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Look carefully...at the seemingly small moments...in the constant shaping of souls.- Neal A.Maxwell

     18-year old C and two of his classmates were nominated as U.S. Presidential candidates in his High School government class.  Today each of the three were to give a speech outlining his/her platform and then field questions from the class.  C did not feel well last night and went to bed early.  He did not feel any better this morning and asked me to call him in sick.  He then asked if it would be okay for 14-year old B to be proxy in giving the speech and fielding questions from the class.  B was okay with it.  The Middle School was okay with excusing him for the necessary time frame.  The High School government teacher, after initial surprise, liked the idea.  It was a go.  B read over the speech, asking for clarification where needed, and then C started coaching him on possible class questions.  The phone rang, it was the High School teacher calling to tell us one of the other candidates was also absent, the presentation was postponed until Monday.  B, C and I were all a little disappointed.  It would have been interesting to see how it would have played out.


     Update on the broken wrist:  Saturday Immediate Care put B in a temporary splint and told us to make an appointment at a Sports Clinic where, according to Immediate Care, B would likely get a removable cast to wear for 2 or 3 weeks.  We saw the sports doctor today.  He put B in a non-removable elbow cast, mid-way up his upper arm, with the possibility (but no guarantee) of having it replaced by a shorter cast in 2 weeks.  B's 4x1 team is qualified for Oregon Middle School Meet of Champions to be held 26May.  The doctor said that if B is in a shorter cast at the time of the meet he can participate, otherwise his alternate will need to run the relay.  Until that time there is to be no running whatsoever.
     In the truck, headed back to school, B said, "If I get the shorter cast I'm going to ask for a time-trial before the meet.  If my two weeks of not running has made me slower than my alternate, he should run the relay."  True team spirit.


Cleaning out my inbox I found an e-mail I sent myself, while in Utah, of something I wanted to write in my journal at home.

"B is 13.  While in Utah he built an elaborate Lego house.  He wanted to save it til next year.  My dad and I are saving it.  I don't know if he will care about it when he is 14.  It tears me up thinking about it.  Dad said that he doesn't remember the last time he played with something but that it was okay because the interest is no longer there.  He said, with tears in his eyes, that the thinking of the future is harder than the actual future.  He said when you are there it is normal."

B is 14, we will be going to Utah this summer.  I will be interested to see his reaction to the Lego house.

     Today, Mother's Day, 14-year B old handed me an envelope and said, "The card is from me and J."  "J?"  I asked.  "Yeah, since he's in Idaho he asked me to get one for you."
     I opened the envelope and took out the card.  It read: "We both put a great effort into getting you this card.  I went to the store, picked out the card, paid for it, brought it home, and I moved the card while he held out his pen to make his signature!  Happy Mother's Day from 'Both of Us' "  The card had no signatures.
     The card made me laugh.  As did the letter from B that was also inside the envelope.  It started, "...I've decided to write in my specialty of Haiku's and write one for each year you've cared for me.  I'm very glad I am not 50."  This was followed by 14 Haiku's - 5 in neat, tidy right-handed writing, 9 in labored difficult to read left-handed writing.  The letter was started Friday in school.  It was finished late this weekend.
     B's favorite game is soccer, his favorite position is defender.  He runs fast and plays hard.  A little too hard Saturday.  Shortly before half-time B and an opponent collided and both ended on the ground.  The opponent popped right back up, B stayed down.  When he did get up he was holding his arm.  He briefly spoke to the ref and then, still holding his arm, walked off the field.  B said he thought his arm was okay but a team-mate's dad, and local Dr., looked at B's arm and recommended we go in for x-rays. 
     On the way to immediate care the initial physical shock from the injury wore off and B's arm began to really hurt.  Once inside, sitting on an exam table waiting for x-rays, B could not find a comfortable position.  He asked if he could rest his feet on my legs because the table was too high for his feet to touch the floor.  I scooted my chair closer and he set his feet on my knees.  I don't know if you have you ever smelled soccer cleats of a teenage boy, I don't recommend it.  One whiff and I made an exaggerated expression while fanning my hand in front of my nose.  B started to laugh and said, "They can't be that bad."  I nodded my head and further exaggerated my expression.  B laughed harder and said, "Don't make me laugh it makes my arm hurt."  I kept the expression and said, "You think you're in pain."  He laughed harder.
     One of the nine left-handed Haiku's:
          "You laugh at my pain
          "but are still considerate
          "It is so funny." 
(at least I think it says "funny", it might say "fumey", hard to tell.)
     X-rays taken.  Wrist broken.  Waiting for the splint to harden so we can go home.  I learn that B was yellow carded because of the collision.  I asked why.  He said he was frustrated with how the game was going and he let the frustration out on the field.  I nodded and said, "In the next week or two, you are going to get a lecture."  Being the youngest of three brothers and being observant has resulted in the need for very few lectures for B, he is pretty good at learning through observation of others.  B sighed and said, "Just give it to me now."  "Okay," I said, "Even if you're frustrated you can't..."  "I know," Bryce interrupted quietly, "I already realized that."  "What if the other boy was the one with the broken arm?" I gently asked.  "I was thinking the same thing," B responded, "I don't think I would be up to playing soccer again, at least not for awhile, I would feel too bad."  The lecture was over.  I knew B's kind heart had already starting teaching him what I hoped he would learn from the experience.
     After applying the splint the nurse said she would be back in 5-10 minutes to check on it, until then B was supposed to hold his arm upright and not rest it on anything.  We waited, and waited.  B commented that 10 minutes seemed like 20.  He asked if he could take his cleats off.  I told him that would be cruel and unusual punishment for anyone that came in the room after us.  We both found the thought of that funny and started laughing again.
          "You make others laugh
          "When you don't feel like laughing
          "Thanks for that."
     I'm glad B thanked me for laughter.  Years ago, 4 or 5 year old B had a bad case of stomach flu.  I was reading to him while holding him on my lap.  Occasionally he would jump up and run to the bathroom to throw-up.  On one of his bathroom runs he did not make it to the commode.  I heard the splat of fluid on the linoleum and then a crash as the still running B slid on the now wet floor and hit the wall.  I ran to see a puke covered but otherwise unhurt boy lying on the floor.  I started laughing as I picked him up and helped him into the tub.  13 or 14 year old J said, "Mom! you shouldn't be laughing."  B looked up from the tub and said with a smile, "It's okay, I'm used to it."
     J should have been used to it.  I had severe morning sickness for months when I was expecting C.  During that time  3 year old J caught a tummy bug.  I was sitting on the couch with him on my lap when I heard him make a pre-gagging noise.  I grabbed his blanket and put it in front of him.  He pushed the blanket aside and leaned toward the couch.  Not wanting to soil the couch I turned his head toward me and headed toward the bathroom.  Before we made it he started throwing up all over me.  I stood him in front of the commode where he continued puking, both of us dripping wet and me quite naseous.  The phone started to ring, it was more than I could take.  I leaned against wall and started laughing at the whole situation.  J looked up with sad eyes and said, "This is the worst day of my life and you just stand there laughing." 
     Maybe it was because he was experienced with the situation that J wanted to spare B.
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