Come back tomorrow and meet Luigi.
LittleBrother finished up preschool this morning. Not forever. He has one year left in the big kid classroom next year, so we’ll have some cute preschool stuff left in our future. But this year is done. The little kid classroom is done. Which means that two teachers we have been with for four years said goodbye to us today. Ah, sunrise, sunset.
Please ignore the crooked door in his last day of school photos. You see, LittleBrother is difficult to photograph, as witnessed by the disintegration of his first day of school photos. He’s a spitfire, and we learned that even more this school year. He grew and changed and morphed from cute little LittleBrother to this cute but slightly ornery little boy with a sense of humor and an early case of sarcasm. I think we’re in trouble with this one.
I say that kindly, of course, because he is awesome in so many ways.
He hasn’t yet picked a hand to write with, but that’s mostly okay. He writes and colors almost equally with both hands. Though he does bat left handed. He says that he wants to write with his right hand, but he still switches at will; if he wants to color on the left side of the page, he puts the crayon in his left hand. I’m sure he’ll figure it out sometime in the near future, and we’re continuing to encourage him to do what feels right.
Apparently what feels right is reading. I don’t know if it’s because he was basically present for all of BigBrother’s reading lessons or his super awesome brain capacity or just his personality, but the kid is already blowing through early sets of BOB Book readers. When he asked to start learning to read this past winter, I kind of shrugged at him. I suppose that’s one of the problems with being the younger brother. Imagine my surprise when he got out a book and blew right through it. And it wasn’t a matter of having it memorized, because he just blew through a whole set that BigBrother never had. He’s just awesome.
He did a lot of other stuff this school year, too. He made new friends. He went on playdates — without me. He sang really loudly at his Christmas and Spring programs. He made lots of crafts, many of which he was personally affronted if I didn’t keep on the fridge for the appropriate amount of time. He is playing on a t-ball team — without his brother. He got stuck in a tree with his Buzz Lightyear wings. (No, really.) He got started on learning computer skills with his own monitored account and time limits. He can rock a Kindle Fire and an iPhone both. And he grew. A lot.
One of my favorite things about this little man is that he’s tough. He hasn’t met something that he can’t do if he wants to do it. On the flip side, he also won’t do something if he doesn’t want to do it. Both of those things are great traits — but they can be frustrating and hard to keep up with at times. He’s a fantastic little boy who is growing so quickly that I can’t believe my eyes.
He’s very excited to be on summer break. He’s been asking when we were going to the beach for vacation since February. He said last week, when we were going fishing on BigBrother’s last day of school, that he wishes we could go fishing every day. He wants to go camping. A lot. He wants to spend the summer playing and laughing and telling jokes that drive me crazy and poking at his brother and generally being… LittleBrother.
I’m looking forward to it.
So, both boys are now out of school for summer. Look for the OMG post soon.
Dear Drunk Driver who Hit the Vehicle my Husband Was Riding in Late Saturday Night/Early Sunday Morning;
I won’t pretend to know what you were thinking when you slammed into the back of that Suburban and then careened into the truck my husband was riding in at the time. I don’t think I can wrap my head around the decision to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while drunk, drinking or even only “just had a few.” There is no excuse: You were in the wrong.
Now that we all understand that you were in the wrong, I feel the need to tell you a few things about one of the men you endangered with your bad decision.
He is, hands down, the most amazing man I have ever met. He is a devoted husband, a hands-on daddy, this house’s primary dish washer, a loving son, a helpful grandson, a loyal friend, a faithful believer, and a dedicated firefighter. I suppose if you’re going to get all willy-nilly drunk and slam into two cars that are stopped, hitting a bunch of firefighters was a good choice on your part, though I suspect that you had little to do with that aspect of the decision. But back to my husband…
He seems quiet at first, and honestly, he’s not as loud as me. He is the loud to my quiet, the relaxed to my high strung. He balances me. We’re one of those weird couples that simply matches. We are, if you’ll allow me a Sleepless in Seattle moment, MFEO. Fake gag at our sappy love all you want, everyone else does. But we’ve got a good thing going over here. And that quiet I mentioned? It disappears as you get to know him. While he’ll never be as loud as me, he is quick with a joke. The twinkle in his eye lets you know that even when he’s quiet, he’s laughing on the inside. He makes me feel like I’m the smartest, funniest, most talented, most beautiful woman on the planet. I would be lost without him.
Our two sons love him to the moon and back. About eighty bagillion times. There is no one as amazing as their daddy. I mean, what little boy doesn’t want a firefighter for a dad? He is a super hero in their eyes. He plays rough, but cuddles close. He can swing a light saber with the best of them, and has taught our boys how to cast while fishing. He’s patient when teaching them how to play baseball, how to kick a soccer ball. He does things with and teaches the boys things that I either can’t do or he just simply does better. Like vacuuming. He makes my sons feel loved, valued and important. They would be lost without him.
There are other people, removed from the obvious people like his mom and dad and sister and grandparents, who would be heartbroken without my husband. My daughter. My parents, brother and grandparents, all of whom seem to like him more than they like me. The Fake Husband. Countless others around this city whom he has touched, whom he has helped, whom he has bestowed his winning smile upon. His fellow firefighters, for whom he would lay his life on the line.
Which brings me to this point: I have learned to live with the fear, the worry, the anxiety that comes hand-in-hand with being a firefighter’s wife. Most days, I don’t think about it. He goes to work, and I busy myself with my work, our children, the home and life as it happens. I have forced myself to ignore the scanner, forced myself not to turn it on when he runs out in the middle of the night. Despite the fact that I can function even when I know he’s on a major fire, the fear always looms, lurks in the back of my head, my heart. It’s dangerous, fighting fires. It is. It makes me angry that you took something that didn’t cause me much fear — driving — and tainted it. I don’t want to live in fear every time that he leaves the house that a drunk driver will ruin everything we have with one bad judgment call.
Do you know what frustrates me most, Mr. Drunk Driver? I know nothing about you. The news media in Columbus doesn’t find a car accident caused by a drunk driver that involved three firefighters and two other civilians (of which, those two were transported to the hospital) to be news-worthy. The Ohio Crash Report doesn’t yet have you uploaded so that I can know your name, so that I can google you and figure out if you were set to lose as much as we were that night. So I can know who my enemy is. So I can say a prayer for that enemy, that maybe, God willing, the next time you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you will think twice about those “just a few beers” that you have had. So that maybe you won’t put that car in drive. So that maybe you’ll think about families and fathers and mothers and children and sons and daughters and friends and co-workers and random acquaintances that would be devastated by the loss of one of their own. The good news is that, once the weekend backlog is officially entered, I’ll know who to pray for — whose name to pray never crosses our paths again.
Maybe you’re a great guy, Mr. Drunk Driver. Maybe you made one bad choice in the middle of a lifetime of great choices. Maybe you feel such remorse that it will never, ever happen again. I hope so. I hope no wife has to listen to her husband recount the moments that could have ended it all. I hope no wife has to experience worse than that — the unthinkable, the unmentionable.
I am thankful that my husband is okay. I am still praying that those in the Suburban that you slammed into first are okay. I spent most of yesterday thanking God and simply staring at my husband. The problem with that is that I’m always thankful for my husband. I didn’t need this near tragedy to open my eyes and show me what an amazing man I married. I always knew that; I didn’t need your help.
We love this man.
So, in short: Keep your drunk-driving, bad-choice-making, family-endangering behind off the road and away from my family.
The Wife of the Most Amazing Man Ever
(PS: I didn’t cuss in this letter, but let it be known: I have thought all of the letter words since the accident happened. Just sayin’.)