Saturday, November 22, 2014

Monthly Musings: November 2014

• Can we all agree that getting out of bed sucks, no matter what time of day you do it? #daylightsavings

• Watching my kid try to avoid pooping in the potty by penguin-walking across the room, tiny butt cheeks clenched, each step marked by the staccato of escaping toots, is waaayyy funnier now than I ever would've thought it'd be BC (before children). #laughterthroughtears

• I convinced W not to show our dinosaur-loving three year old the scene in Jurassic Park where the T-Rex attacks an electric car with two kids in it. Two days later, he showed it to him anyway. #emptyvictory #whosthekid #hellsleepwithusforever

• I just left W, a Sunday afternoon beer (the most desperate kind) in one hand and a defiant toddler in the other, to go have coffee with a friend. It felt really good. #HihohihoitsofftoplayIgo

• I wonder why no one has ever thought to use dried oatmeal as an industrial adhesive? 10 minutes in the bottom of a bowl is all it takes to harden into a substance that I truly believe would hold up on atmospheric reentry. #gottacleanthisdump

"There's my favorite red blanket!" she thinks, looking out onto the back patio the day after the torrential downpour. She sighs spitefully, scooping the last of the ice cream onto her plate. #thatllteachhim

• Watching his father break things, crashing and stumbling through his 30's, I wonder if what I've always taken for The Bud's toddler clumsiness "phase" is actually here to stay? #thisiswhywecanthavenicethings

• The Bud has added a new bath toy to his arsenal: a set of Mardi Gras beads made out of pink ducks. With boobs. Oh well...He'll need some reason for therapy.

• Snickers Minis are for chumps. Real women eat Fun Size. #halloweenleftovers

• I just watched my kid walk across the room clutching a Patron shot glass filled with milk, and my only thought was, "Oh good, it's small enough that he can keep a good grip on it and possibly not spill it all over my rug." #igiveup

• There are three types of people: those that prefer that toilet paper come over the top of the roll off the holder (W), those that prefer it come off from under the bottom of the roll, and those who couldn't care less which way it goes, but who take perverse pleasure in putting it on to come off from the bottom because they like to clock how long it'll take Mr. Only Anal About This to notice and change it (Me). If you tell him I said this, I'll call you a dirty liar and deny it to the ground. #youvebeenwarned

• The Bud just ran into the room with one of his cups, asking me to unscrew the top for him. After I did, he thanked me, took the cup and lid, and ran back out of the room. I waited a beat, then followed to find him standing in front of the open refrigerator door, tugging on the 3 gallon water pitcher we keep in there. He had planned to pour his own water (read: make a holy mess in my kitchen). Lesson learned. #askquestions

Sunday, November 16, 2014


On Halloween, W bought a new bass guitar. I wish I'd taken a picture of this thing, because you'd have to see it to believe me when I say that it had a face (and form) that only a mother could love. And love it, he did. In spite of its dime store paint job and cheap looking hardware, when I looked into his eyes, I saw nothing but excitement and pride over this find. To him, it was a prize.

If you know W at all, you'll know that he's a passionate man, and never is his passion more evident than when he's engaged musically. That's why, when he started talking about why on earth he'd bought this lemon, I paid attention. He'd played it, and was pleased with the sound, even with its cheap hardware and shop class paint job. All it needed was some extreme TLC to be a respectable instrument and he was the man to provide it. He was evangelical in his zeal and I bought it like a church lady at a tent revival. Chaaaange! Was on the horizon. He was a man with a vision.

Dr. Frankenbass.

In the two weeks since, he's pored over guitar catalogs and websites, searching for the perfect pick guards and tuners and knobs. He's debated the relative benefits of stain vs. paint, and agonized over color choices. It's worth it to him, all because he believes in the integrity of this instrument and wants its outside to match its insides.

Of course, watching all this go down has me thinking of God and Gungor.

God is the God of the Bible. Creator of heaven and earth, the great instigator of this crazy mishegoss we call life. Gungor is a husband/wife duo who has written several of my favorite worship songs, including one called Beautiful Things. The lyrics go like this:

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

Watching W with Frankenbass, I find myself humming this tune over and over again. He's taking that guitar through a pretty rigorous refining process, and I'm starting to see what he sees in it. First, all the hardware had to come off and what was underneath examined for fitness. What worked well and could be salvaged was set safely aside and the rest, discarded. Next, the gnarly paint job was painstakingly sanded and stripped, revealing the bare wood grain beneath. After days of this, a virgin grade of maple was left. Even there, W found broken things--holes, pits, and patched places that cheap, black spray paint had covered. None of those discoveries has stopped him. He has a vision of something beautiful, so he presses on joyfully toward it, even on days when his hands go numb from the sanding, his back aches from bending over for hours, and the paint thinner and wood stain fumes probably cause cancer.

And isn't that so like our refining process with God? If we let him, He takes us through our life's journey, bent over us, stripping away the outer layers and shoddy craftmanship we've built up over time, determined to expose the pristine wood grain underneath. He knows it's there, because He put it there. He knows it's uncomfortable for us. It is for Him too, but He only allows and applies what is absolutely necessary to bring us to a fine polish. He takes joy in the entire process because He sees how gorgeous we are, pits, cracks, patched places and all, and He believes the finished product--once our outsides match our insides--will be breathtaking.

And the balm He will apply after all the sanding and stripping and rubbing is done will be unlike any healing touch we've ever felt.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Conversation Between The Bud and Me, Today

The Bud [watching me clean the kitchen]: "Mommy, what you doing?"

Me: "Sweeping the floor, Bud."

The Bud: "Oh...I see. You vewy tired?"

Me [marveling over how I'm raising the most sensitive and empathetic child on the planet]: "Oh, yes, I'm very tired, Buddy. But the job's gotta be done. Thank you for asking!"

The Bud: "..."

Seconds later, I replayed our interaction and realized my three year old pronounces the word sleep, like sweep, and rarely uses prepositions without prompting. This probably meant that when I'd said "I'm sweeping the floor," he'd translated that to "I'm sleeping on the floor." I dove back in to repair the damage.

Me: "Oh, Buddy, I didn't mean I was going to sleep, I meant I was using the broom to clean the floor. That's called sweeping."

The Bud [turning his attention back to his snack]: "..."

Note to self: pull out my Toddler to English Dictionary before assuming I know what my kid is saying. #languagedevelopment