Today is a snow day, Younger’s favorite kind of day. He’s been wishing for snow since August, and, apparently, three inches of ice works just as well. Whatever keeps him from the education he insists he doesn’t need is welcomed with ecstatic joy by him. And both the boys were relishing a few extra minutes of sleep as I dug myself out of my garage this morning.
Then, much later, I called home to ask a question about lunch.
“Mom,” Younger said, full of exasperation when he heard my voice on the phone. “We’re in the same house.”
“I’m not calling you from inside the house, Younger,” I responded, my own voice raising a decibel in disbelief. “I’m at work!”
“Oh.” He paused. “I thought you were still sleeping.”
“It’s almost noon!”
“I thought you must be really, really tired.”
I don’t know if I was more insulted by the implication that I was a slug that slept until noon or I was a slug that used a phone to talk to people in my own house.
But this I do know…
I am one offended slug.
I am in the last course of my Master’s program. And I am in countdown mode. Four weeks and three days left.
Of course, those four weeks and three days might kill me.
For my last assignment –– if one ignores my thesis, which I do every chance I get –– I have had to create two websites, one for my academic portfolio and one for my professional portfolio. I have cried over these websites. I have laughed over these websites. The laughter may have been tinged with hysteria, but anyone who can ignore a thesis can ignore mania just as well.
But last night, I thought I would finally share my progress with my loving and oh-so-supportive family.
Then Younger glanced at the computer screen and said, with a shrug, “Looks like what we had to build for a class.”
Well, that’s just lovely. I mean, really, it is.
Nineteen months and thousands and thousands of dollars later, and I’m on par with my seventh grader.
Boy, am I laughing now.
Last Sunday, I took my nephew to our church’s pool party. And we enjoyed ourselves, him playing in the water, me relaxing on the side. When his big eyes landed on me each time he surfaced, I cheered for his underwater flips and clapped for his belly flops. When he finally admitted he might be hungry, I unwrapped his peanut butter and jelly sandwich and found him chips and a grape soda. And when he returned to the water, I again went wild over graceful somersaults and undignified leaps.
Then it was time to leave.
In hopes of earning at least one more smile, I asked, “Do you want some ice cream?”
“From where?” his little voice drifted to me from the back seat of the truck.
I shrugged. “I don’t know. McDonald’s?”
A pause followed then, “Can we get something else at McDonald’s?”
“What else would we get at McDonald’s?” I questioned, distracted by pulling into traffic.
“Sure, I’ll get you fries instead of ice cream. If that’s what you want.”
And he thought he had me then –– hook, line, and sinker. “And chicken?”
And I enjoy every minute of it.