Tuesday, September 18, 2012

...The Month That Was

...and so here's where I've been these past few weeks.

Saturday the 1st...

My wife and I were enjoying a quiet evening on the couch, taking advantage of our children's decision to join some friends at the local park, catching up on past episodes of Storage Wars.  Other than sharing an occasional giggle at the antics of Dave Hester and Daryl Sheets, we spoke little.

We were granted nearly an hour before the creak of our screen door and a yip from our lab, allowed us a moment to prepare for the kids return.  

I continued watching the final seconds of an episode where Barry Weiss spent a week's salary on a storage locker full of Good Will items from 1985, when a shadow the size of a small cumulus cloud spread across the ceiling.  I felt my wife's grip tighten around my wrist.  I turned with a start to find not only my teenage son, but three of his high school buddies from the football team, standing at the entrance of our living room, wearing only their underwear.  

Two pairs of Hanes briefs, one set of loose-fitting boxers, and an embarrassing pair of whitey-tighties that would've been snug for my ten year old daughter.

They stood in a single file row, failing to make eye contact, three out of four blushing from the neck up.

A moment later my younger son bounded into the room, fully clothed, cradling his basketball, offering a grin that would've made The Joker envious.

"Okay, so...what did we miss?" my wife asked.

I considered the ball in my twelve year old's hands, read the expression on his face, and offered a guess.

"Lose a bet to your little brother?" I asked the scantily clad teens.

I was granted a nod, then turned to my younger son, The Hoopster.

"So how far was the shot?"

He answered in a burst.  "Half court!  They said if I made it, they'd walk home in their skivvies...I nailed it on the first try!"

"You boys walked home...like that?" my wife asked, shoulders trembling with laughter.

A collective nod.

"And guess what, Dad!" Young Hoopster added.  "A bunch of girls drove by!"

...a week later, I sat in front of my rough draft of "The Fall,"  glaring at words on a screen, when a thought caused me to open a second tab for my email.  In minutes I drummed out a short letter to fellow writer Anne Gallagher, The Piedmont Writer, (here's her blog,  http://piedmontwriter.blogspot.com/, and here's her book, http://www.amazon.com/Remembering-You-a-novel-ebook/dp/B0083IDAU8 , it's good, check it out ;) asking her where she continues to find those beautiful covers for her stories.  

Being the pal she is, she offered her assistance, and within days, working alongside my son, (now fully clothed,) we found the perfect cover shot for my upcoming shorty.  

Anne, a weight's been lifted.  I can't thank you enough ;)

It was last week, while sitting behind my desk at the dayjob, when a call came in from home.  I glanced at the time, considered what day of the week it was, and thought, "She's calling about another kid."  

(My wife and I are foster parents.)

I released a sigh, lifted the phone from it's receiver.  

"Hi Hon."

Nothing.  I recognized her breathing, short stressful huffs, as if fighting to catch her breath.  

I waited a moment longer, then asked, "Okay, who is it?"

"He's only four days old."

"What?  Four days?  A boy?"

"Yes...and yes."

"What's wrong with him?"

"He's losing too much weight.  His birth mom...well, so anyway, he's just a baby."

"Yeah, I figured that much."

"Well, what do you think?"

I grinned at my hulking computer monitor, a spread sheet I'd been working on for three days, due the day prior, not worth the ink it would soon be printed on, thinking how life can change on a dime.  One day your laughing at your teenage son's rotten luck, and the next...

"What do I think?  I think you already said yes, and that little boy's on his way to the house this very minute..."

In two weeks under my wife's care, the newest member of our family saw his weight match, then surpass his birth weight, receiving an avid thumbs up from our doctor.  He's well on his way...

So that was my month, how was yours?  

El ;)