Today, my day started at 5:30, getting the bambini's ready for school and preparing for a trip to Phoenix for a Barnes & Noble market meeting....I had to get the kids to school just a little early, so I could make the start of the meeting - Cody helped. He's on top of so much these days and I'm always surprised and amazed...
He helped by cleaning up laundry and the bathroom. Then, he cleaned up the breakfast dishes and made sure the little ones were on track, while I fumbled through my morning fog...we made it out the door with time to spare - and when I dropped him off, he told me 'have a safe trip Dad, love you...' I sat there in the parking lot of Desert Sky for a moment and watched him walk towards the gate...he'll be 14 next month...and has grown sooooo much over the last 5 months, spiritually, emotionally - I used to call him 'little man' and now, he's my young man.
I know I've gone over this before, but, Kimmy used to always characterize my relationship with Cody as 'Mr. Fun'. We'd throw a ball at the park. Go for bike rides. Take a swim. When it came to homework or emotional stuff, Kim stepped in. Her and Cody were very, very close. She really understood him and they'd spend some time together each night, as I got Autumn and Tonio ready for bed, talking about Cody's day, his highs, his lows, his doubts and fears.
When Cody was born, I was very young (32...!) and had little patience. Kim taught me the patience, over the years, so I was better prepared when Autumn and Tonio came along. I would get so mad if Cody would not listen the first time and Kimmy would lovingly intervene 'Dave...he's only 3', she'd remind me. And she worked with me on becoming more and more patient, to get me to where I am now (hey, I know I still have a ways to go - and I may never have the patience that Kimmy had!).
Now, Cody and I do not butt heads when we disagree - we have no trouble talking things through. He is so appreciative of everything, taking time to thank me throughout the day for making meals, doing wash, taking him places. And, when he asks to run to Target for a new shirt - he tells me; "I got this Dad, I want to pay for this with my own money". His level of responsibility has gone sky high in a matter of weeks.
He still misses his Mom, quite a bit, but seems to have a good handle on things - his report card, we got last week, was his best of the year, straight A's and an 88 average in Algebra. His teachers all say what a contributor he is and love to see the smile back on Cody's face. And, he's been able to successfully transition between teachers, as Mrs. Jandorff and Mrs. Lopez left to have babies - He's done great in Mrs. Jackson's class (who took over for Mrs. Jandorff) and likes Mrs. Sarnoski, Mrs. Lopez' replacement!
And he speaks passionately about the classes he loves: Enrich - The History of Rock and Roll -which, sadly ended with last quarter, with Mrs. Silver. The art class with Mrs. Kitzmiller - he sure has Kimmy's talent!
Energy is good, as he has begun Track season over at Desert Sky! We got him a new pair of track shoes, he is so proud of and he is working hard towards his first track meet this Saturday!! Today, after practice, our friend, Dawn, picked Cody up and took him to Carl's Jr. I was just beginning my drive back to Tucson, around 5:15 when I got a text from Cody: "How's your day in Phx Dad?"...I quick hit him back 'K. U have a good day?'..."Yep, Dawn's taking us to Carl's Jr., K?"..."K"..."Luv U"...He's come so far, in such a short time...I appreciate this young man so much - he has always been a blessing, but even more so now! Of course, I do not advocate texting while driving, but I find selecting a tune on the Ipod even more distracting!! And Cody helped me out with that last night, helping me prep a play list for the long drive up and back to Phoenix!!
I got back into town around 6:30, in time for the start of my store's inventory...again, I am blessed with an extraordinary team at the store!!! Jaimelyn and the team had the store dialed in and when the count began at 7, it went very smooth!! Susie, one of our Head Cashiers, organized an incredible spread of food (everyone citing that I've lost too much weight and need to eat - I do eat, although sometimes don't get around to it, as I don't have as much time these days and boy, did Kimmy make everyday a 'food fest' or what?) including shrimp, chicken and veggie tacos with all of the toppings and so many people brough great food so I could 'graze', as one of the other managers, Jaime, told me I tend to do... Around 10:30, as I was extolling the benefits of Rock Star energy drink to Jaimelyn (I like the lemonade flavor, but what exactly is taurine and what does it do?), when in came my D.M., Tom, carrying a cola flavored Rock Star! We exchanged Rock Star stories - maybe we could do a commercial (and, thanks to Rock Star, I am able to write this post, as I wait for the wash to get done so Cody's track clothes are ready for him today!). It sure carried us through!! And Tom continues to be so supportive of our family, it's amazing. Meanwhile, Betsey stayed with the little ones for me until I got home around 1:45 a.m. AND she cleaned Autumn and Antonio's room for us!!! Autumn stumbled out, bleary eyed..."Hi Dad, how was your day? Wake you up at 6:10?" "Yeh, thanks Aut" "Love you Dad!" I am blessed! I know I only stand to get 3 hours of sleep tonight, till the laundry is done, but I've had less...much less...and after the long day today, that's ok!!
And the thing I missed most, as I got ready to head to Phoenix, was, how sweet Kimmy was...she would always wake up early with me and make me an egg and cheese sandwhich for the ride...and on my breaks and at lunch, I'd always call her to say hi and let her know how things were going...she'd insist I give her a call when I got on the 10 and would always tell me to drive safe...
Cody and I still relate our experience to music we listen to, enjoying much the same music - and Cody tells me, Mockingbird, by Eminem, reminds him of his Mama...
I know sometimes things may not always make sense to you right now
But hey, what mommy always tell you?
Straighten up little soldier
Stiffen up that upper lip
What you crying about?
You got me
He told me, that Kimmy would tell him to 'straighten up little soldier' when he would cry...And...
I can see you're sad, even when you smile, even when you laugh
I can see it in your eyes, deep inside you want to cry
He says he can relate to these lines, to...we talk it through, though and he seems to do better - but, as I said, he was closest to his Mama - and I know there are other lines in this song he identifies with - and I make sure to talk to him about them, as we listen...
He's keeping busy, between track and keeping on the honor roll...he received 4 awards at a ceremony last week at school and gets his homework all done without me even asking...I'm pretty proud of him and I tell him his Mama would be/is proud of him, as she smiles down on him and quote a different Eminem song to him from When I'm Gone;
And when I'm gone, just carry on, don't mourn
Rejoice every time you hear the sound of my voice
Just know that I'm looking down on you smiling
And I didn't feel a thing, So baby don't feel my pain
Just smile back
And we know Kimmy is no longer in pain...as a beautiful angel...watching over us...
In fact, I spotted a seagull, flying over the 10, near Orange Grove...reminding me of the beach, Kimmy's favorite spot...