All’s Well that Ends Well

Well.  *That* weekend didn’t exactly go as planned.  (But then, does it ever really?)

We got home from Henry’s game and got ourselves set to watch the Hokies play.  Henry looked exhausted, but I assumed he was just tired from being an absolute BEAST out there (because he was.  An absolute beast.).  About an hour later, I felt his neck and he was on fire.  So the weenie-roast-s’mores-eating-watermelon-seed-spitting-fun time was off.

Sunday we had to split up for mass because both Ella and Henry were sick.  SOOoooo…there wasn’t much time for gardening because I forgot I also had to get groceries.  Food tends to trump yardwork in my house, especially where the male peoples are concerned.  So the weekend was kind of a mess.

Henry stayed home from school on Monday.  We planned a day full of legos and movie watching.  I made kettle corn and we sat together under a fuzzy blanket and Henry shared his gummy eyeballs with me.  It just doesn’t get much better than that.

He had a fever again that night, which meant no school on Tuesday, either–school rules.  David stayed home with him on Tuesday morning while I was out.  I received the following message from the man:

“Henry should have gone to school today.”

When I arrived home they were outside running plays for his football game scheduled for that night.


Yes, I did let him play in his game.  I do not need any lectures on that thank you.  There were extenuating circumstances and that is all I will say about that at this juncture.

They won.  Henry played great.

And then he went to school on Wednesday and all was right with the world (until today, when Kate came home with a sore throat).

The end.

All’s Well that Ends Well

On a September Night

It’s Friday night and I’m sitting here at Ella’s cheer practice.  September evenings are some of the most beautiful evenings here in Virginia.  There is very low humidity and the temperatures are in the 70s.  The trees are just beginning to change colors–just the slightest hints of pink in the maples, claret in the oaks.  It is 6:00, and the sun is falling, yet still spilling it’s warmth on us.  Kate is sitting next to me, braiding her hair while I write.  I love having her here.  I love the quiet between us — I hear simply the breeze through the trees and the sound of nine little girls practicing their cheers in the distance.

The boys are at football practice.  They will come home battered, as usual, and starving, as usual.  We’ll eat barbecued chicken, squash from our zucchini and squash plants, and steak fries.  We probably won’t get more than one or two more squash from those plants this summer…fall is approaching fast.  The tomatoes are still coming, though…I wonder how long they’ll last.  I think we were still getting tomatoes in mid-October last year.

I have a lot of basil to deal with.  I need to make some pesto.  And the “flowers” need serious work.  I tried to leave the coneflowers for the goldfinches — they like the seeds — but I can’t take it any longer.  I need to deadhead them.

And the crepe myrtles need trimming.

And the lavender needs to be dug up.

And the yarrow must be moved.  The coreopsis needs to be trimmed and divided.  There is so much to do I can’t list it all here.  The yard will be Sunday’s project, because Saturday is reserved for football.  David has set the DVR to record the Hokie game, the Texas A&M game, Ohio State and the Notre Dame game.

Will(iam) and Henry both have games in the morning.  This season is different…I think it may be their last season of football — their choice.  (I do not know exactly when it was that they stopped loving me…).  So I watch them play with this little spark of hope that they will want to go on, yet at the same time the heavy realization that this is probably one of the last times I will be cheering on the sidelines as a football mom.  Life does go on, though I can’t imagine a better way to spend my Saturdays (for real).

Tomorrow night we are going to roast weenies in the fire pit out back.  We’ll eat watermelon, and chips and s’mores and drink in the last few sips of summer.

There is a string of clouds that has moved in and blanketed the sun.  People are putting on their sweatshirts to keep out the chill.  The girls are still practicing — orange pompoms rustling, pony tails bobbing, little girls jumping.  In just a few weeks, autumn’s cold air will be nipping at their noses.  With every word that escapes their mouths will come a puff of frosty air; their cheeks will be ruddied and they’ll be bundled in fleece hats and sweatshirts; and the sun will set before supper.

I remember those nights…coming home to a warmly lit house, supper on the stove and a soft, furry puppy whose tail rhythmically thumps the wall in time with the beating of my heart.

This year, it has taken a while, but I think I’m finally looking forward to fall.

On a September Night


August.  I think it is becoming my favorite month.  I don’t think I’d given much thought to it before…it was sort of just sitting there in between July and September…not as fun as July with it fireworks and barbecues and whatnot, and not as glorious as September when school starts and the weather cools down and football is in full swing.

But this year, August looks a little different to me.  August means slow days of sunshine and freezer pops and walks and bike rides and picnics.  August means, sadly, the last few weeks of having the kids home with me all day, and of me creating my own schedule.  The last few weeks of sipping coffee without the rush of having to go somewhere.  August is beautiful weather…beautiful, beautiful sunshine and warm days.  Tomatoes and basil that are abundant.  Butterflies…they finally seem to have found our garden.  We found five tiny eggs on dill in our garden and brought them inside to watch them cycle through their life.  They are in their chrysalises right now, and in about a week will begin to emerge as black swallowtails.

And August is football and cheer…helmets and mouth guards, pads and water bottles…pom poms and hair bows and bloomers and learning a dance that I am too old to look good doing but must learn in order to help Ella practice.

The boys have started football.  I don’t think my life could feel more complete at this point.  Seriously.  Last night William had a scrimmage.  The field was set high on a hill, and in the distance are hills and mountains.  It was beautiful.  I sat and listened to the whistles blowing and the helmets cracking against pads and the coaches yelling “find the ball” and “hit somebody” and “atta boy” and I can’t tell you the peace that surged through me. It is just all kinds of wonderful if you ask me.  William comes home every night with new (large) bruises and bumps and scrapes.  Which secretly thrills me a teensy.  Is it weird that I like the bruises?  I told him so last night…I told him that “I kinda like your bruises, Pal.”  And he said, “yeah, they make you look tough.”  Then we both smiled.  He is happy.

The other day I made a plum breakfast cobbler.  Holy wow.  I am going to make another one, maybe today.  I need to deadhead the coneflowers, and try to pollinate the zucchini plants.  I have a whole lotta male flowers, and no females…which means no zucchini (I learned that yesterday).  Then I’ll pick a few tomatoes, chop and freeze them.  I think I will cut some basil too, while I’m at it.  I made an orange basil vinaigrette a couple weeks ago that was also holy wow, so I’ll make some more of that.  And we have a few school supplies to get.  The boys have about 20 wii games we’re going to sell for a little spending cash, and then we’ll come home to make fajitas before we head out to football and cheer practice.  It will be another late night.

Tomorrow we will wake up early, and head out to football…pictures, scrimmages, silent auctions and carnival games, and of course, some junk food.  I am so looking forward to all of it.

Life feels good today.


Castles in the Air

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.  Now put the foundations under them.” — Henry David Thoreau

Your first game.  Your first touchdown.

When you were little, and broken, when even your smile was misshapen, I wondered if there would ever be a day like this one.

Back then, I held you.  I hoped for you.  I dreamed for you.

And now, watching it all unfold before me, it is hard to put into words what that feels like.

I am watching your dreams come true.

Long ago, you built your castles in the air, William.  And now you have begun to build the foundations which must hold them up.  Don’t give up.  Don’t ever, ever give up.

Castles in the Air