Winter/Jobs/Exam Stress/Seniors – yes, it all makes sense….

Nothing like two jobs hitting me at the same time; one with three days of brain-numbing tech training, the other with just the first really big meeting (everyone meet Sarah/holy-crap what have I gotten myself in to) in the middle of that training, sprinkled with some truly nasty snow storms. Yup – all in the same week folks. It’s how we roll around here.

At least he had snow shovelling to burn off the pre-exam anxiety!

At least he had snow shovelling to burn off the pre-exam anxiety!

So, forgive me for not throwing more out at you last week, but if I had asked any more of my brain, it would have looked just like this…. EHRIAOGHR !!!oanbf [r d9403q bdzfjojb. One could say I saved you from witnessing a visual breakdown, so, you are welcome!

It’s been a pretty crazy week for First Born Son as well. While he only had two exams to write, the “traditional” winter weather forced the schedule back two days, meaning he had to anticipate a math exam two days longer than necessary. Since he is My Son, math is like an allergen to him and he spent those extra days on a borderline hive breakout. Thankfully, he is now done and ready to move on to his second semester.

Which reminded me.

When I was his age (cue the whimsical music and black and white footage) I too loathed exams. When I was in Grade 11 (where he is now) my parents sold our home farm and purchased the land where they now reside. They were building a house which was ready for occupancy over the Christmas holidays. In the chaos of the move, it was lost on all of us that while I would have to transfer to a new high school, I WOULD STILL HAVE TO FINISH EXAMS AT MY OLD SCHOOL.

Since driving back and forth was out of the question, it required some creative thinking to come up with a solution.

That came in the form of  my Gramma. She lived in the same town as my old high school. She lived only three short blocks away from the school itself. What a perfect solution!! Could this be more convenient?

Did I mention she lived in Semi-Care?

So for two weeks, while I finished my exams, I slept at my grandmother’s apartment in a senior care centre. I would try to sneak out to be unseen by the staff doing their daily checks on the residents, since “visitors” were not people who stayed overnight, and certainly not for multiple nights. For those of you who have not had the “pleasure” of staying at such an establishment, let me tell you this; the smells and sounds of a Seniors’ Residence are not something one can get over in the short term. I still have flashbacks!

I would actually take a longer route to school, in the hopes that anyone who noticed me would not connect the fact that I was living in the local seniors’ home. Come on – I was 16. This was THE. WORST. SOLUTION. EVER.

There was no long-term impact for my Gramma, or myself. Or so I thought.

Recently, certain commercials have caught the eye of Second Born Son. He has announced that when he’s an adult, he’s going to move into a Seniors’ Home; after all, with all the down home cooking, bus trips and conga lines they are promoting, he’s thinking it’s Club Med.

I don’t have the heart to tell him about the smells and sounds…..

Floor Flashback

Have you ever heard a story from your childhood and didn’t know if you remembered it because you lived it, or because you’ve been told it so many times?

One of those stories, to a lesser degree, was the story of Rene and the foster-brother who came to live with us for a couple of months.

Gingham was TOTALLY what all the cool kids were wearing - and Rene didn't mind my bowl bangs....

Gingham was TOTALLY what all the cool kids were wearing – and Rene didn’t mind my bowl bangs….

You can read more about my childhood pups here.

My memories collided recently, as I was playing with Roman and Cane after dinner in the kitchen. The dogs always hang out in the kitchen with us while we eat. While we don’t engage them while we are eating, on this evening, I decided to play with them after. I’m the Alpha Dog, so I don’t often “play” with the pups, but I had a random thought.

“Do you want to see me freak them out?” I asked The Big Guy and the boys. I laid down on the floor, looking to see what they would think of me doing something they had never seen me do.

Cane immediately came over and sniffed me from head to two, probably trying to ascertain that this was, indeed, “Mom”. I start to laugh and cover my face to save myself from a thorough bathing. Within seconds Roman is over my head, his paws on either side of my head by my shoulders and he starts growling and snapping at Cane. I know this because I can sense his presence RIGHT. ABOVE. ME.

Instantly, I’ve left my kitchen. I’m laying on the grass along the lane way at the farm I grew up on. My mind is playing tricks on me because I actually FEEL small, and I have a dog above me. It’s Rene and he’s snapping and snarling and I’m covering my face. I can hear my foster-brother crying out because he’s afraid, but Rene never touches him.

The two events are so parallel, it’s unnerving. I sit up, back in my kitchen in my 42-year-old body and realize what has happened. It’s one thing to hear a recollection, it’s quite another to remember it yourself. In an instant 35 years passed and I was able to remember exactly how I felt at that precise moment.

I calmed Roman and let him see that I was okay, which was the main concern for him. He has never seen me lay down in the house (and only on rare occasions outside), and this is the first time we’ve seen him be so protective of us. The Big Guy was never in danger, neither were the boys. Roman was simply covering me and ensuring Cane didn’t go too far.

It’s a very reassuring feeling to know that today, as when I was a child, I have someone who will protect me, even when I may not be able to protect myself.

SUPERROMAN_edited-1

My very own super hero!

A Sense of Occasion

Pride, as a parent, is as thrilling an emotion as it gets. You see your child accomplishing something; be recognized for something; have others see him or her as the outstanding individual you believe them to be; for them to see it in themselves.

When Second Born Son told us his artwork for his school’s Royal Canadian Legion Remembrance Day Contest was selected for an award, we were thrilled. I think he was pleased because not too many boys have been recognized, so he was “representin”!

This morning, he asked what he should wear. I asked him how he’d like to dress.

“Probably something nice?” he said.

“Sure!” I replied, knowing he is not a fan of the shirt and tie.

“Like a button shirt?” he clarified. I nodded.

“Maybe a tie?” I venture.

He nods, not pleased, but not completely against the idea.

As we head out the door, he’s grabbed his dress shoes, without prompting.  He has on a good coat, without me reminding him. As we enter the Legion, he is greeted by the Legion member, an elderly man, who works in the schools. He recognizes SBS and comments on his appearance. As do other Legion members. He’s the only student with a tie on. Actually, he’s the only student who’s not wearing jeans. That’s not the point, and we’ve told both boys that. You don’t judge someone who isn’t wearing what you’re wearing. You don’t know if their wardrobe is a choice or not. For us, we like to dress for the occasion.

So as proud as I was that he was recognized for his artistic talent, I was equally pleased that he showed an institution like the Legion the respect it deserved.

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Way to go Bud!

Photographic Evidence of NYE 2014

So. 2014 huh? New Year’s Eve. Once again, I had to work, so I didn’t get to do too much “celebrating”. Actually, it was downright boring for me.

For my guys, not so much.

It started with First Born Son. Just as we were about to sit down to an early movie night, a trio of his friends dropped by and dragged him out to his first New Year’s Eve get together. Nothing rowdy, busy or crazy. Just four friends hanging out and making memories. This left The Big Guy and Second Born Son, who had already made a pact to relive their Third Annual All-Nighter. I was planning on being in the nest by 9 p.m.

So after viewing Red 2 (SPOILER ALERT – NOT AS GOOD AS THE FIRST ONE) I called it a night. 4 a.m. comes rather early! I drifted off to the sounds of my hubby and son tearing into a brand new Lego set. While I did wake up around midnight, I had no idea what had transpired over the course of the evening, until I got to work the next morning and checked my phone…

Okay, a little blurry...

Okay, a little blurry…

Followed by…

Okay, THAT'S a little too cheeky!

Okay, THAT’S a little too cheeky!

Followed by…

Someone didn't get the memo that "Selfie" was SOOO last year!

Someone didn’t get the memo that “Selfie” was SOOO last year!

Followed by…

What. The. Hell?

What. The. Hell?

Now it’s obvious that there is a genetic link between these two, but in case you were doubtful…

Who is taking these photos?? Cane? Roman??

Who is taking these photos?? Cane? Roman??

There is a definite connection here. Genetically as well as a common maturity level.

Thankfully, adult supervision soon arrived.

Proof that he made it past midnight!

Proof that he made it past midnight!

Even if he wasn’t long out of the nest himself!

Bleepy. Very bleepy!

Bleepy. Very bleepy!

Honestly, these photos look like they have a soft focus filter on them. If I didn’t know better, I’d say alcohol was involved!!!!

Uh oh!!!

Uh oh!!!

So while I didn’t get a chance to experience a New Year’s Eve with my guys, they made sure I didn’t miss out on the fun.

Now to activate a password on my phone!!!!