The CHERISHED Life of Heather Leigh

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

O-WENsday Chill Pill

The sarcastic things that Owen says from time to time, really are funny. But, he’s starting to get a little big for his britches. And it’s all our fault. His wit is biting and his timing is spot on. How can you help but laugh?

The other day, Owen was tired. Let me rephrase that, Owen was the ringleader of the crankmeister convention. He had stayed up until GOD KNOWS WHEN the night before (yeah, it was one of those awesome parenting nights where Kev and I consume alcohol in the Hillary Tavern with friends, while the kids have the run of the house until they collapse in a heap somewhere from utter exhaustion) and still managed to get up around his normal time the next day (7am – ish). He was a whiny mess the entire next day. And it was all our fault.

After I responded to a question of his or asked him to do some small menial task (I can’t even remember what, but believe me when I say that it was something inconsequential) he exploded into the ugliest whining fit ever…and not a cute ugly... as in Ugly Doll ugly. But ugly as in dear gawd please stick ice picks in my ears instead of make me listen to this irrational child ugly. So not cute.

“Owen, Relax. Take a chill pill, dude.” What? This phrase, coined in the 1980’s as a result of ADHD medication and its calming effect on people, is a totally appropriate behavior correction response to such an ugly fit of whine, right?

“Mom, I would take a chill pill. But, I. Don’t. Even. Know. Where. Those. Are.” Not WHAT those are, but WHERE those are. Can someone say “Dripping with Sarcasm”?

So, of course, I laughed.

What would you do?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Rock in my pocket

It's been longer than I'd like since my last post. I think writing the last time took a lot out of me, and the night after I wrote the last post, I had my first (and only, thus far) dream about my dad since he passed away.

He was lying on a couch in my basement and we were all milling about, sad and talking about how he had just passed away. But then he got up, and asked us why we were all crying. We couldn't believe that he wasn't dead! We hugged him and kissed him. But then he laid back down on the couch, and died. And we were all sad again.

What's interesting about this dream is the location. While the basement was being finished (December/January), I often had feelings of sadness with the realization that my dad would never be able to see the basement and witness the amazing handy work of my brother. And that's where my dad chose to appear in my dream. In the basement that I knew he would never see in his lifetime.

Yesterday marked the 3 month anniversary of my dad's death. For some reason, the last week has been more difficult on me than the first 11 weeks. It's as if three months worth of tears were shed in one week's time.

I think it's because last year in Jan-Feb-March, my parents were in Florida. It was last April when we started to see them regularly. So, I have only recently started going through the feelings and sorrows of "Last year at this time, Dad was .... (fill in the blank)."

...the one to bring the kids up to the hospital when Ashton was born
...watching westerns (loudly) on my couch when Kevin went back to work after Ash was born because Dad came out to the house to help take care of me and the kids for a couple of days
...with me when I took Ashton to his first Target portrait session
...joined us at Jordyn's honors night and told her how proud he was that she was just as smart as her grandma

On this first quarter anniversary of dad's death, my sister thought it would be a good idea for my mom and I to join her at my dad's grave.

I have mixed feelings about visiting graves. I know my dad's not there. His remains might be. But he's not there. Last time we visited his grave, I made snow angels.

But, despite my feelings about cemeteries and the wind advisory yesterday, I went.

And we stood at my dad's grave and wept. Tears fell silently and slowly as we stared at the churned up rectangle of earth that had been disturbed when the grave digging was done back in January. Clumps of dirt, chunks of sod, a couple of rocks.


For anyone that knows me, you might know that I have a bit of a love affair with rocks. Maybe it's because I live in the former gravel capital of the world. This fetish is inexplicable and inconsequential. But, it compelled me to bend over and pluck a small rock, about the size of my palm, from the hardened mud. Round and flat, and the color of a blue racer snake, I dusted the crusty dirt from the surface of this ordinary gem, and put it in my pocket.