Start saving your pennies

It's that time of year. The retailers see the Halloween candy moving off their shelves and so they're sneaking in the Christmas goods. You can swing between howling ghouls and angelic little cherubs in the aisles of nearly any store. It's quaint.

Or pathetic.

Take your pick.

It's also the time when the holiday catalogs start arriving in my mailbox. Which, of course, means it's time for two little redheads in my house to hover over said catalogs with crayons in their hand and dreams of wrapped gifts under the tree.

Logan gets an extra half-hour of "quiet" time each night after we tuck Megan in and turn off her lights. He can read on his own. He can draw. He can do whatever he feels moved to do as long as he's quiet and in his own room. Tonight that meant he was armed with a crayon and the Lego catalog.

About 15 minutes in he came hustling down the hallway. "Look what I found!" he called out much too loud for the "shh-your-sister-is-sleeping" time frame. He was waving his catalog around and gesturing to a build-it-yourself Lego robot.

A $250 build-it-yourself Lego robot.

"Umm, Logan," I said, expecting his usual response to follow, "That robot cost $250. You are not getting the $250 robot for Christmas."

And yet, instead of the usual, "Santa can bring it" reply. (Damn that man in red!) Logan cocked his head to one side and pondered this new wrinkle. "Oh! I know," he said and gestured to both Dad and I. "How about you two put your money together and then you can get it for me."

Right. Yeah. Ok. Been there. Done that. You're still not getting it.

Dad filled the space left by my almost gaping mouth. "Why don't you start saving up your allowance? In a few years you can buy it."

Logan didn't like that idea. He thought some more. "Oh! I have an idea. How about you start putting away a little money in a box now then you can get it for me on my last Christmas getting toys. . .

You know, when I'm in 5th grade."

Sure. Ok.

The problem, my friends, is that in 5 years this kid is going to remember we didn't say no and look for that thing under the tree.


Talk about different paths

A few years ago I got an invitation to my high school reunion. I think it was for my 10th year. It's been a while and I've successfully blocked it from my memory. Suffice it to say, I did not go. Tickets ran a ridiculous amount of money per person. In truth, anyone I wanted to catch up with I already spoke to on a regular to semi-regular basis. Getting together with them did not have to cost me $100/couple and a new dress.

This weekend my brother got married. His bride was a member of my graduating class. We didn't talk much in high school because we traveled in different circles then. Some things don't change.

Two of the other bridesmaids were also classmates of mine. And again, at the time, not people I knew more than recognizing their faces as ones I passed in the hallway. Having spent time with one of them this weekend, I realize I missed out in knowing her back then. While we do have some differences, she's certainly a person I could see myself being friends with.

The other, however, has changed much since High School - at least from the perception most had have her. Sadly, none of it is for the better. In a way two of those women were frozen in time - there they were, dressed up in gowns, DJ blasting some good fashioned 80s rock and it was 1991 all over again. It was senior prom where "those" kids showed up already drunk because they didn't know how to let loose and have fun without it.

I sat watching the dance floor at one point that night and marveled how people can start a leg of life's race from the same starting line and end up in such disparate places.


Reality check

It was sleepover weekend for the boy. He left the house Friday afternoon shortly after exiting his school bus and he returned around dinner Saturday. He came bounding out of his grandparent's car with a pillow-case safety pinned around his neck and a brightly colored "TA" emblazoned upon one side of it.

"And you are?" I said, curious about the identify of what was clearly the world's newest super hero.

He had named himself. His own imagination picking over potential word combinations until he could settle upon the one he thought the world was most sorely in need of.

"I am . . ." he bellowed, pausing slightly for the appropriate amount of dramatic impact, "Think Before You Act Boy!"

Ah..ok. Yes.

He leapt up the front steps like they were small stones upon his path and practically flew into the backyard where his father and sister waited to greet him. The grandparents and I followed him. We watched him leap up on the children's plastic picnic table - setting his feet apart just so and his arms held out before him about shoulder level.

"Logan, don't stand on the table. Get down," said Daddy, weary already of what he knew has been an ongoing battle.

Logan, in all his five-year old-I-can-call-the-shots-myself glory, simply reset his feet into a new stance and smiled.

"Logan, down. Now," said Dad as he tacked on the coming consequence for the refusal to listen.

I walked over, quietly, lifted the superhero from his perch, holding him out horizontal to the ground and flew him to safety. I flipped over the small table and placed it in my dying vegetable garden.

"Clearly," I whispered to him as he glared at me, "Think-Before-You-Act-Boy has run into some kryptonite."

For real?

Anyone else think it's a bad idea to a put a three-year old in a very fancy dress 2 1/2 hours before she NEEDS to be in the very fancy dress?

Good. I thought maybe it was just me being unreasonable again. ;)


It's the 2nd. Must be time for shameless plug

That's right. Today is October 2nd and that means today was my day to compose something witty and thought-provoking for The Soccer Mom Vote. I can not promise witty in today's piece. I can promise thought provoking. At least I think it is.

Oh go on. Humor me. Go. Read. Ponder. And again, stroke my ego by leaving a comment over there. It's not for me, you know. I do believe comments make Nicole, pregnant soccer mom ring-leader, a happy girl too. And isn't it a lovely thing to make the pregnant girl happy?