No Harm Done

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Welcome to VBS Fight Club.

The first rule of VBS Fight Club is: you do not talk about VBS Fight Club.

The second rule of VBS Fight Club is: you DO NOT talk about VBS Fight Club!

I picked up Brogan from Vacation Bible School on Tuesday night, and learned that he and another boy had been fighting. The game time leader didn't see what started it, but did break up the fight.

Brogan, true to the rules of VBS Fight Club, wasn't talking.

He did acknowledge that he'd been fighting, but refused to say what led up to it.

Once home, Brogan waited in his room for M. to come home while I e-mailed a friend, saying, "I must be the only mother in the world whose child got into a fistfight at VBS!"

"Nah, " she replied. "There's the other kid's mom, too."

When M. finally arrived home, I greeted him with the news. He went into Brogan's room to work his "Father Knows Best" magic.

As M. closed the door behind him, I heard him say to Brogan, "So...... Did you win?"

We eventually got a partial story out of Brogan. He and the other boy had been roughhousing and it got out of hand. The boys did make up, and played together (without incident) at the park the next day. Happy ending!

Hat tip to Darin for the title.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Waterboarding My Son

I think the actual term is "wakeboarding." But we've had a hard time remembering that. Waterboarding seems easier to say, doesn't it?

Anyway, Brogan had an opportunity to wakeboard for the first time this week. He saw an ad for a clinic and thought it sounded "little bit scary, but still fun."

Yesterday we met the instructors at the lake and they took the kids out on the boat for some practice.

Colson stayed on the shore with me and played in the sand.

When it was Brogan's turn to get in the water, the boat was pretty far out. I set my camera to the highest resolution, zoomed in, and hoped that I'd be able to see something when I edited the pictures on the computer. The photos are pretty grainy, but you can see enough to tell what's going on.

Here, Brogan's in the water behind the boat. They're explaining to him how to stay tucked until he's on top of the water, and then stand up.

Then they pulled him up so he could practice that while the boat was stationary.

And he's up!

Here's a video of his best attempt. He was able to stay up for several seconds before falling over backward. The video is pretty small, but if you watch it in the full screen version you get a much better view.

He's very excited to try again next summer!

Monday, July 13, 2009

"This Is The Life!"

ose were Braden's words to us when he called tonight.

"Mom, this is the life! I wake up at 6:30, stuff myself at the dining hall for breakfast, then head to the pool. I'm in the pool for three hours, and then I drag myself back to the dining hall to eat. After lunch we rest and recharge, then we go back to the pool and swim for another three hours. Then I drag myself to the dining hall and stuff myself before going back to the dorm to rest. After rest time it's free time until it's time for bed! I could do this every day!"

We could tell from his voice that he was exhausted, but very, very happy. He's learning a lot, both in the pool and in the classroom sessions.

Midway throu
gh the conversation I heard a knock on his dorm room door. When he answered, I heard a voice say, "Braden, there's a party on the 10th floor."

Braden said, "What does that mean?"

The voice hesitated, clearly not expecting to be asked any specifics, and finally said, "Ah, we guys are just upstairs watching tv and eating junk food."

After Braden told the voice th
at he'd be upstairs soon, he came back to the phone and said, "Eating, swimming, going to class, hanging out: If this is what college is like, I'm there!"

It's good to have goals, I suppose. At least he's thinking about college. Party on, dude!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

It's 10:00pm. Do You Know Where Your Son Is?

Why, yes.

Yes, I do.

He's here. At the top of this ominous-looking building in a city far away.

We dropped Braden off today at an area university for a week-long swim camp. This isn't his first time away from home, but it's his first time away from home and in the hands of complete strangers. I am so impressed that he wanted to go to this swim camp, even though he didn't know anybody there. I was not so brave when I was 13!

Here he is unpacking in his dorm room.

His room is so much bigger and nicer than our dorm rooms. (And we let him know it!) It has the standard bed and desk and, well, a shelving system for clothes that's supposed to be a closet. But it also has a refrigerator. A refrigerator! Can you believe it!? We never had such a luxury in a dorm. Even if Auntie D. and I could have afforded a refrigerator, there was no room for one.

We arrived at about the same time as his roommate's family. They were very nice, and their son seems like a very nice young man. I think the boys will get along well. I am so thankful God provided someone friendly and kind. He also laughed at all my jokes, so he earned bonus cool points in my book!

We all small-talked for a few minutes, but the boys were pretty quiet. It was obvious that they were not going to talk to each other while the parents were in the room. So we decided to go explore the campus a bit and let the boys get acquainted.

The campus was huge and filled with students who are attending all sorts of camps: basketball camp, cheerleading camp, band camp, drill team camp. I'm sure there were more. On our walk we passed a sunny brick wall and I convinced Brogan and Colson to pose for me.

Such good sports!

After our walk we went to the store to stock up the boys' dorm fridge. They will be in the pool for up to 5 hours a day this week. I've learned that teen boys eat a lot. Add swimming two hours a day to that, and their food intake seems to double.

Braden eats an
astounding amount of food every day: morning snack before his 6:30 am practice, breakfast afterward, another morning snack, "elevenses," lunch, seconds, afternoon snack, dinner. It's crazy. He's 5'7" and just last month hit 100 lbs on the scale. He's got a figure a supermodel would envy.

Anyway, both dads insisted that the dining hall food would be more than enough for the boys, but honestly, it made us mothers feel better just knowing that they had food in their room. And shopping for them gave us something motherly to be doing. Thanks to the efforts of both mothers those boys have a fridge full of food and a whole week to enjoy it!

Here is the pool where Braden will be living. We stayed and watched part of the first practice, and I was impressed with how organized the coaching staff was.

I know he will have a great week. I know he will grow both as an athlete and as a young man. I know this will be a week he will always remember.

However, the house is so quiet without him here. It's strange, tucking two children into bed at night instead of three. He is missed.

Tonight he telephoned before he went to bed. "I didn't think you were going to call home this week, " I said.

"I know. But I knew you'd want me to," he said.

He was right.

Friday, July 03, 2009

We're here. We're just exhausted.

It's been a busy couple of weeks! Between unpacking, swim practice and meets, and Braden's lifeguard class (daily) I don't know whether I'm coming or going!

The good news is that technically, everything is unpacked at home. The main floor is unpacked, put away, and looks like a"real" house.

Well, a real house with nothing on the walls and nothing decorative set up.

But it's organized, and everything has a home. Yay!

We spent last weekend unpacking every. single. box. in the basement. Everything in the basement has been opened, sorted, and stacked into piles.

M. and Braden loaded the van and made 3 trips to Goodwill to unload donations. We made a giant, scary-looking pile of trash, paper, and empty boxes for the garbage man to pick up.

This weekend, we'll continue the process of finding homes for the stuff in the basement. We have company coming at the end of the month, and it's nice motivation to finish the job rather than procrastinate.

It's nice to see progress every day. But, I'll tell you, I'm tired. It's a good kind of tired, though.
The kind of tired that comes after a long day of hard work, as opposed to the tired from eating junk and sitting in front of the computer taking Facebook quizzes until after midnight.

Not that I know what that's like.

I'm just sayin'.

Anyway, today was spent running errands, making plans, and driving children to and fro. I was so tired I worried they'd find me passed out in the window treatment section of Home Depot.

On a separate topic, I want to say thank you to all of you who sent cards, photos, e-mails, or made phone calls to M. for his birthday. He enjoyed hearing from all of you. you really helped make his 40th special.

Thank you!