Sunday, May 10, 2009

Girls before Swine

I knew I was in for it when Jeff quarantined himself in the basement Monday afternoon with swine flu. We'd gotten through Alison's birthday party on Sunday, and I thought the sweat was from his exuberance with the laser tag ames. But Monday dawned badly for him, and he went downhill (and downstairs) fast.

I felt bad for him, but there was a whole of stuff going on last week: Alison's actual birth day, Hannah Ogden's (and 799 other IPS musicians) concert, Katy Seiwert's big 1-0, my friend Jenni's college graduation party and all the regular stuff required of a working mom. So I called down the stairs fairly often to see if he was still alive, we blew him kisses and we thought good thoughts for him.

But mostly we left him alone. The swine flu is nothing to, um, sneeze at, and neither of us wanted any part of it.

OK. He didn't really have the swine flu, but that's been my story and I'm sticking to it.

He recovered just barely in time for Mother's Day or neither one of us would have survived.

On Tuesday, the official day Ali turned 8, he managed to snuffle up the stairs to greet her big day. We kept a little distance, but got to do the parental thing before our day got started.

As we started off to school, she tossed her backpack in the back seat and cast a baleful stare at her booster seat. Our eyes met in the rear view window.

"Hey!" I said. "You're 8-years-old. You don't have to sit in that thing anymore, do you?"

"Nope!" she chortled, tossing the chair in the way back. Her grin was as wide as the car. It was as if she was riding on the back seat of a convertible, wearing a tiara, in a small town parade.

Jeff's not thrilled, but Johnny Law says 8 is the limit for booster. And Alison is so tall, the strap hits her perfectly without the boost.

She's thrilled to be 8. And thrilled beyond words with all the booty being 8 has brought her. She's awash in Laffy Taffy, LPS, gift cards and cold hard cash. She's planning to put most of her money in the bank -- they'll give her extra money if she does, you know, but she's already spent her Aunt La's cash on a new Club Penguin book that's yielding secrets and virtual coinage.

Today, she spent a lot of time helping clean up, both in the house and out. Having kicked the pig disease, Jeff make it through basketball and came home where he fell prey to the urge to trim the magnolia tree. There were a couple small dead branches that he went after with a small saw.

But then he put his weight on a big branch, which cracked -- an indication of just how dead it was. So out came the chain saw. The tree does look better. That, and parts of my Mother's Day presents helped improve the look of the lawn.

It actually was a great day that started last night with dinner and led into a day where I really didn't have to do much. And it ended with a snuggle beside the firey chimenae.

Moms can't really ask for much more than that.

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