Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Conversations with Smiths-Part 13

I have always claimed to know nothing about football. It's not a baseless claim, despite the fact that I was in marching band for 2 years of high school and therefore attended all the Friday night football games. 

Also, despite the fact that I dated a football player (although, it was off-season). He was very nice about and I think even a little amused by my ignorance of the sport. I regularly referred to him as My Big Dumb Jock, and he was nice enough not to point out that in this particular area, I was the dumb one.

And then in college I was surrounded by other music majors. The majority of us had been in marching bands, but we didn't talk about football. Until I started dating a guy (also a music major) my sophomore year who was appalled at my lack of football knowledge. We started dating in November, and he almost immediately began trying to teach me about it. I was not an enthusiastic student. I did, however, agree to watch the SuperBowl that year. I brought homework to do and only really looked up during the commercials, such was my enthusiasm for the event. 

He managed to teach me one thing. I think we were at a diner when it finally sunk in. There may have been sugar packets involved in the explanation. But, the one piece of football knowledge I have retained is this: A sack is when the quarterback is tackled behind the line of scrimmage. 

At the wedding of this ex-boyfriend, my husband actually thanked him for working so hard to teach me that one thing, because he wasn't getting anywhere with furthering my football knowledge.

That's it. That's all I know. I know the definition of a sack. It's like my party trick. I now live in a land obsessed with college football, and when accused of knowing nothing, I pull out my one piece of knowledge. (Also, I knew that this year OSU managed to do very well with their 3rd string quarterback. But you can't really live here and NOT know things like that.)

Or at least I THOUGHT that was all I knew. Until last night.

Benjamin: So, while I was sitting outside the trainers icing, I heard this really weird thud come from the football field and there was our one shining hope for a decent football season. He's an incredible linebacker and now it looks like he's out for the season!

Me: Oh, no! What happened? 

Benjamin: They think his ankle is fractured. It was an incredibly hard sack.

Me: [getting all excited!] But that wasn't a sack. He's not the quarterback.

Benjamin: Yeah, but it doesn't always have to be the quarterback for it to be a sack.

Todd: [reading the definition of "sack" from my phone] "Sack-In American football and Canadian football, a sack occurs when the quarterback (or another offensive player acting as a passer) is tackled behind the line of scrimmage before he can throw a forward pass.

Me: Yes, but linebacker isn't an offensive position.

Benjamin: [glowers at me]

Me: Face it. I know more about football than you. [I totally don't, but it's fun to egg him on.]

Benjamin: You really don't, Mom.

Me: Apparently, today I do.

Benjamin: Okay, what's a wide receiver?

Me: Someone who catches the ball...you know, but far away from things.

Benjamin: I'm just not going to talk anymore.

At which point Todd and I high-fived and we continued with dinner. Also, it should be noted that I had NO IDEA that I knew what linebackers and wide-receivers were! They must put something in the water in Columbus....


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Conversations with the Smiths- Part 12




Me: "So, tonight Benjamin has to be at the church at 6:15 to go over the music for the choir on Sunday, then Caleb has scouts there at 7, and the older boys have to go over to Rosie's house for the campfire, also at 7. AND Nathaniel's hippie commie high school parent meeting is also at 7. So, I'll take the kids at 6:15, leave Caleb there at 6:50, take the other boys over to the campfire, then go to the parent meeting. Can you just go and catch the first 10 minutes until I get there, and then you can pick up all the boys and take Benjamin to dance?

Todd: Or.....I could just go to the parent meeting.

Me: WHAT???? After what happened the last time I sent you to a parent meeting at the beginning of the school year??

[It was before preschool for the same child that is now starting high school. But still, he told me nothing and I spent the whole year in utter confusion. The teachers and parents would look at me perplexed and say, "But we covered this at the parent meeting at the beginning of the year. Don't you remember?" Grrrrrr.]

Todd: That was a LONG time ago!!

Me: He skipped two grades in the meantime. It wasn't THAT long ago!

Todd: I promise I'll take notes.

Me: Hm. You promise?

Todd: Yes

Me: Really good notes?

Todd: sigh YES

Me: Fine. I guess you can go instead. But they'd better be excellent notes!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Epilogue: Not only did he take good notes, he took them in Google Drive, so he could share the file with me. He brought me the dates and agenda AND he even asked a clarifying question or two that he knew I'd want the answer to.  He has redeemed himself nicely. Although, when I asked if he wanted to go to the regular high school parent meeting tonight since I went last year for the other son, he totally balked. Ah, well.

Conversations with Smiths- Part 11


I think we can all agree that an alternate title for the "Conversations with Smiths" could be "Poor Todd". The man puts up with a lot from us, bless him.

A few nights ago while at the pool with friends, I was explaining that I'd had reunion with my childhood friend, Dave. Dave and I became very good friends at the tender age of 9. We are as different as can be, but found mutual satisfaction in long walks and hikes and beating each other up. Now, when I say beating each other up, I'm not being euphamistic. We were rough on each other. There was biting, scratching, hair pulling, tackling, wrestling. Hours of my youth were spent in hand to hand combat with this boy. And we both loved every minute of it!  (Well, maybe not the hair pulling. I still don't love that.)

Todd even took pictures to document.


Anyway, we spent the night at the house of our dear friends, the Shropes, the night before we left on our European travels, and I persuaded Dave (a relative of theirs) to come visit. I'm not sure my family or his (with the exception of his sister who had been there for the childhood/teenage version of our friendship) knew what to expect of this reunion. But what they got was a front row seat to a knock down drag out between the two of us. My children were amused at first, then disturbed, and eventually they fled. Todd continued to chat with our friends as if his wife wasn't pinned under a full grown man who she was kicking in the head to be let go of.

As I related all of this to the friends at the pool, one of them turned to Todd and said, "Was that the weirdest thing you've ever experienced?"

Todd without missing a beat said, "Being married to Emilia? Ha! Um, no."

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Conversations with Smiths- Part 10

Remember yesterday when I mentioned that we tend to get a leeetle bit off track during scripture study time?

We had just read this scripture:

18 Lift up thine eyes round about and behold; all these gather themselves together, and they shall come to thee. And as I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on even as a bride. [1 Nephi 21:18, but quoting Isaiah 49]

Nathaniel: Is this scripture telling us to tie up our wives?


Todd: What?


Caleb: Hey, Dad, I guess you need to tie up Mom.


Todd to me: What is he talking about?


Me: Binding up brides, naturally.


Todd: Um, Ok.


Me: Ha. Good luck.


Benjamin: That's true. If Mom doesn't want to be tied up, there's no way Dad would be able to do it.


Nathaniel: Mom would beat you up if you tried, Dad.


Caleb: Yeah. Mom would win.


Todd: [who thought he was being too quiet for the kids to hear, waggles his eyebrows at me] Well, I didn't know you were into that sort of thing.


Me: [Smirking at him with one eyebrow raised] You don't know everything about my past.


Benjamin: [The one sitting furthest from us, but the only one who heard] Ahh! [Looking completely horrified! Eyes bulging wide open, face frowning, and then curling himself into a ball on the couch to whimper.] Don't want to know! Don't even want to think about it! Aahhahahaha! Scarred for life. Life, I tell you!


Todd: Oh, stop. We're your parents. We have sex. Get over it.


Benjamin: Ahhhh! Make it stop!!!


Nathaniel: And THEN you can use the tied up brides as Christmas trees; you know, with all the ornaments you hang on them after you bind them up.


Me: PLEASE, stop talking, Nathaniel.


Todd: [snapping the scriptures closed and sighing peevishly] I guess we're done with scriptures for tonight. I don't know why I even bother some nights. [looking at all of us who are giggling and snorting]


And again we must say, Poor Todd.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Conversations with Smiths- Part 9

We Smiths spend a lot of our family together time in three places; the car en route to wherever, the dinner table, and in the living room for family scripture study and then family prayers.

Family scripture study is a challenge for any family for a number of reasons. It's difficult to get everyone in the same place at the same time. Also, it's difficult to read when you have family members of all different ages and reading/comprehension levels.

In our case, though, the problem seems to be that it's a problem because we're all together. Once one person loses it, everyone but Todd quickly follows leaving him to try desperately to rein us all back in, poor man.

Tonight was a good example.  While reading Isaiah 49, we got a little, um, distracted.

Caleb: In Primary a few weeks ago, they asked us which of the 10 commandments we knew. I said, "THOU SHALL NOT PASS!"

Me: Did anyone get it?

Caleb: [Name of one of his friends] got it. But none of the other kids...But all the guy teachers laughed a lot.

Benjamin: Yeah, knowing the men who are teaching in primary, I can totally see that. Except maybe for Brother A. I don't know if he would have...nah, I mean he's seen Zombie Prom, surely he's seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail!

Nathaniel: "You shall not pass" is from "The Lord of the Rings"!! [He was totally appalled at his brother for not remembering this, btw.]

Benjamin: Oh, yeah! Eh. Same difference.

Caleb: Right, like when Galdalf used the Holy Hand Grenade to defeat the Balrog!

Me: Or when the Eagles saved everyone from the killer bunny!

Nathaniel: Or when the Ents-

Me: The Ents who say "Ni!"

Nathaniel: Right, when the Ents who say "Ni" kill the Balrog, because Ganldalf counted to 4 with the Holy hand grenade, and then turned into Gandalf the White.

Caleb: And then Gandalf stood on the bridge asking everyone what their favorite color was.

Benjamin: Grey! No, White! Ahhhhhh!

Nathaniel: Actually, the Ents who say Ni, killed the Beast of Ahhhhhh, too.

Todd: [Groaning]  Guys, come on! Can we please focus, here??

All of us: [Still laughing]

Poor Todd.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Conversations with Smiths- Part 8

This picture has nothing to do with the story. But it amuses me.

In the car driving home from the orthodontist:

Benjamin: [grabbing MY water bottle] Thirsty!

Me: You know that's empty, right?

Benjamin: [looking sad and dejected] Stupid heavy metallic water bottles. They trick me every time!! I'm SOOOOOO thirsty!

Nathaniel: [practically drawling with dryness] Just drink your tears, Benjamin. Drink your tears of sadness.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Conversations with Smiths- Part 7



At the dinner table:

Benjamin: Smock, smock, smock!

Nathaniel: Smock, smock, smock, smock, smock smock!

Caleb: Smock, smock, smock, smock, smock, smock, smock!

Me: STAAAAAAAHHHHHPPP!!!

Todd: [looking at me confused] What's wrong with you?

Me: ALL DAY LONG they've been following me around saying the word, "Smock"!! I've never had a problem with that word before, but now all of a sudden it's like nails on a chalkboard for me!!

All the children: smock, smock, smock, smock!!

Me: AHHH! [covering my ears and shuddering]

Todd: Why are you guys saying, "Smock"?

Benjamin: [Explains cartoon above, since he'd been reading the entire Calvin and Hobbes collection]

Nathaniel: we also discovered another word that works. Watch this!

All the children: Quark, quark, quark, [ etc.]

Me to Todd: That one doesn't bother me as much. It just sounded like I was being followed around by a bunch of baby ducks. Also, this is why I look like I do at the end of the day when you get home from work.

All the children: [look smugly satisfied with themselves for nearly driving their mother crazy]

Todd: You need a swear jar.

Me: Ooo! 25 cents per smock! I like it!

Nathaniel: I do not agree to these terms.

Caleb: Mom, we could also make it so you have to put money in for all your British curse words. You know, since you were supposed to stop saying them before we go to England. [looking at me knowing full well I really haven't stopped at all.]

Benjamin: [counting on his fingers, presumably up to $1] Smock, smock, smock, smock!

Caleb: quark!

Me: [softly pounding head on table.]