Ms. SusieJ tagged me. I can't resist. Here's my one word meme:
Where is your cell phone? purse Relationship? funny Your hair? longer Work? work? unpaid Your sister? here Your favorite thing? life Your dream last night? forgot Your favorite drink? chai Your dream car? subaru? The room you’re in? family room Your shoes? dansko sandals Your fears? pain What do you want to be in 10 years? healthy Who did you hang out with this weekend? family, good friends What are you not good at? housekeeping Muffin? vegan One of your wish list items? housekeeper (there's a theme building) Where you grew up? Sandy Last thing you did? Meet pet snake What are you wearing? white t-shirt, capris What aren’t you wearing? lipstick Your pet? Sophie, Snickers, Timmy and fish friends Your computer? hp pavilion Your life? full Your mood? calm Missing? sleep What are you thinking about right now? 4th of July Your car? fun Your kitchen? adequate Your summer? beginning Your favorite color? red Last time you laughed? minutes ago Last time you cried? Thursday School? love Love? books
Late in the afternoon the third installment of 'let's bug the crud out of Mom by needling each other' broke out and I sent both kids to their rooms. Where they wailed. Could they be anymore dramatic? I ask in my very best Chandler voice. It's hard to say. But they get an A for effort.
They reappeared, meeker souls with dirty tear-streaked faces. The three of us decided to pick out some flicks, while Greg is out of town. They hopped on their scooters and I trailed along behind them up to Blockbuster.
After a minor miracle (agree on one movie my pretties), we came home with Everyone's Hero.
Now, I didn't have high expectations for this baseball movie and let me assure you, it stunk.
And I hate that it stunk. I kept this to myself - the kids didn't complain, eating popcorn, curled up on the couch with me. But it was Christopher and Dana Reeve's pet project - one that Christopher began and Dana never saw completed. Their friends finished it for them.
I can't write about the Reeves without tearing up. They faced tremendous, daily struggles, but came across as calm, peaceful, joyful. I can't dress myself somedays without pitching a fit; I whine about my husband being away, about my kids being twits. I'm sure they had bad days too. I just want a little more of what they had going on.
I remember the last interview with Dana, when it appeared she was winning her battle against lung cancer. She lit up the room. I was stunned when they announced her death, weeks later.
It wasn't fair. That's all I kept thinking. She was young, her son is now an orphan. It's not fair.
Not fair. Not fair. Not fair.
It's not very useful thinking, but I've had a serious case of wanting life to be fair. When I think about my little neighbor boy, D, and his meth-addicted Mom. When I think about life with a special needs child. When I watch the news.
Point your finger anywhere on the globe, and you'll find heartache - and it makes me feel helpless.
But I took something away from the corny little baseball movie Superman took under his cape:"No matter where life takes you, you keep swinging."
Last night we dumped left the kids with my sister and we headed for the river for dinner. The host seated us on the deck; he seemed amazed and genuinely impressed that we were celebrating 13 years together.
(Because we are so youthful.)
Because marriage is tough sometimes.
I stand with the host tonight - amazed, thankful. Greg gets me and I think I understand him. We laugh, we joke, we still like to hang out.
I am blessed and lucky.
The kids didn't share my sappy feelings when we arrived to take them home. They grumbled and growled and begged us to go away just a little longer - the trampoline was almost assembled in Aunt Lori's backyard and we were ruining their evening.
My brain is empty, with little to offer. The few, the proud, my brain cells, were sacrificed to the end-of-school gods; the ones that beckon with Awards and Assemblies and Parties. Oh sure, a couple of lines would blaze through my mind this past week, and I would start forming a Post. But then I would come to and clap while the trophies were divvied up.
It was a week of paying attention.
Zack and his teacher on the big day
Zack and Austin on Father's day (Aunt Lori too).
Lexi bridges to Junior Girl Scouts
Greg on Father's Day
I'm off to get groceries. With proper care and nourishment, I hope to boot up my brain and reclaim my status as a superawesomerocking reliable blogger.
Gee, who am I anyway? I imagine that depends on who you ask. I'm a Wheeler girl from a small town, Greg's wife, Lexi and Zack's Mom, and a woman that loiters at the elementary school. I'm a bookseller, a ministry major, a friend. I'm the wanna-be gym rat; I'm the one caressing the laptop. I'm the one with the worn out library card.
I've got me some different hats.
My closet is filled with my little sister's hand-me-downs.
I'm headed to the school for Field Day. (Yes, Virginia. We are STILL in school.) I don't do Idol anymore, and well, typically this stuff gets on my nerves. HOWEVER. I was moved by this footage from Britain's Got Talent. Hope it does the same for you.
But I am starting to wonder if that would have been the better plan. The other inhabitants did their business and recovered, lickety-split. I took the tidier route - no mess, extended belly ache.
Whine, whine, whine, and not a drop to drink, because it isn't friendly to the gut.
But it explains a lot. I am a better mother and saner woman in the absense of pain.
I helped in the classrooms, got the groceries, did what I said I would. But I was grimacing and grouchy with the kids. Snappy. Impatient. Using crappy parenting skills because I just couldn't or wouldn't summon up the energy to do the good mother thing.
Oh, and did I mention Greg was out of town?
By Tuesday, I was hustling out of my scuzzy homebound clothes into Proper Parent Volunteer Attire when I had a meltdown. At 36. Because I couldn't find the neutral, buff colored bra that I wear under light shirts. The bra I can wear with anything. The one bra to rule them all. It was missing.
My cheerful disposition was seriously in jeopardy.
But I managed to get dressed, like a big girl, and spent the afternoon helping 3rd graders through the writing process.
I'm feeling better today; I'm turning the corner.
And I am stocking up on the Holy Bras, just in case.
It is summer - time for parks, hikes, BBQs and camp. I don't watch TV this time of year. AND YET. Studio 60 had a ALL NEW episode last night, just when I thought it went the way of the dodo. It brought out the ALL CAPS in me.
I stink at reviews so I will spare you all but this: Studio 60 is the only primetime show I can think of with a Christian woman that prays on the show, talks about her faith that can't be quantified, without acting like she is just off the prairie or dons a bonnet. I'm not issuing a fatwa against prairies or bonnets - if they work for you, fine. But I need a Harriet. I need to see a Christian living in the city, with a sense of humor, a belief in God; a woman that loves the people around her and doesn't build a wall around herself. I need a Matt. (He looks a lot like a Chandler to me.) I need to see a man struggle to understand the woman he loves and the beliefs she holds.
I need Studio 60.
In last night's episode, Harriet stopped to pray during a crisis. It was awkward. My eyes felt the urge to roll. But I wonder why. I struggle with prayer. I feel like an idiot when I lead a prayer, even among friends. I struggle with how to pray when I am alone. Friends ask me to pray for them, their love ones. And I try. I do.
Yet, I wonder: Am I doing it right?
Did I miss the prayer portion of the ministry program?
I try to quiet my heart. I think about those in need. I ask God to help. I thank him.
We made it through 2 hours of soccer practice before Pukefest 2007 began; first Lexi, then Zack. We have been spared by the Vomitgods until recently, nothing for years. Yay, lucky us. Then over Memorial weekend, Lexi redecorated our friends' bathroom in the middle of the night. (Such a resourceful girl, working the late shift.) Zack treated his bed, his room, my room and the bathroom to a makeover that took all morning to make right again.
Can you smell the Lysol?
So, we are watching Star Wars, waiting for Aunt Lori to run some popsicles to our doorstep.
I began Rant shortly after going to the Palahniuk reading in Portland, but couldn't get past page 30. I was disappointed. I don't fancy this style of writing - different characters 'tell' the story in turn - it feels disjointed. I took a break, read Blindness, and came back to it. Leave it to Palahniuk to come up with some crazy things like a health crisis from a Superspreader of a drug resistant form of rabies, or a fella that uses black widow spider bites to bring about priapism, a natural Viagra of sorts. Then days later, the news was crawling with the Andrew Speaker story and this tidbit about spiders in Chile. Palahniuk seems to be 2 steps ahead of the headlines. I hope the next title is written in good ol' prose.
Blindness was a turn-off at first glance. The translation from Portuguese to English comes with long paragraphs of dialogue with nary a quotation mark in sight. It hurt my head. It's a dark allegorical tale (couldn't resist) about a blindness that sweeps a city, leaving the inhabitants desperate and starving. I wish I could say that it was heavy-handed, that rape and murder and government tyranny wouldn't happen during a widespread crisis, but I am too cynical today. (Remember, I am not feeling groovy on the inside.) It is a worthy read, worthy of the Nobel prize it garnered. I picked up the sequel, Seeing, from the library. I'll let you know how it goes.
Still feeling happy? Rent Hannibal Rising; it'll bring you down. Rising did not meet critical or commercial success, but I thought it was better than the brain-eating Hannibal . The childhood story of Hannibal Lecter of Silence of the Lambs fame is horrifying. Think World War II famine in Lithuania, loss of family, loss of hope. There was a part of me that felt pity for him early in the movie, watching him lose his humanity. But at some point the young Hannibal becomes the monster that taunts Jodie Foster in later years, and how he got there fades away.
That's all the grimness I can muster in one sitting. Tomorrow I will turn to unicorns and pastel pink lollies, for your reading pleasure.
Edited to add: Blindness is being brought to the big screen.
I get choked up sometimes. When I saw Zack searching the crowd for my face at church on Mother's Day, to give me a daisy, my throat burned. When someone outside the family unit whoops and hollers for my kids playing soccer, my eyes have been known to get misty.
[Between you and me, I shed a tear when the irreverent former vengeance demon, Anya, died fighting the good fight in the Buffy series finale. Did I just say that?]
I can be sappy.
But then I have the audacity to be all tough when it's least expected.
My friend, Carey, cried when our preschoolers finished school last spring. I stood on the sidewalk, calm and reasonable, which is usually her job.