Paul came home from basketball practice tonight and saw my bottle of vino on the counter.
“Is this your Petey’s,” he asked.
“Yup,” I said inhaling deeply, “I’m gonna keep chipping away at it.”
That’s me, taking one for the team.
He said his secretary knew exactly what I was talking about (as did Kris in the comments), and I really like what Kelly said: Petey’s Malbec: what to bring if you didn’t want to be invited in the first place.
Which makes me think of another slogan: Petey’s Malbec: Why Do You Hate Me So Much?
Also: Petey’s Malbec: Wanna See Me Make a Duck Face?
Here are a few items I’d like to bullet, just to show you the ways I’m suffering right now. I tried to ride the sympathy card tonight at our little neighborhood potluck and I love how my friends were like, “um, no. Don’t even try.” It’s hard to get pity from a woman whose three children under age four went all day with no naps. Oh sure, play THAT CARD.
But, here, let me take a stab at your kindness. I’d really like to try:
1. Runny nose. Cold sore, right in the spot where you press on your upper lip when you wipe your nose. Are you weeping for me? YOU SHOULD BE.
Okay, I can do better.
2. The other night at my precious godson’s baptism reception, I sliced the tip of my finger and narrowly avoided stitches and man it hurt so bad for a few days after that. I made it through but wow! So tough! Pain at every single turn.
Those first two put together have made life really challenging and I’m embarrassed to admit such tiny suffering adds up to so much. Oh the hardship we endure!
I’m being silly but also a tad serious. These tiny stabs of pain, how they hurt, how they jolt us from any lofty thoughts back down to the reality of life and sadness. Woe to me. WOE.
Here’s some more:
3. Two of the boys got in an epic fight last night that involved someone tooting on someone else’s cellphone, followed by a quick and severe retaliation. To which I say: who has toots stored up like that? How are you able to do that at will?
4. Isabel’s ballet teacher informed me she needs a bigger leotard. I guess my understanding of “fits snug” is a little extreme. You shouldn’t have to pour your toddler into her ballet outfit? She should be able to breathe?
5. I subbed in one of the big boys classes this morning and the teacher asked me to talk about journalism. So I brought a few clips (my column, a Catholic Digest article, the cover of a magazine that featured The Gist) along with the segment from the movie set my son and I visited this summer. I showed the segment (which I can’t wait to share with ya’ll, once the movie comes out) and it turns out the boy wasn’t thrilled about it. It ended up being one of those embarrassing moments of the teenage variety which I never saw coming and that reality stung. I had inadvertently upset him which upset me.
We got it all worked out but parenting is not for wimps. I was overwhelmed by that reality. I was sort of working through all that when a friend called and I shared with her what had happened. She told me she had gone on a field trip with her preschooler that morning and on the way home asked her daughter if she had fun. “No,” was the daughter’s quick reply. Obviously the child was exhausted from ALL the fun, but hearing that wasn’t easy.
It felt exactly the same as what I was struggling with — you do so much, and that’s no guarantee that your child is going to fall at your feet weeping with gratitude. Oh sure that might happen once in a while. But you also need to prepare yourself for the possibility of a tired child or a growing child or a child who can’t even begin to explain what the problem is except there is one. And that’s when you have to take a step back, pray for a heart full of love, figure out how to make it not all about YOU (about how your WHOLE life is devoted to the care and feeding of their body and soul and do you know how much I love and care for you and lay down my LIFE for you!!?). You don’t go there. Because you can’t. It’s not classy. It’s not right.
What you do is go back to that child and say you are sorry that he was upset, that you didn’t mean to upset him, that you love him so much and next time, if it involves him, you will be sure and run it by him beforehand. And he will say “it’s okay, mom” and you will hug and the music swells (in your head) and all those moments of feeling overwhelmed by the epic task of motherhood, it all comes into focus and you remember that God’s grace is sufficient. It is. Thank you God for that.
6. Basketball season started this week. Practice out the wah-zoo. All the live long day. Better be crying, Argentina. Better be crying hard.