Spring Break 2012

The kids had a different spring break than their Daddy this year. On their spring break, Mom watched them while I went to work. For two whole rainy days they played video games and ate lots of cookies with Abuelita. Wednesday, I got to be with them. After running a few short errands, I took them to Incredible Pizza for lunch. They were happy when I announced where we were going. What a nice surprise it was for them! For me it was nice that the whole thing was free. With the gift card from Aunt Sammy and Uncle Geoff, plus some coupons, we got as much as we wanted to eat and plenty of games. They walked out of there with some prizes too. In the evening we went grocery shopping at Hy Vee. They didn’t complain because they love the scale at the health food section. They get to enter a number and push a button to get a sticker with the item’s price on it. It doesn’t take much! Then while I waited for them to use the bathroom (I can send them in by themselves now!), I rented some Redbox movies. I let them stay up late watching Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Roman loved it! He laughed and clapped and cheered at all the right parts. It was cute. But whenever I let the kids stay up late, the next day they get up earlier than ever. Roman was up at the crack of dawn watching cartoons. 

On Thursday we cleaned the house in the morning, then the boys across the street came over to play for a few hours. I loved the sound of laughter coming from the trampoline. Mercifully, the rain stopped for a while so they were able to play outside. Julian wanted to play soccer, so we did. He tried all his tricks that work with us, but his friend wouldn’t let him get away with it. “No way, Julian, you made up that rule! We get that point.” That night Rick and I watched our movie that I rented, 50/50. It’s one of my favorite movies now! I loved the relationship between the sick guy and his mother. I’ll blog more about that later. Today, Friday, we went clothes shopping for the boys. It was fun! Roman is the only one who really needed anything because Julian gets Roman’s hand-me-downs, but I didn’t want Julian to be sad, so I bought him something too. Also I wanted them both to have new clothes for family pictures. But I was being cheap. I asked Julian to choose between two shirts he liked because I didn’t want to buy them both. He deliberated for a while, and finally made his choice. We moved on to Roman’s department, but Julian just couldn’t hold his feelings in any longer. He started to cry and said, “Mommy, I want the other shirt. I want them both.” He wasn’t being bratty–I think he was genuinely sad. So his tears worked and I bought him both shirts. He cares so much about clothes. Roman really doesn’t, but he was happy to have them anyway. After lunch we went swimming at the YMCA. The water was warm. I heard the lifeguard say that it was warm because it was the baby pool, and the babies get cold. Well, the babies aren’t the only ones who get cold. The middle-aged ladies get cold too, and enjoy a warm little pool to splash around in with their kids. We swam until the whining began, so we went home. Now they are happily playing video games, one of their favorite things in the world.


Winter Turns to Spring

Winter is giving way to spring, and everybody’s growing and learning. Here are a few tidbits of life at the Williams’ home:

I do not like sports, but 5-year-old Julian does and he’s pretty good at them. He loves to play soccer, and he will wear us out playing backyard soccer with him. Especially since he insists on winning no matter what. If his opponent scores a goal and gets ahead, he starts the game over. Or he sits on the ball, claiming he needs to “rest”. And one time, I started daydreaming and the ball sailed past me. He said, “Mommy, pay attention and help me!” And he made fun of the way I let the ball pass.

At the past two birthday parties I’ve taken Roman and Julian to, one of the moms has said to me what good people my sons are. I’m so proud of them! It’s a big responsibility raising two of the next generation’s men, and it’s nice to hear that they have good character.

I finally got brave enough to buy sparring gear for tae kwon do, which means I’m committed since I spent money. Sometimes it’s actually fun, but other times all it does is make me angry. Last time I didn’t wear the headgear because I can’t stand the feeling. But my partner accidentally kicked me in the head. Maybe next time I’ll wear the headgear.

The other day Julian was asking me questions about heaven and hell. Then after a few minutes he said, “I don’t feel like living.” That made me sad, because I don’t understand it. Is it our family’s awful depression gene showing up so soon? He’s only five and certainly seems to thoroughly enjoy life and be happy. Or was it just his way of expressing his longing to go home with Jesus?

A few weeks ago we went to my nieces’ grandfather’s funeral. When he died, we lost a truly great person. He loved his granddaughters. He was always taking them on “dates,” like to dollar day at the Palace theater. They will miss that and so much more. But there is something about the funeral of someone who chose life and went to heaven. Right next to the grief, there is a kind of joy because not only is the person finally free of pain and suffering, he is experiencing things so wonderful we cannot even imagine them.

When my children are with a grandparent, they get spoiled with all kinds of treats. All the junk food they want, hours of video games…I think to myself, “I know they love them, so why are they giving them so much sugar that is so bad for them?” Then I remember this scene: At the funeral dinner last week, my one-year-old niece was “relative-hopping.” She went from her grandmother’s lap to her aunt’s, to another aunt’s, and so on, eating dessert. At one point she saw me eating a piece of chocolate cake. She held out her little arm towards the cake, opening her tiny fingers to show that she would like another bite of cake. Even though I had heard her mother say earlier, “That’s her fifth dessert!”, and even though I love that baby to pieces, I said, “Of course you can have some cake! You’re so cute!” And I gave her another bite. I figured her mother takes good care of her every day, so today I can let her drown her sorrows with cake.