Making Sense Of It…

This lovely post by Deborah at Exponent II sums up beautifully how I felt, and still feel about the statement read in church on Sunday. I am struggling and tender, and I can’t hide that fact. I never want to feel like running out of church again.

I am also adding a link to a previous post on how I feel about this whole topic. The idea of ammending the Constitution- creating a law when there are already laws in place is strange, and ammending the Constitution is not something do be done lightly. Just my two-cents. And I’m not trying to be rebelious, either. My heart is torn up.

What Does Neutrality Mean?

It was my understanding, and I can’t find the source, that the Church had a position of strict neutrality on political matters. So, my heart is a little tender, and I’m a little confused by what was read from the pulpit on Sunday.

Does anyone have any insight to offer?

The Duck Bike

If a picture tells a thousand words and I don’t have a picture, I may be up the creek on this, but I want to tell you about my dad’s Duck Bike. First, a little background: My dad is Super Outdoors Man- he lives outside- even when at work, he is outside. He hunts and fishes in his spare time, any spare time, and always has. He is imminently respectful of wildlife, even though he shoots it, (strange, but true) and all the laws and morals that go with that responsibility. My brothers and I were strictly and respectfully trained in the handling of firearms and compound bows and fishing poles alike. So back to the Duck Hunting Bike.

When it comes to Outdoors Stuff, my dad is hard-core. No duck clubs or pheasant clubs for him. No cushy duck-blinds (a thing you “hide” from the smart ducks in, while waiting to shoot them) with padded seats or heaters. Oh, no- that sort of thing is for sissies. My dad has the Duck Bike.

The Duck Bike, once an innocuous, regular mountain bike, has been transformed over time, into the a super, stealth, hunter-decoy-riffle transporter supreme. The Duck Bike has been painted camouflage, folks. It has a rack mounted on the back for a cooler and a shotgun holster mounted to the front frame, so he can stop where ever he is and shoot. It has a headlight, because all ducks are up before dawn, so, thus too must be the savvy hunter, who is peddling around the marshes. The best part is not even attatched to the Duck Bike; there is a large, and I mean large, net “bag”, (the kind maybe a coach would fill with playground balls) that my dad has mounted on an aluminum backpack frame and is filled with duck decoys (decoys are fake ducks, some of whom “move” with help of batteries, to entice the smart ducks to land near where you are waiting to shoot them). He wears this. I’ve seen it.

Then, well, when in the marshes, you need to stay dry. So he wears chest-waders while he rides. And, since the headlight on the bike can be unreliable, he also wears a coal-minor style head lamp, strapped to his forehead. I know the other hunters are jealous when they see him coming- only wishing they had thought of it themselves!

He leashes his trusty Labrador retriever to the Duck Bike too- you gotta have a dog to get the ducks when you shoot them. Only problem is, every now and again, the dog will take off after a duck while still leashed to the bike. Dad has been taked for a merry drag more than once.

So, just play with the picture in your mind a little: Grandpa type dude, decked out in cammo and flashlights, peddling a bike through the muddy sloughs of central California in the pre-dawn light, in chest-waders, with a bag of plastic ducks bigger than he is strapped to his back, and a maniac, excited dog dragging him through the sucking mud!

The thing is, he could join any hunting or duck club he wanted to. But he doesn’t- besides, they wouldn’t let him in with that getup! I love my dad.

Drops of Heaven

“Mom, what are you afraid of?” Jeffrey querries as he plays with Legos on the floor…

I look up from Abby’s face as she contentedly nurses away and my eyes drift toward the ceiling. Dozens of fears percolate to the surface, but nothing I can share with my four-year old. Twirling and tossing and twisting my string of fears, trying to pluck something, my thoughts are dark; what am I afraid of? Of not being a good mother; of dying before they can remember me well; of what life would be like without their dad; of being alone forever; of giving them bad memories; of someone half a world away who would kill us for being Americans; of having these fears in the first place; of pollution and dirty water and poison air; of pollitical unrest in unstable contries; of any of them, ever, being in pain; of how life is going to treat any of thier tender little selves; of ever loosing faith; and the thoughts just continue to bubble up and up.

“Sharks” I say out loud.

“I’m not afraid of anything!” He declares with all the bravery and surety of his four years.

“I know, baby.” My eyes well with tears. At least I’m doing something right.

Any Mom, Anywhere, Any Given Day

For some unearthly reason, I thought doing crafts today was a good idea. When I went to get the goods out for creative mess-making, we were out of painting/fingerpainting paper. That should have been a red-light, but I obliviously plowed on, and began getting the Terrorists ready for a trip to the craft store.

After half-an-hour of looking for shoes and finally, tearfully, settling on sandals- because finding four shoes is five times as difficult as two shoes- I went to grab Abby and put her in her baby-bucket. She had mustard-seed poo all the way up her back- I’m still not used to the way girls fill their diapers as opposed to boys; way more up-the-back stuff. After changing her, the bed and her changing table, I get her in carseat and grab my purse. Now where are the boys?

In their room, like little boys, banging holes in the solid stained-wood trim around their closet and built-ins. Seriously, holes, like 150 of them, the size of say, of a propeller tip on a die-cast metal WWII replica airplane? Yes, that would about cover it. The world doesn’t leave me speechless very often, but here I was, standing on the precipice of either going insane, or going mute. What to do? What to do? Hmmmm, I think this is a job for- what do you mean there is no Superman??! Egad, what to do? I know! I will make the four-year old call dad at work and fess up! As I have said before, I am not above passing one off to the old man.

After Jeffrey fesses up to dad what he did, dad and I converse privately about what to do. No park today, but go ahead and run errands as planned, then institute martial law upon return home. Okey dokey. We will deal with fixing the holes later as a family. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

Everyone in the car! Hooray, off to the craft store! Get three kids four-and-under buckled in various seats of various safety ratings, (does the DOT have it in for mothers of multiple young kids, or what??) and zoom off down the street. When I arrive at the craft store, I have forgotten that Toys R Us is not only in the same complex, but right next door to the Craft Store. Deciding to use it as a bargaining chip, I bribe them with a trek though the Giraffe if they behave in the craft store. It works well, actually. The craft store is the easiest part of the day, and I get various papers and paints and fun stuff with relative ease.

On to the Giraffe. Oh, I know, I’m not a rookie- but my brain isn’t fully engaged yet, or I’m still riding the Giant Hormone or whatever, but I did it anyway. Yeah, it went about as well as you’re thinking. Getting back in the car, two of them were crying and the Voracious One was sleeping- two for three, not bad.

On the way out of the parking lot, Jeffrey is crying like the world is ending, and Eric is doing his best imitation of an air raid siren. Jeffrey decides to start throwing poison darts, and begins with the the “You’re not my mom anymore!” garbage.

Then, the zinger- “I don’t love you anymore mom!” and for some wacky reason, my eyes fill with tears. Where do they get this crap? He has never heard anything remotely like that at home, so where’s it come from? Do kids know what they do to their parents? Do they know what their parents do for them? Do they have any idea what their careless words do to our hearts?? Now, I realize these were angry words from a worked up little kid, and I did not let him see a rise out of me, but it still got me thinking… As much as I could with the Air Raid Siren going off anyway.

Here is me, bouncing down the road in my Suburban mom-mobile, the picture of domestic happiness and bliss, and I see a McDonald’s- and I am hungry. Rrrrrrrrrrrt. Screech into the driveway and the best mom invention ever, the drivethrough. Order the meal of champions, Large Fries and a Diet Coke. Mmmmmm. Nothing for the kiddies, bwah-ha-ha-ha (just kidding), but they don’t know that. Back on the road, I am stuffing French fries down my throat as fast as I can, and I realize there is a little bit of emotional eating going on. Ya think?? It occurs to me that I may gain all the weight I barfed up with Abby if I don’t do something- all the while the Air Raid Siren is still going off, and Poison Dart Man is still flinging arrows. Another French fry? Don’t mind if I do! Almost home…

At home, the Air Raid Siren goes silent due to influx of French fries, Dart Man puts a sock in it (or, rather, a bite of cheeseburger), and I send him to serve his previously agreed upon time-out. And thus Dart Man resurfaces. I give him a few minutes, but after about 5, my patience wears out and my “other” feelings bubble to the surface like slow, blopping La Brea Tar bubbles. Enough is enough. I grab the bottle of vinegar from the kitchen cabinet and make a b-line for the Dart Man’s hole-riddled bedroom. He can tell my the look in my eye that I’m all business now. He clams up and doesn’t say another word, and I leave the bottle of vinegar on his nightstand as a “gentle reminder” not to talk until dad gets home.

I’m hiding downstairs. Abby is stuffed with milk and snoozing on the guest bed across the room as I write this, and Eric is happily watching Zooboomafoo with no one picking on him or trying to take his chair, his crackers or his sense of self. Dad ought to be home any minute.

Like I said, any mom, anywhere, on any given day, could have had this day. Today, it was my turn. How long before the wheel spins my way again? Anyone’s guess. But I’ll be out of town that day.

The Giant Hormone

Today I’m craaaaaaazy mama. Abby is four weeks old, and I think my hormones are going ape- I feel like I’m on the Giant Hormone, a super-roller-coaster that spins, zigs, zags, drops perilously off the edge and yells at my kids for me. Hooray!

Jeffrey’s preschool graduation was today too. It was supposed to be on Saturday, but was rained out, so voila, today instead. It was cute- they put on a little presentation about the jungle and he was alternately a frog, a lion, and got to play a musical instrument that he beat on his forehead to get to chime. Perfection for a four-year old- at least mine. Per normal, I am learning, for these “school” events, is annoying parents. Why-oh-why would you actually go up on the stage to reprimand your child during the little program? Yes, I have pictures of a giant white-pant clad butt bending over to scold it’s child while mine sang his froggy song. And why would you sit in the front row, then proceed to stand up and film your prodigy the whole time? Most of the “filmers” were in the back, utilizing their zoom features, capturing their darling gifted one, and still being kind to those around them…

Oh, and the joys of trying to applaud and let Jeffrey see that I am watching, while trying to keep a legitimate eye on Eric, and discreetly (ha!) nurse the Tiny Voracious One- yes, filming anything was out of the question for me. Three kids, two eyes- I just can’t seem to make my third eye work. Bad mom. But I did snap a few still pics. (Remind me tell you how Abby is actually nursing, something I never thought I would experience in this life…Miracles, people, they happen…)

So this general bitchyness (can I say that? It’s borderline, but today…) feels a lot like raging PMS, but Abby is only 4 weeks old- what’s the deal? Never had that happen before with the boys. I think the irritation has just been amplified by having to haul three kids to a graduation thingy in the sun, stand around for an hour, deal with other parents I don’t necessarily relate to, and listening to my clothes dryer whiiiiiiiine at me all day. It’s laundry day, and I’m fantasizing about large appliances.

That’s when you know you’re really a married mama- new, large appliances are what do it for ya. *Sigh*