April 2006


Evan has another lifeguarding class today and Erin is heading off on a school trip to Oklahoma City for a choir thing – after which they're going to the local amusement park.  Meanwhile, it's raining here and for the first time in a long time, it's not a 15 minute deluge.

So Mel and I are here in the quiet and unable to do any yardwork.  I don't know how I'll manage but I'll manage it.  (a little sarcasm there – I really don't like yardwork that much).  

During yesterday's rain we discovered that the storm drain in front of our house is apparently clogged; at least to judge from the lake that has formed in the street in front of our house.  We didn't even have to call the city; somebody evidently did it for us because a large-ish truck was parked there around sunset.  Even so, they weren't able to do anything about it yet.  They started a pump but after a half hour or so they realized that it was a) still raining therefore likely to fill up again, and b) gettin' close to quittin' time.  So they left. 

I hope they come back though. 

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Evan's friend Chris got his driver's license yesterday and so this morning, he came up to our house and honked.  I've been driving the two of them to school ever since they moved up to the intermediate school and today, for the first time in about two years, I didn't have to take them to school.  They drove themselves.

I'm not sure whether to be saddened by the progress of time or be thrilled that I have that extra 20 minutes a day back. 

Another busy Sunday.  We had to drop Evan off at lifeguard class at 9:00.  He was to be picked up at 1:00.

In the meantime, we had to drive to Oklahoma City for Erin's award.  Erin has always entered the Reflections contest – a program run by the PTA that gives kids a chance to express themselves artistically.   They can enter in literature, poetry, music, or photography.  Erin has typically enterd a musical composition but this year she decided to write a poem because it's quicker and easier.

Hers was selected as a winner at the state level and so we trucked on over to the suburb of Moore to attend the ceremony.

I always enjoy this sort of thing; especially when the ceremony goes quickly as this one did. 

The photographs were on display in the lobby outside the auditorium.  We got there a couple of minutes late so we had to rush directly into the auditorium and when it was over most people were grabbing their photographs off the display walls as quickly as they could so I didn't have a lot of time to admire them.  One girl had grabbed hers and was holding it while a grandparent took a photo of her holding her photo.  I liked the irony of the fact that while the little girl had won a prize for her photograph, she was being photographed in turn with a cheapo disposable camera.  I was further amused by the little girls comments which went something like:

"The flash didn't go off – it's not going to look good.  Did you turn the flash on?  It's that little button on the front."

Kids advising adults on the proper use of technology is always good for a laugh in my book.

We had to rush back to Tulsa in order for Erin to make it to the dress rehearsal for her confirmation ceremony on this coming Sunday.  We made it, she's excited about it (possibly because they found out they're all going to get a Bible), and so all's right with the world.

Evan had to take his swimming endurance test last night before continuing with lifeguard classes.  He had to swim 500 yards continuously using a variety of strokes and then dive to the bottom to pick up a 10 pound brick and swim back with it on his chest.

He made it – but he was totally spent.

I've never seen him so completely wiped out.  He was trembling and on the verge of throwing up.  I guess that's fairly typical for someone who's just expended all the energy they have in the space of a few minutes.

I think he's still tired this morning.

We were all going in different directions Saturday. 

Erin had gone to an all-night thing at the church on Friday night; therefore, when she dragged in on Saturday morning, she promptly went to sleep.  In the meantime, Evan had to get up early (a horror for him on Saturday mornings) to head for lifeguarding class at the local swim school.

After swim school, I then had to take him up to the zoo with another meeting with the volunteer coordinator about his eagle project.  This went somewhat strangely since his point of contact has changed and now he had to get to know someone else as well as fill her in on a lot of details.  I guess it didn't help anything that we chose to visit with them in the middle of the afternoon on a beautiful spring Saturday which also happened to be earth day.  You couldn't park within a quarter mile of the zoo entrance and there were long lines.  They even opened up the booths to start charging for parking where it is usually free.  So that was a mistake on our part but I don't know when else we would have done it.

After bringing him home, he promptly wanted to go over to a friends to play guitars and fantasize about being rock stars.  Meanwhile Erin slept on.  Melissa had gone to work at the convention center – one of many occasions where we work at things like this to offset the cost of Evan being in the marching band.  Mel didn't get back till after midnight; she was exhausted but she was also that much richer.

I finally woke Erin up at around 5:00 pm and, true to form, she was grouchy for awhile and then was wide awake till well after midnight.  She doesn't have as much respect for the clock as I do; she will gladly sleep when she's tired, wake up when she's not and live like that indefinitely.  But Mel made her go to bed anyway.

I've fallen victim recently to several bouts of sentiment.  For example, while going somewhere, Evan will ask if he can drive.  Especially if we take his car, I will sit in the passenger seat, look over at him, and starting thinking about the days when I would put him on my shoulders, do projects with him at the kitchen table, take  him to the park, push him around in his stroller, or some other thing that happened when he was really little.

These studies in contrast inevitably result in a brief wave of syrupy sentiment washing over me.  Before things go too far (just before I get misty-eyed), I'll shake my head and focus on something else.

I suppose this is normal but I don't want to give in to it.  I used to roll my eyes and get impatient when my mom would do that and I don't want to cause any more annoyance than I already do as a parent. 

Last night Evan and I worked another stadium cleanup after a soccer game.  Unfortunately, nobody else but us showed up to work.  Plus, the game ran extra long so we didn't get started to work until about 10:45pm.  It was particularly hard to get up this morning.  But I guess you could say we had some qualilty time to talk while we were waiting.

I started at one point to do some cleanup before the game was over but my pride got the better of me; I couldn't stand walking around with a trash bag and a plastic glove with all those people around.  I couldn't get the thought out of my head that I had gone to school for nine years to get a Ph.D. and here I am picking up trash.  Bad attitude, I know.

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