My mind is scattered and completely unfocused this morning, for a variety of reasons. There are a ton of different thoughts and feelings swimming around up there, so forgive me for putting them down just as they float to the surface.
1. Sam had his Pinewood Derby race on Saturday; he put forth a lot of effort, with the help of his brother and a man who is the husband of one of the women with whom I work, and made his car look like a shark. There were 18 cars, and Sam got Second place. In fact, the ONLY heat he lost, and I think I counted 9 heats he was in, was to the car who ultimately came in first. It was so neat, to see how proud he was of that car, and how excited he was about having won Second Place. The very first thing he did was call Scott to let him know, which I thought was very sweet, and also rather sad. Sam really struggles with the absence of his father in his life, and he and Scott bonded last year when Scott helped him with his Pinewood Derby car then (last year, he came in 6th). We also spent a lot of Sunday afternoons at their house when Sam was getting ready to be baptised. So no, Scott certainly does not take the place of Sam's dad, but I love that he thinks Sam is the bomb and makes it clear to Sam how special he truly is. On Monday after his dance practice, Sam went over to Scott's office (right across the street from my office, and right next door to where the practices are) to tell him about the race; 45 minutes later, he came back to the office talking about how they are going to come in 1st next year. So yes, my boy has a piece of shit loser for a birth father, but he has lots of other really awesome men in his life who can help fill in some of the empty spots.
2. You all know that Owen is two; not the easiest age to deal with under the best of circumstances, and I have been feeling frazzled and annoyed often lately. He won't get in the tub, but then once he is in, won't get out. Last week he ran into the road, and when I told him to come back (as I was heading toward him), he stopped, put his hands on his hips, and stuck his tongue out at me. He earned a swat on the bum for both those offenses-one swat to his diapered little bum and he shrieked as if I had broken his arm, then clung to me like a little sea monkey. So when we went to dinner at Red Lobster on Saturday night, after having been in the car for two hours and then having to say goodbye to his sister at the airport, plus having dinner with Steve's brother and HIS wife, well, to say I was reluctant was an understatement. However, he behaved beautifully all the way around; he sat and colored, we read his books and he flirted with the waiter and whomever walked by, and he actually ATE. I took him out to look at the lobster tank, and one of the servers took one out for him; it was very funny, because even though their big claws are banded shut, the little tiny legs aren't and are still capable of grasping. She gave Owen a sugar packet and showed him how to get the lobster to grab it, at which point he said, "No! Mine!" and yanked it right back. It was very sweet, and very funny. It is such hard work sometimes, with little or no recompense, but that night, I got this from Steve: "He was really good tonight, wasn't he? And I know you did all the work, so thank you." And from the people we were with: "Gosh, Keegan was never that good! In fact, he still isn't." (I wanted to tell them that with name that sounds like someone trying to hawk a piece of cat hair out of their throat, maybe Keegan just doesn't have a choice, but I managed to keep my mouth shut). So I got to have a great dinner that someone else paid for, I got to watch my sweet Owen see and fight with his first lobster, and I also got public acknowledgement that I do a damn good job. It was a good night.
3. We have what appears to be a stalker roaming our neighborhood. Last night, this man was driving down our street really slowly, three or four times in a row, and then he parked right in front of my house. I was laying on the couch reading a book with the door open, and I swear he was looking right in at me. I very hostilely got up and pointedly closed the door, and he drove off. However, not long after, he drove back around the block and parked in front of the across-the-street-neighbor's house. Still, it appeared, watching my house. Between "visits," Eli came in from the back yard and said, "There is a really creepy guy in a white truck driving down the alley, and he slows down like he is looking at our house." Is he? I have no idea. Apparently he was also in the hood on Sunday night, but I was inside early and didn't notice it; the neighbors did, though. We all had a pow wow after the last time he left, the neighbors and I, as they had obviously noticed him as well, and we are all in agreement that if he shows up again, daylight or dark, we will call the police. It is not so much scary at this point as it is unsettling, but definitely bears watching.
4. I got to work this morning to find that I won two things. One is an International Snack Cookbook, which has some really great recipes I want to try out. Since Owen is a non-meat-eater, I need to try to find some things he can/will eat, and there were a couple of recipes for hummus in it, so I am looking forward to getting that. Also, Amanda over at Shamelessly Sassy was having a Nintendo DS giveaway, and I won that as well. Not long ago, BusyDad (who is back from China, BTW, but clearly did not remember the souvenir I requested. All I wanted was one little Asian baby; that's it. Was that really too much to ask for?) had a drawing for a Snapfish gift card, and I won THAT. This winning streak is very, very unusual for me, and I am hoping it continues on to the lottery; I might even spend $3.00 on Wednesday instead of $2.00, just in case.
5. I might actually be taking my kids on a vacation of sorts in July. You know we are poor, but a friend of mine wants us to come see her and is paying for the gas and hotel room (one night coming and going). See, she has never met the kids (long story), and really wants to, and I have never actually taken them on a vacation. It will be back to Seattle, and since she is willing to pay for the basics, that means I will just have to come up with some money for fun things. I have, still, about 50 hours of vacation coming, so when Boss gets back, I will talk to him about taking some time. (I still have all of that baby stuff, too, if anyone is interested in purchasing some. You know, from the bust of a yard sale we had a couple of weeks ago. I could really use the extra $$). It is a lovely idea to think about; there are a lot of places I would like to see with the kids, to show them some of the places about which they have heard me speak, and I would really love for them to meet these people who are so pivotal to my mental health and happiness. I hope it works out.
Basically, life is just going along as it is wont to do. I seem to have reached a place of calm just lately, which is a very welcome event, and one which I am aware enough to be grateful for. I haven't been wildly thrilled with things in a general sense, but neither have I been deep in despair. For the moment, it feels like there is a balance between good and not-so-good, and more importantly, there is a balance in how I react, emotionally, to any given thing. This is a good thing, and I will take it for what it is. I will keep breathing, in and out, and smiling, and trying to live in the moment. Isn't that really what life consists of, is moments?