  • Enjoying the kids swimming and playing in the pool.
  • Visiting with Mimi and Papa and Grandpa M out under a shade tree, drinkin' iced tea.
  • Feeding the calves, and dogs, and kitties, and chickens, and cows, and horses......
  • Dreaming about the addition of a shop building.
  • A trip to Lowe's to look at options for replacement furniture for our porch.
  • A trip to Captain D's where our kids tried to see how many hush puppies they could consume.
  • The kids sick from all the hush puppies. (Just kidding....)

I hope your Sunday was as enjoyable as ours.






Monday, June 07, 2010

Long Road

My children are perfect examples of the mystery of genetics. Two kids. Both raised exactly the same way.

Same parents.

Two totally DIFFERENT personalities.






L is so much like her father. There is no denying it. Steven even shakes his head sometimes because the words (he would call it wisdom) that comes out of her mouth is undeniably his.





"The world according to Steven (and L)."





She sees life as a journey...not a destination. She is laid back and would try anything once. She has an onery streak that she tries to hide.




Did I mention she would try anything once?





Yeah....I have a long road ahead of me.





B, on the other hand is undeniably mine.





He is cautious. He worries. He thinks about the long term.





Lately his current worry is about "poisonous ivy".



I don't know why....he has never had "poisonous ivy".




Yes.




"Poisonous" Ivy.





I am not even sure where he heard of it.





He asks, "Is that poisonous ivy? Is this? Is there poisonous ivy in our yard? The woods?"





He is consumed with worry about "poisonous ivy".





Oh yeah... This child? He's mine.





I don't worry about "poisonous ivy", but I have worried (might I add, needlessly) about numerous other things that didn't amount to much. In God's eyes, probably the equivalent to B's worry about "poisonous ivy".





Oh, the time I have lost to needless worry.






I hate to think of the time that B is losing as well. Time that should be carefree and fun.



He knows he is different, and at times, really doesn't want to be. He WANTS to fit in.




(Did I mention that I have a long road ahead of me?)



(Did I mention that he is MY child?)





We try to be the best parents we can and in the meantime, we encourage him....we inform him...and YES, we have laughed at with him.





It is hard not to.





Let me give you the back story on this picture.





A week ago we were putting up our swimming pool. The kids were getting anxious for it to fill up. L decided that it was hot and she wanted to swim. So, she left the yard and went over to our cattle pen and stripped off her clothes. The next thing I knew she was sitting in the stock tank with the goldfish, dipping out the leaves and gunk that had acquired through out the year.



Steven and I laughed, amused. B didn't want to not get the laughs so he immediately stripped off and headed for the tank.



He got ready to dip his toe in and then said, "I don't think I can."



He looked at me and said, earnestly, "Is it safe?"



I assured him that it was and he started back towards it.



He stuck his leg in a little further and pulled it back out.



"I don't think I can do it."



"B", I said, "if you don't want to, you don't have to. It isn't a big deal. But know this...I am your momma and I would never tell you something was safe if it wasn't. I am right here. There is nothing in there that will hurt you...it is dirty, but it isn't dangerous. I wouldn't lie to you. I love you more than anything."



This temporarily strengthened his resolve.



He put both legs in the water and perched on the edge. "Take a picture momma..."



"B", I said, "I can't take a picture of you like that....you are naked and I can see your...uh... stuff...."



He peered in.

"Are the fish poisonous?"

"B, they are GOLDFISH....... No. They are not poisonous."

"Oh yeah! They're NOT green!"

(Steven and I looked at each other and laughed, bemused at the fact that, in B's mind, it was apparently common knowledge that all poisonous fish are obviously green- and over the fact that his confidence was so easily shaken.)

"Why are you laughing? Are they poisonous? Are you jokin' me?"

I assured him that I wasn't 'jokin' him' and that goldfish weren't poisonous and I could see the wheels turning.

He swiftly lowered himself further into the water and posed and then told me to "take a picture".

The camera had no more than "clicked" before he quickly jumped back out.

You can almost see the white in his knuckles as a symbol of his determination to stay in .......long enough. The smile on his face firmly in place hiding the mental turmoil that I know he was experiencing.

Oh, how I have worn that same smile at different times in my life.


You know, I think God also laughs at us..... Much like Steven and I laughing at B. I think God also shakes His head and laughs. Laughs about our wavering resolve. Laughs about the illusion of control that we constantly try to obtain. Laughs about how easily we are shaken and our worry about needless things.

He is control of those things, you know. All things. Silly things. Important things. Trivial things. EVERYthing.

I don't know about you, but I think He has a long road ahead of Him.

I for one am glad that He has all the patience in the world.

(And then some.)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Then

When returning home in April from the Taylor Swift concert with L, we were excited to show Steven and B the pictures from our adventure.



B looked on and was just as excited as L to "relive" this adventure with her.



As we finished going through all the pictures, as serious as could be, B looked at me and said, "Are you going to take your camera when we go see Brad Paisley in June?"





Um. Ugh.... Um. Well.....



You see, apparently it was crystal clear to him. Brad Paisley because that is his favorite singer and June because that is his birthday month - that is how it worked with L, right? Taylor Swift in April?





Steven and I discussed this possibility and what he thought of it. I was unsure as to whether B was actually ready for the concert experience. He doesn't like loud noises, he isn't a big fan of dark places that is unfamiliar with AND he is 4.



FOUR.



Yes, I realize that in a few weeks he will be five, but for now......he is 4.

FOUR.



L was six when I first took her to see Taylor Swift.



SIX.



Taylor Swift.



That is a big difference.





Or at least, I thought it was.



Steven, however, explained that B didn't see the difference and felt that it was now his turn. It wasn't that I didn't want to take him, I just wanted him to enjoy it when I did.



*******************


As it turned out, I found tickets, not it June, but on May 30th. (Close enough, right?) Also, it was an outside venue, so the "dark" factor wouldn't be as much of an issue.



Steven was staying home with L, as we both agreed that this was B's time to be the sole child receiving the attention and being made to feel as special as we believe he is. The fact that Steven doesn't really enjoy the concert experience was just another reason he opted out.



My sister was again on board as she has been for the past two Taylor Swift trips. Her husband liked Brad Paisley and decided to go as well.



All this was kept a secret until a little past noon on Saturday. B and I met Sarah and Jason and loaded up and hit the road. It was only then that he asked, "Where ARE we going?"


So I asked him, "Where do you think we are going?"



"Hmmm......to see race cars?"


"Nope", I said, "guess again."



"The zoo?"







We all laughed. I told him he was shooting too low. "Where have you been wanting to go...and asking me about....for a couple of months now?"



This was followed by a big smile, and the answer we all knew:








"To see BRAD PAISLEY!"


********************


On our tickets there was no mention of the concert time. The only time that was listed was 4:00 p.m.



This was when the doors opened.



We arrived a little after 3:00 p.m. and didn't want to go to the hotel for fear that we wouldn't get back in time.



As it would turn out, that wouldn't be an issue.



The line looked to be a half a mile long and since we had actual seats, instead of lawn seats, we didn't feel the need to stand in the sun just to wait.



B, however, was ready to partake in the action. Even if the action consisted of standing in line.



With 15 minutes to go before the doors opened, we took our place in line. A much shorter line, thanks to Verizon Wireless.







Once inside we spent roughly $300 on a bucket of popcorn and a large coke.




Totally worth it.




We sat down on some grass and ate our popcorn and drank our lidless/strawless (Thank you lawsuits!) coke. Music started playing and we moved to a stage that was sat up near the front gate and watched both Josh Thompson and Easton Corbin perform.




B sat on Jason's shoulders and took it all in.




Considering it was roughly 90 degrees in the shade, Jason was probably nice and toasty.....but neither he, or B, complained. (I enjoyed their shade, though.)




Since I am a firm believer that a concert experience isn't a concert experience without a concert tee, we headed over to the t-shirt stand in efforts to locate a shirt for B.




Shockingly they didn't carry size 4T shirts.




I found this amazing since there were at least three other children there at the concert.




I decided that possibly a concert experience wasn't a concert experience without a concert ball cap might be my new motto. However, B, definitely his mother's son, went with the shirt.




The TOO big, size 'XL youth', concert t-shirt.




He told me that he would "get a lot of wear out of it because it would probably fit for a couple of years."





In that moment, I decided that he was definitely his father's son.

Or maybe just quite the mixture of both of us.



**********************

We headed to our seats.



It was then that we found out that the main concert didn't start until 7:30.



Nice.



Since up until that point our diet had consisted of a half eaten tub of popcorn, coke and cotton candy, I decided to get some real food into B's belly.


Of course, by real food, I mean a corn dog, or nachos, or a slice of pizza or a big tub of lard.



B chose pizza and we got in line a waited.



B, who is intent on trying to sound out words, was trying to figure out the word, "Pizzeria". I helped him and he said, "Pizzeria?.......Like diarrhea?" The hoards of college age girls we were surrounded by thought he was a riot.


I, however, was just hoping that he wasn't on to something.

***************************


Justin Moore took the stage and B took it all in.



During the break we ran to the bathroom (no, not from the pizza - just the coke) and by the time we returned, Darius Rucker had taken the stage.





My sister and I loved singing along and when, before closing his set, he said, "Since this is the H2O tour I am going to do something different....." it only a took a few notes for my sister and I to look at each other and then jump to our feet. We knew the song, we knew the version, we knew the words.


He sang it -We rocked it:


Purple Rain.


*****************


The anticipation was building when Brad took the stage and the huge screen behind him had many different vibrant graphics.



B, however, noticed that Brad was playing his blue guitar which happened to be his favorite.



Commenting on Brad's guitar was pretty much the only thing B said for the next 1.5-2 hours.


He was transfixed.


Midway through the show I noticed that a blue tarp that had been covering a platform located about 10 feet from us had been removed. The row in front of us that had been completely vacant up until the time Brad took the stage was now filled with people who were seat shifting.



I had no qualms about moving their butts out of my way in order to get B to that stage.



I crawled over the seat, lifted B into my arms and walked right to it. I would like to think that they knew better than to get in my way, because they just stood to the side.

However, it might also be because they were so drunk that they didn't even realize what was going on.



Either way, we made it to the stage.



Brad climbed up on the stage, finished singing his song, then sat down on a seat shaped like a diving board and looked right at B, waved to him and said, "Hey Buddy!".



B, on the other hand, stared back at Brad with not so much of a smile on his face. He was a deer in headlights, unable to so much as wave back.



Jason said that B's hands were up in the air, yet limp, much like Rickey Bobby on Talladega Nights. ....."I don't know what to do with my hands."

It was almost like B didn't know whether to clap or reach out and shake his hand.

Before Brad left to go back to the main stage, he threw down two guitar picks in front of B. I took one and put it in my pocket and shared the other with a mother who was there with her two boys and had initially motioned me in closer to the stage.

I owed her for helping me to give "this moment" to MY son.

B stayed silent, but awake, for the remainder of the concert.

At 11 p.m. as we were heading to the car, I asked B, "Did you like it? Was it fun? You haven't said much......"

To which he replied, "IT WAS AWESOME!........ Next year I want to go again!"

And then he didn't stop talking for another hour and a half.

***********************

Sunday we slowly got around and B put on his swimming trunks. We had ran out of time the night before and we had promised him that he could swim.


So, at 9 am, we could be found out by the hotel pool, while B, floated around.


A promise is a promise is a promise.......



It didn't take him long to decide that the water was cold and he was hungry.....

********************************

We headed to the arch. B had seen pictures of it when we had taken L to St. Louis for her concert trip. He was intrigued and wanted to check it out.



He took it all in with fascination and wanted to ride to the top......but there are some things THIS momma doesn't do and THAT is one of them.



However, THIS momma will pose just like B on the steps in front of the arch because he asked her too - Even if it was at an unflattering angle.
THAT is love.


We couldn't leave without B getting to put his feet in the "Muddy Mississippi". After much assurance that it was OK, and that it was "safe", he threw all caution to the wind and 'dove' in.
OK. So, maybe B 'stepped in'. Same difference, right?



I asked him what else he would like to do in St. Louis before we headed home. He informed me that he had never been to St. Louis before and needed to know what his "options were".


Yes.


Options..


FOUR.


So we decided on going to Union Station. B has a fascination with trains and wanted to see what was left of the station.


We read all the historical information to him and he took it all in. I knew Steven would do a much better job of explaining things to him and vowed that we would have to come as a family to St. Louis and revisit the station.


Since eating was the only other thing on B's list, we decided we would just eat there in the station at the Hard Rock Cafe.



B ordered their specialty, Macaroni and Cheese. All this time I thought that they were "known for their burgers".


While waiting for Aunt Sissy and Jason we fed the fish.......



and made a wish in a wishing well.......


....and B told me his wish.

His wish? He wants to be a train driver when he grows up.


I don't believe what they say about the wish not coming true if you tell.


Sharing your hopes and dreams with people is part of the journey of making those dreams a reality.


And then, as we were leaving, B decided he wanted to do something that I would have never dreamed he would have wanted to do.


You see, my B, well.....he is cautious. And deliberate. He is a worrier and he doesn't take chances and he doesn't like risk. He needs assurance that all is well and my sister thinks he needs meds.


Seriously.


I think he is just, unfortunately, old beyond his years and lacks the carefree mentality that generally comes with youth.


In that, he takes after his mother.


B decided that he wanted to jump on the trampline with the pulley and the bungee cords.


Although he has a trampoline at home, doing something this extreme is completely out of character for my boy.


Jason was nervous that this experience was going to go south - and fast - so he ducked into a nearby store, not wanting to see what was about to happen.


In a surge of determination he took off his shoes and stepped onto the trampoline and towards the young man running the show.


(Considering that the night before he shied away from giving 'high fives' to people he didn't know- partly because of shyness and partly because of his fear of germs - this was progress.)



So with my heart swelling and beating out of my chest, I waited to see his reaction as he jumped higher.....


and higher.....

and higher.......



If you look closely, you can see what I saw: a huge smile, full of wild abandonment, spread across his face.



If only for a moment, my B, was carefree.





And when he was done and he gave me two thumbs up, I felt my heart swell again.


Carefree or worried.


Contemplating or complaining.


Even when I think it isn't humanly possible to love him more, with every beat of my heart, and every beat of his, I do.


"We'll look back someday, at this moment that we're in.....and I'll look at you and say, "And I thought I loved you then." ~ Then, Brad Paisley