Mairsy Dotes

"No faith is as solid as a wounded faith."

Biology class will never be the same again… September 29, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 8:23 am


I wanna grow old with you September 28, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 9:01 pm

So, M and I have been struck down by some sort of mild form of the plague. Nothing that prevents us from going about our everyday lives, but just a smidgen of plague that makes going about our daily lives just a little more challenging because we’re coughing, sneezing, and sniffling our way through. Usually, I combat illness like this with rest. Lots and lots of rest.

Sarah’s been waking us up every. two. hours. We got better sleep when she was a newborn, because we co-slept. But now, Little Miss Dude I Need My Space isn’t content to sleep and snuggle Mama and just get plugged onto a breast whenever she whimpers. So that means we get up when she cries, and then at some point I poke M in the back and say, “Take her back to the crib.” and because he loves me: he gets up and does what I say.

At this point, a good night’s sleep would be as satisfying as a good BLT–and that means lots of bacon and mayo, and hold the T (I don’t like tomatoes. I usually order things and “hold the tomato” but I feel weird ordering a BLT and having them hold the T part…so I always get them and then pick them off…). Tonight? Sarah got rice cereal, a nice bath with relaxing baby aromatherapy, nursed on both breasts, and a dose of baby Tylenol. I have done everything I can to make sure my tiny girl sleeps tonight. And how am I using the time? Sleeping? Nope. I’m talking with you.

However, it was my night to do dinner. Since the kitchen was full of dirty dishes we’ve felt too blah to take care of, I went to the store and got us TV dinners. You can just hand me the Mother of the Year tiara right now. It wouldn’t have been bad, except I ran into a really chatty, super-mom who used to be a neighbor. The sort of woman who would drag herself from her deathbed to make her family a healthy, balanced meal. The sort of woman you’d like to hate, but you can’t, because she’s just too damn nice. But today? I felt just sick enough to sort of dislike her for catching me with TV dinners and diet root beer in my cart.

 On an entirely unrelated note, tomorrow is my 9th Anniversary of being M’s girl. I can’t believe it. Nine years. In many ways, it seems like much longer than that (in a good way) and in others it seems like it can hardly have already been that long ago that we started dating.

At the wedding last weekend, we (the wedding party) were all supposed to stand around the dancefloor and oooh and aaah and get all teary and schmooped out while the bride and her dad danced. This was not hard to do. The bride is a sister of my heart, and her dad…well, if she’s a sister of my heart that would probably make her dad a dad of my heart. I love him. He picked out the song “I Held Her First” (I think that’s the title…and if anybody knows for sure, and knows the artist, please let me know! Thanks!) and as they danced he sang to her. TOTAL schmoop moment, right? And then I looked over at M, who had Sarah strapped to him in a sling, and a sleepy Nea sitting on his knee and slumped against his chest and I just totally welled. Then later? All four of us danced to “Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing, and that very nearly sent me over the edge into the Grand Canyon of Schmoop.

We’ve just been given this thing. This incredibly precious, incredibly rare thing. This thing that feels as fragile as crystal and as durable as steel all at the same time. I look at this man, who is a little rounder than he was when we first started dating (good bye 30’s, hello 34’s), a lot more bald, and who has had to use every ounce of his considerable patience on a near daily basis simply because I (also more round–good-bye 6, hello 12–and who’s assets have decided to move south on a permanent basis) am a part of his life, I look at him and I’m amazed at the gifts we’ve been given in one another. He is my best friend, and has been for nearly a decade now. He is closer to me than my own skin. He is the one I want to run to when I’m scared or lonely or frustrated. His is the first face I look for when I want to celebrate.

At our own wedding reception, we danced to Adam Sandler’s “I Wanna Grow Old With You”. It was the first song we ever danced to–it was playing on my stereo, one night when he picked me up to go out, and he just scooped me into his arms and we danced. It’s still the song that I think of as “ours”.

Shut the door, Babe. I love you.

I wanna make you smile whenever you’re sad
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad
Oh all I wanna do is grow old with you.

I’ll get you medicine when your tummy aches.
Build you a fire if the furnace breaks.
Oh, it could be so nice, growing old with you.

I’ll miss you. Kiss you.
Give you my coat when you are cold.
Need you. Feed you.
Even let you hold the remote control.

So let me do the dishes in our kitchen sink
Put you to bed when you’ve had too much to drink.
Oh I could be the man who grows old with you.

I wanna grow old with you…


Random acts of…I dunno. Something. September 27, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 6:50 pm

We went to one of my dearest friends wedding last weekend. Nea was the flowergirl. She rocked. I lost my bridesmaidenhead (always the bride, never the bridesmaid) with two of the most fabulous women I’ve ever had the pleasure of hanging out with (it was actually too bad Jen had to get married…we were well on our way to the sort of Girls Weekend that become legendary). At the reception, the wedding party got to drink free (whoo-hoo!!!) so this little pumpkin had a little too much of the vino, but all in all: it was a FANTASTIC weekend, and one that we won’t soon forget.

Today, I gave in to shoe temptation, and bought these:

I had a pair of black pumps. They are seven years old. I bought them on sale at PayLess. They are in OK shape, and so for that reason alone, when these first caught my eye in the shoestore window, I kept on walking. But after a few weeks of walking, I thought, “Screw it. I’ve been wearing those PayLess clearance shoes for seven freaking years. I deserve cute new black pumps.”

So. You know. I got them. M gets a new computer. I figure I can get new shoes–fair is fair, after all.

I’ve also been interviewed by the intrepid and intriguing Mojavi, of Simple Things. She and I both lived in Kansas. Well. She still does. And words can’t say how sorry I am about that, not being a fan of Kansas and all. But if she’s happy, I’m happy for her. She’s one of those people that I met through my blog, and while we’ve never met in person: if we got to, I think we’d have a seriously good time. 🙂  

1 How old were you when you decided to become a pastor and how did your family react– if at all?
Ummm…let’s see. I think I was 22 when I stopped running away from God and decided to pursue going to seminary. I’d been feeling the not-so-gentle prodding in that direction for several months, and just couldn’t run away any more. My family’s reaction was mixed. I think my mom cried, and said, “Well, that’s what you want to be today.”  and she spent a lot of time telling me, “Maybe you’re not meant to be a pastor. Maybe you’re just supposed to go to seminary to meet your husband, and then you can just be a pastor’s wife.”  Turns out? We were both right. 🙂 My Dad was fine with it, as long as I was fine with it. He just wants me to be happy. My brothers were slightly weirded out by it, but at that point: they were slightly weirded out by almost anything I did, so it was to be expected.

2. Now that you have two girls do you feel torn between them at all? Absolutely not. They are both so different–and their ages are far enough apart that their needs are different as well. We’ve also perfected the “Girl Snuggle” where all the girls in the family snuggle together and look cute so Daddy knows just how damn lucky he is to have all of us. 🙂 Oddly, the place I feel torn is between my need for “me time” and M’s need for “us time”.

3. What is your best childhood memory? I have no idea. I’ve got a lot, so it’s hard to narrow down a favorite. Small town 4th of July parades…going to a lake cabin in the summer and being allowed to read as much as I wanted…playing Fisher Price Little People with my younger brother…playing Barbies with my little neighborhood girl-gang…lots of different stuff.

4. How long have you been married and how did you meet? M and I met 9 years ago on the 29th of September. Well, actually: we met earlier than that. But our first date was the 29th. We went to the Como Park Zoo, held hands, and watched the organgutans have oral sex. I’m not sure what our second date was, but it’s sort of hard to top fuzzy orange oral sex, you know? 🙂 We will be married 8 years in December. We met at seminary–we were part of a gang that sort of hung out together. The first time I remember meeting him, I walked into a room, and he lit up, “Beege!” and I thought, “Who is that?” went over and sat next to him, and we’ve pretty much been sitting together, talking, laughing, and watching monkeys have oral sex ever since. I knew within two weeks of dating that I’d marry him. He took a bit longer to figure that out.

5. What is worst trait as a wife? I’m not sure if this is MY worst trait as a wife, or just what is the worst trait in a wife in general. My worst trait is that I tend to be rather selfish…I know M will give me whatever I want, and I’ve been known to take advantage of that. I let him spoil me shamelessly. The worst trait in a wife? Dishonesty and disloyalty.

 Want me to interview you? Leave me a comment letting me know.

Now I have to run. Sarah’s fussing, Nea’s crying, and M is slowly going mad…:)


The Wedding at Cana: A Bathtub Play in One Act September 20, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 8:14 pm

Cast of Characters
Jesus: Linnea
Pharisees: Sarah

Setting: The Bathroom
Time: Bathtime

Linnea (patting bubbles into a beard on her face): I’m going to be Jesus!
Sarah: Squeal!
Linnea: I’m Jesus, and that means I’m thirsty! Oh! Look! Someone has poured me a nice, dark beer! (fills the hair rinsing cup with water and bubbles from her bubble bath) Look at all the nice foamy bubbles!
Sarah: Squeal!
Linnea: It’s time for me to do a miracle! And my miracle is that I will turn this beer into wine! I just put in my hand (dips hand into hair rinsing cup) and wha-pow! It’s wine! It’s a miracle! An ordinary miracle! And that’s what I do, because I’m Jesus!
Sarah: Thhhhhhhbbbbbbbbttttttt.


As a pastor, one sort of wonders if that’s really the way it went, you know? I mean, as a Lutheran, I’ve always taken a deep delight that Christ’s first miracle wasn’t a healing, it wasn’t raising the dead, it was keeping the party going. And I have to confess: I get a deep surge of delight at the mental image of the Son of God making the “wha-pow!” sound. I sort of envision it accompanied by a fist pump.

But maybe that’s just me.


Rar. Stupid Flickr. Stupid WordPress.

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 8:51 am

So, I decided I wanted to be like one of the blogging cool kids, and have a flickr badge on my blog. No problem, right? Right.


Flickr’s instructions for how to get a badge on a blog are different than how WordPress says to get a Flickr badge on a blog. So no problem, right? Since it’s a WordPress blog, follow the instructions WordPress gives, and you’ll soon be the proud possessor of a cute little badge of your cute little children smiling at you from the cute little margins of your cute little blog.


No matter what I tried–Wordpress instructions, Flickr instructions, shit I just made up on my own–NOTHING worked. The best I could do was get OTHER PEOPLE’S Flickr pictures in my sidebar. Not MY PICTURES. So I thought, “Screw it. You’ve got a Flickr page, you can just remote host the pics you want on your blog. Just take the Flickr thing out of the sidebar though, otherwise you’ll just get pissed off every time you see somebody else’s cute kid on your blog. Self, this will be no problem.”


I can’t get the freaking Flickr widgit to go away. It seems I’m permanently stuck with the random Flickrs of random people on my blog. So not what I wanted.

But on the plus side: they all seem to be piratical in nature. So that’s some small scrap of silver lining. Arrrrrrrr.


Oh, the injustice! September 19, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 7:27 pm

My small girl’s reaction to being told that she could not, under any circumstances, eat a bean and cheese burrito in her flowergirl dress.  I’m like the most uncool mom ever, I’m sure. 🙂

A couple of years ago, I had a big blow-up with some friends. Some of you may remember it. It got public and it got ugly. I was in a situation where I was having problems with 2 or 3 people in a group, but the only way to really address their negativity was to just excuse myself from the group entirely. I was sorry to have to do it. I REALLY didn’t do it very well. It’s been a huge regret in my life the last three years or so–how I was just not able to handle that in a way that was kinder to friends that I loved. I hear through the grapevine that some of those friends now understand why I left and feel bad about how they didn’t speak up for me. They don’t have to feel badly–they feel badly they didn’t speak up, and I feel badly that I just dumped them (and dumped ON them, while I was at it). I feel weird about just contacting them, when only one of them has contacted me personally, so I’m hoping if they read this: Silly rabbits! I love you guys! Let’s try again, only this time we’ll all try not to be boneheads. It’s a good rule of thumb for friendships on the mend: do over! And don’t be boneheads, OK? OK.

 I think that’s going to be my motto for awhile: Beege: Trying not to be a bonehead since 2007. We’ll see how it works.

My MIL continues to piss the ever living hell out of me. This woman….!!!! So we sat down with a calendar, figured stuff out, decided that yes: even though it would make things more complicated for us, she should be able to come and visit her granddaughters and so she could come up and visit. M called her last night to tell her, and she’s not interested in coming. Instead, she’d like to come to my parent’s house and visit the girls between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The thing that pisses me off about this? The fact that she’d never even once made a peep about coming to see the girls until we called and told her we were moving. I want to know why it’s suddenly so freaking important for her to get to them, when up until last Thursday: she didn’t seem too concerned about seeing them.

And I’m so beyond tired of her acting like this is all my thing. It’s not. It never has been. In fact, I’ve tried everything I can to 1) either stay here or 2) get to Texas or 3) go somewhere else. It’s not that I’m sorry to be moving in with Mom and Dad. I’m not. I adore them, they’re some of my best friends, and I think that as strange as this arrangement will be: it’s going to be a good one. But I didn’t think that M would want to live close to my parents. Turns out I was wrong. He does. He’s thrilled and excited about this move. Can’t wait to settle in with his in-laws. But MIL doesn’t seem to get that. And it absolutely infuriates me that she thinks I could ever, ever force a decision on M that he wasn’t 100% on board with. Like I would just disrespect his opinion or his needs or his wants and force him to do what I want. He’s more important to me than anyone in the world–even my children–and if he had ever, at any point said, “I don’t think this is a good idea” or “I don’t really want to do this” then the plan would have been off. It just would have. And it really pisses me off that my MIL apparently thinks so little of me that she can just accept the fact that I would to this to her little boy.

The fact of the matter is she can’t even comprehend the fact that M doesn’t want to live any closer to her. He doesn’t. She has an incredibly lopsided view of their relationship. For YEARS after M and I got married, she’d tell me that no one knew M as well as she did, whereas I am of the opinion (an opinion that M shares) that I knew him better than anyone the first time I laid eyes on him. So that makes it weird. It’s REALLY hard on her to be so far apart from him, and it’s hard on us because it’s not hard for either one of us to be far apart from her.

I wish it could be better. M thinks if she’d just go for counseling, it would be better. I’m thinking, “She’s 70. I’m not sure counseling is going to help.”

I told M she couldn’t come up between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If both Dad and I are working retail: we’re going to be working long, hard, crazy hours. The girls will be settling in to a new routine, new home, having Grandma and Grandpa around all the time. It’s not a good time to have Meme come waltzing up from Texas. It makes me sad that she won’t come up now, as much as it would complicate matters for us, because I can’t think of when on earth she’ll get to see the girls. If the church comes through, the earliest we’d be able to get to Texas is after Easter. We’ve thought about inviting them up for Sarah’s first birthday, but then they wouldn’t have seen Sarah since she was six weeks old…that’s a long time to not see your grandchild, and I don’t want to do that to her (even though she DOES drive me crazy).

 Blegh. It’s a mess.

On a happier note: sometime between when I left for work on Monday and when I came home, Boog learned to laugh. She’s got this great, gurgling belly laugh that’s got a little bit of a rasp to it…kind of like how Joe Cocker sings. AND she had her first serving of rice cereal and bananas last night (*sniff*/yay!), AND she slept from 9PM to 5AM, woke up for a feed and went back down ’til 9AM. I’m going on more sleep than I’ve had in probably ten months. And there are times when sleep is WAY better than sex. I’m getting plenty of sex. What else are you going to do when you know you’re going to have to feed the baby in half an hour, so there’s really no point in trying to fall asleep? But sleeping? Oh, sleeping….now that’s something magic.


Wow. Neat! September 17, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 9:55 am

So my beloved boss called the store that’s in the mall of the town that we’re moving to (in a hole at the bottom of the sea). She spoke with the manager, the manager said, “Yeah! Have her call us!”

So I called them on Friday. Manager said, “Syd really spoke very highly of you. She thinks the world of you.” I said, “That is an entirely mutual state of affairs. She’s an amazing woman.” So then we started chatting. Turns out, this new boss has a F/T position on her management team open and she wants me to take it.

Full-time WITH benies.


Now a lot of phone calls need to happen. Another one between Syd and Boss #2, between Boss #2 and her DM, between Boss #2 and me, and probably me and the DM. But. She said the position has been vacant for a couple of months and she hasn’t been able to find anyone with the appropriate level of experience to fill it, and she’s REALLY happy that M and I decided to move so we could help her out. So it sounds like the job is mine, barring some freak act of God (and, let’s face it, God DOES specialize in the occasional freak act…). I’m excited! It wouldn’t be too radically different from what I’m doing now (which,  I’ll admit, is getting sort of boring) but it would be health insurance for my family that we could hold on to until I got a church. Plus, if I’m working full-time, then it takes some of the pressure off M to find a job and he can take that time and study hard for his comps.

Everything is falling into place. Now I just need to find a place for our cats, and everything will be just perfect.


Just in case my ministry of selling pants doesn’t work out… September 14, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 8:41 am
Here’s a list of things I can be when I grow up:





Public Health Nurse



Set Designer






Costume Designer






Occupational Therapist






ESL Teacher



Foreign Language Instructor



Music Teacher / Instructor



Speech-Language Pathologist



Special Effects Technician









Desktop Publisher



Corporate Trainer



Tour Guide



Customer Service Representative






Cartoonist / Comic Illustrator



Fashion Designer






Computer Trainer



Sign Maker






Dental Assistant



Massage Therapist












Career Counselor



High School Teacher



Elementary School Teacher



Special Education Teacher



Director of Photography



Mental Health Nurse



Teacher Assistant



Funeral Director



Early Childhood Educator


Interesting that the closest thing to “ministry” on there is #39 “funeral director” (which I’ve actually considered doing, given the fact that death doesn’t oog me out…but the embalming part? COMPLETELY ooged). The other interesting thing? I’ve actually considered #4, 6, 8, 12, 15 (everso briefly when a professor suggested I pursue a PhD in library science), 18, 19, 23, 26, 27, 28 and almost all of the ones involving teaching, except ESL and language and music.

 Wanna find out what you should be when you grow up?

1. Go to
2. Put in Username: nycareers, Password: landmark.
3. Take their “Career Matchmaker” questions.
4. Post the top 10 results. (Or however many results you want. Clearly, I want it all.)

In other news: the store I’m transferring to in November has an opening on their management team. F/T, benefits, overtime–all the goodies. And they’re really excited to talk to me about it. Sweet! Many many thanks to my most spectacular boss, who called them up yesterday and made me sound fabulous.

We told my MIL about our move. She started to CRY. She called us several times yesterday, CRYING about the move. What is WRONG with this woman?! It’s not like we announced we were moving to the Anbar Province, so all chances of our ever surviving to make it back to freedom and apple pie were about nil. We’re moving to Washington State, fer crap’s sake! Geographically, we’re not much further away from Texas in Washington than we are in Minnesota.

I think she’s pissed that my mom “wins” us–which is stupid in the extreme. And, as my mom pointed out: Meme HAS two of her grandbabies living 4 miles from her house. She sees them nearly every day. MY mom only has two grandbabies, and they live in Minne-freaking-sota. It’s only FAIR that we move closer to her.

Please. Ladies. Don’t make me pull a King Solomon and threaten to cut the girls in half to find out which one of you really loves them and wants what’s best for them, and which one of you is just a selfish woman. Because, honestly? I’m afraid to know where either one of you fall on that scale (although, I do think I know which end MIL would lean toward…”Do you have to cut them in half? Can’t you just knick them?“).

OK. So to satisfy my own curiosity, I mapped it out. In Minnesota we live 1130 miles away from my in-laws. After we move, it will be 1968 miles. A difference of 838 miles, or about another hour and a half on a plane (since they never drive to see us anyway). Please.

Rar. This woman makes me crazy. She’s just so exquisitely self-centered. She said, “Well, tell Beege I’m happy for her.” when she got off the phone. What?! How passive-aggressive is that?! Like I’m just hauling her precious baby boy along after me, all willy-nilly and completely against his will! We don’t work that way. The reason we’re not moving to Texas is because neither one of us want to live in Texas as long as his mother is alive  because no church there showed any interest in me, and there’s not enough room at his parents house for us to move in. Yeah. That’s probably the more politically correct answer. And I DID try for churches in Texas. I did. And the same thing happened down there as happened up here: nothing.

So now, MIL wants to come up here and visit us before we move. Because she doesn’t know when she’ll ever get to see the girls again. (Drama? Who? Meme?) I wanted to ask, “What? Is Dubya threatening to build a wall between on the border of Washington and Oregon, and you just won’t be able to get in?” However, I couldn’t give life to that particular piece of mouthiness (which I would undoubtedly come to regret, even if I had…) because I’ve been making M deal with his mother. Great for me. Not so great for him. But I don’t make him deal with mine, so I figure: we’re even.

*sigh* In laws. There’s probably no way this is going to end well.


What a thing to wake up happy… September 11, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 2:34 pm

M and I have been wrestling with a decision for a few months now. He’s all done with his coursework, which means that we’re free to move about the country, so to speak. Since there is NO movement in the churches around here (as evidenced by the fact that I’ve had exactly TWO interviews in TWO years) and literally dozens of candidates waiting for any opening–we decided that it would be best to look elsewhere for a pastoral position for me.

And as we talked, we thought about how incredibly good it would be to be nearer to my parents. My parents are young, fun, and not bat-chit crazy (unlike my mother-in-law, who is undoubtedly a good woman, but is nucking futs in the bargain). And then this congregation just blocks away from their house lost their pastor. It was a  congregation I’ve always felt a weird connection to, in spite of the fact that I’ve never even set foot in the building. It makes my soul prickle, but in a good way. I really don’t know how else to describe it. Even when I was in junior high, and thoughts of the pastorate were nowhere near my head, there was just something about this place. I liked it. A lot.

So, while we were home on vacay, I was doing job searches for full-time work here in the Twin Cities. Mom and Dad asked why I wasn’t doing searches for full-time work in their neck of the woods. It sort of stopped me cold. I hadn’t thought of that. Hadn’t thought of that at all. Then I asked if it would be OK if we moved in with them, for just a little while, in order to get some of our medical bills paid off (having a baby without insurance? Very, very spendy. I wouldn’t recommend it.) and get our feet back under us financially. They said they’d love to help us out any way they could.

But I wasn’t having any more luck finding a F/T job out there than I was here. Because ultimately: I knew that any F/T work I got would simply be a stop-gap measure until I could get a church. I’m a pastor. I’m not a seller of pants, an answerer of phones, a maker of appointments, or any of the other things I’ve tried to do in the two years since stepping out of the pulpit.

So then we got to talking about our moving out there now…I could get a job with the same company I’m with now, and in that way: we’d be no worse off there than we are here, with the added bonus of having my parents around. So we sort of thought, “Yeah. Let’s do it.”

But something held me back. I couldn’t just go for it. Our “just go for it” move from Kansas to Minnesota taught me a lot of hard lessons. Lessons like DON’T GIVE UP ONE JOB UNLESS YOU’VE GOT ONE TO REPLACE IT. Because jobs that can actually allow you to support a family are few and far between, I’m finding. And a master’s degree in theology? Pretty much equips you to be a pastor. Or a seller of pants. Or a super-sizer of fries.

Then there was a possibility of a full-time job at the store I’m in now, working for a boss I adore. M and I decided that if I got that job: we’d stay. It was the 447,0000th time we’d absolutely, positively made up our minds about this move. *sigh* Yesterday, as I was leaving work, my boss walked out to my car with me and told me she was leaving.

I’m not particularly interested in working for anyone else. I tried that. It ended very very badly. No matter what sort of benies they wave my way, I wanted to work for S. So, knowing that she wouldn’t be there after the end of October, M and I decided: Yep. We’re moving. We’re uprooting our family, and we’re headed west. Back to the PNW. Home.

And then we thought: Shit. What have we done?

But we didn’t change our minds. And today? I got an email from the congregation. They will be requesting my name, and should have it around Thanksgiving. The good news is that I will be in the area for interviewing, since sometimes the cost of flying candidates out to interview is a hardship for congregations. I read the email and burst into tears.

I have been praying so hard for some guidance in this. Do we stay? Do we go? What is the right thing to do? Perhaps the Lord was wanting to see how much I trust him (the answer? Probably not much.)? Maybe we should just make a decision and see what happens. I don’t honestly think God works that way, and I think all of these little “what ifs” he put in our path were his way of guiding us in the way we needed to go. But for me to truly describe how I’m feeling now, I’ll have to tell you a little story.

When I was 4, I took swimming lessons. They would make us jump off the diving board and into the arms of our swim teacher (Rich, who I loved and wanted to marry). And I would march out to the end of the board, having assured my mother that I was going to JUMP into the pool and SWIM to the side and climb out and do it again. And I’d march, so sassy in my little pink suit. And I’d get to the end of that board. And I’d look down into the water. And the water looked DEEP. And beloved Rich looked FAR away. And SMALL. And I didn’t really think that he looked capable of catching me. And so I’d start to back away, back off the diving board. And another teacher would get on and nudge me back to the edge. And I’d stand there. I can STILL remember how my little toes looked, clinging to the end of the board, the teal blue water lapping below and the scent of chlorine in the air. And finally, after what felt like HOURS, I would squinch up my face and jump.

And you know what? Rich caught me. Every time. Every time I jumped, I expect him to miss me, and that I’d end up hitting the bottom. I never did. I always landed right in his arms.

Now I don’t think God was testing me, to see if I had enough faith in him to jump. But I think sometimes He brings me to a jumping point so that I can remember: he always catches me. And that beyond even that: his arms are around me before I even muster up the courage to jump. It just takes the sensation of falling for me to realize I’m not going to hit bottom, because he’s got me.

This morning, I woke up happy. Thanks be to God.


You know, sometimes a lightbulb just goes off… September 10, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — beege @ 7:45 am

Linnea has always been a sensitive wee thing. She had colic, and it all just seemed to go downhill from there. Now, at age three-and-a-half (and may God have mercy on your soul if you forget the ‘and-a-half’), she’s concocted herself an imaginary enemy.

She is SO her father’s girl.

“Lorca” lives in China, although she also spends some time in Africa (can you tell they recently did a unit on countries at preschool?) and she chases Linnea on the playground, captures spiders in jars and the puts them on Linnea, and sometimes Lorca will come into Linnea’s room at night and whisper about how when Linnea falls asleep, Lorca will take Linnea and Sarah away from Mama and Daddy.

That Lorca? She’s a real bitch. I’d like to kick her azz, imaginary or not. NOBODY threatens to take my babies away from me.

So we’ve been trying to figure out how to help Linnea deal with this. I don’t want to poo-pooh it and say, “Oh, it’s just your imagination” because at this age I’m not so sure she’s able to distinguish between what’s real, actual, tangible and what is largely happening in her head. But I also don’t want to make such a huge deal of it that it becomes more of an issue than it actually is, you know?

Ever the academes, M and I hit the bookstore, looking for books on how to best help her. Something like, “Giving Lorca the Imaginary Enemy a Bitch Slap for Dummies” or something like that. “The Complete Idiots Guide to Kicking the Crap Out of Imaginary Enemies”. Or even, “Dude. You SO Totally Should Have Thought of This Before You Decided to Become a Parent”.

We didn’t find anything that helped us deal with Lorca, but we did find a really amazing book called “Raising Your Spirited Child”. The author, tired of having negative labels placed upon her children (“challenging”, “stubborn”, “intense”, “difficult”) reworked the language and has developed ways of helping parents deal with them. She freely admits that all children could lay claim to those labels from time to time, but that “spirited” children have them in abundance, and to the point that they can have difficulty interacting with the world.

She talked about mothers having to give up breastfeeding because their children were FAR more interested in ANYTHING happening around them than eating (yep); children who are incredibly verbally advanced (does Nea calling her uncle a ‘miscreant’ and using the word appropriately and in context count as verbally advanced?); Kids who are extremely tuned in to the world around them, to the point that they are unable to pay attention to anything because they pay attention to everything,  etc.

It all described Linnea to a “T”. And while the book didn’t really tell us anything we didn’t already know about our girl, the whole reason I was glad M wanted to buy the book was because of the first time: the book is coming at her personality type in a positive manner. Celebrating what most books out there condemn. I refused to buy a copy of “Parenting your Strong Willed Child” even though so many people (friends and strangers alike) recommended I do so, simply because I didn’t (and still don’t) see a problem with being strong-willed. My strong-will has gotten me through a lot of tough times. And let’s face it: if I didn’t have a will and know how to use it, M and I would still be sitting around, trying to decide if we were actually dating or not.

And don’t even get me started on the books by James Dobson people thought I should read.

So I’m happy. I’ve spent the weekend working and reading about how to help my kid. She hasn’t told me how to deal with Lorca, or get Nea potty-trained, but she has helped me understand Nea in a more-positive light. And for that: I thank her.