Friday, August 24, 2007

Milestones, Heat Waves, and Morning Musings

Summer really plays Hell with blogging. Thank God the school vacation part of it is finally over, even if the heat is worse than ever. Here in the Heart of Dixie, we're in our fourth week of 100+ heat index days, and I am REALLY looking forward to seeing the mercury drop below 90. It's so hot that our dogs don't even bother pretending that they're monitoring my bird feeders and keeping the squirrels at bay the way they usually do every time I go outside. (ONLY when I go outside. The rest of the time they let the squirrels have the run of the yard until I step out the back door, then they take off chasing them and come back panting proudly, as if to say, "See? We're on duty for you! Can we have a treat now??"

Consequently, I like to sit outside on the patio with my coffee in the morning before the heat gets unbearable and watch the birds. I love watching them (especially the hummingbirds), but I also love the peace I feel sitting out there with just the dogs, the not-really-very-wild life, and my thoughts for company. Lately, I find myself thinking a lot about when my kids were small, and I guess that's because my son TJ just started a new job that frequently takes him out of state, and my oldest daughter Tia started college this week. I really have only one hatchling left in the nest (Treasure), and she's already begun pestering me about getting a job, even though she won't be 14 until October.

My fondest memories are of the times when the kids and I were home alone together and we'd get out the old camcorder (the kind that recorded on full-sized VHS tapes and weighed 15 pounds!) I'd turn on the radio to our favorite oldies station and let the kids dance and have fun: precociously comedic 9-year-old TJ mugging for the camera, 5-year-old Tia dancing in front of him with her stuffed Dalmatians (Penny and Patchy) to steal some camera time, and squatty-body 1-year-old Treasure riding her rocking horse (her "fuh-fuh" as she called it--don't ask me why!) in time to the music when she wasn't toddling between things she wasn't allowed to touch.

My very favorite one is of TJ and Tia at ages 7 and 3 telling their favorite bedtime stories for the camera. TJ told "The Three Little Pigs" (with multiple adlibs of course) and Tia was supposed to tell "Little Red Riding Hood." She says she needs me to help her get started, and it goes like this:

MAMA (my alter ego): "Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Little Red Riding Hood."
TIA: "And where was she going?"
MAMA: "Tia, you know where she was going. You've heard this story a thousand times."
TIA: "I can't remember. Just tell me where was she going."
MAMA(sighing): "Okay. She was going to her grandmother's house."
TIA: "And what did she got in her hand?"
MAMA: "Tia! Are you going to tell this story or not?"
TJ(rolling his eyes impatiently): "Mama, this is just like when Barney says the Preamble to the Constitution on the Andy Griffith Show!"

One of these days, I'm going to write a book of anecdotes about my kids. I'm sure it will be a best seller and send all three of them into therapy.

Oh, well. If the former is true, I can pay for the latter.

~Stay true to yourself, and your dreams will come true.