Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Did you know he smokes.....

Yes, it happened rather suddenly, unexpectedly, the day I noticed that Peter had taken up smoking. It was a Saturday morning, the kind where I like to start out slowly, get up, pour my coffee and stare obliviously at the television, or just into space, actually, space works fine for me as I am just staring, grasping the caffeine and acting as a complete non functioning human being for about thirty minutes. Sitting quietly until that first jolt of caffeine kicks in, and then it is all over. Up to that point, do not ask me any question of importance, as there will be no answer. Once caffeinated, the motor starts running. Peter, on the other hand, has been up for hours doing his thing. By this time he has done the Internet, and the Outernet, made piles, picked up piles, filled the washer and dryer to bulging, and put everything on the counter in the dishwasher, so he now is starting to become a bit edgy about life. Not sure why, probably could not smash ten more towels in the washer, or the dishwasher does not quite shut. So, he is pacing around my oblivion, when he mentions, no that is mutters, that he needs a smoke and off he goes into the garage. I, still in my thinking, did he say smoke?...No way, not even something I can comprehend. So, considering I am only half listening, I blow it off that he went out there to load items into the garbage...of course, items I will search for later. He returns, smelling just fine, and we continue our day. This incidence, this "I need a smoke", does not occur again until later in the day, when he starts revving up, mutters and lands in the garage. I still do not catch on...I am a slow learner after all, or maybe it is my fine art of denial. Off he goes, and I am thinking garbage can. It was not until he came home the following week, when I was informed by Mike that Peter was smoking in the garage. WHAT? NO WAY! ABSOLUTELY NO WAY! So, I sneak to the door, peer out, and there stands Peter with his imaginary cigarette "smoking" away. He has the drag perfected, he puffs, he stands there for the allotted smoke time, and even he disposes this unseen white stick into my flower pot. These actions come complete with several exclamations of "I cannot take this anymore", they are driving me nuts, and so on. And then, he walked in, passed me by, as if nothing happened, more relaxed, and ready to pick up his business. I have to admit at that moment I was still trying to replace my jaw that seem to have found it's way to the ground. Smoking??? Peter??? Okay, so it is only imaginary and knowing Peter, it will be replaced by another habit.
Turning from the door, I reflect...You know that Peter, sometimes he is right on the money! I have had those moments, those they are driving me nuts, I cannot handle this anymore moments......Mmmmmm......... maybe, imaginary smoking, stress relieving....mmmm......
So, if driving by you notice Peter and I waving our hands in the air, blowing, puffing, just wave and know that life is good!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Gift

Besides pure entertainment, the train ride also served the purpose of allowing Peter to spend his birthday money. Peter, who is a man of few means rarely makes any gift requests for any holiday which always sends me into a head scratching event of what should I buy this kid? Birthdays and Christmas routinely have been the time to replace the lost or damaged previously owned gifts that Peter conveniently disposes of when he deems these items are no longer functional. He actually was on his third pair of headphones in three weeks prior to his birthday, so I am thinking at least one of the pairs qualifies for a gift. Lets me off the hook of trying to decide what all to buy. Fortunately, Peter was blessed with dollars from gracious aunts, uncles, and friends who sent cards in the mail and add to Peter's thorough enjoyment of his birthday. Ching, ching! He now has dollars to spend.
In the town we have chosen to celebrate the day is a great little breakfast place, so pancakes are covered, and, better yet, an old fashion toy store. The one that carries those unique, yes, and often pricey items, that one cannot locate at the Target. So with full tummies, in we go to the toy store with the charge to Peter to spend his money. We look, we scour all the shelves, we go row by row, looking up and down for that special item, I suggest, I attempt to find anything train related, yet nothing is rocking Peter's boat. And yes, I must admit, I am becoming momentarily sweaty because we are coming close to the end of the store and our task is not complete, no birthday item in hand. Puzzles, Peter...No, I'm good. How about these nice books...good, mom. Connect thanks. Oh darn, I am thinking we are going to leave empty handed when I see Peter on all fours, scrunched way way down on the floor and looking up onto a few items hanging by a hook. I hear a mutter, Yes, he is saying to himself, Yes! This will do. I am so excited that as I round the corner, I trip momentarily before I land on the floor and join in the scrunch. What has he found? What a joyous monumental occasion, for he has found something he wants, he picked out a gift on his own. I am just delighted!! So I peer, wondering what this could be?
And there we sit, on the floor, with his coveted gift....... A gun! Yes, that would be a hand pistol, AKA cap gun. Really, Peter a gun. A child who never could fathom the concept of cowboys and Indians...a gun. You sure Peter? Yep, this is what he wants and there is no going back. So we buy, and Peter continues to enjoy the day..why a train ride and a gun, could life get any better??? And I am wondering how many days will pass before I hear from his work counselors why he has a need for a gun and handcuffs in his book bag.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Birthday

Yesterday, Peter turned 23 years old. Twenty three years of my life with Peter time flies!. I wanted to do something special on his birthday, something he wanted to do, not aboard we went on the Metra to Chicago. The Metra for Peter ranks close to Nirvana. Peter, was aware of this event about four days before the big day, so he was happy. Happy, happy, happy!! A huge smile evolved on his face when I mentioned the word train and stayed there for the next days. He danced, he wiggled, he rejoiced...a train ride. This was definitely a mood changing event and nothing..nada..was going to get in his way of savoring the moment, anticipating the ride.
The big day arrived, and off we went to the train station. Peter's overjoy to be riding on this commuter train was easily observed as he skipped, hopped, and spoke to all those he passed on the boarding platform. He found the conductor standing there and started firing the questions, Is this train going to Chicago, Is this going the right way, When can we get on? The sleepy eyed conductor managed to break a smile, opened the doors, and Peter plowed into the car, taking the first seat so he could watch the doors open and close.
Off we went, in our own little world, Peter sighing every few minutes with delight. Body shaking, hands wringing as the automated voice reminded us, "The doors are about to close". Lacking sleep, my intention was to take a quick cat nap while Peter engaged in the door experience, but his behavior was infectious. Cracking one eye open, I could see the smile, his arm touching mine, I could feel the quiver, and that is all it took to snap me out of sleep mood and immerse myself in the experience. Soon, I was joining in with my best conductor voice, simultaneously Peter and I let everyone in hearing distance know..."The next stop will be Lake Bluff". "Caution, the doors are about to close". The joy of him watching the doors open and close, the sheer delight, the laughter opened my eyes...when have I taken time in the last few days, weeks, months, just to slow down and experience life, nothing fancy, just take in the moment. When I I stopped to just laugh, that down in your stomach, that over all feel good laugh?. When I have stopped to appreciate the small things in life that go by unnoticed? Why, it has been awhile. Peter, in his own way just opened my eyes.
We continue down the tracks as the train fills to the brim with many Saturday morning travelers. Feeling a bit crushed, I make an executive decision to stop and have breakfast in a town on the way to Chicago. Peter does not mind, he has had a train fix and we will be returning shortly. So off we jumped and onto to breakfast. The sun warming our faces as we walk this happy walk and I think, "Thank you Peter for inviting me on the train ride. Thank you for the laughter, and reminding me of the small things in life that evokes such happiness. Thank you Peter for the free high!" The warm sunny day, this happy young man experiencing the start of his 23rd year. Yep, it was a good day!