John and I have been taking a 30 minute walk every afternoon before supper. Today our topics (all introduced by him) included kidney transplant, kidney stones, heart valve vegetations, valve replacements, heart rhythm disturbances and electrophysiologists, donating organs, donating your body to science, AIDS, condoms, in vitro fertilization, and the appendix. Oh, and strokes (both hemorrhagic and ischemic) and their treatment. Now I’m having a large glass of wine while he watches cartoons and plots our walk conversation for tomorrow. I’m afraid.
As some of you know, when school started back in August my ten-year-old decided to change his name. His legal name is John, but since before he was born we’ve called him Jack. He decided to start going by John. I was a little upset at first, but friends assured me that it was in all probability just a passing phase. By his birthday in November we’d endured parent-teacher conferences where I called him one name and the teacher called him another and angst-filled moments at the bakery deciding what name to put on his birthday cake. Spring came, and he was still John at school and Jack at home.
Then I found this wonderful pendant on Etsy that I wanted for Mother’s Day. It has the tree of life in the center and the names of everyone in the family stamped around the edge. Beautiful! But you see the problem, right? So I called a family meeting. “Family meeting” at our house usually translates into “Mom’s pissed about something and we have to sit here quietly and appear to be paying attention while she rants and raves. After she calms down we will all promise to do better and then go our merry way.” So it was a bit of a shock to the guys that I actually wanted us to have a calm, serious discussion. First I asked Jack if he really and truly wanted everyone, family included, to call him John from now on. He asserted that he did. Then I said that I thought that since he felt so strongly about this that we should all make an effort to heed his wishes. Michael said, “He’s Jack, he’s always been Jack, and that’s what I’m going to call him.” Aaron muttered, “I just won’t call him anything.”
We’ve all been trying (some harder than others) to remember to call the youngest member of the family John. I’m about 50/50, Michael’s about 90/10 and always says “John” sarcastically when he says it, and Aaron’s doing pretty well calling him nothing. Just “Hey!” when he’s talking to him and “he” when he’s talking about him. Sam doesn’t care if we change out names to Sleepy, Grumpy, Happy, and Dopey as long as she gets treats and belly rubs on a regular basis. Today my Mother’s Day present arrived (yes, I select and order my own Mother’s Day present – it works for us).
Isn’t it beautiful? Here’s a link to Daisy Metal Creations if you’ve just got to get yourself one. But make sure and have a family meeting beforehand just in case anyone’s planning on changing their name.
Jack and I just got home from seeing Percy Jackson and the Olympians – The Lightning Thief. He LOOOVED the books, and I have to admit I liked them pretty well myself. They were well-written, and through reading them a kid will learn ACCURATE Greek mythology trivia. Is this helpful? Oh, yeah! All through college I carried 18 to 21 credit hours a semester because I couldn’t afford to pay for summer school, and anything over and above 12 credit hours was free. I’ve always loved a bargain. Anyway, I was always in search of classes to fulfill requirements for “rounding out” my Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, and I took Philosophy, Astronomy, and Military Science classes before ending up in Greek Mythology class. I adored it, and after my two years of Latin in high school it was the easiest A I ever got. I suggested it to my friend, Kim, who was also looking for Mickey Mouse classes. She took it the next semester and HATED IT. It’s a miracle our friendship survived. And here we are, all these many years later, and we have boys the same ago who both love Greek mythology and the Percy Jackson books. Who would have thought? So, there was a lot of swordplay in the movie, and I just love a well-choreographed swordplay scene. I go to the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival every year in Central Park in Louisville, and I’m never disappointed in the swordplay (or anything else, really). What’s the first thing I did when I got home from the movies today? Yup, I googled fencing lessons. I think Jack would love it, and it would certainly give him an edge for Camp Shakespeare this summer! Anyone have any experience with fencing lessons? Suggestions for things to look for or avoid? I hope they’ll let me stay and watch the lessons, ’cause I really want to be ready in case Catherine Zeta Jones is unavailable and Antonio Banderas needs a co-star for another Zorro movie – oh, baby!