5:55. A.M. Do I have to get up? I think I finally was able to close my eyes at like 5:53 or close to it....and now, Autumn is gently shaking me, telling me it's time. 'Time to rise and shine'. Who says things like that these days? Autumn. Marie. Reviving me.
I manage to get the bambini together, fed, to school and it's time to sell books...at Cottonwood. Yes, the book fair - I know, I know, I sell books for a living and on my day off I sell books. I had pre-arranged cappuccino with Patti the night before, and by 8:00, was screaming for it. Java Edge delivers! But not today...why? We don't ask that...luckily, Melissa slips me a couple granola bars and a water to get me through the book fair, and at 10:00 a.m., I bolt, bringing back rejuvenating, energizing and 'put things into perspective' coffee!! Patti and I opt for large (latte for her, cappuccino for me). I bring Tonio's teacher, Mrs. Schrantz the large Coke and Autumn's teacher, Mrs. Rudzena, some sort of apple/carmel cider - she's sworn off the caffeine. I spent the rest of the school day helping in the kids' classrooms - it was nice.
The heart tugging moment, came, while in Mrs. Schrantz' class, while putting homework in the kid's binders...I'm in the little office between the classrooms, where they have a computer for the kids to be able to take A.R. tests on books they've read. In walks little Gypsy, who was in Tonio's class in kindergarten and 1st grade. Gypsy loved Kimmy (who didn't?), who worked as a parapro in Gypsy's class in kindergarten and helped her learn to read through the Head Sprout program. She sat down to take a test and asked me where Mrs. Conca has been? I gently explained that Mrs. Conca was in Heaven, with God, an angel...she was pretty sad - we talked some more and she began telling me how her Aunt recently died and her Grandfather, a year or so ago...and what wonderful memories she had of them...and Mrs. Conca...Whew, these kids are resilient!
After a full day at school, my cappuccino had worn off...no time for my patented 20 minute power nap...so, I turned to Rock Star! I like the lemonade flavor. And my sister, Lauren, texted me 'Had a large Dunkin Donut iced coffee, a Carribou coffee I made at home and then topped it off w/ a grande iced latte at Barnes & Noble! Am I ok?'...first of all, I thank her for shopping at Barnes & Noble, then, I advised her that she would be fine, to just ride the wave and enjoy it! Coffee...the lifeblood of America!
I ran over to pick up Cody and his friends Jesus and Arthur...to take them out to the Pima County Fair. Over the last two weeks, Cody and I have done a dance about him going out to the fair with his buddies. And, my communication skills, still need work, as I told him I wanted to talk to parents, who was driving which way and when, to watch out for 'bad guys'...finally, Cody melted down and said 'Dad, you are making this hard on me and just trying to scare me!'...woops. Where was my inner-Kim? He was right, I explained that I needed to be sure he was safe. Which meant knowing who he was going with, how he was getting there and back and volunteered to drive either way and to be sure he'd keep his eyes open to trouble. We agreed...me, still wondering if I was insane or simply giving Cody some much deserved rope.
And as I dropped him off, and he was walking away with his friends, I realized he was growing up, so fast - but he's doing a good job (much better than I did!), gets good grades and makes good decisions. But, as I drove away, I said a Lord's Prayer and a Hail Mary for the boys...just in case...
Cody was interested in seeing the Neon Trees perform tonight. This was one of Kimmy's favorite groups. It will be his first concert. Kim listened to a soft rock station called The Mountain, 92.9. Cody and I would lightly rib her about it, but we both liked a couple of songs by Neon Trees - and find ourselves listening to bands Kimmy liked, just to remember her...My ring tone on my cell phone for when Kimmy called me was a song by Finger Eleven, called Paralyzer...because, when she came into my view, that is the effect she had on me...she was my paralyzer...even after all of these years..and that song came on as I drove home from the fairgrounds...Kimmy letting me know that I had done allright? Again, I don't make a big deal about 'signs', but it sure felt right today.
Meanwhile, hopped up on Rock Star, the little bambini and I headed back to Cottonwood for a Volunteer Appreciation dinner. It is a nice time, and the staff at Cottonwood work hard to decorate the MPR room and serve us. I hadn't had a chance to eat, since the granola bars that Melissa had given me for breakfast, but, I knew we were going to Fuddrucker's later and didn't want to spoil my appetite, so I just ate a little. It was fun, as the kids ran around the gym with their friends, and I sat with Annette and Kirk Perrini and Lupe and Manny Barrios.
Then, it was off to Fuddrucker's, around 6:30, for Andrea and Mario's son, David's, 13th birthday party. They have some great burgers there! And I was glad that I was hungry, as I finished Autumn's for her, too. There was a big crowd of us, Andrea, Lexy, Breanna, David, Janene, Brad, Bryson, Kason, Kim, Rashon, Myriah, Micah, Angie, Mark, Mario's mom, Cruz and his brother, Adrienne, his wife and their little girl. The kids kept busy on the video games and motorcycle game they had. We stayed until 9 and headed home.
Cody did a great job texting me updates, even though I did not ask him to. While eating at Fuddrucker's, he sent me this photo of a wicked ride he was waiting to go on:
And a congrats to Mary and Emilio Montes, who found out today that they were going to have a little girl!! Emilio prayed and prayed for a boy...I gave him sage council - telling him that the moment he laid eyes on his little girl and the moment he held her in his arms, he was done...fuggedaboutit, his little princess would have him wrapped around her pinky...I know from firsthand experience. And I was able to have Autumn play some soccer - she still asks me to kick around with her at the park. There is something so special about having a daughter. Plus, I told him, Kimmy was 38 when she had Tonio, so they still had a couple of years to try again! We are very happy for the Montes'!!
Tonio fell asleep. Cody's not home yet, so Aut and I went outside to say goodnight to Mama...the moon's getting fuller (bear down Barnes & Noble booksellers! The full moon always brings out the weirdest customers!), the Big Dipper's still upside down...and, far off, from the direction of Fantasy Island, we could hear the howls of a pack of coyotes...eerie, rising and falling - their victory cry after capturing their prey...Bella was clearly disturbed, but Autumn and I could find the beauty in the coyote's song, as we said our goodnights...