Friday, May 30, 2008

Anniversary Shenanigans

So, I mentioned to my sister earlier this week that Blaine and I were considering getting a sitter for our anniversary tonight, and possibly going out to dinner and a movie. She immediately offered (which leads me to believe she’s going to be hitting me up for some reciprocal babysitting very soon) to keep our kids for us …. all three of them ... OVERNIGHT. I mean, all night, no kids? No having to watch Drake and Josh all evening? No one asking for chocolate milk before bedtime? No one sneaking into our bed during the night, and then sleeping sideways until Blaine and I are both hanging on to our respective sides of the mattress for dear life? What the heck would we even DO with ourselves???

So our dinner and movie plans quickly morphed into dinner and dancing and drinking plans, because ha-ha, I can be hung over in the morning and there is no reason not sleep in! Well, except for our Sunday School garage sale that I have to work at, at 8am. But still, drinking!! and dancing!! Until I remembered that Blaine no longer drinks. And he’s never danced. Not even when he was young and coordinated. I hardly think he will embrace dance clubs in middle age. So I decided maybe bowling was more up to speed. Then, he had a root canal this morning, and was still not feeling well this afternoon, so we downgraded back to dinner and movie, fairly low-involvement activities. Which I guess is good for old farts like us.

When I got home from the pool early this evening --- SANS CHILDREN --- he *still* wasn’t feeling great, so we downgraded even more, to take-home from Kentucky Fried Chicken. And Blockbuster.

And that is how, on my 21st wedding anniversary, I came to be sitting on the sofa at 7pm, in a swimsuit and cover up, eating mashed potatoes and gravy right out of the Styrofoam container with the little plastic spork, watching “We Are Marshall” with my husband on the sofa.

And how at 11pm, as I type this, he is crashed in his recliner and I am playing on the computer, doing wild and crazy things like ordering rash guards for the kids off ebay.

PS. I think the truth of our anniversary lies in the fact that there is no one else I would rather stay at home and watch rented movies with than with him. Original recipe and all. But considering last year we celebrated our anniversary by TAKING A CRUISE TO ALASKA, I’d have to say this year was a bit of a let-down. We didn’t even buy each other that stainless steel kitchen sink like we talked about.

Gah, we’re pathetic.

Try not to be too jealous of us.

Plus One

I'm sorry, I just don't have it in me the past few days to update this blog .... quite frankly, my kids have been out of school one week so far, and keeping them entertained this summer is killing me. This week alone, we've spent a day at the lake, swam at two friends' houses, had friends over to play, gone to an amusement park, gone to a water park, gone roller skating, and today we are meeting the cousins at a local pool. I'm freaking exhausted. And when you add up the season passes, season locker rental, season tube rental, season parking pass, season souvenir cups (refills only $1 each!) and the six-dollar mini-pizzas, well, I've spent the equivalent of the national debt in the last four days alone. Our entire stimulus check will go towards the salaries of teen-age lifeguards this year. I'm sunburned. My legs ache from climbing the eleventeen billion stairs yesterday so Kellen could do the Mega-Wedgie slide a dozen times. I'm cranky. I think I'm looking forward to a nice, quiet weekend almost as much as people who work.

In the meantime, go here. Then add plus one, because by golly, another year has come and gone.

Happy anniversary, honey. May the root canal you're having this morning remind you of our looooooove.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

2008; Memorial Day Awesomeness

Remembering how much fun it is to ride a tube awesomeness:

Remembering how much MORE fun it is to see the sheer terror on your son's face awesomeness:

Laughing cousins awesomeness:

Water balloon fight awesomeness:

The joy of being a boy awesomeness:

The joy of being a boy with awesome cousins awesomeness:

Sparkler awesomeness:

(aka. the joy of knowing someone will most likely call DHS on you for not feeding your rail-thin child)

Catching some sweet, sweet air awesomeness:

Pretending you're bored awesomeness, especially when your younger cousin is so excited:

Wakeboarding nephew awesomeness:

The need for eventual chiropractic work awesomeness:

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Talk. (No, not *that* talk ... the other one!)

Almost two months after I got pregnant, we planned a getaway for the October holiday weekend to Tennessee, with our friends Kim and Kenny from Ohio. The kids were THRILLED to see their old friends and for the chance to spend a few days with them. We rented a quaint (code for: dilapidated and stinky) house near the Smoky Mountains, and spent several days sightseeing, hiking, visiting the aquarium, chatting, chasing kids, making s’mores and catching up with one another.

In IVF, when you get the “official” notice that you are pregnant, you are already six or seven weeks along. So by this point, I was about ten to twelve weeks along in the pregnancy. Not really showing a huge amount yet, and for that reason, there hadn’t been any need to mention this surrogacy to my kids. All the months leading up to the transfer, there was no need for them to know what was going on. It was probably silly of me, but I didn’t want to tell the kids until we were certain there was going to be a baby at the end of the process. Obviously, the biology lesson was miles over their heads, and why confuse them about something they couldn’t see for themselves, anyway? I mean, they were only two, three, and four years of age, and quite frankly, they weren’t *that* observant! It wasn’t that I was purposely keeping the information from my kids, it just honestly hadn’t come up.

One afternoon during our weekend, we were hiking to a waterfall. The weather was gorgeous and I was stopping along the way, taking lots of pictures. The adults were scattered along the trail and the kids were able to run ahead, or lag behind, and there was still always a grown-up close by. Suddenly, I felt a small presence next to me, and I looked down to see Brayden walking by my side.

She looked up at me, almost shyly, and said, “I know you have a baby in your tummy.”

To be honest, I was shocked. (Note to Self: Never forget the little pitchers have big ears rule!!!) She must have heard me and Kim discussing it in the vacation shanty house, and she smiled up at me and let me know that my secret wasn’t actually so secret after all.

“Really?” I said, stalling for time, and not quite sure how to respond. “Well, that’s right. What else do you know about it?”

Brayden started talking, with great confidence that she had had things all figured out, “Well, when it’s time, you’ll go to the hospital and the doctor will help take the baby out. Then, you will bring it home and we will love it and feed it and give it food and stuff.” You could tell by her 4-yr old demeanor that she was so pleased with herself for understanding. I hated to burst her bubble, but I knew with certainty that I couldn’t allow her to think the baby was ours to keep.

“Brayden,” I began hesitantly, realizing instinctively that this was one of those IMPORTANT parenting moments, and really wanting to get things right. “Do you remember last summer when we went home to Oklahoma on vacation? And I took you and showed you the hospital where you were born?”

“Yes,” she replied.

“And you remember how I told you that in the hospital, you came out of M’s tummy because Mommy’s tummy was broken, but that Daddy and I were waiting at the hospital for you, and then we brought you home because we are your parents?”

“Yes,” she replied again, more cautiously this time.

“And you remember how your parents are the people who take care of you and love you, and not always the person whose tummy you grow in? Well, this is sort of the same thing. Mommy is growing this baby in her tummy for someone else, whose tummy is broken. And when the baby is born in the hospital, it will go home with its mommy and daddy who will love it and take care of it, just like Daddy and I take care of you.”

Silence. She was obviously absorbing, and processing, and thinking.

I hesitated; worried I had explained it too simplistically. Or too complicated. Too, too … anything. Geez, had I just scarred my child for life?

“So, do you understand what I’m saying?”

Then she looked up at me, with this scrutinizing look on her face, and you could see the wheels in her brain turning.

“Please God,” I prayed a silent prayer, “Please let me have explained that properly so she understands and I didn’t just warp her little mind ……”

Then Brayden asked with finality, and total conviction: “But we WILL still get presents when the baby is born, right?”

And I laughed out loud and assured her that yes, when the baby was born, Daddy and I would make sure that they got presents.

And she said ok, and ran ahead to catch up to the other kids.

And with that, it’s never been questioned again.

I’m so proud to know my girl’s got her priorities straight.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Rolling Along

The first few months of the pregnancy were text-book. Just like my own pregnancies, I felt great, had a huge appetite, and no complications. Not even any morning sickness (touch wood, rub a lucky rabbit’s foot, throw salt over your shoulder, whatever, I’ve never had it and never want it.) I found an obstetrician in Montgomery, Alabama, who had never delivered a surrogate baby but who viewed it as a positive, exciting situation, so that greatly eased my mind about the process. His staff was open and encouraging, and I enjoyed my monthly visits to see him.

As I started to show (which considering how much I EAT when I’m pregnant, doesn’t normally take too long) more and more people starting asking if I was pregnant, hence more and more people were learning about the surrogacy. These were all new friends and acquaintances, since we’d only lived in Alabama a few months. Luckily for me, I didn’t meet anyone who wasn’t interested, and kind, or who didn’t approve. At least not openly. There was even a mom in my new playgroup who had used a surrogate to deliver her own twins, who were now two years old. She and I were able to bond over this and it was fun for me to get her take on the situation, Her own surrogacy relationship had been a very healthy, successful one, and I think it was fun for her to get to re-live some of those memories through me, as well.

In the meantime, I continued to get better and better acquainted with my IM through telephone calls. We didn’t talk every day, but probably once or twice a week; maybe more if it was a week I had a doctor’s appointment. The more I got to know her, the more I liked her, and the happier it made me to hear her excitement about this pregnancy.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Uno? Dos?

Journal entry originally dated 9-18-2001:

“Today was our ultrasound, and like I suspected, the family had to get their news via the telephone. I don’t think they could have gotten flights out, even if they had been able to take the time off to come. So, I recorded the u/s with a VHS tape, and called S. on my cell phone just as I was getting settled in with the tech. Then, I made the u/s technician talk REALLY LOUDLY so S. could hear everything, exactly the same time as I heard it. The verdict? A healthy looking, beautiful singleton pregnancy! Slightly larger than a grain of rice, and measuring in at 7 weeks, 1 day, the baby showed off a strong, rapid heart rate. What a wonderful thing to see, and a wonderful way to start my day! Due date, approximately May 5-7. Wow!!”

Friday, May 23, 2008

Still Waiting for the Ultrasound

The first thing I did after hearing about the attacks -- once I calmed down and finished saying a prayer for everyone involved -- was to call my IM on the phone, to make sure my IF was safe. I knew he worked *somewhere* in downtown NYC, but I had never been there and had no idea what was where. Manhattan? Wall Street? Were they all the same place?

Because they lived about an hour from the city, phone lines weren’t a problem at their house and I was able to get through without difficulty. My relief at hearing the phone ring quickly turned to fear when she answered the phone in a panicked voice, “Honey? Is that you???”

She wound up not hearing from him for hours because *he* had so much trouble getting a phone line that day, even on his cell. I found out later that he did indeed work in one of the other World Trade Center buildings, and was evacuated after the first plane hit. He was standing on the street and saw the second plane fly into the building. At that point, he started hoofing it out of the city and was finally able to get a ride home, hours later.

At the time, theirs was the only family I knew even indirectly affected by the bombings. Their son had a classmate who lost a father, and because he worked in the finance industry, my IF knew people who had been killed. Like most Americans, I was stunned at what had happened, intensely grateful that he was ok, and had a weird sense of guilt about being not only personally un-affected, but happy for our pregnancy situation, in spite of everything else. My IF was not harmed, although he was never able to go back to his office due to building damage. While NYC struggled to dig out of the rubble, both literally and emotionally, I felt embarrassed and awkward to be happy about the fact I was pregnant. It just didn’t seem right to be excited for an ultrasound for one tiny baby, when so many lives had been lost.

After a week had passed, this is what I wrote in my journal:

“Although it feels shallow not to mention the attacks on the Pentagon and WTC, considering it’s only been a week and so many thousands of lives have been altered, as well as the course of the future of our country … in ways we most likely haven’t even realized yet, you know what? I’m not going to. This is supposed to be a journal about a happy time in my life, and a happy event. Not a social commentary about stories and memories of a bleak time in America’s history. I’m sorry the events happened at all; I know this will affect all of us in many ways to come, but this journal is going to be about this marvelous pregnancy, and will allow us to reflect back later on exciting, happy times and events. And to quote Forrest Gump: 'that’s all I have to say about that.'"

And with that, I allowed myself to get excited again for the ultrasound scheduled the next morning.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

There's a new kid in town

If I could be schmaltzy for a moment ....

I believe the best loves are those born out of friendship:

I believe love that is true lasts forever:

I believe to be loved is to live forever in someone's heart:

I believe you never forget your first love:

I believe a heart that loves is always young:

I believe love conquers all things:

I believe some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same:

I believe loving others makes us better people:

I believe children understand the purity of love:

I believe the people that truly love us are those that not only know our true selves, but stick around anyway:

I believe love is not what makes the world go 'round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile:

Oh, shit. Wait.

Who is that kid? And more importantly, how is Kendrie's long-time boyfriend Nicholas going to feel about this???

I believe Kendrie might have found a new main squeeze. I believe he might even like her back, considering he is holding her foot:

And the truest, most positive proof of reciprocal emotion, the "hitting her on the forehead while you bounce on your toes" love signal:

In all seriousness, while my heart still hurts with missing Nicholas on her behalf, I'm relieved to see her making new friends at her school. Kellen, well, he's a boy and pretty much fit in at his new school quickly. Brayden is a little social butterfly and honestly, has blossomed here.

Kendrie? Not so much. It was MONTHS after the move and we were still having tears at night over missing her Georgia friends, specifically "the boyfriend" Nicholas. He is a dear, sweet boy, and since we met his family in the Pre-Kindergarten registration line, back in 2004, and discovered they lived only a few blocks away, the two of them have been inseparable. They were in the same Pre-K class, the same kindergarten class, the same first grade class, and the same second grade class. They played t-ball together, soccer together, and his was the first house where she ever worked up the courage for a sleepover.

Do I think the new boy (Matt is his name, by the way) will replace Nicholas? Not in a million years. Do I think it's wonderful that she is letting go of her past juuuuuuuust enough, and beginning to invest in friendships here? Why yes, I do.

Although Blaine says that kid better get his hand away from her ass or he's going to his house with a shotgun.

At least not in **OUR** real life

Kendrie: “You know how in that movie, The Three Ninjas, the boys are brothers and ninjas at the same time?”

Kristie: “Yes”

Kendrie: “What I noticed is that even though they are brothers, and they fight a lot, and argue about the best way to do things, and get on each other’s nerves, they always make up and like each other again. They always talk about things and decide what to do together and agree on how to solve their problems and stay friends.”

Kristie: “Right”

Kendrie: “I don’t think that happens in real life.”

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Living Vicariously Through Them

Last night was Kellen and Kendrie’s first piano recital. The students played in order, from newest student to longest (?) student. So, it goes without saying, since Kellen started playing in February, and Kendrie started in April, that the Escoe portion of the recital was over in the first five minutes.

Kendrie is so new that she didn’t even play a song --- she played SCALES, for goodness sake. But still, they did well, and we took the requisite photos and video, and I was feeling quite proud of my kids. I’m not one of those obnoxious sports parents, reliving my glory days through my children, because when it comes to athletics, I don’t HAVE any glory days. My background, if I even have one to claim, would probably be in music.

When I was in the 5th grade, I decided to join the band. That was the first year in school that we were allowed to learn an instrument, and I mainly did it because my mom played the flute when she was in high school and I thought the stories she told about band sounded like fun. Plus, some of the cute fifth grade boys were trying out, so it only made sense that I should try out too, right? Because our school was so small, the elementary, junior high, and high school all had the same band director, a man named Mr. Moore.

After the first few weeks of basic music instruction on the recorder (which, for the record, I can *still* play the Marine Corps theme song, thank you very much) he pulled my parents aside and suggested the instrument I should learn was the French horn. Not exactly the dainty little flute like I had envisioned, but I was willing to give it a go. Already, only a few weeks into the program, I loved my new band director and whatever he said was golden, in my opinion. If he wanted me to play the French horn, then the French horn it was. I guess I should just be glad he didn’t suggest the tuba.

So in fifth and sixth grade, I learned to play the French horn. And despite the fact the instrument was almost bigger than I was, I enjoyed it. I learned with one of my dearest friends, who also played the French horn, who I am still friends with to this day. And I practiced, and took private lessons, and had a lot of fun in band.

When we got up into junior high band, those of us that were good enough were invited to play with the senior high band (again, one of the perks of being in a small school). So for seventh and eighth grade, I played junior high band, and senior high band, and marched in the marching band. We were actually pretty good, and got to compete and advance in district and state competitions, both individually, and as a group. At that point, you could probably say I was a certified band geek, because of how much I loved it. It wasn’t like band was ALL I did; I was involved in other school activities as well, but band was definitely my favorite.

It helped that I adored the director. He was a magnificent teacher --- patient, encouraging, helpful, strict, funny --- because of him, it wasn’t even un-cool to be in our high school band. We had lots of athletes, brainiacs, etc, also in the band. It was just a fun, satisfying thing to do, and because we were relatively good, we could all be proud of belonging. Everyone loved the director, but I thought he walked on water. Even on the days I didn’t feel like practicing, or would feel frustrated over a difficult piece of music, it never crossed my mind to quit, because he made it so wonderful and I loved it so much.

I got even more involved when, on Mr. Moore’s suggestion, I took private saxophone lessons for a summer, then joined the jazz band my freshman year, playing the tenor sax. It became my dream to grow up and play lead tenor sax for Maynard Ferguson. (Seriously, Birdland, anyone? Does it get any better than that? I don’t think so.)

What can I say? Band totally rocked. We marched in parades; marched at football games, played pep band at basketball games. We took trips to Missouri, Florida, and Kansas, for band contests. We attended concerts as a group, and we got to miss school for competitions (and when you are in high school, that is a HUGE perk!) Our stage band even went into a recording studio and made a recording once, which was awesome.

I loved band. Loved it. Loved Mr. Moore, loved everything about it. And not to toot my own horn (ha! Get it??? Toot my own horn?? Whoo-boy, I crack myself up) but I didn’t completely suck at it. I mean, Harvard School of Music wasn’t beating a path to my door, but the sounds that came out of my instruments were NOT total crap.

Then, the end of my freshman year, Mr. Moore announced that he was changing jobs -- he would be a professor of music at a nearby university. I was devastated. Happy for him, wonderful career opportunity, yeah, blah blah, but my ego-centric 14-year old world was crushed. Because of him, band was this wonderful, amazing, fulfilling, huge component of my life, and how would things go when he was out of it?

Terrible, as it turned out.

Our school made the mistake of hiring our new director fresh out of college. Not that *that* was a problem, particularly, but he had just completed his semester of student teaching at our very school. Maybe the school board thought that familiarity would make the transition go smoothly, but all it did was set up an environment of resent and disrespect. We had just spent an entire semester calling him by his first name, treating him as little more than a peer, and making fun of him behind his back because he was SO the complete polar opposite of the director we loved and missed …. And now, suddenly, he wanted to lead us. He had no experience, and was only a few years older than most of us. He didn’t have an ounce of authority figure in his entire body, or the ability to inspire or encourage any of us, yet he wanted – demanded -- our respect.

I’m ashamed, as an adult, to say that I totally, 100%, unequivocally, did NOT give it to him. Neither did anyone else. The shoes that this new band director had to fill were SO freaking huge, there was no way he could do it. He really never had a chance. We ripped that poor guy to shreds, and our band program went right down the toilet. On rapid-flush.***

I stuck it out the first year, and stayed in all three bands (marching, orchestra, and jazz.) Band membership dropped by about 30% that year alone, just on the announcement that he was the new director. My sister, who played the clarinet, had taken private lessons from him when he was a college student, and she quit the day they announced he got the job. Suddenly, it was no longer “cool” to be in our band.

After the first year I dropped out of stage band; we had gone from being one of the best in the state, to, well, horrible. It was embarrassing. The skill level of the members just plummeted and we couldn’t play songs even half as difficult as we had played before.

After my junior year, I dropped out of the orchestra as well. My parents had recently bought me a brand new French horn, which was a pretty hefty investment back in the day, and I just bailed. Words can’t describe how much I disliked the new director --- how my whole attitude towards band had nose-dived and it became a chore I hated, and was frustrated and embarrassed to be involved in. Oh my gosh, we SUCKED, and I wanted out. I can only imagine the frustration my parents must have felt as well, after making that expensive purchase and then seeing the instrument collect dust in my closet. Seven YEARS of music lessons and classes and competitions, and I pulled the drain.

My senior year, Mr. Moore invited me to play in his college orchestra, and I tried it for a few weeks, but the damage was done. My music skills hadn’t improved since my freshman year, and I had purposely gotten involved in other school activities instead. I was working full time as well, and quite frankly, couldn’t hack it at the university level.

My freshman year of college, I sold the French horn for spending money, and have never played a musical instrument since.

It is one of my biggest regrets.

I don’t regret dropping out of band --- it had genuinely become a miserable experience and I’ll never be sorry I quit. But I’m sorry I didn’t find other ways to continue my music; private lessons, community bands, anything. Perhaps if I had continued to play and learn and improve, I could have tried out for band at the college level and made myself a whole new set of wonderful memories.

I’ll never know, because I quit. Because I hated the new director, and he had ruined it for me.

I did keep in touch with Mr. Moore – he lived two doors down from my grandparents, so I saw him on occasion. In fact, he sang at my and Blaine's wedding, and my memories of him as my high school band director are still some of my most cherished.

Tonight, at the piano recital, one of the more advanced students was playing a very difficult piece and stumbled in the middle. She paused, thought about it for a moment, and started again. It reminded me of the exact moment in my past when I knew I was done with band.

It was my junior year, and I was at the district competition with my band-mates. I was competing in a French horn duet, a French horn trio, a brass ensemble, a saxophone quartet, and a French horn solo. You are scored at these competitions -- either a 1, 2, or 3, with minuses and pluses. Anyone, or group, getting a 1 on their performance advances to the state competition, something I had done every single year up to that point.

Maybe I had over-extended myself that year, playing so many groups, but I don’t think so. With Mr. Moore’s encouragement, I had competed in that many events in years past and done fine. I think my heart simply wasn’t in it anymore. Playing in a group, it was easy to fake it. But the solo was another story. My good friend, the other French horn player, was my accompanist, and we hadn’t practiced together much at all. You have to care about something to practice it, and I didn’t. Solo pieces, however, must be played from memorization ….. something which *does* require practice. Which I hadn’t done.

(Yeah, you can pretty much see where this is going.)

I got about half way through my French horn solo, and completely went blank. I had no clue what came next in my song, and tried to fake my way through it. I kept messing up, and my poor friend was trying desperately to accompany me as I slogged my way deeper and deeper into a musical mess. Finally, the head judge told me to stop, and get up and go look at the music to find my place. Problem was, I didn’t know how to read piano music. My girlfriend was discreetly pointing to the proper location in the music, and I had no idea how to read it.

It might have been one of the most embarrassing moments of my young life, up to that point. If I had had any poise at all, I should have simply apologized for wasting the three judges’ time and excused myself. But instead, I sat back down, and kept blundering through, making mistake after mistake, until finally I just quit playing in shame and disgust.

At that moment, I knew I was through with band.

It had gone from being one of my most proud accomplishments, and favorite activities, to an embarrassment -- something I couldn’t even be bothered with learning for a competition.

Tonight, when that young girl was able to finish her piece with skill and talent and self-assurance, I re-lived all those memories.

Now, (this is where it gets weird and you have to live in a small town to understand,) the reason Kellen wanted to take piano lessons in the first place is because a class mate of his played the piano in music class one day shortly after we moved here, and he thought it was cool. So I called that classmate's mother (who I used to babysit when I was a teenager -- more small town weirdness!) and got the name of their piano instructor, and signed Kellen up for lessons. Kendrie followed soon after.

Tonight, being a student of the same teacher, that classmate was also at the recital.

She is Mr. Moore’s great-niece, and he was there as well.

I hadn’t seen him in probably fifteen or twenty years, and I greatly enjoyed getting to chat, even for just a moment, with him and his wife. After the program, he came up and complimented my children on how they had done playing the piano. I made a joke about them being so new, and Kendrie only playing scales, and how hopefully next year they’ll be at a slightly higher skill level.

And Mr. Moore looked me right in the eye, and said, “Well, they’ve certainly got the genes for it, so I know they’ll do great.”

It has been 27 years since the man was my band director, and I still felt the most amazing sense of pride and happiness when he said that. Is that SICK?!?!?!?!

And honestly, I still feel sadness that I never explored any potential I might have had, but just gave up in the face of adversity. I’ve tried to remind myself over the years that when you are fifteen or sixteen years old, you don’t have the same skills or resources you have as an adult when it comes to handling difficult situations or difficult people. But still, the adult-me wants to look back at the frustrated-teenage-me and say, “Don’t quit! You’ll regret it!!”

Which is why instead of being an obnoxious sports parent, I’m fairly certain I’m going to become an obnoxious music parent, and never let my kids quit piano. EVER.

***PS. For what it’s worth, the new band director continued the downward spiral at our school for a few more years, until the entire band program was basically face-down in the sewer, no pulse, no respiration. Then he left our school and took the director position at another local high school, much larger; no-one there knew him and he wasn’t constantly having to try to measure up to his predecessor. Sort of a “no-baggage” situation for him. From everything I’ve heard, that band program was a huge success and he was very well liked. And while I’m glad for him, I must say that I’m still very sad about my own experience. And maybe a little bitter. And hmmmmm, perhaps I need therapy that it still bothers me even 27 years later.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Track Meet 2008, in Pictures

You know, I started to apologize for this photo-heavy entry, to anyone who still uses dial-up because I know what a bear it can be to load photos that way .... then I got to wondering ... does anyone still actually *use* dial-up? Or hot rollers? Or liquid eyeliner??? Just wondering ...

Track Meet 2008, in Pictures:


and hurdles,

and long jumps, oh my.


and long jumps,

and dashes, oh my.

Tug of war,

and long jumps,

and relays, oh my. (With Aunt Kelly standing next to you, cheering you on.)

And more tug of war,

and more tug of war,

and even more tug of war, oh my.

Now we're back to hurdles,

and dashing,

and hurdles again,

and more dashing,

and another long jump,

and oops, one final long jump, oh my.

And posing for pictures,

with mom,

and grandma, who really didn't feel very good, but came to root on her grandkids anyway,

and mom, again, oh my.

And lastly, lining up for the 800 meter dash (although only a few of the kids actually dashed the entire way, and many jogged, and a few did a brisk walk near the end because they were really getting tired 800 meters is two entire laps around the track and that is a damn long way, did you know that, and there were even a few kids who gave up and just walked the rest of the way, some even holding their sides very dramatically for good measure,

and actually running the 800 meter,

and still running,

and finishing in second place, which I thought was great, considering Kellen was one of the few who managed to run the entire time, but what we won't mention is that the kid who won first place lost a shoe on the first lap and still wound up beating Kellen even running in one sock, whatever, it doesn't matter,

Oh, my.