Acceptance is Key.

Y’all, it’s possible this post is going to be a teensy bit cranky. Just a teensy weensy.

So, before we begin, I will insert this:

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And voila. A smiling Corgi will cover a lot of ills, I tell you.

And now, *slaps hands together* let us carry on with the grump.

About six months ago, as bedtime, my husband informed me that he was going to take a life insurance policy out on me.

Don’t worry, this is not the grumpy part. But, before I actually dive into that, let me ask you something,

I ask you, dear reader, WHY does my husband decide to make these sorts of statements when we are both lying down, PRONE, past ten o’clock pm? Bedtime, for him, is a time to discuss filing our taxes, or the strange hiss/rattle that the back end of the car is making, or the strange hiss/rattle his backend is making, or what Trump said recently. All of these are things he likes to discuss when I am PRONE.

The nerve.

Ok, let’s break this down: Prone Momsie = Near Coma, Come Lord Jesus I’m TIRED, Momsie. Leave me da heck alone.

I do realize this makes the marriage bed sound sooooooo exciting. Perhaps I need to add here about how our marriage bed is also “Where the Magic Happens,”
but that’s another post for another day.

Plus, let’s just be realistic. Whenever anyone refers to their bedroom as “Where the magic happens,” I get even more snarky than I thought humanly possible.

BUT I DIGRESS.

The news about the life insurance did have me at, “Oh no he’s trying to kill me and get a million dollars” for about four minutes, then I remembered that with our standard of living he would probably make enough to cover the funeral expenses and maybe buy a new Earthway 2030Pplus Deluxe Lawn and Garden, 65 Lbs Fertilizer Drop Spreader, and that’s it.

Well thank YOU big insurance company for taking my husband’s Earthway 2030Pplus Deluxe Lawn and Garden, 65 Lbs Fertilizer Drop Spreader away.

All the man wants is a damn lawn that is well fertilized, and you are denying him that. Which, clearly, is un-American.

Yes, I shall explain.

It all started with the questionnaire.

I love questionnaires. As one who is in recovery, I LOVE  them. Know why? Cuz I always get to gleefully put a big fat X next to “NO! NO WAY! I do NOT!” next to the “Do you drink alcohol?” question.

This is so fun! I put a big huge X and I kinda linger there and smile to myself, and okay, I know, I take fun where I can get it, people.

Other things I get to say NO to on the questionnaire! So exciting!

  • Crack use
  • Smoking
  • Smoking and doing crack at the same time
  • Foul language
  • Endless youtube sessions about dogs were saved from the streets of Peru and now live a happy and serene existence without mange.

Ok, it’s possible the last two were not on THIS questionnaire. But this question was:

“Have you ever abused alcohol?”

Yep. Yes. Yepper. I did. I abused it. Big time. No light banter here, alcohol and I were in a very twisted relationship and there were breakups and bad choices yelling and lots of things. And so, I checked “YES” and felt good. Joyous. Free, perhaps. I was being honest in all  my affairs.

So that’s when the letters started arriving.

The letters were polite and full of questions. They asked things like:

  • When did you start abusing alcohol?
  • Where?
  • How?
  • Why?
  • Do you have photographic evidence?
  • Can you offer any sort of proof that you are, as of now, TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY OKAY?

Ok, I added that last one, but I get their point. I do. It’s just that I ANSWERED all of these letters, that came, weekly, to my mailbox, all asking the same things, and I got a bit tired of it. In fact, after a while, there were three thoughts that started to creep into my brain:

  1. This is what they do to murder suspects. They just keep asking them the same questions and they’re waiting. Just waiting FOR ME TO CRACK.
  2. Why do they keep repeating themselves? Are they on crack?
  3. Maybe…I could, maybe… just lie.

I did not lie. I kept filling out the forms, even when the last one came, asking for dates and times certifying my alcohol abuse and when it started (heck fire people. Like, I don’t know… DID YOU READ MY BOOK?).

And I would mutter things like, “Yes. YES. I am a FREAKING ALCOHOLIC. YES I WILL CHECK THE BOX AGAIN. Yep. That’s ME. You got me there, BIG INSURANCE COMPANY.”

And I would take a breath and say the serenity prayer and slap a stamp on the letter to the Big Insurance Company.

By the way, you will note I am above directly naming this Big Insurance Company. No. I have more class than that. I shall not divulge it.

But it rhymes with SCREWDENTIAL

Ahem.

Ok, so today, I got a letter that is “unable to approve you for coverage at this time.”

Guys. I am not an “unable to approve” kinda girl. Like, my first college choice was a go. (Sure, it was the state university but they said YES to me, ok?)  And I was first in my class to get a job. In general,  I have been YESSED for YEARS because I am a GOOD PERSON AND PEOPLE DO NOT SAY NO TO MOMSIE.

(True, I did not get married until 36 but that was because I said “NO” FIRST to a lot of other offers and also Jesus was protecting me, big time. Thank you, Jesus.)

It had me all flustered. Big Insurance does not like me. Me, who is inherently likeable on very many levels. I want to write Big Insurance Company a letter in which I explain how utterly wonderful I am. And, did you know? I wrote a book, nay TWO (second one out in August!) about this whole alcoholic thing and truly? Utterly? I will NEVER EVER DRINK AGAIN, OK? YOU CAN TRUST ME.

But then, I remembered something.

Um, I am alcoholic. And, I will not drink today, yes. I will not. But tomorrow? Well, tomorrow I will tackle then, but who knows?

I could end up in a drinking mess any moment, within a breath, with any sort of sad feeling or rejection or moment of celebration or any of it. Yes, I have some years of sobriety now, and I do have the Super Sobriety Girl cape and I wear it on the daily. But really?

I could drink again.

It’s a daily decision that people in recovery make. So thank you, Big Insurance Company, for the reminder. Really. No snark. No attitude. No fuss. I get it and I thank you for my daily dose of humility and reality. It hurt, but I get it.

I’ll shall go forth and buy the Earthway 2030Pplus Deluxe Lawn and Garden, 65 Lbs Fertilizer Drop Spreader myself, thank you very much

Now I’m off to figure out how to set up a Go Fund Me for the best freaking fertilizer drop spreader on the planet.

And also? To conclude, I googled “lawn fertilizer images” and am posting this, because it’s awesome:horses-lay-down-dont-call-911.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why do beer commercials get to have all the fun?

You guys. I just watched a beer commercial that made me all emotional.

I mean, I watched it? And it’s possible there was a bit of moisture around the eyes.

A BEER commercial.

You had me at slow-motion prancing, Budweiser Clydesdale.

The people in that commercial were all, “I’m having this really important, bonding, full of love moment with you other actors, out here on this hipster porch. And I have a beard. And look! There goes the Clydesdale again! And this is all so very very real and awesome and good. We are really talking and bonding and great gin and tonics, this commercial is a Norman Rockwell with BEER. And horses.”

What’s the deal, beer? You got to have Spuds McKenszie. He wore sunglasses, y’all.

Hamm’s had a bear, I think.

Dad, did Hamm’s have a bear? I know you’re reading this and you would know. Because, you were around then. 

And then, there was this commercial.

Watch, if you dare:

 

I know. I’ll wait. You go get your tissue box. Sad Doggie Waiting Face will wait too. JUST MAKE SURE YOU DON’T DRINK AND CRASH SOMEHOW BEFORE YOU COME BACK BECAUSE YOU’RE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DOGGIE FACE.

THAT DOG IS SAD AND I CAN’T HANDLE SAD DOGS. HELP.

But anyhow.

I think it’s high time I get an animal. I mean, I already have four, but where is the payout, little furry ones? Why does beer get to have all the fun?

I have these two:IMG_7932.JPGIMG_7929.JPG

Surely, there’s some way we could make some money off of them, right?

I mean, omg. Look. At. That. Butt.

If beer gets to inflict us with a puppy’s need for therapy after a life story that could be its own Lifetime movie, then I get my own animal.

And he is THRILLED BEYOND BELIEF.

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Steve refused. He was my first choice. We had a very short casting call where I grabbed him and clutched him to my chest and rocked back and forth and said, “I love youuuuuu my preshusssss” but he said he is not selling out. His butt is his own.

Hosmer had no issues with any of this because he never understands much anyway.

And also this post is not making much sense at all, so he’s on board with that.

I haven’t really figured out how to do any of this, but if a duck can sell insurance, then I can make it happen.

 

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Steve’s behind is so large it is its own “Insert Ad Here” space, with fur. I couldn’t resist.

He informed me that he felt cheap, and used. I offered to pay him with Whisker Lickins, tuna flavor, to which he blinked, and said,

“If we downsize the font, there’s also room to put a link to your book on the Amazon.”

 

The end.

 

This post was sponsored by:

Nobody. I really need to up my game.

 

Intentional

Linking up with my Friday peeps today at Five Minute Friday.

The theme?

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This should be a post about how every day I am practicing intentionality in my parenting.

But instead I would rather talk about my cats.

For the past few days, I have been under the weather.

Note: This phrase bothers me. What does it mean? Is the weather a big blanket? Is it the boss of me? Do I need to ask it to move over?

Anyhow. I have had this weird sickness that keeps rotating slowly through all of my body systems like a wrecking ball. And whoa, now I’ve got Miley Cyrus in this post which really proves the point that I am a bit woozy.

 

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I have had a lot of time to ponder things.

In my job, couches, and blankets, and weather-related idioms are common. I write, and therefore sitting down is kind of part of the deal.

But, the trouble here is that my brain has been wrapped in the funk of sickness, and my writing has been sort of like this:

Article 1 on my desktop:

Children hard and parents don’t like them.

Different article:

Once there was a woman. And.

Another attempt at any other article, take your pick:

It was a dark and stormy night. And?

 

And so on. When I am well, and all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed*, writing from home still doesn’t have a solid structure to it. Most days I get up, work out, read a little bible because I need the Lord after working out, drink forty cups of coffee, and then boom, I sit and write. And write some more. Plus, more writing. Then, I really mix it up and I re-read what I wrote, hate it, edit, and then write some more.

Mix this all up with fun household chores and me saying, “Do you need to go outside?” to my dog about five million times, and you get the idea.

The past few days? With the sickness? I get up.

Yes, that’s all. Sometimes I drink one cup of coffee, but since one of those systems that has been affected by this horrible bug is my digestive one… coffee tends to bounce around in there and cause problems.

I have never felt the sting of wasted time more acutely than when I started writing “for real” with my first book, Bottled. Every day was in my head, just me and my words, and found out something rather daunting: I am totally lazy. I am just not very good at a structured schedule.

This is fine and all, because I allowed inspiration to drive me, so writing at 11 pm while both boys are smushed up against me, mouth-breathing, in one bed because they had a bad dream, together, simultanously, and I have no boundaries? That was a writing thing.

Also, writing a blog post while I cook dinner that is brilliant and funny and is all just in my head? Also a thing. And I mean the blog post, not the dinner. The dinner was mediocre at best.

Writing an article that is due tomorrow, tomorrow? Totally a thing.

When I got sick, the deadlines didn’t offer me some Tylenol and left me totally alone. Also, I had no inspiration because I am sick, dude. My inspiration was shoved up under the weather, along with most of my excretory system. This was unpleasant.

And so, I give you this:cute-melted-animals-9-58beb620da23d__700.jpg

This is not actually my cat. This is some preshus cuddums I found on the internets. I wasn’t able to use a picture of any of my cats being totally lazy. They’re all sleeping upstairs and I’m too tired to walk up there.

So, did you know? Cats embrace laziness.

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They don’t care. If they need a nap – they find an impossible location and it’s ON.

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What have I learned from this? What is the furry take-away?

Dude. If you are sick, be sick. Rest. Email your editors ask for an extra day. Drink hot tea and sleep in cute, furry poses that make people squeal, “Ohhh! Preshus!” and lunge for their cameras so they can post you on the instagrams.

No. No, I don’t suggest the pictures part. Me and my wack-job bodily functions have not been all that photogenic lately.

Intentionality is intentionality, even when your intention is to do absolutely nothing but drink clear fluids for three days. It’s ok.

But.

This illness has made me miss the days when I actually had the brain capacity to write.I won’t waste that. My intention is to make those days count. It’s a great reminder.  Perhaps that’s why we get the flu – to remind us about how, once, we were well, and how grateful we were for those days, when we could walk down the hall in a straight line without feeling like we’re floating, in a dead fish kind of way.

So I woke up this morning and I felt… better. Like, not totally over the weather, but just…next to it. Like, the weather and I were giving a side hug. And thus, this post. It’s not a Pulitzer, but I’ll take it. A woman who writes about cats on a regular basis is not a Pulitzer woman. She’s just funny, sometimes, and writes things that hopefully make people smile.

And that has always been my intention.

Oh, and also this. The best explanation of intention that I know.

Quotes-to-Help-Overcome-Addiction-Intention-POSTER.png*Note: this phrase also bothers me. What does it mean? 

Done, Part One.

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Setting: A college classroom. Various students are slouched in chairs, tired, and they are all wearing weirdly tapered Nike pants, which were so in style when I was a kid, but I still cannot fathom that young men are wearing these things today.

They kind of look like M.C. Hammer. But, you know.

I teach this class. The tapered pants are a distraction, but for the most part, we get through.

Last class we were discussing what a writer does for a living. And I was all:

“Hey, looket! I wrote a book. Like, for real. Here, let me show you!” And I showed them. But not, for real, because I have NO COPIES OF MY OWN BOOK for some reason. This is a weird glitch – but then, I figured. If you were Mark Hamill, would you have a bunch of copies of Star Wars at your house? That would be odd, right?

Actually, I so would. I would have a ton of Star Wars movies at my house.

And, too, I am not comparing Bottled to Star Wars. That’s just crazy.

Maybe Battlestar Galactica, though.

But I digress.

Then the whole class shouted, “NO WAY. Like, for REAL? Will you sign my notebook? Oh, wait, I forgot to bring paper. Or a pencil. So, here, sign my pants!”

That’s not how they responded. No. There were crickets. Crickets were chirping. I think one cricket felt sorry and said, “Nice job, dude,” but I am not sure because I don’t speak cricket.

Such is the glamorous life of a writer. You work on something for nine months and then you find yourself hoping that weirdly panted college kids will think you’re cool.

Ok, now, truth be told, I don’t really need the approval of these wee lads. But, at times, the writing life can be like this. You find yourself with all these pages of your life and you kind of carry it around, toting it from one reading to the next, and saying, “Please. Read me,”  hoping for a signing that has more then three people at it, one of which showed up because he was looking for the bathroom.

We writers. We are ego, coated in insecurity, propped up by a thesaurus.

So, a few weeks ago, I left my husband and babies (see below):

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These are not my actual present-day babies. I mean, they ARE my babies, but this is a much older picture. It was on my desktop. How could it not be? I mean, look at them. The adorable is strong with these two. Blond is all… Blondo Suave. And Red? Full on nutball.

Nothing much has changed really.

But, anyhow, I left ’em. And I drove here:

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To work on this:

 

IMG_7005.jpgAnd I was greeted by this guy:

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Look deeply into my eyes. I am here for you, dude. Write. WRITE LIKE THE WIND.

Yes. It’s a church. As I am a deeply spiritual person, and am always kinda Floaty with Jesus, it only made sense that my writing retreat would be at a church.

Ok, but seriously, my friend Sonya loaned me her house while they traveled. She has the added benefit of being a pastor’s wife.

But, I am deeply spiritual. Just not Floaty. One cannot be floaty with two small children.  That’s just asking for trouble.

So, I was working on the second book. The publisher that worked with me on Bottled actually decided to let me stick around, and so, Perfect* was born.

Actually. Not yet. It’s done… but it’s not DONE done. Because there is editing and fixing and moving and cutting and OH GREAT FLOATY FATHER there is still so much more work to do.

And I love it all.

Oh, and also, at the writing retreat? There was this:

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Cat, accessorized by a clip.

And:

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I’m in charge.

And:

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And IIIIIIIIIIIII EEEIIIIIIIII WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOUUUUUUUUEEEOOOUUUU.

IT WAS ALL CATS, ALL THE TIME.

Cats + writing + fifty thousand Blow Pops + too much coffee = and almost done book. It’s possible I’m dedicating it to those cats.

 

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*This is a working title. Other possibilities:

The Perfect Book

Second Books Are Hard

This is a Book and I Wroted It

Prefection

 

 

 

 

And so on.

If at first you don’t succeed… blah blah blah.

Linking up with my people today at Five Minute Friday.

But, I don’t want to.

My fingers are tired. So is my head. Yesterday I had a meltdown so epic with my kids that even the dog left my side for a whole ten minutes. Which would have been kinda nice because honestly being followed constantly by Mr. clicky toenails guy is a bit annoying, but not in this case. In this case, I felt major dog-mom guilt. And basic mom guilt. Just, guilt. Loads and loads.

The theme for today, you ask?

 

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Good one FMF. I see what you’re doing there.

Ok, so pretty much every single free minute of my existence has been spent writing The Big Fat Second Book.

Here are some facts:

  1. That which won’t kill you will make you stronger. Maybe.
  2. It’s always darkest before the dawn. Or all day. Take your pick.
  3. If at first you don’t succeed, oh just put a sock in it.

Brace yourself. Whining is coming.

WRITING ABOUT HARD THINGS IS HARD. The past three chapters have been about hard things (good news! it’s still funny! don’t forget to pre-order!!! it will still be funny!). The hard things are there because Newsflash: LIFE IS HARD.

That’s kinda the premise of the whole book, actually. Dana finally figures out how HARD life is and she writes about it. I know, right? Should be a bestseller. I can just see the droves of people at the Barnes and Nobles:

“I can’t WAIT to read this book! It’s all about how life sucks the life out of you and is so very hard!”
“My gosh, that’s totally new information to me! I must read about it! It sounds wonderful!”

Perhaps I’m being a bit hard on myself here, but words are all stuck up in my craw and it’s making me… what’s that word for when you are upset and want to hit things?

Anyhow. The other day I broke our coffee grinder because I dropped it. It was a really nice coffee grinder and I hate hate HATE it when I break things. I also hate it when people say, “Oh well. I’ll just go buy another one,” because that just seems wasteful and the poor kids in India who made the coffee grinder probably could use a break. But, I really do LIKE ground coffee. It makes my heart sing a little. So – I was all smart and good for the environment and I bought a cheap little hand grind grinder thingie on the Amazons. Boom! I can work out my arms and save money AND electricity! I AM SAVING THE EARTH AND ALL THE THINGS!

Guys. To grind about one cup’s worth of beans takes forty five minutes.

Well, maybe not quite that many but it feels like it. I ground and ground and ground and… ground and ground… and ground… and checked and ground and ground…

I WANT MY ELECTRIC GRINDER BACK.

All of this is to say: keep trying. Don’t give up. Don’t give up on yourself as a momma, and also as a really bad hand-crank coffee bean grinder person. Because, you know, I am KEEPING that #@@%$ grinder and I’m gonna crank the ##$$ out of it. JUST KEEP GRINDING THE BEANS.

And, you, my sweet children, I will keep trying. I will come up to you and say “I’m sorry. Please forgive me?” and you will reach your little arms around my neck and we will all keep trying. We have to. We’re stuck with each other.

And YOU, book. Yea, I’m talking about you. I will keep trying. I will. I will write about the hard things and the funny things and dance around the parts that I think sound like the world’s worst writing since the history of writing, and I will not give up.

Or, as my son put it: “I forgotted yesterday anyhow, Momma.”

Press on.

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Darling Patrons: An Open Letter To the People Who Read My Stuff. Otherwise known as a blog post.

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I have lovely news, but I keep getting interrupted by other stuff.

Other stuff:

  1. Children. Small children. They NEED things. Even when they don’t they really like to carry on conversations with you. Case in point: This morning Red was coming out of the bathroom, sauntered past me, and asked, “Mom, do you like sausages?” I had no idea how to respond, really. It was the whole juxtaposition of the bathroom*, the nonchalance, and my inability to talk without coffee. I was flummoxed. But, yes, actually, I DO like sausages. Italian and summer are my favorite.
  2. *Just don’t dwell on it too much and it won’t get icky.

3. A furry white cat that was on death’s door a week ago. But more on that later.

4. Laundry. See #1.

I know the other stuff is normal (except for Steve, the cat but more on that later) but the older I get the harder it is to multi-task. It’s like my synapses just freak out and say, “Hey! Everybody! She’s trying to do that multi-tasking thing again! Take COVER!”” And there’s general running about and firing of synapses all over the place and waving of synapsey arms and mayhem.

I was trying to get (shove) my two boys out the door this morning for VBS, hoping for an hour to work on the lovely news, when I noticed that Red’s bed looked like he had piled every single one of his stuffed animals on it. It looked like this because, as I asked him for verification, “Mom, I piled every one of my stuffed animals on it! I have a kaJILLION!”

And that’s when I started in on Mom Lecture #3445, Clean Up Your Stuff Or It Will Go Away And You Will Have to Play with Sticks. 

Me: Red, you KNOW you are to MAKE YOUR BED every morning, and this is a MESS and-

Red: But, Mom-

Me: Hold on dear, I’m not to the sub points of the lecture. And FIRST OF ALL-

Red: But, MOM-

Me: One minute. FIRST OF ALL, it’s important to be RESPONSIBLE-

Red: MOM. MOMMY.

Me: AND ANOTHER THING-

Red: MOM THEY ASKED US TO BUILD THE WALL OF JERICHO IN VBS. IT WAS OUR HOMEWORK. AND I DID. WITH MY STUFFED ANIMALS. STRAIGHT UP BIBLE ACTIVITY ALL UP IN THERE.

Me: Oh. That’s adorable. And, they gave you homework? This VBS is hardcore.

Jesus and Red = 1 Mom = 0

 

Anyhow. I am now writing my little fingers off to tell you about THIS:IMG_6550.png

I’m working on another book. The publishing company actually wanted me to write another book. ANOTHER ONE.

Which, as you  know, means I am really a big deal.

Also, it’s possible I have had the worst case of writer’s block known to all writers in the universe (no hyperbole here) because FOLLOW UP IS SO NOT MY THING.

I’ll keep you posted. But, in fact, I won’t keep you posted as much as I would like because every stray minute that dangles in front of me is utilized in eeking out another painful sentence on this second-book thing. I am serious. Last night I wrote a sentence. Then stared off into space. Then deleted the sentence. More staring. Wept a little. Repeat. This must be what snails feel like all the time.

Poor snails.

I tell you this, so you will feel sorry for me. Just a teensy weensy bit? I always did like sympathy. I’m so not like those people who are all, “I don’t want your sympathy!”

I DO. I REALLY DO WANT IT.

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See?! This writing thing? It’s really hard! (To be honest, I think George might want to consider counseling.)

But, if not sympathy, then your prayers. My family and me need to survive together until the manuscript is done, and this morning I asked Blonde to provide me with a synonym for “glass” and he answered “Um, donkey?” and I just nodded and carried on.

Never ask an eight year old with bad hearing for synonyms.

I’m gonna try and stick with the donkey-half-full ideology that a second book is wonderful and exciting and such a blessing. And, it is happening because of YOU guys. So, I thank you from the bottom of my synapse-misfiring little heart.
I do love you so.

I lift my donkey of grape juice to you.

This book is gonna be so good, can’t you tell?

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Blessed Are the Peacemakers. Really.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today! The theme?

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My kid is shaking with anger.

He’s standing before me, brow furrowed, fists clenched. There was some yelling but now he’s quiet, and a big, fat tear rolls down his cheek. He’s collapsing all inward with anger and a really REALLY fierce conviction that IT ISN’T FAIR.

I don’t really know exactly what the IT is, because there is (there always is) another person involved in the fray. There’s a brother involved, and he is also leveraging for his Totally Fair Piece of the Pie.

I just want to go lie down. Maybe with a slice of pie and a cup of coffee.

Once, I think, I tried to recite “Blessed are the peacemakers” at Blonde, in the heat of the battle, but he just looked at me with that tired expression of “Mom, you’re crazy” that I keep getting more and more often. (I have it on good authority that I am not, actually, crazy. But, somedays, that look… it is so CONVINCED of the crazy, that I kinda half believe him. And you know? It’s not so bad to be crazy. A little crazy is what we all need, to be mothers.)

Anyhow.

I recited, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall inherit the earth” at him, and he looked at me in scorn and said, voice shaking, “I don’t WANT the EARTH, Mom. I just WANT MY BROTHER TO STOP BEING A JERK.”

Valid point.

Here is what I have learned in my 8 massively long and short years of parenting:

  1. My mother is a saint. A SAINT. I am so sorry, Mom. You were right. About all of it. ALL OF IT ALL THE TIME.
  2. Reciting bible verses AT someone isn’t the way to go.

Ok. So we have been working on it, this whole getting angry bit, because seven and eight year old kids don’t have the inner mechanisms to adjust the volume on their anger. Adults don’t either, sometimes. Especially on rainy summer days stuck inside with no screens (they’re grounded, for a week) and no wine (mom’s grounded, forever) and no patience for anyone.

Here’s how we work on it:

We talk about it… LATER. Like, at dinner, or while we’re playing Uno, or bedtime. When it’s dark and they’re all cute and smell like soap. That’s when we talk about how to actually be a blessing. Even when we don’t really feel like it.

At the time? With the anger thing? And the yelling? We do our best. We muddle through. I pray and they stomp up to their rooms.

All of this is pretty usual stuff, right? It’s not like at our house we have some massively new and improved way to make everyone just get along for the love.

We try to remember who we are.

“We’re family, honey,” I tell Blonde, as he sniffles in his room, all snot and rage.”We’re a family, and that brother of yours? He is going to be with you for a long time. He is for you. And he’s massively annoying. But he loves you. And, deep down, deep DEEP down, you love him.”

“I don’t feel like it. I kinda hate him.”

“I know. Those are feelings. They change and fade and get all messed up. They’re feelings, and they’re important, but deep down, they aren’t the truth of the matter. Behind it all is the truth. It’s who we are. We are God’s. And He loves us, and He put love IN us. Love is all His department, and He has it running in our veins, just like Jesus’s.”

“Face it, kid. You’re stuck with us.”

Today we will be blessed by being kind when we don’t want to be, and when we screw up, we’ll say sorry. And we’ll try to act like we mean it.

And maybe inheriting the earth will happen, but for today, I’ll settle for a couple hours in a row without fighting. We’re family, after all. I’m trying to be realistic.

 

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