Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Christmas Concert

So Tom donated plasma this morning.

He had heard from a bunch of people at work that he could get $20 for doing this.

He came home with his elbow area wrapped in a neon green bandage.

"How was it?" I asked, wrinkling my nose. Anything to do with blood creeps me out. I passed out after giving blood when I was pregnant with Tommy and I nearly did with Natalie. The room had started to sway and black patches started to obscure my vision and I muttered that I was dizzy. A few seconds later a cool drink was pressed in my palm and I was instructed to lay back.

Tom has no problems with blood. I suppose it's a good thing, considering he's in the military and all and could potentially see combat one day.

He was able to watch the entire opening scene of Saving Private Ryan with no problems while I covered my eyes and kept asking when the gore part was over.

"That's war, sweetheart," Tom told me crudly.

Which, I know, but I don't exactly need to SEE.

"Giving plasma was easy," Tom told me with a shrug. He set down the folder of information that BioLife had given him. "A little boring though. You have to sit there for about an hour and you can't move your arm."

Then he started explaining exactly how plasma is taken out.


I covered my ears.

"I get it. Thank you," I said when he started talking about how they had pricked his finger first to find out his blood type. I was beginning to feel faint just thinking about all the blood.

"Anyhow," Tom continued. "I made twenty bucks. And I want to take my best girl out to lunch." He pulled me into his arms and I shied away from his bandaged one. He noticed and laughed. "There's no more blood, Amber," he said in an amused tone.

"I know. I just...ew," I replied.

At that moment Natalie spied me in Tom's arms and gave an ear piercing scream.

She's incredibly jealous. If I so much as kiss Tom she has a fit.

I do not envy her future boyfriends.

"Oh. Little miss Natalie. Daddy still loves you," Tom said, letting go of me and scooping her up. He pressed a kiss to her cheek. "Do you want to go out for lunch? Where do you want to go?"

Tommy looked like she was really contemplating this. "Ummmm," she answered.

"I know where I want to go. QUESO!" Tom exploded.


"Chilis then?" I questioned.

Tom nodded and swung Natalie around. "Queso rocks. Queso is delicious. Queso, queso!"


He loves that queso though.

So we did go to Chilis. We were there right when the doors opened at 11. That's the only time Tom likes to go to restaurants. Otherwise they are much too crowded for his liking.

After we ordered--I got the Big Mouth Burgers and Tom got the quesadilla--oh and the queso, of course--I snickered and Tom looked at me with a confused expression.

"What?" he pressed.

"Only you would spend your plasma money on FOOD," I joked.

Natalie behaved the entire time. Basically so long as we get a booth she's fine. This means she's able to move around beside me. The high chairs have never worked for her. I've always marveled on how a family can walk in, pluck their baby in the high chair and the baby will happily sit there..THE ENTIRE TIME.

We were lucky if Natalie sat there for five minutes.

I shared my food with Natalie and she surprised me and actually took a few bites.

Sometimes getting this child to eat anything is a battle.

After that we came home and I got ready to head over to Tommy's Christmas Concert.

Tom decided that he'd stay back and watch Natalie. I was just worried that Natalie wouldn't want to sit.

So I left soon after we got home and headed to Tommy's school. I'm glad I left early. The parking lot was already mostly full by the time I got there. I found a seat and pretended I didn't hear the irritating trill of cell phones going off all around me.

Then the show started. Tommy's class was one of the first ones to perform.

I was nervous at first because the stage was dark. And before the show was supposed to start the entire room went dark and a droplight appeared on the stage.

Oh no, I fretted. How is my awkward kid supposed to find his spot on bleachers in the DARK?

My son, I love him to pieces, but he isn't that coordinated. Thank goodness Tom never expected his son to play sports.

While the lights were still off a low light appeared over the stage and I saw the kids start to file onto the bleachers that were set up on the stage. I didn't hear a thump or Tommy's voice so I let out a breath of relief.

Then the droplight turned on and the class stared back at us. My eyes immediately went over the faces, searching for my son.

And then there he was.

Right in the middle.

I could tell his eyes were searching the audience for me. But I knew he couldn't see.

Then the music started and he began to sing.

Okay, so it's not the best picture. I had my crappy camera with me. But you get the point.

After his class was over I left. I mean no offense to the other children but there was really no point for me to stay. I noticed a lot of other parents leaving too so I didn't feel too bad.

I figured I ought to drop by Tommy's classroom so he knew I was there. Plus I had gift bags to give his teachers.

So I headed for his classroom and then I ran into another parent that I knew.

"Hi," she said brightly. "I was just in the classroom. Your son is crying. He thinks you didn't come."


Poor Tommy.

He so hates to be disappointed.

Though he doesn't cry much at school anymore it still happens occasionally. However, he's learned to control it. While last year he would heave huge sobs and throw himself into a fit, now he's able to cry silently and quickly wipe his tears away.

"I tell my brain not to cry," Tommy once told me. "Because I'm a big boy now."

I thanked the mother and rushed to the classroom.

When I walked in, Tommy's back was to me. He was squatting down with his friends in the make believe corner. I heard a loud sniff from him and then one of his friends noticed me.

"Tommy," he said. "I think your Mom is here."

Tommy swirled around hopefully. And then his face, which was blotched red from the crying, brightened up. He quickly wiped the stray tears away and shouted, "MOMMY!" Then he bounded over to me and threw his arms around my chest. "Mommy," he said again, his voice muffled.

I hugged him back and pressed my lips on the top of his head. "I told you I'd be here," I said. "I promised."

He pulled away and gave me a wide grin. He sniffed one last time and whispered, "I'm sorry I cried."

"That's okay," I said, and cupped his chin lovingly in my palm. I gave him a kiss on his cheek, knowing that my days of doing so in public were most likely numbered.

His teacher smiled brightly at me. "We did have a few tears," she explained. "But I kept telling him that I figured you would show up. You always show up when you say you will after all."

Tommy took my hand and pulled me over to his cubby. "Mommy," he said. "I made you a card." He went through some papers that were in there and pulled out a red card that was crookedly cut. He handed it to me and pointed out the writing. "See? I wrote, "'To Mommy From Tommy. I love you.'" He pointed out each word as he read it to me and gave me another wide grin.

I held the card to my heart. "I love it," I told him. "It's fantastic."

Tommy's grin grew wider.

I took a deep breath. "Well. I better head off. I know your recess is ending soon and you need to get back to work."

Tommy nodded seriously.

"But you sang wonderfully."

"Did you see me?" Tommy asked excitedly.

"I did," I answered. "You looked very handsome."

Tommy nodded again. "Oh yeah," he said with a twinkle in his eye.

And then with one last kiss for my boy I left.

Tomorrow is his last day of school before Christmas break. And then he's off for two weeks.

"Christmas is next week!" Tommy keeps reminding me. As though I could possibly forget.

I'm excited about it too. I can't wait to see Tommy's expression when he realized that he's received both the Grand Central Station and Airport Geotrax sets. He thinks he's only getting one because, "it's very very big and Santa only has room for one."

He's such a good kid.


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