I must admit, the way today started I am surprised at how well it turned out and how happy and satisfied I feel at it's close.
It started with Tom tripping (as he often does) over something in the early (still dark) morning hours. Tom didn't just trip, he fell flat on his face (narrowly missing hitting his head on the way down). When he stumbled up, it was apparent he was in a great deal of pain, so I fetched a Tylenol, an Advil, and an ice bag. By this evening, his middle toe, on the left foot, is completely purple and black and, quite obviously, broken. Poor guys' been working (and hobbling around) on it all day.
Then I came down to check the paper and found my story lead on the front page, but none of my photos. Instead there was a photo from the staff photographer. I was bummed. My pictures sent another photographer out. I tried to focus on the fact that the cause made it to the front page, and that was, after all the main goal of my taking the photos, but you know how I *love* to see my pictures in print!
Next, I went to Physical Therapy and wore myself out.
Frank went with Tom on a long drive for work, and then the fun started... with Jack! I suppose this is the source of my Great Day. Jack. I allowed his natural energy, enthusiasm, excitement, giggles and smiles to invade my very core today.
After a little play time on the computer, Jack and I worked on a paper chain to help him track upcoming events (his birthday, our anniversary, my departure, some silly "Fairy" holidays, and our vacation in March). All-in-all, we created a colorful chain over 50 links long (all of which he cut and glued).
Jack now has a visual clue as to how long until all these things are happening... and also a memory of putting it together with Mom, which I hope will help any blues he might possibly have while I'm gone.
When Frank returned home, the first thing he wanted to do was play with his neighbor-friend. I said they could play, after chores and vacuuming was done. Frank sat and read for another ten minutes, then, in under twenty, had all his chores finished. Proper motivation, I tell you!
During the afternoon, Jack had been cracking a whip on me to clean out the garage more (we've burned out our projector bulb, and LOST the $400 spare *somewhere* in the garage). Since it's loss the end of last week, Tom and I have cleared out over 40 boxes, donating 1/3 of the contents and pitching quite a bit in the process. Today I discovered some of my father's antique bowler hats. They were *gently* packed UNDER a big pile of books. The dents, coupled with dust from past display, warrants these Stetson Hats essentially worhtless (to sell, I mean). But for fans of Disney's "Meet The Robinson's" they make for a perfect "Doris" and "Bowler Hat Guy".
Now, these hats have value and worth once more!
Funnest part of the evening with the neighbor boy? When I walked through and hear Frank say "J. it hurts my feelings when we always play your games and when it's my game you play for a few minutes, then quit." Then little brother pipes up and says "I don't like to play Frank's games!" At this point, the friend says "Jack, that's not very nice. It probably hurt Frank's feelings." Then, the three of them spent about five minutes talking, listening, and negotiating how they were going to play the game. They started playing again, only to pause after about two minutes to clarify some of the "rules" of their new game.
I was so pleased to hear these five and seven year olds involved in calm negotiations and discussions about feelings. No one ever said "I'm sorry", but they perhaps did something better... they listened and immediately modified their behavior. Also, of note, they didn't say "you're wrong to feel that" or "no I didn't" they just listened and responded.
Later, after a casual dinner, I was beat. Jack started rubbing my back, so I got out some back rubbing tools. Next thing I know, I'm getting pushed around by two eager beavers wanting to rub "Mommay's" back. Instead of grumping or yelling, I lay down on the floor. They each took two tools and went to town on my back. This was all well and good until Jack discovered my ticklish spots... then it turned into a silly giggle fest.
During the process, I rubbed (and tickled) two little backs, and Frank rubbed (and attacked) Jack.
I went upstairs to call some people and tell them about our fun and funny day. Then, I tucked sweet, silly Jack into bed. When I returned, I was delighted to find Frank and Tom engaged in Homeschooling Lessons. They'd already read (during their long drive) and were doing writing and math. Soon, Tom expanded on a basic science lesson. Instead of just teaching Frank about vinegar and baking soda, he showed him salt, sugar, flour and water. They tasted them and blended various combinations.
In the end, they wrapped a packet of baking soda in paper. Mixed water and vinegar, and put a lid on it.
I lost count of how many times Frank put the lid on and watched it pop off. He was SO EXCITED. More than that though, it was heartwarming to watch how focused and attentive he is. When Tom speaks, Frank listens.
I love my husband and boys!!!