Summer Evening

This picture was taken on one of the funnest evenings I had this summer. We sat around and reminisced and laughed and cried from laughing.

Paul and I are so lucky to have these friends — people we have known forever who are not just there for us in the tough times but in the simple beautiful moments, who call us on but also just make us laugh and love life. Special birthday greetings to Fr. Tim (center) who gets *almost* as much air time on this blog as his sister Susie (left). I like that I can see Paul in the reflection along with our friend Dennis (Susie’s husband) and my very favorite brand of wine.

Our lives are rich indeed.


I walk into the office to discover Henry seated in front of the computer, his eyes closed and ears covered.

“What’s going on,” I say walking over to see a certain video website pulled up with a feline staring back at me. Totally creepy.

“Henry,” I say reaching for the escape key, “I don’t want you looking at this. I don’t want you just sitting here looking at…”

“…cat videos?” asks Henry.

Yes, cat videos. And then I take him to the front room and turn on Lord of the Rings. (just kidding)

Happy Friday!

A Prayer for Mama Meany

Today was really, really good. There, I said it. If you are hating on me, well, I understand.

A dear friend told me an awesome story today (all parties shall remain nameless) about a friend who was talking with a new acquaintaince at the end of the summer.

“How has your summer gone,” she asked, to which the woman answered, “Ah-may-zing.”

She gave her answer with a deep, satisfied exhale and self-satisfaction to which the asking party thought, “oh well, there goes that.” She could never be friends with a person still in one mental piece at the end of the summer. Oh sure she could try but she knew deep down there were some fundamental differences (honesty being among them, perhaps sanity as well) and they would never be on the same wavelength so why bother. (in a nice way)

So, not to make you hate me, but today was really really good. But just so you don’t turn on your heels (like I would because I would totally be the person fully embracing a lack of friendship with a person describing their summer as “Ah-may-zing) I’d like to offer an explanation of why I think things went so well today.

I started the day with a prayer, a prayer so visceral and deep-seated that I’m giving serious thought to writing a Book of Meditations for Women with Teenage Sons.

“Dear Lord,” I prayed on an early-morning run, “please help today not suck.”

Now, for those of you who have not passed out (dad, try smelling salts on mom), I’m sorry. I apologize. But it’s the truth and I’m just keeping it real. I want you to know how deeply deeply deep I was begging for the Lord’s wisdom and mercy. Because yesterday, the anniversary of my marriage to the man of my dreams, involved some of the spawn of said marriage sort of torturing me, just a tad. It involved tired young men and empty cupboards and one boy pointing out that it was possible that part of why he is so skinny is because the food I have been cooking is nothing he is able to rest upon his precious, highly-refined taste buds.

Um, yeah. Cue the tears. Cue the tongue-lashing. Cue the despair and self-doubt and COMPLETE AGITATION. Also, cue the extreme consequences for that kid and also the serious guilt trip.

It was a long day. We left for our anniversary dinner with me sending a little text out to one of my BFF’s asking for prayers because I was, oh, I dunno, FORLORN.

I am nothing if not even-keeled.

Prayers answered, but here is something else: I used to think that when I got to heaven and could ask Jesus anything that my first question would be “what happened to the Lindberg baby” but now I know I will move that question to Slot Two and move to Slot One the question “why did you time the female human body to be enjoying life with teenagers around the same time she is enjoying seismic shifts in her hormonal tendencies?”

Which is another way of saying, “Dear Lord, please help today not suck.”

And it didn’t. Today was good. Jesus answered my prayers. And Daddy read people the riot act. And mommy went to the grocery store and bought all the foods that teenagery boys like to eat. And they lived happily ever after for lo these many, many hours until tomorrow. At which point I will pray that same prayer and beg the Lord for equally impressive results amen.

But here’s what I want to add, while I have my wits about me: my boys are good boys. They are healthy boys who are learning the fine art of expressing themselves and they are growing and with growing comes growing pains. It’s all a part of the journey. My job is to remember I’m here to guide them and give counsel. This is not about being forlorn and hopeless, though late in the day it can surely seem like that is what it’s all about. It’s about recognizing that we’re on a journey and we mess up (them in their attitudes, me in my response) and we move forward. Sometimes we laugh. Sometimes we cry. Today is ONE DAY in the journey. Yesterday was one (kinda bad) day. Today was a very fine day indeed. Ups and downs. Parenting is not for wimps. Being a human, it would seem, isn’t either.