Archive for June 2008

Gotcha Day 2008

June 30, 2008

Fourteen years ago today, this was the scene at the international terminal at our metro airport. It was the hand off of the smiliest, cutest little bundle of Korean joy ever. He had a head full of hair, one deep dimple and eyes that totally disappeared when he smiled. I had gotten him first….and then my Mom…..and finally his Dad. Best way ever to give ‘birth.’ No spinals. No stitches. No ice chips. Just open your arms and BINGO. Instant parenthood. Unconditional love. Right from the get go.

And today, this was the scene at another of our favorite restaurants. Same kid. Same dimple. Same Dad. Same head of hair…not. Parting with previous ‘Gotcha Day’ traditions (pick of places for dinner, choice of a family activity), this year we gave him a ‘gift.’ Five whole days of being an only child again. Sigh.

TODAY was the day we dropped his sister off at the greatest summer camp EVER. Dad is home from work. Mom is off on summer vacation. Okay, so it wasn’t actually PLANNED this way but I am a ‘seize the moment’ kind of gal. Opportunity unexpectedly arose. Besides, the agenda now is to smother him with so much attention and affection so he will actually be GLAD to see the Princess on Thursday.

Wish us luck. : )

And how was YOUR day?

June 27, 2008

At a message board I visit, people were comparing the activities of their days. Dentist visits, shoe shopping, college classes, writing all fit in somewhere. Here is a rundown of what MY days have been like this week…..every day.

8 am Wake up kiddos and ask if they want breakfast
8:10 Chocolate chip pancakes in the pan and onto plates
8:20 Jump in shower
8:30 Dry/curl hair, dress
8:40 Jump in car to drive princess to band camp
9:00 Drop Princess off at the middle school
9:20 Buy a Gatorade at the market for Prince, coax/reassure/humiliate him that he does NOT suck at soccer, remind him that he is playing with kids 2,3 and 4 years OLDER.
9:45 Sit in front of high school soccer field to wait for someone for him to walk in with so he doesn’t feel like a ‘dweeb’.
10:00 Watch Prince saunter to soccer field with other freshman dweebs for a ‘volunteer’ Soccer practice.
10:30 Sit in a hot car at the middle school parking lot to watch Princess march with middle schoolers practicing for a holiday parade.
10:37 Smile/wave/take pictures/wipe away sweat streaming down face.
10:45 Smile/wave…again…as band comes back up the parkinglot drive.
10:49 Read new favorite novel.
11:00 Pick up Princess and a friend from Band Camp
11:03 Listen and nod aimlessly to a discussion about who is ‘hotter’ – Josh Hutcherson or the kid with the drum.
11:04 Listen to them hoot when I say that I am hotter because I was sitting in the car.
11:15 Drop friend off at home. Chat with friend’s mom.
11:30 Drive to high school to retrieve Prince while singing along with Princess’ new favorite Faith Hill song.
11:33 Count blessings that it is Faith HIll and not Miley Cyrus….again.
11:47 Sit in hot car waiting for Prince and watching Princess flirt with a school friend who is taking a tennis lesson. Wipe away more sweat.
11:50 Sit up straight and wipe away more sweat with the sudden realization that she KNOWS how to flirt.
12:00 Watch Prince saunter off soccer field with older high school soccer friends. No longer a dweeb….for now.
12:04 Try – in vain – to get Prince to recount how practice went.
12:30 Take Prince and Princess swimming/bowling/movies/driving range for ‘fun’. Spend too much money. Read a few more pages of new favorite novel when they aren’t looking.
3:30 Return home. Relax and read mail.
3:32 Smile when Prince says he did really, really good as a goalie during practice. Refrain from saying ‘I told you so.’
3:35 Remind Prince of ‘no television’ rule, tell Princess ‘later’ when she asks to ride her bike ‘a little while’.
3:38 Ignore Prince’s whine/argument about the ‘no television’ rule.
3:45 Start dinner meal for HRH. Recount everything done for ‘them’ when there is argument about setting table for dinner.
3:55 Demand that SOMEONE set the damn table.
3:57 Tell Princess she may NOT ride her bike to the ‘little store’ until tomorrow. Respond to Prince’s argument/whine about ‘no television’ rule.
3:58 Ignore the slam of a door as Prince goes to his room.
3:59 Tell Princess she may NOT ride her bike around the block right now….even though she did set the table.
4:00 Kiss HRH as he comes in the door.
4:05 Pitch dinner at HRH’s head when he dares to say, “It must be nice to be on summer vacation.”

Bob Wernet’s Super Chief

June 26, 2008

Every family has one, I am sure. The little greasy spoon…restaurant dive….that holds memories galore. For my children and I, it’s this place. The Super Chief. Foot long coney dogs with buttery grilled buns and messy, mild chili. The greasiest, best tasting onion rings in the world. Cherry cokes still made with real cherry syrup and bits of real cherries in the bottom of your cup that plug up your straw. I don’t think I have ever had anything else there in….forever. I know we went for breakfast one Saturday once…but it wasn’t the same.

We had an argument today about how many people the place holds. I said 33 but the Prince said I am imagining things. HE says it’s less. At any rate it’s small. They have added a small patio with picnic tables for the summer months. Maybe 4 tables. The cozy crowdedness is actually part of it’s charm. We have never had to wait for a seat. And there is always a steady stream of customers.

The Super Chief has been a favorite of my family’s for a good long while. Back then it was a drive in. You pulled your car in and someone came out to take your order. Food was brought to your car on a tray that balanced on your half open window. The perfect place for a summer evening dinner. I am not sure when they moved to this building. It may even have been a move back. My dad used to stop in for chili dogs when he was still driving a truck….way over 50 years ago. Once we gave my dad a tee shirt form the store as a Christmas gift. He was wearing it in Daytona Beach, Florida and was stopped by someone who knew the place. So they chatted a while. Memories….and chili dogs.

When my son was about 4 years old and my parents were visiting from their new home in Florida, we went for lunch. I remember him in shorts and a tee shirt, feet in tennies swinging, as I explained our family history with the place while my dad leaned against the counter and talked with deceased owner’s wife. My son had a quizzical little look on his face for a moment and then said. “Pop brought you hera when you were a yiddle girl….and now you are bring me hera.” The frown deepened a little. My guy. At four he had figured out a new concept. Continuity….and chili dogs.

The restaurant is right around the corner from the building where I would spend hours working on materials for my classroom every summer. I would drag the kids there, set them to work and promise them the work session would be followed by a visit to the Super Chief. One such late summer day we sat in a tight corner booth having a rollicking conversation as we sipped away on cherry cokes. The Prince and I had discovered a – then new – Lewis and Clark coin in my change purse. We were talking about how cool it was when the Princess piped up with some comment. The Prince was rather disdainful and told her she didn’t even know about Lewis and Clark. She informed him that she did so. It was Superman! Heh. (Before school routines involved watching a bit of ‘LOIS and Clark’ on television every morning.) That particular day a very well dressed lawyer type woman who had been reading the paper at the table next to us during our exchange, stopped by to tell me how much she had enjoyed my family that day. Heh. That’s the type of place it is. No secrets…..and chili dogs.

Another time we were there during the winter. Just the kids and I…again. Funds were a little tight that day and I knew she wouldn’t finish a whole foot long chili dog, so I planned to eat part of the Princess’ meal. When the waitress came to take our order, she asked if I wanted anything. When I said no, the Princess burst out that we didn’t have enough money. Well, two orders of onion rings, three foot longs, three cherry cokes and no bill later….we were the recipients of the owner’s generosity… something she does all the time, I was assured. Heh. Heartfelt generosity….and chili dogs.

Bob Wernet no longer owns the Super Chief. Neither does his wife. Bob passed away in 2002. The new owners have pledged to run it just as it has always been run. And just to make sure, Bob’s wife shows up for work there – every day. She has a huge candy bucket that comes out when kids are handy. The same Native American art works hang on the walls. Cheesy paintings of perfect people with feathers in their hair. There is a sculpture of Chief Pontiac on a shelf over the drink dispenser. And a drawing of Bob on the wall next to it. We took a friend with us this time. And a camera. I planned to take pictures for this blog entry. Unfortunately, we forgot to get a picture of the chili dogs before we ate them. Heh. Guess you will have to see one for yourself! Onion rings….and chili dogs

Bob Wernat’s Super Chief is located at 340 W Walton Blvd , Pontiac, MI
And they do take outs too. Phone – (248) 333-2028

A Foot

June 20, 2008

When he was a baby I was fascinated with his hands. I tried and tried to capture that sweet softness, busy-ness and squishy loveliness of his hands with my camera. Never could come close. Now that he is older I am fascinated with his feet. He is embarassed when I pull out my camera and does not want his picture taken….at all. So I have to content myself with an occasional sneaky shot. This time of a foot. A big foot really. A foot I used to stuff into socks and sandals and tennis shoes and snow boots. A foot that has worn out too many pairs of soccer cleats. A foot that actually danced with a girl last winter. A foot that is always on the move. You have to wonder where it’s going to take him in life. I do.

One down….

June 18, 2008

Gotta love a new coach who calls to thank you for selecting their club and tells you that your daughter ‘has the ‘head’ for soccer but also the ‘heart’.” He was amazed at how quickly she fit in with the others. She will be playing for $%@*&%!#& Community Soccer’s premiere U-13 team next year….and they are thrilled. So am I. Her team will practice at a school just 15 minutes away from home.


June 15, 2008

Dang but he was short……and cute. The Prince is the one in the yellow shirt. This was a game between the big kids and the little kids as a season ender fun day. And the end of the dual season. We were in the middle of our adoption paperwork for Nina and I couldn’t remember where I signed him up to play. Turned out to be both the YMCA and the local soccer club. Heh. One was full out, full team soccer and the other was 3 on 3. We were going to pick the one he enjoyed the most but ended up playing both. Practice/games four days a week. Fun….and funny when they are small.

Soccer Musings…..

June 14, 2008

We played our last games with WAZA Flo today. WAZA is Japanese for ‘technique’. When the kiddos were younger and went to summer soccer camp, ‘remember your WAZA!’ was sort of like a battle cry. And it was a good one. The Princess has played for this soccer club for four and a half years and her brother for two. The practice field has changed twice in that time and we have driven close to an hour each way two or three times a week….for practice. This year we were lucky that another family from school decided to play there as well. Car pooling became the name of the game. However, sky rocketing gas prices – among other things – have led us to decide to find a club closer to home.

I didn’t expect to feel melancholy today but I did. Watching the Princess play in the HOT sun with soccer friends – some of whom she has played with for four years and others for two- was a little sad. They have come a long way as a team – together. They have all really grown up….and in some respects, out. Heh. Thinking about where they were as as eight year olds and now they are twelve and thirteen….where does the time go?

My soccer fiends have both gained so much in terms of skills and confidence with WAZA. Seeing what his sister was trained to do is what precipitated the Prince’s decision to switch soccer clubs. He went through alot of taunting and bullying at school for changing. He even had a circle from the old club tease and pester him from the sidelines during an actual game. He was tagged a traitor by kids who shouldn’t even be allowed to say the word. I thought staying out of it and teaching him to deal with it by ‘blowing it off’ was the way to go. After all, he was going to have to deal with the same sort of thing for the rest of his life, right? A friend taught me different when she stood up for her son….who was going through the same thing for the very same reason…by cornering the parents of the kids doing the bullying. It stopped. Sort of. MY lesson learned.

We have planned tryouts at three local clubs in the next week. We shall see where we actually end up……