Sheryl and Sons

Sheryl and Sons
I told you they were big.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Contacts Counsel

     Perhaps there's nothing quite so unfair as being the younger brother.  The older one gets all the good stuff first.  So it came as no surprise that as soon as Rob got contact lenses, Jesse wanted them too.
     Jesse was only ten-years-old at the time, and I told him he had to ask our eye doctor himself.  I made an appointment for us to get his eyes checked, and after the usual tests, Dr. V sat down to talk to us.
     Jesse got right to the point. "I want contact lenses like my brother," he told her.
     "There are a lot of reasons to wait till you are older," she said.  "You have to be very careful about your hygiene when you are putting your fingers in your eyes."
     "I'm much cleaner than my brother," Jesse assured her.
     "You also have to be very responsible," said Dr. V, because you have to take the lenses out every night and soak them in a special solution."
     Jesse nodded his head and reached into the pocket of his blue jeans.  He pulled out a three-inch square of paper which he unfolded and unfolded into a 8 1/2 x 11" certificate.
     "I was Student of the Month last month at my school," he told her.  "Here, look, it says that I showed great responsibility."
     Dr. V studied the certificate and tried to suppress her smile. "Well," she said to Jesse, "I've never  had a patient bring in evidence before."  She shot me a look that said I see you've got your hands full.
"I'll have to do another test on your eyes to see if they can adjust to the lenses," she said.  "I'm not sure you will be able to get contacts now, but I am sure, quite sure in fact, that one day you will be an excellent lawyer."

Monday, October 22, 2012

Haircut Hearsay

Text message from Rob: Im about to get a haircut.
My response: Good luck!
Rob: I have a hat just in case.

     Rob left home a month ago to begin his freshman year at college. I'm guessing that his curly hair, which he likes to wear very short, is starting to look brillo pad-ish.  Perhaps it looks scary when he wakes up too late to shower before his early morning class.  Perhaps a cute girl is involved.
     I love this text.  It tells me that Rob has made a new home--he's not waiting to return to Wilmette to get this done. It means he's taking care of himself, paying attention to how he looks.  And best of all, it means that even though it's near the end of the month, he still has $20.
     Mothers of boys don't get much information, so when I receive a ditty like this, I can't help but extrapolate all the hidden meanings.  Over the years, with two tight-lipped sons, I've gotten pretty good at it.
     I imagine the possibilities:
     At the lunch table in the dorm cafeteria, Rob asks if anyone knows of a barber.
     No, scratch that--none of the freshmen know a barber.
     How about this:
     At a fraternity party, he asks one of the older boys where to get a haircut.
     No, boys would never talk about that at a party.  
     I know:
     Some of the freshmen (prompted by the girls) take a bus to the mall.  Rob wants to look at some new Nikes, and while he's walking around he sees one of those mall hair salons. His roommate elbows him and says, "You should get a haircut."  He walks in and a young woman in her 20's with purple streaked hair says that she can take him.  He realizes that he's never had a haircut from a stranger before, but she's kind of cute and he's embarrassed to back out.  So he texts me.  If it's a really bad idea, he knows I will text back GET OUT OF THE CHAIR NOW.
     This is what we mothers of boys do.  Boys don't confide much, so we have learned, from years of experience, how to take a fact or two and embellish the details.
     I really ought to start writing fiction.

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Ad Here

     Since I started writing this blog, several friends have asked if I would be interested in gathering my stories into a book.  Why yes, as a matter of fact I would!  I'd be very interested!  Very, very interested!
     My friend C told me about a woman whose blog is attracting the interest of a publisher because of the large number of followers and advertisers.  Her blog is about raising young children, and she has found advertisers for baby equipment, diapers and baby food.
     I'd never considered advertisers.  Looking Up is about raising teenaged boys, so I started a list of possible advertisers that might want to reach veteran mothers like us.  How about:
Auto Body Shops
     Show me a teenaged boy who hasn't banged up the family car and I'll show you a boy who was grounded and had his keys taken away.  The only boys I know who haven't had a car accident are the boys who haven't been driving.
Bail Bondsmen
     Hopefully you'll never need it, but wouldn't it be good to have a phone number?
Axe Body Spray
     I admit I hate the way this stuff smells.  But imagine what it's covering up.
Expensive Sports Academies
      This is what I said when my son was taking private baseball lessons: "If he wanted to learn piano, I'd give him piano lessons!  How is this different?"
     It's different.  Baseball is a team sport.  Dueling pianos doesn't count.  But try telling that to a parent whose son is desperately hoping to make the Freshman A squad.
Apartment Rental Agents
     Happy to have your college grad back at home?  Happy about the additional cooking, cleaning and laundry?
Cleaning Services
     Surely this needs no explanation.
     I don't think the list looks too promising. My best chance of reaching more readers is asking you to become a member of the blog and tell your friends.  Just take one minute to share this link while you are waiting for your driver's side mirror to be re-attached.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Just us Girl

     The men in my house have hit the road. For the first time in a long time, I've got five glorious days all by myself.  Aside from nocookingnocleaningnolaundry, I am looking forward to luxuriating in some real old fashioned girly behavior.  But after spending 23 years in a house full of boys, I'm not really sure what to do.
     I begin with the obvious, a mani/pedi, followed by assorted other beauty services.  I eat expensive salad for lunch and dark chocolate for dinner, and feel I've had a fairly successful first day.
     I love to fall asleep with the television on, so my first night alone I get under the covers and get nice and cozy watching The Daily Show followed by The Colbert Report.  I look forward to knowing that before Stephen introduces his guest, I will be fast asleep.
     When I wake up, the television is blaring Latin music and crowds of people are dancing.  At first I think I am watching a Columbian flash mob, but then some women start giving testimonials about their weight loss, and I know I am watching an infomercial.  It only takes me another minute or two to understand that the product they are selling is Zumba Fitness.  Zumba is a dance workout that is all the rage, and for four small payments of $19.95, "cheaper than one visit to a personal trainer," I can order the set of DVDs and lose all that weight too.
     I imagine that this is the time of night when most people will try anything--when they are fuzzy with sleep and worrying about the things that can't possible be fixed at 2:00 in the morning, i.e. I can't take back the comment I made to my boss about the stain on her sweater (not a stain) but I can get off my fat ass and do something about my fat ass.
     Even in the wee hours of the morning, with all my defenses down, I know I won't lose a single pound. I run three miles every single morning, and my weight stubbornly remains the same. I am no longer thin, but work hard to maintain what I fondly refer to as my NFW, my Normal Fat Weight.
     I love running in the spring and summer, but the first October frost reminds me that soon I will be running in layers of unattractive clothing, and it will be dark, and the cold air will hurt my chest and make my nose run, and ultimately I will spend many icy mornings indoors on the treadmill watching Dancing With The Stars episodes on the DVR.
     Those Zumba gals sure look like they are having a ball.  Then the announcer lowers the price to only three payments of $19.95, throws in the cute weighted batons, and tells me that if I order in the next 20 minutes, I get the expedited shipping for free!
     In the darkness of my quiet bedroom, with no one to wake, I pick up the phone.  It occurs to me that I would never do this if my husband were here, but without him I've become Sheryl the Shuteye Shopper.  I place my order.
     Who knows what other great buys I'll find in the middle of the night? With three more nights alone, I'm going to leave the credit card on my night stand.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tall Tale

     In a recent photo of the Solomon family, I notice that my husband is the shortest man in the picture.  Next to his brother Art, my husband looks tiny.
     My husband is 6'4". This is the warped reality of being the "little brother" in his family.
     When we first moved to Wilmette many years ago, we attended our village's July 4th festivities. There were games and food at Gilson Park, and my four-year-old son was enthralled when he saw, for the first time, a man walking on stilts.
     "Mommy, who is that?" he asked with great wonder.
     "Honey, that's Uncle Sam!" I told him.
     He turned to me and very seriously said, "Mommy, Uncle Sam is even bigger than Uncle Art!"
     My sons have mostly enjoyed inheriting this height, although when they were young, strangers always assumed they were older than their ages.  At eighteen months, one son was scolded by a woman in a restaurant when he bumped her and did not apologize.  I had to explain that he didn't actually talk yet.  At two and a half he needed to potty train quickly because the next sized diapers were Depends.
     Now that the boys are fully grown (please God, it's enough!) I've noticed that being big has some downsides, although complaining about them puts you the the same category as lottery winners who lament the higher tax bracket.  It's not a group that gets a lot of sympathy.
     The Solomons have trouble sitting in a car, airplane or movie theater.  It's a treasure hunt to find clothes and shoes. I always knew my sons would be big when they were grown men, but I was surprised to have a Bar Mitzvah boy in a size 44 suit.
     I am resigned to being the shortest in my family, but like all people my size, I have just one nagging question.
     How is the weather up there?