Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dallin Gets His Woof/The Family Bat Who Wasn't Really a Bat

I hate to admit it, but I've never been too excited about Scouts. When Dallin turned eight I think it was the thing I dreaded most. It was fun to go down to the Scout office and get his little outfit and book, but I don't think he or I touched it for months. He went to activities and we all went to Pack Meeting (occasionally), but my heart just wasn't in it. Man that year went fast! Suddenly, it was almost time for him to graduate to Bears and he wasn't even close to being an official Wolf (or "Woof" as his Scout leader called it, and I am 100% not joking about that). So we busted our little behinds and got his dang Woof requirements completed right before his birthday. Maybe a few days after. Anyway, he was due to get his award, but because of a vacation and the Blue & Gold banquet, he was finally going to get it during the March episode of Pack Meeting.

Enter one of the biggest moral dilemmas of my mothering career. Pack Meeting is normally on a Tuesday. Or a Wednesday. I can never really remember which one, it is just definitely never on a Thursday. Especially not Thursday, March 22, the opening night of Hunger Games, for which my friends and I have had tickets for months and planned an epic Girls' Night Out. I realized the conflict the night before, and it was a huge conflict in my heart as well. Dallin was looking so forward to getting his award. I was looking so forward to my GNO. Dallin could get his award in April. I could see the Hunger Games later, by myself, lonely, cold and afraid. But my son... my little son must be my priority. So I forfeited my ticket and went to Pack Meeting. I was weeping in my heart on the way over, when Dallin said, "Mom, I woke up this morning and thought this was going to be a bad day. But then I remembered I was getting my award tonight, and I knew it would be a good day." So, that made it all worth it right there. That, and the joyful fellow who is peeking over my shoulder in the pictures. Seriously, how can Scouts not be fun with leaders like that?  
See him back there?

He's still there!
Ah, my little Woof. Maybe we will get started on the Bear now so we can choose a night to get the award that does not correspond with the opening of a major must-see teenage movie. Sheesh.

Now on to the Family Bat. If you know me very well, you know I love bats. It all started in the second grade when I found a bat hanging under the window of my second grade class. My teacher captured the bat in a jar and turned it into the Class Pet. I was kind of a nobody back then, if you can imagine that (ha), and I was suddenly catapulted to second grade stardom, all thanks to a furry little flying creature. For this I have always been grateful to bats and felt somewhat indebted to them.

Not to make this the Longest Post Ever or anything, but I decided years ago that if I was ever faced with the decision of which animal to be, I would definitely be a bat. Specifically, a fruit bat. Think of the benefits. A mammal, who can fly. They mate for life. Care for their young. Eat fruit, for crying out loud. How great would that life be? Okay, so it's basically my life right now, except for the flying part, but I really think being able to fly would enhance my life in so many ways. Anyway.

You can imagine my joy last week when Jason and Luke reported that we had a bat living under our deck! Our very own bat, or Family Bat, as it came to be known. They had seen the Family Bat a few times when they suddenly turned on the light and opened the door. I didn't really believe it because it was just too good to be true, but then one night I snuck down with Luke and flung the door open and turned on the light and there he was! The Family Bat! Flapping around, darting this way and that, a definite bat of our own!
I tried to get a few pictures, but he was too fast, or maybe I was too slow. It didn't matter. We all knew the Family Bat was there.

Until tonight. Luke and I performed our nightly ritual of sneaking down to see the Family Bat, me with camera in hand and hope in my heart. Except something was amiss. We flung open the door, but instead of flying, he was sitting (hey... bats don't sit! they hang...). And he didn't move. He let me capture the following shot on my camera, before taking off and floating and flitting this way and that, just like a bat. The bat that he was not.

I mean, if I wanted a Family Bird I would go buy one! You can't buy bats. They are not for sale, or believe me, I would be raising a little batch of them right now. Bats are meant to be free, living under porches and making people's dreams come true. Not just sitting there and impersonating more worthy and inspiring creatures. So it is with a heavy heart that I admit I don't really have a Family Bat, even though he will always live on in my soul.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Recent Goings On

I like this time of year. Kind of busy, kind of not. No pressure to really do anything except be ourselves. Everyone is looking forward to spring, winter is hopefully on its way out. A few recent goings-on: The boys finished up their basketball season. Jason played in the Lehi Alumni Basketball Tournament (and won!), the kids took a bath in their swimming suits, and Jake found love. Pretty exciting stuff! Here are the pictures to prove it:

Dallin LOVES basketball! He is pure joy to watch. He has the confidence I could only dream of as a youth. Never afraid to take a shot, never afraid to try his best. He missed several shots in a row in his last game, but that didn't stop him from shooting and eventually making nine baskets. He also passed the ball a time or two! I was a proud mama.

This was Luke's first year playing Jr. Jazz, and to be honest, I didn't expect much. Luke has never really showed a lot of interest in sports. Well, he surprised us all! It probably helped that he was a head taller than most of the kids he played with, but he really went for it and did amazingly well! In his last game he made a total of 5 baskets. He considered them all 3 pointers because they were more than 3 steps from the basket. Sometimes Grandpa Yates gives the boys a dollar for each basket they make. Luke somehow calculated that he had earned $21. When Dallin informed him that he got a dollar per basket, not per (fictitious) point, Luke said he wouldn't have even shot the ball if he had known. When I asked him if he was just in it for the money, he looked at me like I was stupid and said, "Well, yeah!" I guess maybe we have a little work ahead of us in the Luke Sports Department.
Jason had the chance to reunite with his high school basketball team for the annual Lehi Alumni Tournament last week. That is a week of fun and soreness, let me tell you! Still, I think it's pretty cool that so many of his friends and teammates are still around and they play together so well after all these years.
Jason is #2, under the basket. His team won the championship through a  lot of blood, sweat and tears. I was just glad he didn't suffer any long-term injuries! 1997 was a long time ago, but they held their own. Especially when they were playing the little pencil-necked whippersnappers of 2012. Kids these days are so young! And agile.

What could be more fun that getting your swimming suit on and taking a bath with 3 other people? Not much, according to these weirdos. We're all about cheap entertainment in these parts. And counting down the days til summer!

Lukie Dukie, my little 6-year-old snaggle tooth. He has grown up so much this year. I can't believe he is almost finished with kindergarten! He's practically a man now.

Little Crazy Man Jake is completely smitten with our cute little neighbor. I baby-sat her for a few hours last week and he followed her around the house making kissing noises, "Mm-wah! Mm-wah!" I am totally fine with the two of them getting married in the future. In fact, I hope they do. The older my kids get, the more I am in favor of arranged marriages, especially if I get to do the arranging. I will pick their future spouses based on how fun their future in-laws will be for me to hang out with. In this case, Jake and I will both luck out.

Jake is truly the craziest child I have ever met. Jason and I have devised a test that is a fairly accurate prediction of his behavior in any given situation. It is called "What Would a Raccoon Do?" or WWRD for short. Just think about a raccoon and an open bathroom door. Or a pantry full of food. Or how a raccoon  would behave if you tried to get it to sit on your lap for an hour and fifteen minutes of sacrament meeting - would it sit still and be satisfied with one tiny piece of bread and a tiny cup of water? I wonder? I'm not even going to go into the garbage situation, but it involves apple cores and used tissues and everything else that so gloriously resides in the garbage/Jake's mouth. Just use your imagination, and you can envision what my life is currently like. The poor kid has pneumonia right now and is one sad little camper. It's kind of nice to have him want to cuddle up to me. I know it won't last for long, so I am soaking it in, even though I hope he feels better soon. 
As for me, I'm just try to keep up and enjoy the moments as they come. Sometimes having a house full of little kids is so overwhelming. I find myself wishing for quiet afternoons and time alone, but I know that day will come and I will wish for these days back. We are in the middle of our first (and possibly last) "TV-Free Week" and it has been an adventure. I'm so against kids constantly watching TV and playing video games, but I find myself justifying it way too often just so I can get something done. I finally decided that enough was enough and I needed to see what I could actually accomplish without the helpful drone of the TV to occupy the kids. The answer is, not much! But that's okay. What matters in the eternal scheme of things is the time I spend with my kids, not how clean my kitchen is or how quickly I can finish 800 loads of laundry. I love these little people with all my heart and I hope I can make the most of the time I have to love them and teach them and just partake of the joy that is at my fingertips every single day. Also, having an emergency bag of chocolate chips in the pantry works wonders.