Monday, April 28, 2008

Northwest Arkansas Crime Report April 24-26, 2008

April 24 6:08 p.m. A caller at Cracker Barrel, 1022 S. 48th St., reported a couple being intimate in a vehicle behind the business.
Who knew country-fried steak and meatloaf were aphrodisiacs? They got a double helping of love gravy.

April 25 9:44 a.m. A caller at Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill, 528 N. 47th St., reported identity theft.
Impersonation of local eatery wherein cooks prepare freshly purchased food items on a stove.

2:25 p.m. A man on Southwest A Street reported a woman causing a scene.
Heaven help us, baby’s got her blue jeans on.

3:57 p.m. A woman at Bible Believers Book Store, 130 Spring St., reported a theft.
Too easy.

April 26 6:40 p.m. A woman at 1801 Anthony Drive reported someone draining Freon from her air-conditioning system.
She went on to report her suspicion of someone stealing gas out of her car. Every time she gets in her car, the fuel gauge is a little lower than before. And also, a person in a safari hat driving a small white truck keeps opening her mailbox.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Whole Hand

My eldest turned five years old or, as he put it with fingers outspread, he made it to a whole hand. To celebrate, we threw him a party. I chose his favorite park as the locale and reserved the gazebo in case of rain. It didn't rain, as it happens, because the clouds were too cold to cry. There was a cold snap on the day of the party that drove the temperature down to a balmy 41 degrees. What could I do? I dressed Paolo in three layers of clothing and away we went. I'm not sure what was more disheartening: noticing tiny snow flurries as we got out of the car or trying to prepare Paolo for the likelihood that none of his friends were going to show up.

So we laid the table with cake and cookies, hung the piƱata, and lined up the thermoses of hot chocolate. And then a miracle happened. People started showing up. I greeted each new arrival with, "Thank you so much for coming. Are you crazy? It's freezing out here!" I decided that was preferable to what I really felt like doing each time I saw a little person toting a present down the hill from the parking lot - grabbing the parent in a bear hug, burying my head in his/her neck and whispering, "thank you for making my little boy happy." That might have been weird, no?

As kids get older, parents can do less and less to protect them from disappointment. I'm learning that I have to rely on the kindness of others sometimes. Whether it's a patient T-ball coach, an inspiring teacher, or a parent who brings her child to the park on a freezing day in April, we all have a hand in producing happy childhoods. I know I'll think twice now before I throw away another of Paolo's classmate's birthday party invitations. It's a pretty big deal when your kid makes it to a whole hand, and he should get to walk away from it with good memories. And speaking of Paolo's whole hand, it's marvelous how comfortably my whole heart fits in its palm.

Friday, April 11, 2008

T-ball or die

Paolo is playing T-ball this year in a non-competitive, everyone's-just-here-to-have-fun league. That being said, these people are morbidly serious about their T-ball. I had an inkling they meant business when they demanded a copy of Paolo's birth certificate at registration. I can understand needing proof of age to weed out the "ten-year-olds" with mustaches, but who is lying about their five-year-old?

Of course there was a snafu with registration because we mailed in his birth certificate separately, and he was put on the roster of two teams. Our fault, naturally, for giving him such a common name. After communicating with both coaches, my matter was referred to the Vice President of Five-Year-Olds. How cute: T-ball bureacracy! I explained to Mister T-ball which team I preferred for scheduling reasons. He agreed that Paolo should be placed on my preferred team, but before he could approve the roster, he would have to contact the OTHER Vice President of Five-Year-Olds. There is more than one holder of this esteemed office. After all, one vice president would be inadequate to administer the complexities of five-year-old T-ball. Case in point, poor Paolo who was on two teams and is now on none. We need PEOPLE on this, for crying out loud.

Several unnecessary communications later, Paolo got approval to stay on his team, and I took him to his second practice. The coach emailed Sam the following day asking why Paolo had been at his practice, seeing as how he isn't on that team. I know! I laughed, too, right before I beat my head against my desk.

It's all sorted out now, and Paolo's first game is tomorrow afternoon. Sam took him outside last night to practice catching. They were back about five minutes later with blood gushing from Paolo's nose due to a flubbed catch. I heart T-ball.

All this Bliss

"There's a barstool out there somewhere with my name on it, but that's another Sam in a different life."

"Well, that Sam is sad and lonely."

"I'm better at that."

"Is all this bliss cramping your style?"

"It is. It's beating me down."