the hyphens that define my life

The Power of Eight November 18, 2013

Spending any amount of time with any eight year old is a good time.  Today I spent two solid hours side by side with my rambunctious eight year old and, in a word, fas.cin.a.ting. The power, presence and energy of my intense young man is something all of you should experience.  If I could only bottle “The Power of Eight” I would rule the world.

This afternoon, right after school, we jumped in the car and went to the orthopedic for a final follow-up visit from the arm break this summer.  We scheduled this appointment in August “just to be sure” his arm healed well and his growth plates weren’t affected.  Flashback, this was the arm break we ignored/didn’t realize for 10 days which still keeps us in contention for Parents of the Year.  We were instructed to get an x-ray before heading to the doctor’s office.  On Friday I received an appointment confirmation phone call.  As planned, we were on our way for x-ray.

Somehow, someway, in the random land of healthcare, even though imaging and orthopedics are housed under the same roof, under the same name, they are separate.  Imaging had “accidently” cancelled our appointment and we had to wait.  We waited.  And we waited.  Finally, an hour and half later, they finally (FINALLY) called us back for x-ray.  The wait, we were told, was due to the doctor’s office lag in sending the order for x-ray.  Always someone else to blame.  Imaging had the order originally but destroyed it when they cancelled our appointment.  Genius.  To my credit, I did not lose my mind on anyone.  My son was calm, I was, though totally freaking annoyed, calm.

One reason I was calm was because my son chatted and gabbed and gossiped and talked non-stop the entire time, from the moment we got in the car until he was whisked into x-ray.  This was not a continuous stream of dialogue you could easily follow.  I had to pay serious attention.

Topics ranged from playing this survival game during PE today (something with ropes and platforms, jumping and swinging awesomeness I never did in PE – we had a rope swing at home), Thanksgiving, the end of the world, Dad in high school, Facebook, why he needs an iPhone (no way),  chocolate croissants, comments on the baby in the waiting room, comments on the baby screaming bloody murder while getting a blood draw and how he’s a pro at giving blood (he really is), his hair cut and how he needs it but doesn’t want it, and his nipples. Have I lost you yet?  Try following this chain while he’s bouncing all over you and the surrounding chairs. I practiced my meditation breathing all the while.

Though fully random, he had some great things to say too.  Thanksgiving came up while telling me about his day at school.  The class discussed Thanksgiving traditions.  He told me, “Of course I told them our family tradition.”  Huh, I wondered what that was…turkey and pumpkin pie?  I asked.  He told me, “Mom, come on, our family tradition is to have everybody over at our house, that’s the best.”  He’s right.  Last year we had twenty-two people for Thanksgiving Dinner and it was awesome.  He then said, “But now we live in Spokane and nobody is coming over [insert sad face here].”  I corrected him, “Your sister arrives in eight days!”  “Oh yeah!  Wooo!” he replied.

The end of the world came up (sorry, no good way to segue between Thanksgiving and this topic) with him asking me “How do you think the world will end?”  A loaded question that I don’t often, if ever consider, so I responded, “The sun will run out of energy and burn out like a light bulb.”  “Maybe,” he said,  “but I think the sun will actually collide with the earth and we’ll all explode.”  Comforting.  He added, “When I was in preschool I used to look up into the sky and think the sun was coming right at us.”  Really?  Are you sure you just didn’t watch Armageddon?

Within seconds he switched topics, the next topic was my absolute favorite (the waiting room appreciated it too).  “Do you know Dad kissed girls in high school?”  “What?! No way.”  “Yep, he did, he told me.”  “Did he mention how many girls he kissed in high school?”  “No but I’ll ask him.”  Good. How did this become a father-eight year old son discussion?  I had my own reconnaissance to work on.  When I got home, I asked my husband why his dad kissing girls in high school was on our son’s mind.  My husband said that our son asked him what was the worst thing he did in high school.  Why did he ask?  My husband didn’t ask so we don’t know.  Hmmmm.  My husband did answer his question, “I drove fast, I drank a beer, and I kissed girls.”  Thank you very much for justifying GTA 5 in an eight year old’s mind.  Oh the things we get to look forward to with this boy!

While waiting, my son negotiated two chocolate croissants in order to get his hair cut tomorrow.  Fine, done.

All of our boys are shockingly modest considering their parents and the fact that he runs around the house half naked every day.  The x-ray tech told my son he needed to take off his jacket and t-shirt and put on a hospital shirt that ties in the back.  He wouldn’t take off his t-shirt until the x-ray tech stepped out of the room.  While she was out, he disrobed and covered his “nibs” (his word for nipples that we don’t correct) until I could get the hospital shirt on and tied.  Once we left x-ray and were in the doctor’s office, the doctor also had him take off his jacket and t-shirt, this time with no cover-up.  My son’s face was bright red, he was so embarrassed. Really, Senor Skin and Bones, what is the issue?  You live in Spokane, home of the no-shirt half naked men roaming everywhere, get used to it.  Or better yet, don’t.

In the end, his arm has healed perfectly, growth plates unaffected.  The only reason I kept the appointment and waited patiently for a ridiculous amount of time was because he was complaining of pain while he plays basketball.  Turns out Senor Skin and Bones’ right arm is underdeveloped because of the down time spent with the break.  The doctor recommended some low weights and exercises (ball throwing) and push-ups.  All my son heard was weights.  He came home and told his dad he needed to start weight training and needed a bench, barbell and weights to achieve hulk status as soon as possible.  My husband of course looks at me with a “what the hell?” look.  After my time served today, I told my husband, “Yep, he needs to weight train, it’s your turn.”


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