How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Last week Tennyson had a close encounter with a curb he tried to jump on his bike. I had his broken tooth repaired later that day. Everything scabbed over and his giant fat lip was subsiding, when he got stung by two wasps at a baseball game.

Here’s a photo of him 18 hours later. His friends were in my bedroom late last night poking and prodding Tennyson’s enormous dome. My oldest daughter Emma can’t stop saying, “Awwwww!” and hugging him.

The next morning was his first day of school. I didn’t have the heart to make him go. It’s a new school, with kids he doesn’t know. He had a new outfit picked out, ready to walk in the first day, all cool, parking his new ride (an electric scooter).

Talking to other people who’ve had similar reactions to wasp stings, it’s going to take a week to subside. I can’t let him stay out of school for a week.

He looks just like Will Smith in Hitch. I told him about Gwyneth Paltrow in the movie Shallow Hal, too. She wears a fat suit and has the eye-opening experience most beautiful women never experience: learning how people treat the obese.

I said, “See, Ten, you could have a once-in-a-lifetime experience like that. You get to meet people and find out how they treat you that’s DIFFERENT than when you’re your good-looking REAL self. You could do a school project on what it’s like. A week later, your face will be back to normal and all the girls will be like, ‘Alien Boy is HOT, who knew?!”

He was unimpressed with my idea.

So instead I went to have a t-shirt made with last year’s school picture on it. That way he could wear it to his new school on his first day and show people, “This is what I REALLY look like!”

(I spent all afternoon on it. As you can see by the photo, he was still unimpressed.)

Hopefully this way, though, he won’t be traumatized for life and tell a shrink when he’s 43 and still lives in my basement that everything went wrong the day his head swelled up like a watermelon and his mom made him go to school anyway.

(After 18 hours, when it had only gotten worse instead of better, I finally bought some Benadryl. It did nothing except make him sleepy.)


20 thoughts on “How I Spent My Summer Vacation

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  1. He is a very handsome young man! I hope his first day of school ended up being fun and he was the new ‘cool’ boy in class, I think the girls probably all wanted to know him (with the natural maternal instinct kicking in) and be his new friend

    Let us know

    sue in CA

  2. I hope your feeling better Tenn! When I was little I couldn’t stop stepping on BEES. My whole body would swell up and it usually happened at a fun party/get together immediately after I arrived so talk about a quick exit and bummer day at the hospital! I feel for you and just know that we are all hoping a speedy recovery for you. 🙂

  3. Absolutely he wins the award for the most brave boy ever. At least part of the injury was from doing a very daredevil-ish, “cool” boy thing so he can be proud (I guess? in a boy way??) of that! 🙂

    Love your cancer series. Mom had breast cancer 2 years ago and was victim of the “slashing”. Just pray it’s really gone.

    My fave experts on the topic, after literally days of research when she came down with her diagnosis, are Ralph Moss PhD and Ty Bollinger, CPA. Ty’s book is just phenomenal, “Cancer- Outside the Box”, detailing all sorts of real life alternative cancer treatments that WORK. Maybe you could feature one of them sometime?

  4. Oh, Tennyson, hang in there man! Jesiah loved your cooking camp this summer. He liked making healthy snacks. But you know what his favorite part of the camp was? YOU!!

  5. I think the maybe he needs another shirt that says “you should see how the other guy looks.” Bless his heart…….hope he gets feeling better soon.

  6. That is just about the saddest face I’ve ever seen – this is just too sad. I think your t-shirt solution was genius. Wasps are just wicked. One of the questions I’m going to ask when I get to Heaven is ‘Why did You make wasps and potato bugs? And cauliflower. Why cauliflower?”

  7. In New York we start school after Labor Day. At a picnic the day before I started fifth grade, I burned my nose on a hot marshmallow. We all sat there laughing so hard and here all the time it was burning the skin off my nose. I had to start school the next morning with a huge scab on my nose, so I can understand how Tennison feels! It was actually a great conversation starter because everyone wanted to know what happened. By the end of the day, everyone knew who I was!

  8. Ditto Bethany “Awww, your poor baby! Tell him all your readers hope it gets better soon!”

    He is one handsome, healthy, athletic & blessed young man!

    Let better quick Ten, because you are a ten : ]

  9. Robyn,

    Tell Tennyson that he is a very handsome and very brave boy, not only to go to school and face kids but to allow his mom to post his picture for thousands to see! I have a very similar picture of me when I was 8 years old and had a horrible allergic reaction to penicllin we think, and both my eyes swelled shut and I looked and felt a bit like an alien too. I also had the corners of my two front teeth knocked out in an accident and for years had a triangle space missing from my front teeth.(And I’ve got the pictures to prove it too). So, not that he will care but just let him know that others know a bit of what he’s experiencing and it’ll only make him stronger and definitely give him something to talk about for years to come and others will think he’s cool because of it (my kids still ask me about my swollen eyes and chipped teeth).

    Also tell yourself that you are a wonderful and brave mother and I for one think you are absolutely amazing to do all you do and how you do it. Your kids are blessed to have you as I’m sure you feel equally blessed to have them. Thanks for bringing joy and peace in to my life by sharing of yours.

    1. AmyE, yes, I know who she is. Besides the name, and even the spelling, and our age, and our mission in life, and how many kids we have, we’re both overachieving oldest children. I wrote her recently and told her we should do a little speaking tour together. She hasn’t written me back. I’d like to know her!

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