Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Yesterday afternoon, I discovered generic Scentsy wax at Wal-Mart, and I tossed one called CUPCAKE into my cart, and listen, people.  I’ve burned it (Melted it?) all day long today, and I keep thinking that forty people are going to jump up from behind my sofa and shout out, “SURPRISE!” while they throw confetti and loudly toot their party horns.

Truly.

It smells like a birthday party is about to shake down around the Jedi Manor today.  The boy even announced, “This is how a house should smell EVERY day!”

That boy of ours!  He loves him some birthdays.

(Which is most likely because he hasn’t seen his first gray hair yet or had to apply SHRINKING COMPOUND MEANT FOR THE NETHER REGIONS to the baggage claims area beneath his eyeballs.)

No matter.

This blog post is going to have to be quick and dirty tonight, because of SOCCER and BIBLE STUDY and boys in the house who are HUNGRY.

And since I spent the day scrubbing bathrooms and wondering if life wouldn’t just be easier with an outhouse in the backyard which could be ignored in the housecleaning routine, I don’t have a whole lot of stuff to share with y’all tonight.

Except that I did have lunch with my darling friend, Bridget, this afternoon, because she was in town from Small Ranching Community (which is a good seventy miles down the interstate), and I rejoiced to hear that her son, Ben (who is one of the boy’s favorite friends), would lose his left arm if God hadn’t thought ahead and attached it permanently, JUST LIKE THE BOY WOULD DO.

Just this morning, I asked the boy, “Do you have your folder of vocabulary words?  You know that you need that today.”  He said, “Yep.  It’s in my backpack.”  And I said, “You’re sure?”  The boy shot me a quizzical look that implied, WHAT PART OF ‘BEING IN MY BACKPACK’ DID YOU NOT UNDERSTAND? as he said, “Yes, Mom.  My word folder is in my backpack.”  I grinned, told the boy, “Good job, buddy,” and I took him to school.

And when I came home to begin tackling the housework, I noticed his folder, filled to the brim with vocabulary words, sitting on our dining room table.

Yes.

What part of ‘BEING IN YOUR BACKPACK’ didn’t we understand?!

Bridget laughed uproariously over this one and said, “Well, during the weeks of standardized testing at Ben’s school, the teacher asked the parents to all pick a day to send in a healthy snack.  So I picked a Thursday, and Ben wanted carrots.  We bought two enormous bags of carrots at the grocery store, and we washed them up, and we put them into Ziplock baggies.  And then I sent them to school in his backpack, to give to his teacher so that his class could have their healthy snack that day.  And then on Sunday night, I found all those carrots in his backpack — every last one of them! — because he hadn’t remembered to give them to his teacher on Thursday.  Naturally, this means that I came out looking like a failure as a mother, since I’d promised to send snacks on Thursday.”

I wasn’t laughing AT Bridget, people!  I was laughing WITH Bridget!  This is simply how life IS with a ten-year-old boy living on the premises.

We’ve also had a substantial amount of soccer going on in our lives lately.  Last week, the boy played in a little Round Robin tournament, where he got to play six games in two hours.  (The games were fifteen minutes each.)  Before the tournament began, Brother assured us, “We’ll be done in an hour!”  Since the tournament started at 6:00 PM, this was good news indeed.

As it turned out, Brother plum lied to us, because the Round Robin tourney took TWO FULL HOURS.  And the wind blew.  And the mercury in the thermometer dropped and snuggled itself up in a North Face sleeping bag for the evening.  Sadly, I wasn’t equipped with ANYTHING from the North Face.  I had a lightweight denim jacket, which would have been fine for sixty minutes’ worth of soccer, but which proved sadly ineffective for two hours of hardcore sports after the sun disappeared.  As a result, I MAY HAVE whined a bit on the sidelines of the games.  I MAY HAVE complained about the weather and the scheduling of the games and the wind and the lateness of the hour and the fact that the boy still had some homework to pull off.  I MAY HAVE grumbled that my contacts were drying out and that my lips were chapping and that I wanted to pack my bags and move to a spot on this great globe where the temperature was a perfect 70 degrees every single day, all day long.

And then I looked at Hubs and Brother, and I burst out laughing as I said, “Wow!  Brother’s going to go home and say to his wife, ‘You know, I spent two hours with Mama tonight, and she did nothing but gripe!'”

Brother grinned and said, “Well, I wasn’t going to say anything!”

And from there on out, I did nothing but praise the beauty of the night and shout with joy over the fact that our boys were all healthy enough to be out there kicking the ball around!

Look at that concentration!  When the boy concentrates, his tongue creeps out a bit.

Cousin B pulled on a bright green jersey and played goalie for a while in one of his six games.

Brother’s oldest boy, W, ran hard and kicked the ball all over that soccer field.

The boy’s cousin, M, played his game at a different field that night, and he and Brother’s Wife came to watch the last few games in the Round Robin tournament when he was finished.  He grabbed a soccer ball and practiced on an empty field nearby.

And Miss A didn’t have any soccer games scheduled that night, so she hammed it up for the camera.  A lot. Thank goodness there’s one in the bunch who lets me practice my photography skills on her!  Boys can be SO BORING in front of the camera’s lens sometimes.

Aren’t these four boys stinking cute?!  It seems like only yesterday that they were just three toddlers and a baby, sitting outside together, eating Popsicles that dripped red juice all over their little, pudgy baby hands.

So even though that boy of ours forgets everything, which makes me completely insane at times, I try not to sweat it.

Because it’s just Small Stuff.

And because eventually enough birthdays with scrumptious cupcakes are going to pass, and he’s going to think that he needs to head off to Harvard, and then, listen, people.

I am going to weep with the profound grief!

So right now, finding his vocabulary word folder at home, when it should be at school, simply reminds me that he hasn’t left for college yet.

And that’s the way I like things.

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