Monday, May 25, 2015

Digging up the Duggars - Meet Ya at the Dance for Cake

For heaven’s sakes...

GOOD, not EVIL, allowed the Duggars’ transgressions to be televised.

I am guessing...GUESSING...that The DEVIL didn’t dig up this news story on Josh Duggar– the LORD wanted everyone to know you can be a good person even AFTER something DISGUSTING happens to you.

THIS Duggar DISCOVERY should HELP you, oh sinful one.

People are not ripping into the Duggars because people are hypocrites (that is unrelated – people are totally hypocrites...YOU think YOU are NOT a hypocrite?  Oh...whatever...okay then, you are never a hypocrite.  Good job.).....

Real PEOPLE are “ripping into” the Duggars because the Duggars have made them feel like total losers for the last however-many years.

The Duggars HAVE NOT kept it REAL.

And, by doing this, the Duggars were kinda, sorta asking to be ripped.

(I have so many things to say:  where to start, where to start....)

Firstly, when you are asking to be ripped (AKA televising your sanctimonious lifestyle), you should FIRST do an inventory of your skeleton-closet.  If the skeletons in there are say...DINO-size, massive big...then you might want to slow your roll OR you might want to package yourself – for the masses – just a bit less sanctimonious.  The peoples just LOVE cheering for the underdog.  If you package yourself as a normal family with troubles...leaning on the Lord, trying to get it right, showing warts now and then...then people will not dig in your dirt as eagerly.

Secondly, think of this:  if you are going to run for President in this day and age – people gonna dig.  That is all there is to it.  I tell my oldest son, when he says he would make a good president, “Then you better keep your nose clean or you will see your indiscretions on Hannity.”  (We watch Hannity, so son knows this is not a goal.)  Does this mean only perfect people can run for President...ahhhh....let me think about that for a second...YES.  Yes, only perfect people can run for President – unless they don’t mind and/or are READY FOR a little skeleton sharing.

That brings me to my third point:

No one is perfect.

So, when you put yourself on TV, expect someone, somewhere, to figure that out and put THAT on TV, too.  It will make good TV to announce that YOU – the Perfect Ones – are NOT PERFECT after all.

That is not shocking – that is the way it is. 

Why is ANYONE shocked by ANY of this?  WHERE have you been LIVING?

Fourth idea for sharing:  I don’t think a reality television show should ever be based on a sanctimonious lifestyle – because that is just lying.  We are not morally superior to one another.  We are all faltering.  I mean, even Little House on the Prairie had Pa with an angry outburst now and then.  We cheered when Pa was his gentle prairie-lovin self again.  We WANT to cheer for people, help them be better, see them through their trials, help good people heal after their son does something horrible.  Key word here:  TRIALS.  We need to know everyone has TRIALS.  No one likes the one who is all perfect all the time – we KNOW they are LYING to us and that presents members of the sinful club (all of us) with a treasure hunt – the treasure is the EVIDENCE that they are not unlike US . 

And, even if you WERE doing everything right – maybe...maybe just keep that to yourself.

Cause bragging takes all forms:  sometimes it looks like a reality TV show. 

Were you watching the Duggars subtly brag all over the TV?

Were you trying to be a Duggar?

You still can be a Duggar, you know.  It might actually be easier now.

Me.  No.  I didn’t want to be a Duggar because I like to tell everyone about my problems.  That is my thang.  And, for that reason, I would have appreciated a big Duggar struggle be shared on TLC.

A BOND happens when we STRUGGLE together.

The Duggars never let us see them struggle.  

The Duggars HAD to see this coming...?

The Duggars SHOULD have a canned reaction/speech/perfect response READY.  Did they REALLY think no one would find out about their son’s deeds? 


I guess I am just more paranoid than the folks down in Arkansas?

I am not happy that their son did something so terrible.  Is anyone actually HAPPY about that?  That would make them SICKOS, not hypocrites.

In any case, what the son did was unspeakably awful,

but...and I hate to be the one to tell you, if I am the one telling you....disgusting kinda stuff happens in families all over the place.  I, for one, can think of MANY (TOO many) families where the relatives did disturbing sexual exploration on other relatives.  It is horrifying.  But, it occurs more often than you want to admit.  This may shock you, but you may just need to go into your skeleton closet and do a little count.  We tend to bury this stuff to the point that we forget...and then when we read someone else did that, we act all shocked, because the more shocked we act, the more protected we are from figuring out we have been close up to that kind of wickedness.

Sin is constant.  We are at war.  Don’t forget.

But – and this is IMPORTANT - we don’t shun the families where sin is flaring up.  We pray for them.

And, here is the CHALLENGE - when someone has made money off being is just so hard to have that instinct FIRST – that PRAY FOR THEM instinct.
The first instinct MIGHT BE (shhhhhhh) MIGHT BE....


because they televised perfection

and you are not perfect.

BUT, you gotta do it, girl.  You gotta stifle your “I KNEW it!” and your “I TOLD you so!” and you gotta channel that relief that you are not the only heathen family...

and you gotta pray for the Duggars. 

Right now. 

Go on. 

We will all feel a little more connected to the Duggars now,

and most of you who loved them will just love them better – no one will admit to this, but – for good people - love will be a byproduct of seeing them


Regularly, I post my struggles on Facebook for all my friends to read.  I don’t do that because I am proud of my struggles.  I do that to give my friends COMPANY in their struggles, and to give MYSELF company as I struggle to be a better person – every second...of every day.

I want people to know I struggle.  I let them see THAT side of me, just as much as I let them see the side wearing lipstick at the fundraiser.

And I tell my children, don’t act like you have it all together, all the time, or you will distance yourself from the people who need you most.

It is a dance.  You stay light on your toes most the time, but you throw in a stomp now and then.

Or, it is a recipe.  You add a pinch of exposed struggle to bake a good friendship.

I bet those who need a holy example are now watching the Duggars more than ever...

to see how they will get through this,

so we can all know how to get through our crap,

and the Duggars should know they can bake a really good friendship cake now...

and they can dance – get back up on their toes...after this stomping component of the number.

So, now they have cake to serve and a dance number to present.

Sounds like an opportunity to me.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Hate to Burst Your Bubble...

I think I would like “19 Kids and Counting” a lot better if I knew Michelle Duggar was once a prostitute...

Okay...okay...that might be a bit much...get up off the ground.

How about I would settle for...maybe...Michelle just having been really promiscuous in college?

Don't you raise your eyebrow at me, Belle.  You date manbeasts.

That should be enough:  “She was a shameless hussy, and now she is nearly perfect with her really sweet voice that she never ever raises and her perfectly modest dress and 19 kids (all with the same man).”

That’s a story I could watch.

Peeved has started watching this 19 Kids show, and she watches it episode after episode after episode. 

So, I sorta fell into watching an episode one day while passing through Peeved’s room to survey her laundry situation.  I sat down on her bed with her, and Peeved and I watched a full episode of 19 Kids and Counting.  By the end of the episode, I felt like a total loser.

The next day, I snuck in for another episode.  By the end of that episode, I was going to give away my children.

On day three, I was annoyed and keeping my kids.  I mean, I was like really irritated in a very unholy way.  I told Peeved to stop watching “that stupid show,” and she looked at me and gave me a taken-aback “MOTHer!”

I grabbed my laundry basket, and I was like, “It’s stupid.”

I maturely walked out.

With flailing limbs, she followed me, and she defended the show and the 21...22...25? people on it.  She followed me room to room, defending, and I was upset I tell you:  to every sentence she whined, I grunted back (while putting away clothes), “It’s stupid.”

She did not relent.  She couldn't believe I would be against such a wholesome show. 

“Would you rather I watch ‘Criminal Minds?’”

I shoved some underwear in a drawer, and I made a thinking face toward the ceiling, and I answered her, “Yes.  If it touches on redemption.”

Now.  Before you go all nuts on me because I would have my daughter watching sex crime victims before I would have her watching a teenager who is not allowed to hold hands with her fiancĂ©, let me explain it to you the way I explained it to her:

all my very best friends – the people to whom I am forever tied – were not raised in a wholesome bubble. 

Or, in a few cases, they had wholesome bubbles provided them, but they recklessly popped out of it and went on a rampage for a bit. 

Excuse me, that is not a rampage - that is what I wore to church last Sunday.

You might really like the bubble people. 

But, I do not prefer the bubble people.

I like the redeemed sinner.  And, I don’t mean the bubble kid who broke out one day for fifteen minutes and stole gum from the 7-Eleven.  No.  Not him.  He ran right back to the bubble, and he took the gum back to the store and apologized to the manager with his parents sternly standing behind him with that smug “concerned” look on their face...nodding.


I am talking about the friends who hit the real bottom,

then bravely and physically clawed and fought their way back to

the Church.

I love the ones for whom there was no one ringing the dinner bell.

But they called out into the world for His first meekly, but eventually hysterically.  They cried and yelled and begged to be found.

And then, down the road a bit, they bravely told me – their friend - all about it, and I told them all about me, and we sat there like two exhausted travelers, sipping our water, happy as heck to be resting there together...too shell-shocked in countless ways to dare look around to judge others worse off. 

In short, my people would never make a show about a bubble.

This is not to say you shouldn't be protecting your children, sheltering their young minds, shielding them from the world's nastiness.

But, you shouldn't show off your bubble.  

Those are the key words here:  show off.

When I see people smugly in the bubble, judgmentally raising their children in the bubble, judging those drowning outside the bubble...

I feel really defeated.

"Alert:  Superwoman down"

I didn’t have a bubble as a child.  I didn’t have a bubble as a teen...a young adult....  I cannot manage to maintain a bubble NOW.

Hearing about the Duggar bubble...your bubble...seeing your perfections...your Pinterest page (oh, sorry - that is not what we are talking about)...

that is not motivating me to be better.

That makes me shrug and give away my kids.

That doesn’t mean YOU should shrug when you watch the Duggars.  Hey!  For all I know, you might have a great bubble going over there at YOUR place, and you are comparing bubbles. 

Michelle Duggar has more flowers than you.

It is okay – it is okay to want her bubble or to have your own bubble (I guess)...

as long as it doesn’t affect how you look at people NOT in your bubble or a bubble of like magnificence.

Don't you look at me like that - back to your bubble - back...back.

AND, as long as you aren't living inside your bubble all proud and stuff.

My favorite friends are cleaning up their act, and they are remembering, always, how close they are to the massive mess they once had and the ugly mess they could have once again,

and they need me, and I need them.

And that is not happening inside of any bubble.  That is too unstable to be inside bubble walls.

My favorite pals have a bubble for a day, and then it bursts, and they are all sad, looking at their broken bubble pieces thinking, “It was such a good day with that.”

An unstable broken place is the world; it is a perilous place, and I let my kids know all about it.  In the face of peril, my kids are not awkward or nervous or perfect- my kids just KNOW that - with Christ - the world has hope, and THEY, my kids, are a part of that hope.  

We don’t need things to be perfect for us to be effective.  

We don't have a bubble to shove in your face.

We don't even want you to see our attempts at creating a bubble.

What we want is this:  we want to tell you how our bubble keeps bursting and how we keep going...and you can go with us, if you'd like.

And so, I told Peeved that watching a show about a bubble just does her no good whatsoever.  I would – yes - much rather her watch a cop drama about someone overcoming, about someone preserving, about someone recovering, about someone losing, about someone struggling, alone and unloved.

And I would want her to imagine how to help that person, and then I would want her to get down and dirty and bubbleless

and go find that person.

The Duggars don’t need us.  We are not going to stare at people who do not need us.

Peeved should watch Hoarders.  Now those people need us.

See.  We could do THIS for them!


Friday, January 9, 2015

Natural Family Planning (NFP) and the Oilfield Worker

Well.  Let me tell you.  This here is not a light subject.   You miss your husband; he comes haven’t see him in fifteen days, and want to make him a cup of coffee.  No!  Duh!  You want to kiss his face off!  Oops...sorry...wait, wait...too much too soon.  OK.  Let me back up. 

Coffee.  You want to make him a cup of coffee.

He smiles at you, and you smile at him, and there are many, many children in between you on the couch.  However, your eye contact allows subliminal messages to transmit, and, in seconds, through the skulls of the children, you are communicating sweet nothings.  One raise of his eyebrow, and the deal is assumed to be sealed, and your husband says in a best-daddy-ever voice, “Well, let’s get these children to bed,” where he will tuck them in, and I do mean extra super duper tucked in, like with the blankets so tight they are all like gasping, “Too hurts...too tight, dad....” 

But, no...before he shuffles them down the hall, he sees you attempting more eye contact...and dad is confused, thinking, “Why more eye contact...let’s get this show on the road,” and you are raising both eyebrows now, grunting almost, and he looks you square in the eye and goes deep into your messaging system and sees the unthinkable,


He jumps back, breathless. 

Did he really just see that? 

He peeks into your mind again, and your menstrual calendar is posted on the wall of your consciousness,

“Day 14.”


“Children, Let’s read books!”

He rounds the children up by their scruffs and sweeps them away, grabbing random reading material from tabletops...ushering everyone and everything into your bed, stuffing all of it between the two of you, saving you a ¼” slither of the mattress for your own purposes, and acting dead when you arrive an hour later.

Can you ask a boss to move around the schedule for reasons such as these?  

The Year Without a Christmas Card

If you have children, you have likely plopped down to watch The Year Without a Santa Claus.  Actually, I remember that movie from my youth, and I am pretty far out from my “youth,” so the movie is pretty stinkin old (I am not).  Though years have passed, claymation remains quite the delight in my world, and Heat Miser and Snow Miser do not lose their magnetism.  They still cause me to stop in my tracks and stare, and I am not sure why.  Creepy old animated man-beasts singing and strutting around hold my attention.  Go figure. 

In any case, this is not to be about creepy man-beasts.

This is about creepy me.

And, to be fair, creepy is probably the wrong word, but complicated is close, so we will go with that:  this is about complicated me.

I can complicate anything, to include the sending of Christmas cards.

You didn’t get one last year or this year, right?  Right.  That was not because you got taken from “the list.”  That was because the sender is complicated.

See, I took something beautiful and turned it into something gross.  I took a greeting, and I turned it into a stage of sorts, where I would display the perfect image of my family.  Lies.  It was all lies, that picture.  My kids only looked like that for a split second, and only from the waist up.  I took pictures while smacking myself in the forehead, mumbling and growling catchy phrases at my children, memorable phrases like, “What is wrong with your face?”

The day of taking Christmas Card Pictures in my house became a sort of doom that loomed in the distance.  I would announce, “Tomorrow, we will take Christmas pictures,” and children would break out in sweats and binge eat for the rest of the day.  They began to replay that low, deep, tuck-your-chin-into-your-chest-look-out-the-very-top-of-your-eyeballs voice, which I used, while taking Christmas card pictures, pictures that would be sent out to the people, the people who might never guess I could/can conjure up such a husky, peculiar tone as that

But, why would you think that of me – I mean...the card...the illustrious Christmas card, so well-planned and perfectly selected, all glittery and warm.  It did not suggest over-caffeinated banshee taking pictures whilst alternating between low ill-mannered coercion and high “Smile Pretty” coos at her subjects.  Merry Christmas, mom’s a psycho!

Why did I care so much about that picture...about that card?

Because it was going out as a representation of me...of us, and I wanted it to be perfect.

I don’t think I should pour emotions into something that shallow.  Not that the sending of Christmas cards is shallow – I am sure you do it with much moral tenacity and very little self promotion.   I, on the other hand, can complicate...can twist and spoil...even a greeting card.

And so, I put myself on the wagon.

I am not allowed to send you cards.

Yet, I care about you and hope you had a wonderful Christmas.  I hope you are off to a terrific New Year.

I am happy I didn’t lie to you with another perfect picture and pithy salutation.

Rather, I come to you on Facebook and occasionally via blog, raw and flawed,

so that you will know the real me,

the one who is just like the real you.

Merry belated Christmas...we are all still in our underwear.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


I spoke with an experienced swim coach in the area about training Peeved.  We talked for a while.  The conversation ended with the coach cautioning me not to “burn her out,” meaning I should be careful not to let Peeved do too much in any one sport, for fear she would come to hate it.  

I put both hands up in the stop position; closed my eyes, and lowered my head.  It was like she shot me.

What does it mean to be burned out...with regard to a sport.  Well.  I believe I know.  But, it isn’t just what you might think.  It isn’t as straightforward as saying, “I don’t want to swim ever again.”

For me, with competing in track and field until I was 23, it was more about how enormous you become inside of such a small sphere.

You think I am talking about steroids?

No.  I am talking about ego.

Being a scholarship athlete was about being in an imagined spotlight; having something very particular expected of you, feeling like you couldn’t and shouldn’t fail, and defining success as improving and winning.

Emphasis here is on “having something very particular expected of you,” which means repetition...and – in most cases- it is repetition externally assigned and enforced.  You submit to someone else, someone who is shaping you to perform a very specific task, with the goal of performing that particular task better than anyone else.

And, on top of all that repetition and subjection,

it isn’t fun to run until you puke either.  

But, the puking stops when the running stops. 

But, it is the collateral damage that gets you in the end, and I don’t mean bad knees.

For years after my track career ended, I had to remind myself that not everything was a contest.  I had to remind myself that there were not people in bleachers watching.  I had to remind myself that I was faceless, nameless, and potentially aimless.

Aimless...because as an athlete, you have a very particular task each day:  to train and to compete.  You can pick up anything – a banana – and you will say, “How does this impact my training?”  You will look at a calendar, see an upcoming event, “Can I do that without impacting my competing?”

Once you take away that aim...the aim to be the best in your becomes confusing as to what you should be doing at all.  And, once you take away the contest aspect....then take away the spectators, people with expectations for you, and...don’t lose the repetition and the powerlessness...

well, it can take years to figure out how to proceed...on your own.

But, I know what you are thinking.  You are thinking, “That’s all good stuff...

I mean, you just go into your chosen field of employment, and you listen to your boss, and you shine, and you make a name for yourself, and you focus, and you set goals and achieve them.  It all transfers!  Life is a game!”

No.  It is deeper than that.

See.  I DID do that.  I went into teaching.  I wanted to be the best teacher.  I wanted to win awards and pay close attention to our principal.  I wanted to focus...hold up a banana and think, “How does this impact my teaching?”

The parents of the kids I taught, they were the people in the bleachers!  They were watching me...cheering me on....  “Yay!  Go!”

But.  Nope.

The stakes in Real Life are much higher and the chances of failing are way greater and more varied.  The job is not so specific. The losing is not so specific.

In fact, it is not a win/lose experience once off the track.  Sometimes, when you are losing, you are winning.  Sometimes, when you are winning, you are losing.

It - life -  has layers and folds and curves...and it is not just up and up and up.  It is fall way down, get off track, and then slingshot.

But, most of all, more than anything else, and this is where I pound my fist on the desk:

LIFE is not about YOU, at all.

So, that “ego” you built...that “The Best” thing you drove around...

not very attractive,

unless you are the athlete.


For any athlete who spent years listening to headphones while pacing back and forth on the field like a caged cheetah...engaging feelings of superiority and drumming up motivation to dig deep into your physical abilities and pull out a greater physical feat...

Meekness and Humility were not really part of the equation.

You were trying to be Larger.

You were trying to be LARGER.

You wanted to go across the finish line FIRST.

You wanted to bang your chest and think and feel and maybe even scream, "I AM #1!"

There is no “other guy” about that.  Sure, there is sportsmanship, where you shake the loser’s hand.  But, that is not wanting the other guy to win.  You want to win.  You want to be LARGER.   You want to be the best.



There comes a time in your life, when you realize, you need to be smaller.

You want to be the least.

You should want to be the LEAST.


Smaller still.

Smaller than that.

Maybe even...invisible.

You want to walk in a room and go unnoticed.  You want to slip into a room.   You want to be faceless.  You want to be nameless.  You want to be a silent servant.

There is a vast canyon between the pacing cheetah and the silent servant.

And so, when I am told by an experienced coach not to “burn her out,” with regard to my daughter’s athletic career...

I do not think about avoiding her premature disdain for swimming,

I am thinking about how to keep her ego in check, about how to make her more than a machine in the pool, and about how to teach her to soar, while also teaching her to be smaller...

Smaller still...
Smaller than that...

A silent servant.

Soar silent servant.

THAT is not easy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

She'd Fly Through the Air With the Greatest of Ease...or the Opposite of Ease

Today, a friend mentioned that it sounds like I am engulfed in the “Fires of Hell.”

And, honestly, my reaction was a loud hoot, which means I might be further gone than I had realized. - I laugh to keep from crying.  You have to admit – I have had a rather twisted take on “stuff” lately.  I mean, I suppose most of it is totally normal for a homeschooling mom of five...who just had a baby...and is therefore on a hormonal rollercoaster...and whose husband is gone 75% of the month....  

Oh...for me...really?  

Wait...wait...can I just add one more thing:  we are in the doldrums of summer.  This means, not as much daily contact with other moms on fire...or in fire.

So.  Anyways.  I was thinking about this “fires of hell” observation...after I got my vile snickering under control, and after I looked under my chair to see if that was a goblin that just brushed up against my stubbly ankle (a cat – phew), but, honestly, after I thought about it a bit, I thought, 

“There IS something going on here.”

I have to back up a bit to explain:

OK.  Back in grad school, I had an outstanding professor who taught the Philosophy of Adult Education.  I am not going to state his name because I have changed his ideas slightly to accommodate my own opinions.  (Sorry.  I have trouble with authority – I always have to do it my way.)  But, essentially, his deal was “We never stop learning.” 

Suck ups

That assertion didn’t matter much to me at that point in time because I was in grad school, unmistakably entrenched in learning, and I was actually looking forward to the END of learning.  I was starting to hate knowledge.  So, the promise of more of it was something I was eager to dismiss.  But, this class did hand to me some everlasting images...ideas that were married to visuals that you could whip out later in life and say, “Ohhhh...yes...I see it....I get it now.”

One of those images was a trapeze act.

Learning happens in a trapeze act.  And, we are not talking about academic learning.  We are talking about life lessons.  You are sometimes holding firm to the bar.  Then, you let go, and you go flying into space...looking to grab onto another bar.  These are the different phases of life.  The bar represents when you are firmly parked inside of ideas that you hold dear and actions that demonstrate your ideas.  The space in between the bar is sketchy.  You get sick of a bar.  You outgrow that trapeze.  You might not even make a conscious decision to let go of just kinda, gradually, slip from it.  Next thing you know, you are in space...nothing underfoot...nothing to hold are flying...where is that $&#$ next trapeze? 

Lately, change has come over me.  For one, I can see myself more clearly, which is not as pleasant an experience as you might imagine it to be (throat clear).  Also, I can see others more clearly, which is not as pleasant an experience as you might imagine it to be (I am not making eye contact with anyone right now).

What happens when you can see people, to include yourself, in a new way?

Well, for one, you don’t even know how to speak.

Seriously.  You get near people, and the old you starts to blather on, and the new, more astute you moans inside your head, “You’re DOING IT again,” and then the talking-you stops talking, and your head twitches to the side like a bee is buzzing your ear, and your eyes google back and forth a bit, and someone in your circle is the first to look away from you and interjects an awkward segue to a new fallback subject...and then everyone looks at that person...but because you are such an awkward weirdo they are totally obsessed with whatever it is you are doing now, so they are now stealing looks at you, which creates this whole strange dynamic of you sitting by yourself and everyone talking to each other with their head facing the person to whom they are talking but their eyeballs are totally on you.  

In the end, you just stop doing anything at even put down your fork...or your drink....or your child - you just plop that child right down on the ground at your feet, and you sit there 

and reflect

cuz that is what you are good at these days...

catatonic reflection.

You sit in groups of people and think about the people.

You try to talk.  But, you cannot chat the way you once did...all happy-go-lucky and untroubled.  Your ideas are changing.  Your actions are going to change.

What’s more - you stare now, which makes you creepy and unapproachable.

What I am saying is this:  I have slipped from the bar, and I don’t mean the corner tavern.

I was firmly on a trapeze – the same, familiar, this-is-what-I-stand-for trapeze - for about 15 years.

I slipped off.



Not “Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

So, from afar, this might look like I am engulfed in the fires of hell.  For all I know, that is exactly what is beneath me as I flutter through the air, rummaging around for a trapeze, and maybe I am a lot closer to those flames than I realize.  It is best not to look down, you know.

But, I have my eyes peeled for that next trapeze, and it going to be a beaut...but, I have a feeling...I don't actually get to select it...I have a feeling it is flung at me, and I grab it.

And, if you look more closely at me...closer...closer...

I have five little people clinging to my floppy body as I am jerking through the air with my eyes all bugged out...

well, to be fair, one of them is trying to jump off and go to her own trapeze, but I am restraining her.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


I am going through a phase of doubt and confusion.  I have asked God to get me out of this, but I don’t see the cavalry riding in, so I can only assume that God feels I need to dwell here a bit longer, for learning purposes.  Oh great.  Learning. 

Let me give you the maybe you can relate...or maybe you will just think less of me.  I am willing to risk it – either way – because I need to get this out on paper.  Be warned – this is going to come out of me like bad sushi.  I am not going to try to organize this or make sense of this.  I am just going to stick my finger down my throat and type:

at the moment, children who cannot read well...if at all...are reading to each other in the reading nook...oh, how charming...a reading nook.  It sounds like I really have my house in order.  Aren’t you impressed....good...good.  Don't stay too long.

I have a book sitting on my nightstand, a Hardy Boys classic that I have wanted to read to my kids for weeks now, so we can all feel cozy and old timey and functional.  I haven’t read even one page to them because if I have a moment of silence it doesn’t occur to me to say, “Hey, Everyone, you are leaving me alone right now, but please come back and sit really close to me again....”

And now, I hear them kinda reading some picture book, and I think, “I should go in there and read it to them,” but I don’t go.  It is this battle between my ideal and my brokenness.   My ideal eye can picture my sitting there, hamming it up with a cute book, kids on knees, smiling...getting all literate and stuff.  

But, my brokenness knows there is a chance that kids will interrupt me and swat at each other and ask me to skip pages, which is like sacrilege, and so...I stay here.  I don’t want the ideal so much that I am willing to risk sorting through the other stuff...annoying stuff for which I have no patience or energy. 

What is that?  Knowing the outcome at the beginning and not willing to try again?  Does that make me sane...or insane?  We've all read that doing the same thing and expecting a different result means you are crazy, so maybe I am just really sane to a fault.

"What she said."

Then, there’s my son, who gives me sloppy wet spitty kisses on my cheek. I have actually given him instructionals, using the back of my hand...the back of his hand...on how to kiss a cheek without allowing tablespoons of saliva to exit your mouth.  We have gone over this and over this because I cannot stand to have someone spitting on my cheek 50 times a day (this kid is really affectionate).  No dice.  The sopping-wet kisses are still coming, dripping and disgusting, and I am no longer able to receive them kindly.  I am now making noises of offense; jerking away, and saying sophisticated words like, “Yuck!”  I am Parent of the Year!  My kid kisses me, and I yell “Yuck!”  That won’t affect him in his adulthood at all.

This is probably what happened to Magic Mike.

Then, there is my making eggs and bacon yesterday, while shouting.  I basically wasted a pound of bacon.  I mean, if you are going through the trouble of frying meat – yes, I called it trouble - then there should be a good feeling that comes over all.  But, no...I lost it...right in the middle of sizzling grease.  I kept poking with my fork while in full lecture mode...full roar.  I finished my speech when the meat was crisp, and I looked at my children for evidence of understanding, and they said, ‘Is the bacon ready?” 

I hate cooking breakfast, and not just because of this incident.  I just hate cooking breakfast.  I like to be left alone until about noon.  Did you READ that?  I have FIVE kids, and I want to be left alone until NOON

Rahhahahhahhhhhaaaaaaaaa!  RAH!  Ha ha.

I have poorly-selected goals.

I hope it snows tomorrow.

But, seriously, I am a terrible person for hating to cook breakfast.  I should love to make pancakes and eggs and bacon and toast...all simultaneously and perfectly and all twirling around, pushing down the toaster lever with my elbow because I have a merry spatula in one hand and a nursing baby in the other.  I should enjoy that.

But...I do not. 

I yell at you when I feel obligated to fry you your morning meat.

Then, there is soda.  I dump full cans of soda down the drain.  My husband informed me last night that dumping soda down the drain, in front of our children, whilst the children are clamoring for the soda, WILL, in fact, cause deep psychological damage in our children in their adulthood.  

Probably more of this:

I say to Husband, “But...why do you keep bringing soda into the house?”

He has no good answer.

I say, “Do you feel no part of this deep psychological you are the supplier?”

He says nothing.

This is all on me.

Moments ago, in the midst of howls and leg clutching that nearly pulled down my pants, I dumped another can of Dr Pepper because Shirtless wanted it for TODAY’S breakfast.  I mean...who can blame him for ASKING for something as simple as soda since YESTERDAY I flipped out on him whilst cooking a NORMAL breakfast of fried meat....

Soda.  Dumped.

Then, there was the lady with the monogrammed baseball tee...a few days ago.

I am still thinking about her.

I take Shirtless and Pixie to "a thing" at church, and there is the mom, the mom with a bunch of kids who is always dressed perfectly.  I saw her from afar.  I am always looking for this lady, so I can avoid her.  I do not like to be near people who comb their hair, let ALONE people who carry expensive purses on their wrist...with their bedazzled cell phones all up in their perfectly manicured nails.  

I mean...who wants to see this every day!

When I see this, I throw up in my mouth a little and then I feel really ugly, like butt ugly, and then I feel bad for my husband, and then I decide to clean up my act a bit, and then I go buy hair color in the grocery store, and then I get orange hair.  So, it is best to NOT look at the perfectly dressed mom.

But, there she was...ol perfect mom.

I was schlepping across the parking lot with many many kids...all of them mine.  I had just nursed Baby Child, so I am pretty sure my bra was still wadded up above my left boob, meaning I had one boob in its semi-normal location (near my ribs), whilst the other boob was pushed down flat by the bra bulge.  Here I come, schlep...schlep...weird boobs.

There she was – I saw her from behind...but...wuh?  wuh?  She was purseless...phoneless...she...she was wearing a baseball tee and khaki shorts.

The joy.  The rapture.  A baseball tee.

I wear those!

We were one, this mom and me.

No more orange hair for me.  I sidled right up to where she was, so I could get a closer look at her averageness and show her my weird boobs.

She turned around.

It was monogrammed.

The schleppy baseball tee was vibrant colors, popping out, as in – just monogrammed this morning or something...probably in her IKEA-sponsored Pinterest workshop above her well-organized garage with hooks hanging from the rafters...for HANGING stuff.


I retreated.  I dove behind a large cement pillar.  I had no idea where my kids were...that wasn’t important.

Today, I’d call my hair more pink than orange.

So, um.  Yes.  I am having doubts and experiencing some confusion.

And, how are you?