The boys are on a baseball kick lately. Even Roman, Mr. Anti-Sport, is excited about it. Whenever they can, they get together with their athletic neighbors and play ball with ghost runners (which I’m pretty sure they don’t fully understand). When their friends are not available, they ask me and Rick to play. We’ve had some pretty fun backyard games. It reminds me of when I was little and our parents would play “baseball” with us in the yard. We didn’t have a bat or a baseball, but we improvised. We played by batting at a tennis ball with our hands.
Today we do have bats and baseballs. When we play, I’m ridiculous: Every time I miraculously make contact with the ball, I run screaming to first base.
Julian is nothing if not competitive. He’s been known to throw the ball at a player a few times to get them out. It hurts!
Lucy is annoying. We don’t need a big 14-year-old dog in the way of our game, but she just wants to be with us, so she lumbers over and stands right in front of people. We send her to go lay down, but she says, “If I can’t be right in the way, then I’m leaving.” She exits the yard and acts like she’s going to run away. But we know better. She knows we’re the only ones who would want her, so she’s not going anywhere.
On Saturday, the boys were at Mom and Dad’s house with their cousins, so I went to the mall. I had one specific thing I needed. I found it right away, but was unable to “shop like a man.” I had to circle the whole mall looking in every store, trying on every pair of black sandals (none of them compared to my old ones that broke where we had already glued them together once, so I bought no shoes).
On my way out, I passed a kiosk of Dead Sea beauty products. The salesman held a little sample packet out to me and said something I didn’t hear. I said, “No thank you.” Then, when he very quietly said, “Can I ask you something?” I uncharacteristically approached him, and before I knew it, I was using a salt scrub while he rinsed my hands into a bowl. It made my hands soft and silky. Then he pulled out this clarifying gel and put some on one of my forearms. As he scrubbed, these dead, gray skin cells came off. He said, “See? You actually have very fair skin.” (So that’s why my children are so fair-skinned! I’m not really dark; I’m just dirty!) Hours later I asked Rick if he saw any difference between my right and left forearms, and he said, “Definitely. This one’s lighter.” Great. OK. Maybe I’d like the Dead Sea products, but I’m not buying them. But the salesman would not let me go. Three times I had to say, “I’m not buying anything today,” and after the third time, he quickly said, “Have a good day.”
Sunday was my turn with the toddlers at church. The story was about Jonah. The lesson idea was that God protected Jonah while he was in the big fish, and God will protect you too. I wondered if anyone would ask about all the times when God did not protect good people who trusted in Him, but allowed them to suffer and die. I thought about addressing that, but decided that my kiddos are very young and that assuring them that God takes care of them would do. I would say more if someone asked. That felt right. And nobody asked.
Sunday evening we had a fun get-together with my family. Roman developed a fever and spent the whole afternoon on the couch. Julian was bored, constantly wanting someone to entertain him, and complaining when we didn’t. When I announced that we were going to where he could play with his cousins, he jumped right up and was in his seatbelt before I could finish the sentence. Maybe I should use the cousin line every time I want him in the car. Anyway, Roman and Rick had to stay home and miss the party. We were a little worried about Roman, because he had a fever of 102 in spite of Tylenol, and he had recently had a tick that he had only partially removed. He was coughing and had a headache. We were going to take him to Urgent Care in the morning (because these things never happen when his pediatrician is in the office), but the next morning he woke up feeling fine, no fever, and in a fabulous mood. He was happy and cooperative all day. He was so grateful to be feeling well, and so are we. By the way, Julian served himself Ginger Ale in this huge cup. I took it away from him.
We’ve always taught the kids that you don’t spend all your money; you save some and you give some away. They each have three money jars, each labeled with where the money will go. I found a piece of making tape covering the money slot in Julian’s “Give” jar. Someone is going through a little stingy phase.