Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lesson 100: Let's Hear it for the Boy

Tonight's blog post ended up being the perfect one to celebrate my 100th blog post since August of 2010.  I saw the triple digit creeping up last month and the topic of #100 has been on my mind.  What would be worthy enough to hold the place of Post 100?  It didn't all come together but a couple of hours ago and the catalyst was a mistake.

I checked back to look at the blog for a reason I already can't remember (Eloise has a very cluttered mind, especially on Sunday nights).  When I looked at post #99 I realized part of the story did not upload.  There is a missing paragraph (or two).  I don't write from drafts---I just write like I talk, as if you were sitting right on the other side of my computer screen (which you kind of are).  Readers always tell me that when they read what I write, they can hear my voice--and I think literally, not so much the poetic writer's voice.  And is because my fingers just fly; I don't have a copy to look back on.  But when I read it back through, there is an obvious point where the story drops off and changes topic rather abruptly.  You can actually see where it is.  The missing paragraph(s) belong next to the long shot of the Lamp Post that shows the wall where I want to get a lamp.  Reader Jenny already found me one!  Thank you.  Now help me convince my family I need to have it.

In the writer's world, this is called a poor transition.  It is the very thing we teachers are trying to teach children when they write--it's all about good transitions---it makes for a smooth flow for your writing.  I think about the only flow kids get from teachers is that advice, going in one ear and out the other.  Writing is not a popular subject in school for most kids.  In fact, I do believe most people struggle with written expression; probably darn near as many who are afraid of public speaking.  I can do both well, hence my profession.

I was writing about the elm tree tag that my dad hung in his garagemahal.  Then there is this vast emptiness....then I start talking about the wall of the Lamp Post in need of a lamp post.  Clunk.  That is what you call a poor transition.  The gist of the missing piece was this:  You should surround yourself with the things you love in the space that you have--and namely the place you most frequent.  For my Dad it is the Garagemahal, for my Mother, her kitchen, and for me, it's The Lamp Post.  I can do my most creative work in the space I am most comfortable in.  The Lamp Post is up high, just like it sounds as though it should be, sitting atop my living room in a loft area.  I have a window for natural light, and a wood stove beneath it that radiates heat upwards to warm my feet.  So my transition was to link my Dad's sanctuary to my own.  Smooth.  If you upload correctly, that is.

I strive to write seamlessly because I hate transitions in general.  I never have dealt with change well, nor do I feel comfortable when things move to fast.  I like to take my time and think things over.  I am a ponderer and in another life, I do believe I was some sort of tree sloth (I eat plants, I love trees, I'm slow moving, and that hair of mine.......).  Annoying as it is for those who know me, a reminder to you:  we can't help how we are made.

Four and a half years ago I made myself a little boy who is turning out to be a heck of a lot like his Momma.  He's blue eyed, stubborn as all get out, and wide through the butt like a  linebacker (like I said, we can't help how we are made).  Sam is constant material for this blog.  God knows what his therapist will say to him as together they go back and revisit Sam's childhood all recorded in blogdom for the world to see.  And those of you who know me, have heard that I'm having a bit of a bump in the road with him.  It's not a road block, it's a pothole people, and we're making our way around it with lots of help from lots of people.  They all say the same thing--the kid gets anxious over transitions.  I get that.  Big time.

We have cool cards posted all over the house at 3 foot high eye level that say, "Wait--Breathe--Count---Calm Down."  It's too bad that I am the one who most often uses them.  I'm killing my knees.  Remind me to raise those suckers up to 5'8" high.  With patience, consistency, and persistence, Sam is nearly back to the old funny Sam that he was six months ago.  He's sleeping better, much more settled, and eating like a champ.  I only got about ten years to go to fatten him up for the Huskies line.

I know this is going to seem like a poor transition now, you Careful Readers, but this does link together.  I went to the new Footloose movie this weekend.  I went with my friend Keri who happens to dance better than Julianne Hugh and owns the dance studio where my girls take lessons.  She also happens to be the one I was sitting next to at the showing of the original movie at The Eastway Twin Theaters twenty-five years ago.  It was really a full circle moment for the both of us--especially when I kept whispering to her probably too loudly I want those red boots!  My first task upon my return home was to announce to the facebook world that I had seen the movie (I know Slovenians, don't judge, because Americans aren't the only ones who do this).  My second task was to melt my iTunes card downloading the music.

All of the original songs have been remade and they are quite good.  Blake Shelton's version of the title track is very good.  Holding on to a Hero was the biggest surprise---it is slowed wwwaaaaaayyyyy down, but it is excellent.  My favorite though is Let's Hear it for the Boy.  For those of you who can remember the original, it is the song Kevin Bacon teaches Willard to dance to.  Willard is in the new movie version and is ten times more lovable than in the first one.  In fact, I think Willard steals the show.  The song you hear playing in the background of my home movie clip is Let's Hear it for the Boy--the new version.

It was Sunday night and I was getting prepared for the week.  If you look around my kitchen you'll see the garbage ready to go out and a floor in desperate need of sweeping.  You'll also see the corner cupboard minus the door.  Sam thought it would be a fun hiding place for hide and seek and he leaned his 51 pounds on it and the hinges gave (I told you LINEBACKER).   I was in the middle of all of this Sunday evening clean up with my music blasting to keep me motivated.  Sam heard it and he came skidding in to the kitchen in his socks saying, "Dance with me Momma!"  The boy is more and more like me every day.   He loves his music and loves to dance.

Music is on in my house and car almost all of the time.  It was how I grew up and I think I carried that piece into my life today.  Music soothes me when I am sad, can force a tear when I am in need of a good cry, or keep me up and moving on a Sunday night when I'd rather just sit on my couch and leave it all until the morning.  And when it's on, you'll often find me dancing in my kitchen, usually sliding around the linoleum in my socks, just like Sam on the clip (although I don't do the belly flop thing--like I said, that floor is in desperate need of a good sweeping, so I know better).

Sam, clad in his peace t-shirt (I secretly hope some tranquility will seep into him through osmosis) and plaid pajama bottoms was happy tonight.  The boy you see on the movie is my old Sam--that funny, lovable, off the cuff kid who keeps me on my toes.  So tonight, when he yelled, "Dance with me Momma!" I did just that.  The sweeping could wait and the only garbage that I wanted to think about was the white bag that needed to go out behind the wood pile.  None of Sam's problems the past six months mattered at the moment.  All that mattered was he wanted to dance with me.

Psalm 149, verse 3 was quoted by Footloose character Ren McCormick when approaching the town council in attempt to abolish the ordinance about teen dancing.  It reads:  Let them praise his name with dancing....
And I did just that on many levels.  (And how about that for a transition, for ya'?  I sure hope it posts correctly).

Let's hear it for my boy!

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

I was thinking about names for your tree. How about 'Willow' means freedom/liberty. Also, I just think it would be funny to name an Elm tree, Willow.