Browsing Archives for December 2010

Jack and His Superpowers

December 16th, 2010

So my son Jack  is only nine and a wee nine at that.  Actually he is a tall, bony, sort of skeletal nine, full of freckles and squealy juice, but never-mind my ardour for my youngest child.  All you really need to know is that he still allows me to occasionally cling to him like the abandoned monkey in a science experiment gone very wrong.  As you may have also noted, the rest of my children are advanced in age.  Weighing in at 15, 13, and 12, their minds have been polluted with that scary substance known to all mothers as independence and they have little time for their mom unless they are a.  hungry.  b.  needing cash.  c.  hungry again.

Responding to things (me) emotionally (or at all) also doesn’t come easily to my husband… 

Me – Holy SHIT!  I was just stung by a wasp!

Him – ———————————

Me – Dammit!  I was just stung again!

Him – ——————————-

Me – Holy Hell!  I am swelling up like a dead buffalo in an Arizona pasture in the middle of July!

Him – ——————————— unblink

Me – My fingers just popped open!  My eyeballs are ejecting from my head! 

Him – Can you pass me that wrench?

So yeah.  I am kind of isolated and alone in the realm of emotional response to pain around here.

But I still have my nine year old.  And he still responds beautifully to his old, occasionally emotionally, needy mom.

So when our family was driving out to western Kansas for Thanksgiving I kind of fell apart a little bit… okay… I sort of fell apart a lot.  I had a little breakdown in the minivan. I was kind of worked up about seeing family and I didn’t know how it would all go.   I was also all worked up about Fred Phelps coming to town and I was worried that no one was going to come out to counter his horrible protest and what does that say about my town and why do I live in such an awful place and what does this mean for my kids and etc, etc, and I started to tell the kids that family things were a bit hard for me these days because I don’t believe the way the rest of my family believes anymore and so things are kind of strained and odd and it makes me feel nervous and freaked out and I have lost some people that were at one time very important to me and Fred Phelps represents a certain kind of evil that people need to stand against because if people just ignore horrible stuff – it will never go away and yeah – so I was a basket case and I started crying and saying that it had been kind of a tough year and the boys were real quiet and the CD was real quiet and the whole van was real quiet except for me blubbering away in the driver’s seat trying to keep the car on the road…

And let’s just say that tearful emotional outbursts in our family are sort of rare unless they involve the X-box controller or unnecessary roughness in basement football.

But then Jack piped up and said…

Well yeah mom.  You can’t really believe in God… because that’s sort of like believing in super powers… and they aren’t real either.

And with that one small statement my nine year old made his mother feel much better.

You’re right Jack.   They’re aren’t really any superpowers… except for the ones that enable us to reach out beyond ourselves and help someone feel a bit better about things. 

And Thanksgiving turned out to be okay too. 

And the counter protest was very good. 

And this old world just keeps on a’ turning,

Rechelle

Dear Charles:

One of the things that brings me joy is reading your words. I also love reading Rechelle Unplugged and how she can make me LOL! Now let me get to my question. I have a basset hound named Chaps. As you can see he has an s on the end of his name. Please, I am begging you, to help me with my blog. When I use his name how do I use an ’?

OK, here is an example.

Chaps son is chasing a toad.

You see this is very important to my blogging skills. How can I blog correctly if I don’t know how to use an ’? I have suffered over this on multiple blogs about Chaps.

Can you give me some examples as to how to use my hound’s name. Did I just use that ’ right?

I think that you learn how to do this in 2nd grade. I remember wanting to kiss the cute boy next to me instead.

Thank you Dear Charles for answering my blogging questions, not to mention listening about my 2nd grade crush.

Oh, by the way, you are my new crush!

I love you’s

Cat, Chaps and Emma /**\

Dear Cat, Chaps and Emma –

I am honored to be your new crush, and I will attempt to uphold the code of the crushee, whatever that may be, and to conduct myself in a proper, honest, and upright manner as befits the position as long as I am in it. If someone was going to take over for that boy in second grade who kept you from learning about the proper use of an apostrophe with a name ending in “s,” I’m glad it was me, as I can fill you in on what you missed while you were longing for that prepubescent kiss.

And what you missed (in addition to a few math and spelling fundamentals that you probably picked up later on in third grade, when you and your crushee ended up in separate classrooms and you were distraction free, and perhaps writing in cursive, which no one seems to do [except to sign their name] once they’ve finished learning it) was this:

You have two options when it comes to using an apostrophe with a word ending in “s.” You can (i) stick the apostrophe at the end of the word or name without adding an extra “s” (“Chaps’ son has cornered the toad”) or (ii) stick an apostrophe followed by an “s” at the end of the word, just as you would with a non-”s”-ending word (“Chaps’s son is swallowing the toad”). These days, the second option (“Chaps’s son”) is preferred, but you can use either without raising the ire of grammarians and punctuation aficionados, as long as you don’t mix the two options, in which case you will raise the ire not only of grammarians and punctuation aficionados but also of people who crave consistency in their reading material and of people who normally don’t care about much of anything, and the townspeople are liable to appear at your door in the middle of the night with torches and bad intentions. So be careful!

Hoping that toad is still alive and well,

Charles
***********
Epilogue: The toad in question was unharmed.

Snowfall on Pound Cake

December 15th, 2010