Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Don't Be Weird

As you can see, I'm trying desperately to catch myself up.  After some serious craziness, I have finally found a moment to collect my thoughts.  Those of you who know me, know that every minute I'm late on these things adds stress to my life.  I understand this is a stress created and perpetuated by me and me alone, but there it is anyway.  Mo and Momela told me to just forget about it and start fresh.  Christy told me to just make a combo update.  Neither of these were acceptable of course because I haven't missed a week since 2008, and I'm not about to ruin my streak.  Thus, here I am, updating you on 6/23-6/30 so I can relax for the rest of the week. 

In my haste, I forgot to mention that Bailey starts her work in the lab down at Columbia on Monday.  Stacey has been trying desperately to figure out how to microchip her.  I support that cause - I mean we microchip our pets so they don't get lost, don't we?  Bails will be taking the train to 125th-Harlem and then a subway from there to Columbia.  Luckily, she found some buddies who, though working different hours, will travel together.  They also found a coffee place to hang out and wait for each other.  Pretty cool.  I asked her about how many credits she was going to have when she graduated HS, and from what I can tell, she'll basically be a Junior.  One impressive young lady - even if she did for a moment think she might have been at her grandparents 25th anniversary.  :)

Some other throw backs from the party:
Jackie: The boys are playing a game in which you can't talk - so naturally Morgan and Sam lasted all of 30 seconds. 

Mo: 100% of my students passed x regents!
Mo: I also only had one student.
Stacey: I was wondering when you were going to mention that.

Lucas has a couple of new bands, and in one of them his friend doesn't really sing as much as he screams.
Lucas: How do you scream like that?
Friend: Oh, easy. That's just how I talk to my parents.

Last we spoke, I mentioned that Lucas was off to his "Rite of Passage" trip, where he would be forever changed.  He returned after a week, gave me a card, told me he loved me and was incredibly grateful for me, and then said he would have to tell me the whole story later.  The next morning, he again said he would tell me about it, but that he needed props.  That he really did wanted to share with me, but every time he thought about it he got emotional so it had to be right.  Without props or the appropriate amount of tears, I will attempt to tell you about his journey into manhood. 

At the base camp, they bathed in the incense and ritual necessary to go forth into their individual journey's. They were asked to write down what they wanted to get from their trip, so if they were ever discouraged, they could remind themselves why they were there.  Lucas wanted to becoming an honest, thoughtful, loving, and forgiving person.  Before the walked into the wilderness, one of the adults told him, "If you meet other campers or hikers, don't be weird."  Naturally, he sees someone else and he is immediately weird.  They asked where he was from, and he said, "Seattle."  Then he remembered he was going to be an honest person and said, "Wait, no.  I’m from Bellevue!"  Hopeful and excited he hiked a lot that first day.  After spending all day with no trees talking to him and no powerful realizations, he climbed to the top of a ravine feeling very discouraged.  That's when he looked down to find an incredibly old and rusty can - the only thing still visible were the words, "Be kind. Don't litter."  Which clearly was meant to be his native American name. 

Meanwhile, another camper, had written a note about Lucas to their adult. (Each camper left notes for an adult every 12 hours or so as a check in.)  The note said that Lucas had found a real connection with one of the chaperones and she thought it would be nice if he left Lucas a note.  That is how Lucas came to find a beautiful poem.

A Father To His Son
By Carl Sandburg
A father sees his son nearing manhood.
What shall he tell that son?
"Life is hard; be steel; be a rock."
And this might stand him for the storms
and serve him for humdrum monotony
and guide him among sudden betrayals
and tighten him for slack moments.
"Life is a soft loam; be gentle; go easy."
And this too might serve him.
Brutes have been gentled where lashes failed.
The growth of a frail flower in a path up
has sometimes shattered and split a rock.
A tough will counts. So does desire.
So does a rich soft wanting.
Without rich wanting nothing arrives.
Tell him too much money has killed men
and left them dead years before burial:
the quest of lucre beyond a few easy needs
has twisted good enough men
sometimes into dry thwarted worms.
Tell him time as a stuff can be wasted.
Tell him to be a fool every so often
and to have no shame over having been a fool
yet learning something out of every folly
hoping to repeat none of the cheap follies
thus arriving at intimate understanding
of a world numbering many fools.
Tell him to be alone often and get at himself
and above all tell himself no lies about himself
whatever the white lies and protective fronts
he may use against other people.
Tell him solitude is creative if he is strong
and the final decisions are made in silent rooms.
Tell him to be different from other people
if it comes natural and easy being different.
Let him have lazy days seeking his deeper motives.
Let him seek deep for where he is born natural.
Then he may understand Shakespeare
and the Wright brothers, Pasteur, Pavlov,
Michael Faraday and free imaginations
Bringing changes into a world resenting change.
He will be lonely enough
to have time for the work
he knows as his own.

The first time he read it he cried, and then he proceeded to read it 15 more times.  He took what he learned to heart, yelling it at the top of his lungs.  Freeing him of some of the sorrow he had felt during high school.  And then, he sat down and drew these lovely thank you cards to his favorite people to show his gratitude and love for their presence in his life.  After reaching this great new level of awareness and finally feeling like the trip was work it, he still had a day and half left of the trip.  The most boring time of his entire life.  He said he was so bored, and had been hungry for so long, that even the pangs of hunger were boring.  But he's finally a man now, so totally worth it.  Here's the thank you that he gave me:

On Tim's Jalepeno Potato Chips
Dawne: They just taste green to me.

Oh! My mom found the receipts from when she was born.  What is especially awesome is that her dad made them give him a ten dollar refund for the delivery room because my grandmother had my mom before she got there. 

On Friday, Zach and I tried to go out and meet people.  Only, we're both so shy that we didn't talk to anyone.  Instead, we took two hours to play two games of pool and went home.  In case anyone was wondering why I'm still single... It's clearly my terrible billiard skills.

On Saturday, I did a bunch of work.  I know, lame.  But then I met Laina, her mom, and Shana at Key Arena to see Cyndi Lauper and Cher.  They were both awesome.  My favorite line from Cyndi was when she was setting up a song from Kinky Boots and wanted to apologize for her combat boots. "There are some boots made for walking and there are some boots made for lying down."  I have some cute stories from Cher too, but I'm a lil scared about quoting an "Icon" without getting in trouble.  I'll have to tell you about it in person.

Sunday morning, I took the pups to the park.  When Zach got to the house, Lucas walked up to him, pinched his cheek and said, "Are you excited graduation boy?!?" I drove down to Wild Buffalo Wings with Kelly, where we had fried food and beer.  Then we headed over to Laserquest for some serious laser tag action.  You know, typical college graduation party.  After that, we went to the iPic to see Maleficent, which was magnificent!  And then I was seriously exhausted from a full day of fun. 

I'm not entirely sure I covered it all, but I sure to hope I covered the good stuff. :)  Happy 4th weekend!

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