Tuesday, January 25, 2011

When A Nine-Year Old Son Takes Over a Blog

One of the biggest joys in being a writer is reading the writing efforts of your kids. My younger son, a good storyteller, recently brought home this laminated assignment. Even with grimacing flashes of Randy Johnson and spring training in my head, along with apologies to the ASPCA, I found this story funny. So did my wife. I hope you enjoy it, too. I’ve left the story as he wrote it, though I did correct the spellings of two words.

As my wife catches misspelled words in my posts, I have no room to talk.

With that, my 9-year old, tired of me talking about him, takes over today’s post.

The Time My Bus Driver Hit a Bird

That day oh that day was one thing that I would never forget.

That day started out as any other day. I woke up. I ate my breakfast and I commuted to school. I just sat there doing boring work as always. Sheesh why doesn’t anything fun happen.

That is when I wish I never said that.

Then soon it was time to go home. I walk to the bus as fast as I could. When I got on my bus, it started to leave. Then we were in my neighborhood.


What is that thing? I rubbed my eyes and looked again. It was a bird!

My bus driver stopped. She said, “who is making noise!?” She thought it was absurd.

She walked up to me. She said, “was it you?”

“No! You hit a bird!”

She looked out the window and saw a dead bird.

Bus clipart taken from http://www.clker.com/. This art is considered in the public domain.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

O Christmas Tree

“Where’s your Christmas tree?” my 9-year old son asked his great aunt last weekend when we at her house.
“Oh, we took it in already. It’s probably in the chipper.”
A horrified look crossed my son’s face. I intervened, smiling “Don’t worry. The tree’s been…recycled. It’s being put to good use.”
My son looked down, heartbroken, while I quickly explained things to my aunt.
“He got really attached to our tree this year. It was like “his.”

My son did consider the tree “his.” We shopped early, picking it out at Lowe’s.” We pulled several trees out of the pile, twirling them around to check for bare spots. Each time, I got sap or some other gunky substance on my hand. Every time, we found something wrong.

Finally, my little guy pointed at one over on the side. “How about this one?”

I picked it up and showcased it to the family. It was hard to tell at first. There didn’t look to be any bare spots, but since the trees are all packed tightly with their branches up, it takes time to know if the branches will fall into place. It looked good, but we still hadn’t decided

“Let’s get it,” he said.

My wife still wanted to look at more, but something in this tree (other than the gunk) held me, at least enough to where I held on to it. As I picked up other trees, I maintained my grasp on the one my son had chosen.

And then my wife noticed something.

There were several families shopping for trees. However, it appeared that two of them were staring at us, watching the exchange. It wasn’t like we were in the way.

They wanted the tree now stuck to my hand.

Eventually, my son’s opinion won out and we took his choice of trees home, setting it up in the usual spot. We decorated it over the course of three days. By the time the trees branches had relaxed, we discovered there wasn’t a bare spot on it.

After Christmas, we went to visit family for a few days and then took the tree down after we came home. It was time to take it a place where it could be recycled. I asked my younger son if he wanted to come with me.

He turned me down. He didn’t want to say goodbye to the tree.

I tied the tree to the top of the car and dropped it off at Home Depot (the tree, not the car) and returned home (washing tree gunk off my hands again).

My little guy was sad. He missed the tree.

My wife and I did, too. It was the definitely the best tree we’d ever had.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Three for TCU

And so ends what is probably the greatest season in Auburn history. As an Auburn fan, I can’t remember a season so fraught with angst and relief. I’ve read about great seasons, seen great seasons, and yet none will stick with me like this one. Out of fourteen games, the team trailed in nine of them, four times by double digits. The Alabama game will provide lasting memories, second only to the National Championship win over Oregon.

So many things could have gone wrong in that game. A lot did. Each time Auburn gets this close, it feels like something goes wrong. Had Auburn lost this year, that hit the referee put on one of our defenders in the 4th quarter would have ranked up there with a long line of “almosts.”

A lot has been written about this championship and I’ll admit I’ve read most of it. A late night watching the game, along with a busy day at work, did not allow for time to pen my post until now. However, when I saw the final numbers for AP, I noted that three voters had picked TCU as #1.

I flashed back to 2004, when Auburn had been shut out of playing for the National Championship, despite having an undefeated season. The lone hope that something might come out of it was that the AP would rebel and crown Auburn. It was a possibility. But when I saw the poll the next day, I saw Auburn still in second. However, only three voters had gone against the trend and voted Auburn first place.

That’s right. The same number of AP voters that picked TCU #1 also chose Auburn #1.

I know it wasn’t the same three people. I knew one of the AP voters that voted for Auburn in 2004. He gave it up after that season, citing it as not being “fun” anymore. Still, I thought seeing the same number of votes now as then as strange.

I don’t begrudge TCU their votes. They earned them. They had a wonderful season. Like Auburn, they deserved a shot to play for it all and didn’t get it. Somewhere in the 4th quarter of the USC-OK Championship game, USC fans began a classless “Auburn -----“ cheer. I don’t remember hearing anything like that during the postgame of this year’s championship.

However, I do remember hearing one cheer. While the ESPN broadcasters were giving their analysis, one could hear it in the background. That one cheer that is always there, win or lose, after every game.

It’s great – to be – an Auburn Tiger. It’s great – to be – an Auburn Tiger. It’s great – to be – an Auburn Tiger.

Yes, it is.

And, to TCU and Oregon, it's also great to be both a Horned Frog and a Duck

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The First Snow of the Year

My sons are happy.

It snowed in Atlanta and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Like their Dad, they’re Auburn fans. My wife would say it was forced upon them. But with school out today and also tomorrow, my boys got to spend Monday during the day playing in the snow.

They got to spend the night staying up late and watching Auburn play football.

And they spent the evening staying up late and watching Auburn football.

I’m posting this prior to the game kickoff. Hopefully, I’ll be celebrating an Auburn victory.

Either way, I’m celebrating a wonderful season…and some happy kids.

Yes, that is an igloo.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Santa in a Box

“Daddy, I don’t think Santa Claus is real anymore.”

I was in our basement, assembling one of those indoor basketball shooting games. It requires three people to assemble, one to screw things in and two to hold things in place, so my boys were helping. There were times when I didn’t need their help, so they played with some of the other toys in the basement.

And then my eight-year old found a box.

My wife and I had hidden his gift from Santa, an electrically-powered dirt bike, in a section of the basement he wouldn’t check. It was behind some things and under a blanket. He hadn’t seen it prior to Christmas. I’d assembled it sometime after midnight on December 23rd (technically Christmas Eve), got it charging (it takes 18 hours), and just kept him out of the basement on Christmas Eve. Sometime about 12:30 a.m. Christmas Day, I brought it up. He woke up about 1:00 a.m. and found it.

I knew, though, when I assembled the dirt bike, that getting the box outside was going to be a challenge. We were traveling after Christmas to visit family and would miss garbage day. I would have to hide it until I could dispose of it. I chose the same place I hid the gift.

It wasn’t good enough.

“What do you mean you don’t think he’s ‘real anymore?’”

“I found the box for my Christmas gift.”

My heart skipped a beat. I’d expected that this would be the last year of him believing, though I’d hoped for one more year. My wife and I had discussed this. We knew from discussions with other parents that the kids were getting older. (Actually, my wife was talking with the other moms about whether or not their kids still believed and then telling me.)

Like the Grinch, I thought of a lie and thought it up quick.

“Of course,” I said. “Santa can’t carry the boxes everywhere. He assembled it in the basement, so that he wouldn’t get any oil or grease on the carpet. Can you imagine what Mom would say if he had?”

My son nodded his head. “Yeah, Mom would be mad.” He went back to helping me put together his latest gift.

Until next year.

Have you had years where you didn't get rid of the evidence quickly enough? What did you do?