As every parent knows, all too well…kids will be kids, and my sister, Cheryl Masterson’s kids are no exception to that rule. Sometimes we wonder how any of our kids ever survived their own antics. Cheryl raised her family of five children as a single mom for most of their lives. Her daughter Chantel Balcerzak is not quite sure how her mother survived. And, maybe Cheryl isn’t either, if all of their antics were of this caliber.
Chantel tells me about one incident in which she, her sister, Toni Chase, and her brother, Rob Masterson decided that they wanted to skip school. They knew they would need a good reason to get their mother to agree to this. Well, they came up with a good reason to stay home alright!! My nephew, Rob was into skateboarding at the time, so they decided that if he wiped out and hit his head on a parking pylon, their mother would completely forget taking them to school, in order to take him to the hospital.
Being what Chantel calls geniuses, they knew that proof would be needed, such as a bump on the head. Chantel is quite short…4’10” to be exact…so to accommodate that, Rob would need to bend over so she could administer the bump. He stood bravely, bent over at the waist, and waited for his older sister to club him. Chantel knew that no ordinary hit in the head would work, so she picked up a 36″ x 24″ wooden shelf that was about 1½” thick. Not knowing how hard she would need to hit him to create a bump of believable size, Chantel let him have it…full force. Of course, Rob was just flattened and hit the ground in a spread eagle position. Their sister, Toni immediately let out a blood curdling scream, and yelled, “You killed him!!!”
I don’t know if it was Toni’s screams or if the girls ran and got their mom, but needless to say, school went out the window for the day. Rob did wake up and he is just fine, but the emergency room was the next visit they made. As for the kids, they weren’t sure if skipping school had been worth this, or if it would have been better just to buck up and go to school. I’m sure this was not the last time they considered devising a plan to skip school, but in Chantel’s words, “Ironically, Rob never offered to let me hit him again.” No, I don’t suppose he did, unless that initial hit on the head rattled his brain more than first thought. It would take a crazy person to allow such a thing twice…wouldn’t it? Today is Rob’s birthday. Happy birthday Rob!! I would keep a close eye on your loving sister, if I were you. Have a great day!! We love you!!
Every child is unique, and even brothers have differences in their personalities that are very obvious to all who know them. My grand nephew, Zack Spethman is the middle of my niece, Jenny and her husband, Steve Spethman’s sons. If you ask Jenny about Zack, she will tell you that Zack is her huggy boy. He is the one, who as a baby liked to cuddle and was quick to give kisses and hugs. Some kids are busy playing and don’t really want to be held. They have things to do and see. Other children are more sensitive and show their feelings to others easily. It seems like for boys feelings are a complicated area…especially as they get older. Some of them don’t want to be seen hugging their parents, because it seems to them to be very little boyish, but there are some boys who just don’t care what people think. They simply love those who they love, and they don’t care if others see it. They become the boys after their mother’s, grandmother’s and even aunt’s hearts. They don’t realize how sweet their nature is. They just are who they are. That’s the kind of boy Zack is.
Zack is a very thoughtful young man, always making sure that his little sister, Aleesia has what she needs, and yet, he can roughhouse with his brothers Xander and Isaac with no problems. He loves sports, and hardly ever just sits around. From bicycles, to skateboards, to snowmobiles, and just running around with his brothers, Zack is a full of energy kind of kid. He and his brothers and sister are always on the go.
Zack’s very life has been a miracle from the day of his birth, when complications during labor could very easily have ended his life, but his parents were praying people, and everything fell into place to rush his birth before his mother even knew there was a problem. The doctor told Jenny later that of the three prolapsed cord births he had done, Zack was the only one who survived, demonstrating the power of prayer, and God’s grace and protection for those who pray and have faith in God. That moment was the only one, however, when Zack has had any problems in his life, and he has since made up for any of that, by living a life full of happiness, health, and energy. Zack is a wonderful by who is turning ten years old today. Happy 10th birthday Zack!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
After last year’s unusually hard Winter, with weather patterns that were dubbed Polar Vortex, I was not too keen on the idea of a repeat performance this year. Thankfully, I have been treated to the Indian Summer that I remember from my youth. Of course, we didn’t get an Indian Summer every year, but when we did, the neighborhood kids all celebrated. September always brought with it cooler weather, school, and the dreaded homework that came with it. It always seemed like having that hit all at the same time was really a very cruel joke on the kids. But occasionally, we got a year that made a lot of us feel a lot better about the coming Winter.
This has been such a year. With temperatures in the high 60s and into the 70s, more people have been spending evenings and weekends outdoors, enjoying the unusual warmth. Oh, I don’t say that jackets are unnecessary, but you wear them mostly in the morning and you find yourself taking them off a lot too. Kids are out on their skateboards, scooters, and bicycles enjoying the last few evenings during which they can play outdoors for a good part of the evening…at least until they have to go get their homework done.
For me, Indian Summer means a reprieve…if only for a short time…for the drudgery of Winter, while also giving a break from the worst of the Summer heat. I used to be a serious Summer person, but these days, I like the temperatures to be in the 70s and 80s, not the 90s and 100s. I know that my sister, Cheryl Masterson will still call 70s and 80s serious Summer heat, but I can’t agree with her there. Early Fall and late Spring are my ideal times of the year…provided that the fall is not too cool and the spring is not too rainy.
Indian Summer is said to be a time of unseasonably warm weather and little wind…but I doubt if they had seen Indian Summer in Casper, Wyoming, because we definitely have wind. I can deal with that too, as long as it’s not too cold. With this years lovely Indian Summer weather, and the opportunities to get out and hike some, I am feeling a lot less of the affects Winter brings on me, but then we are still on Daylight Savings Time until the end of this week. I’m sure that after that the normal affects of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) will begin to rear their ugly heads. For that, I simply have to spend as much time as I can in the sun, and keep telling myself that December 22 is coming, and with it, comes the beginning of the move toward the longest day of the year…one of my favorite days. I know that like every season, Indian Summer will pass, and Winter will pounce on us, as it always does, but for now, I’m just going to enjoy every moment and every bit of warmth of the Indian Summer that we have been treated to.
Bob and I went to the Wyoming Cavalry indoor football game last night, and there are media events at different times in the game, with things like a three person in one triple bag sack race, and kids on a bouncy ball. They asked the fans if these things took them back a few years, and that started me thinking about the things I did as a kid. One thing that came to mind was the skateboard. It was my generation who had the privilege of riding the skateboard first, and while we were first, we certainly didn’t take that ride to the skill level of the subsequent generations. I was thrilled when I could stand on the thing and ride. The thought of taking it on a railing, or up a ramp, or flipping it in the air and landing back on it, never crossed my mind…or the minds of the rest of my generation for that matter.
Nevertheless, at some point in time, some kid who thought that the old style tame skateboarding was way too tame for them, decided to step it up a bit, and something new and exciting was created from a fad that probably would have died a miserably quick death otherwise. Soon the kids were doing all kinds of tricks, and spending hours each day trying to perfect something that would let them outshine their friends. Of course, there were the normal, and not so normal injuries that went along with such endeavors, but that didn’t stop the kids from working hard to create the next big thing on a skateboard. They flew along curbs and railings, flipped their boards several times in the air and managed to land right back on the board. They held competitions…just for fun, at first, but these days they compete for money, titles, trophies. Every skateboarder wants to be dubbed the King of Skateboarding. They even came out with video games on skateboarding, which my grandsons absolutely loved.
Even the boards have changed from the clunky ones we had when I was a kid, that were really just skates with a board attached, and had very little maneuverability, to one that had just one wheel on each end, and twisted in the middle, to the long board that my grandsons liked, which probably mimics a surf board without the water, to many more that I have no clue about, much less how they work. I suppose that as long as we have kids who are willing to push the envelope in the world of skateboarding, we will have manufacturers who will make the designs they need to accomplish their unique skill set, thereby continuing to take skateboarding to the next level and beyond. While I enjoy watching the amazing tricks these people can perform, I think I will just stay on my own two feet, because at least that way, I won’t kill myself.