I love Fall...the colors, the (hopeful) change in temperature, the events and holidays. I am very marked by the school year calendar, and Fall, to me, always feels like the first of the year. That’s when I take stock, and do inventory, make plans and decisions.
First things first. We felt the need to do more in our church. We had been faithful church goers and Sunday school teachers up to 2004. When Angelia died in 2004, it’s not that we left God....far from it. It’s just that our church is so large, and hubby had been a member there since the 70s, and his older kids had basically grown up in that church, so for a long time after Angel’s passing, we stopped going, simply because there was always someone coming up to hubby, and wanting to know the details and needing to re-hash the story, and while everyone was sympathetic and understanding, it was a constant ripping open of Pete’s heart, every time someone, well-intentioned as they may have been, wanted to talk about it with him. So we just backed off for a while, only going to church occasionally, and not doing any of the extra activities that we usually took part in. Well, it was time to return to our “home” and our other “family”. So we went back to church and joined a wonderful adult Sunday School class, with young marrieds and young parents (haha, we’re literally the old folks, the “grandparents” of the class, but everyone made us feel wanted and welcome). We also put Alex in a Sunday School class (well, more like the nursery) and it took a while, but even he warmed up to going and made some new friends!
We enjoyed Matt’s company when he came to town for Gator homecoming that year. Matt plays in a band, plays drums and guitar, and for days after Matt’s departure, Alex would go over to Pete’s guitar, pat it and say, “bruh-bruh Matt”. It turned into a mini-family reunion, with the other kids, and hubby’s nieces and nephews there as well. Cooking out, making smores, music, we had a blast!
Alex continued to amuse us with his new verbal and other skills. Our efforts at baby proofing the house proved useless in one aspect, however. When Pete went all over the house putting the socket protectors in all the sockets around the house, unbeknownst to Pete, Alex followed him all around the house, took them all out, and then went to Pete, handed them all to him and said, “Here you go, daddy”, helpful as you please! He really thought he was helping Daddy out!
Alex is a comedian in so many, many ways: one evening at dinner, at Perkins restaurant, we caught him pulling on the top of his own head, and then he would bunch up both fists and stick them under his chin and push. This continued for several minutes before I finally had to ask him what in the world he was doing. His reply: “I can’t get my head off, Mommy!” After choking on my Diet Coke, I asked, “well, what on Earth would you want to do that for?” Well, dumb Mommy-me: “To see what’s inside!”
And to tell a story and pick on dear hubby a little bit: one evening the three of us were lounging on Mommy and Daddy’s bed, Alex jumping around and us trying to have a conversation simultaneous with trying to keep the baby from landing on his head on the floor. Hubby and I were chatting and hubby either said something or asked a question that was patently, certifiably absurd (shocking, I know, isn’t it...I can’t remember now what it was he said or asked, all these 2 years later, because THERE HAVE BEEN SO MANY ABSURD THINGS HE’S SAID SINCE THEN). My loving and laughing response was, “ Good grief, man! Where are your brains!”, to which hubby then replied, “Um, I really don’t know...I think I lost them about the time the baby was born...I don’t really know where I left them!” (My hubby is good like that: we have a very good, joke and prank filled marriage, that I hope you all are reading in the right context here). Well, again to illustrate that little ears are lurking everywhere and we have to watch what we say, Alex jumped in at this point and said, “Dada’s brains right he-uh!”, and proceeded to slam both hands down right on hubby’s blue-jeans covered crotch! Hard! Slam, bam, no thank you, ma’am! Hubby kind of doubled up and said, gasping, “Alex, watch that! That hurt daddy!” I began cracking up laughing and kept on with the whole thing, telling hubby, “well, if we’ve found your brains, please do me a favor and put them back in your head!” Alex, always on the ball, went on to “scoop” Dada’s brains out of his crotch, and with another well-aimed slam to the forehead, screamed, “He-uh, Dada, put you brains back in you head!” Over, and over, and over again. Scoop, slam, scoop, slam....Mommy is the who falls off the bed at this point! Laughing! What a joy children are! I think my husband ended up with a mild concussion!
Alex is also a caring child: saying “God bless” to all his friends during night time prayers, as well as insisting on singing each one of them (as well as all of our cats) the “Happy Birthday” song at bedtime (do you sense the delay tactic here that I do); he’s a happy child: “Mommy, go to work and talk to Annie Annie and kiss Annie Annie for me (referring to a beloved friend and co-worker, the one that gave him his favorite blanet or “mee-moo”), and making sure every morning that everyone is happy, “everybody make a happy face! Smile!”
Well, we were enjoying our time with Alex and getting ready for the onslaught of football games, parties, bar-be-ques and the holidays! There’s always something happening....I just didn’t know what!