Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sometimes the Truth Really Is Stranger Than Fiction

It's true. Michael Jackson really is dead. I thought it was some crazy news done simply for ratings, but sadly it's not. I like to remember the Michael Jackson of my youth. You know, the one who was black, and did the 'moonwalk' which my friends and I tried to replicate. The one who was such a good dancer. Whose video for 'Thriller' gave me nightmares when it first came out, but I watched repeatedly on MTV. When MTV actually played music.

I don't know what happened in his later years. He became freak. He became like an accident. You know, you shouldn't look, but you can't stop yourself. Then the children. Naming two of his sons Prince Michael did nothing to keep the press away. His weird behavior only fueled the fires And the stories constantly were being reported about. Some true, many not. There was just too much weird stuff to report. So, all I can say is so long MJ. Maybe you'll finally get whatever it is you need.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

I am definitely a person who does better with routine. Most of the time I don't do well with change.
A month or so ago, the tumbling place that my children have gone to since S. was 15 months old, closed. Now with the economy being the way that it is, the classes' numbers began to dwindle. You know where this is going. She wasn't making nearly the money that she used to. The owner of the strip mall refused to give her a break at all. Not even when the tumbling company's corporate office called. This owner was horrid on a good day. He did not maintain the building, and the shops' owners' frequently would have to clean up after a rainstorm, because he hadn't had the tuck pointing done. That's just one example. Well, our tumbling owner had to close her business. Her rent was always high, but now she couldn't afford to stay anymore.
She had a 'last day party', and we went. As I walked out of the door, the owner and I hugged. And we both were teary-eyed as I told her how hard it was for me to say good-bye to the place that was such an integral part of my children's' as well as my life.

Another two places have had to close because of the owner of the strip mall. Would you believe that this man actually said he would rather have vacancies than to give anyone a break? He is losing thousands of dollars a month and for what? Each business paid an average of $4,000 a month. Yeah, this man is definitely not a mathematician!

Well, guys, something happened that I never thought would happen in a million years. The 7-11 convenient store that part of said strip mall since I was very young, is leaving because they believe the rent is too high! The store started out as a White Hen Pantry. Two years ago 7-11 bought them and here we are.

I know it probably sounds silly to some, but I had/have gotten close to the people who worked there. They knew I came in the morning for my Big Gulp that would help me stay awake. They would even ring it up before I got to the check-out, because they knew my routine so well. A woman named Marie and I would talk about kids, husbands etc. Sometimes I was in the store for 15 minutes while we talked.
My point here is that I got to know the people. I guess it is a lot like the show 'Cheers' song. "You want a place to go where everybody knows your name." It is so rare these days that people even stop to simply say hello to each other, let alone have conversations.

My father talks about the area in Chicago where he grew up. People got to know each other. They knew each others family members etc., and it generally had that small town feel to it. That even though they had all the amenities that it was able to keep that feeling to it. That is how this one store felt. You wouldn't believe how many people showed up to say 'good-bye' to the workers. Our pseudo-friends. People that remembered you, and would always acknowledge you as you walked through the door.
There is no longer that place, and I'm judging by the amount of people were there to say their good-byes, more people than I want to have that place 'where everybody knows your name.'

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Glad I Made the Decison

Yesterday, S. said that T-Ball was even better than last week! He was so smiley. I've learned that sometimes, as a parent, you have to take charge and hope that your decision is the right one. Believe me, I am SO happy this T-Ball adventure went the way that it did. Now if I could just get him to stop writing on his walls.....

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The End and the Beginning

First off, I can't believe my oldest is a first grader! Don't worry, I am done complaining and crying....until next time. Poor S. was really bummed that both of the summer camps he used to attend have closed. Lovely economy, eh? I told S. that he needed to do something this summer. I rattled off several ideas, which he nixed almost immediately. I even asked him if he wanted to take an art class of some sort from Michael's Crafts. I wanted him to feel that he didn't need to play sports if he didn't want to. Just because his father and all of my family, except me, are involved with sports doesn't mean he has to do a sport. Well, he said no to that as well. Needless to say, the ball was in court, so to speak.

I decided to sign him up for T-Ball. When I told him, he got very angry with me. I said to him if after the five weeks, he decides that he doesn't like it, he won't have to play again. This morning was the first practice. He was very nervous, and me running late didn't help, I'm sure. I watched his practice with his brother who kept yelling, "You go S!" "Good job S.!" That made S. very happy. He just kept smiling and smiling. The practice involved mainly running today, which is S.'s favorite thing to do! After the practice I saw him still smiling. He said he liked it a lot now that he's been there.

I am proud of S. Proud that he overcame his fear. Proud of him for trying his best. I think he's going to be just fine. Maybe even better than fine. Next week, the husband is on vacation, and gets to go to the practices too. I know S. will be over the moon then. Who doesn't love having their mommy and daddy with them? Even though S. can be a real pain in the butt, I love that kid with all my heart and soul.