I Think It Might Be Time for the Perfect Cheer

We’re back to being firmly entrenched in the real world over here at the Jedi Manor.  For two days in a row now, the alarm has blasted in the darkness of a pre-dawn hour and jerked me awake from some serious REM.  Although I’ve never actually been struck by lightning, I have no doubts that the two feelings are similar, except you still have to curl your hair with the hot rollers after being hit with the alarm.

Last night, our Bible study group met.  We’re a pack of eight girls who are enormously gifted at talking.  Once a month, we meet for dinner, giggle like school girls in ribbon-tied pigtails, and dive into the thick of a Bible study workbook that was written by Kelly Minter.

Kelly is our other best friend.

Right next to Beth Moore.

Our group of eight isn’t even remotely concerned with the small fact that lo!  We don’t even know Beth and Kelly on any sort of personal level, but we’re pretty sure if we managed to run into either one of them, we could all yammer on about great hair, great scarves, great house slippers, and great coffee for hours on end with them, and reveal our total lack of culture and maturity within the first two minutes of conversation.

Sadly, this doesn’t bother any of us.

Last night, over dinner, the discussion turned to dreams, and I laughed  until I wept as SOMEONE in our group confessed that she can FLY in her dreams on a regular basis, if she keeps her arms straight against her sides and flaps her wrists a bit.  And then, as if completely embarrassed, she admitted that she never manages to fly very high in her dreams, as she can only flutter above the tops of people’s heads.  When we’d all quit laughing enough to suck necessary oxygen into our bodies before our faces turned blue and we fainted, SOMEONE ELSE in our group admitted that OH MY LANDS and YES, SHE CAN!  SHE CAN BREATHE UNDER WATER IN HER DREAMS!  She said that she’s constantly having dreams where she drowns, only right in the middle of the drowning, she remembers that she can actually breathe, like Ariel, beneath the water, and then she calms right down and goes for a swim.

People, I laughed until I snorted.

And then I thought quietly to myself, “Well!  At least I haven’t had an outrageously abnormal dream like one of THOSE before!”

Pride.

It goeth before the fall.

This morning, when the alarm yanked me into reality, it disturbed my dream.

I was living in a land of giants.  I was in a giant family’s kitchen, and I was so small, I barely stood taller than their shoes.  I was scampering around this kitchen, that was furnished with a refrigerator the size of a skyscraper, because I was desperately trying to save a pack of my friends, as they’d all been wrapped in fancy truffle wrappers and placed in an assorted box of chocolates for the giants.  The baby giant, who was the size of a young blue whale, kept screeching, “Oh!  Those candies smell like people!  I can hardly wait to eat them!”  And OH MY WORD!  THE STRESS!  I was trying to climb the leg of the table, so that I could get to my friends, who were all wrapped in red-metallic foil and about to become snacks, and I was in desperate need of some FDA-approved medication for high blood pressure.

Clearly, flapping your wrists so that you can flutter and hover six feet off the ground isn’t an embarrassing thing at all.

Thus, our morning was started.  Showers were taken.  Lunches were packed.  Chai tea (for me) was made.  And then I realized that I had to return to teaching PE this afternoon, on account of TUESDAY!  And that’s when I firmly decided in my heart that I think I’d be a lot happier in life if I didn’t have jobs that got in the way of my social life and my laundry-doing time frame.

So, by noon, I was in the gym.  With no motivation today to tackle anything new or anything that sapped my weakened energy reserves after having just come off Christmas vacation, where I had spent a considerable amount of time in my flannel pajamas doing nothing, I set up some stations.  The kids love the stations.  They love spending two minutes with a partner, sweating like crazy as they jump rope, and then knowing that they can dash off to shoot baskets for two minutes.

Today, I set out a foam Frisbee as one of the stations, and one of my second graders came up to me and said, “Did you know that this particular station mimics an ancient Greek activity from yesteryear?”

Come again?!

I think my dropped jaw seemed to indicate to him that he should continue, regardless of the fact that I was staring him down and unable to speak.

“Except the ancient Greeks didn’t call it ‘Frisbee.’  It was known as the ‘discus throw’ back then, and it was hugely popular with the Olympians.”

Well, then.  I’m all about training Olympic Hopefuls, people.

And then I made a mental note to speak with his teacher about just moving this eight year old on up to the sixth grade.  When I told our principal this story later today, she giggled and said, “Did you see his test scores?  That second grader is reading at the eighth-grade level.”

After school was out this afternoon, and after I’d picked the boy and our cute neighbor boy up from their fitness class at the local fitness center, I had to cart the red-faced, sweat-soaked children to the pet store to secure frog food, as it was a cricket-buying day.

(The holidays have horribly disrupted Yoda Joe’s feeding schedule, and he no longer knows what’s wrong with the kitchen, but he’s changing his vote from it being a five-star restaurant to a three-star, somewhat-shady establishment of questionable activities.)

And then!

What with the pet store next to a major grocery store, there’s a substantial amount of parking lot to be crossed, and today I saw something that was almost as funny as knowing that I have friends who can fly and breathe under water in their dreams.

It was a tandem wheelchair!

Homemade, of course.  Clearly, they were titans of innovation, and I hoped with every single fiber of my being that they possessed a patent.

A rather hefty, older man was in an electric wheelchair, which was a behemoth bit of equipment.  Someone had clearly welded a giant metal bar onto each side of HIS wheelchair, so that both bars were firmly secured to a regular wheelchair, which followed BEHIND him (much like a horse and wagon would do).  As he pushed the control lever on his electric, all-terrain, studded-tires, four-wheel-drive chair, it had enough horsepower to pull the generic chair and rider behind him.

The rider happened to be an older woman, but she had to work for her ride this afternoon, because the snow-packed, icy parking lot was causing their wheels to spin a bit, so she was using her one good  leg to kick the ground in front of her, with high hopes of propelling them forward, over the icy patches.  I watched with admiration as they tackled the ice-crusted asphalt and made the chore look as easy as Adam Foote makes skating look.

And right there, I had a vision of a Saturday Night Live skit.

Chris Kattan and Molly Shannon.

And Cheri Oteri could have held her arms straight down at her sides, flapped her wrists, and hovered above them both, as she provided them with the perfect cheer to encourage those Spartans on.

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