Daily Archives: April 3, 2013

The More Things Change, The More They … Change

James is a dreadlocked, young AfricanAmerican, with the clear muscle definition of someone who practices what he preaches. James is my personal trainer. I really like working with him. The area in which I trust him the most is the design and implementation of a session. The area in which I trust him the least is in remembering what I have expressed about why I want certain times of day, or certain days of the week for regular sessions.

In February of this year, I made a decision to discontinue scheduling any morning appointments for myself, be they personal training, or social, so that I could be at home while Kepler is at home. From what I read, he may be easier than most kids with Down syndrome, and is pretty calm and easygoing. It took me some time to recognize what benefit there would be for him for me to be at home in the mornings before he goes to afternoon kindergarten. 

I suppose I like (the illusion of) control as much as the next guy, and I used to think that I was in control of so much more than I really am. When Kepler was born 7 years ago, my graduate program in LIFE started, and one of the key curriculum features has been the constancy of change. This subject requires a great deal of attention and study time; the tests are frequent and unexpected; and the professor is different every day. 

I figured the graduate program featuring Kepler was as much as i could handle. But that pesky professor keeps sending me other opportunities to be flexible, adjust, and embrace change. 

I have told my personal trainer (more than once, I tell you) that my desire is to have two sessions per week, about three days apart. We have had to reschedule many appointments due to my own illness or travel, or the illness of one of my kids. But, throughout, I have consistently said that two days a week, in the afternoon, is my preference. I had to miss last Friday due to another illness, and was so looking forward to finally getting to my scheduled session today. Then, this morning at 5 am, he texted me to ask if I have any available time for a session on Thursday. Yes, I say, why? He will already be at the studio Thursday morning and would like for my session to coincide with that, which means he is canceling for today. More  boring blah, blah, blah here, ending with me saying I will see him Friday afternoon. 

He has no memory of my comments about afternoon? About Wednesdays being great days for me? About the problems with mornings? 

And once again, the land beneath me shifts unexpectedly, and I decide to shift as well. First, I fall as the ground shifts, and have to reorient myself. But then I adjust to this latest illustration of the the constancy of change that is actually a pretty amazing part of life.  

A to Z Blog Challenge: B-B-B-B-B

Long, long ago, like maybe in 1974, Sandra Boynton started drawing greeting cards which featured clever, whimsical, joyful animals, and I loved them right away. Years later, my children and I were browsing in the Cincinnati Joseph-Beth Booksellers, and I spied the cover of a book called Philadelphia Chickens which bore her trademark characters.

Deep in the midst of childrearing as I was, with my own chickens 9, 8, 7, and 4, I appreciated children’s books at that time as much or more as the great classics of the ages.

Upon closer inspection, I discovered that Philadelphia Chickens was actually a book of songs, which included a CD. Not only that, but the CD featured people like Kevin Bacon, Laura Linney, and Kevin Kline (and more!) singing clever, catchy, creative songs. Impulse buy, schmimpulse buy. This was not to be missed. It had me at hello.

When I heard Sandra was going to be coming to this very same bookseller for a guest appearance a few weeks later, I cleared the calendar to make sure it was the highest priority for us that day, night, week, month. Oh, how she did not disappoint.

Some people appreciate Beethoven. Beethoven is great, actually, but Boynton is really something special. In the 11 years that we have owned this CD, our entire family has enjoyed these joyful songs hundreds of times.

From the cows in the first song, to the philadelphia chickens (you’re not gonna keep ’em down on the farm), to the pigs in Pig Island, this CD is a treasure. There’s a lot of bad news out there coming at us every day, and Sandra Boynton does her part (and considerably more) to bring a joyful perspective on life. If you’ve never heard Philadelphia Chickens, time’s a-wastin.