Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lysol, Lent, and Lamenting

We've been playing volleyball with a bug.

With a stubborn germ(s) that will not leave, instead it merely manifests itself into different forms of running, sneezing, puking, coughing, hacking, and otherwise wreaking mucousy-chaos through our household.

I don't know the official name of this parasite--it's immune to Amoxicillian, Clorox and fits of tears--so for lack of a better word, I'll just refer to it as, "asshole." Because, really at this point, it just is one.

Technically, I suppose it could also be referred to as, "The germ that will lose the few friends you had, make you look like a horrible mother and get you on a first name basis with your pediatrician," but that's sort of cumbersome to write on a prescription pad, so let's stick with the original nomenclature.

Anyway, we've been volleying Asshole back and forth for a few weeks now, and I'm pretty tired of it. Here we are at Ash Wednesday and I'm already swearing irreverently at .01% of molecules that Lysol won't touch. This may skew my thoughts on my Lenten journey a bit, but I'm sort of proud of myself that I've come up with any cognizant thoughts whatsoever in the last several weeks.

For me, Lent has always been less about the New Year's resolution-type sacrifices and more about seeking balance. Corrections as a preparation to honestly take spiritual stock and act accordingly. Obviously, the health thing is way out of whack so we will be working on that, but I'm also finding other things are adding to my inner-curmudgeon and warping my perspective and blocking my path.

The current political and religious discourse makes me sad. And angry. And wondering what year I'm really in that these issues are seriously being trampled upon by our so-called leaders. I find myself reading Facebook and Twitter with clenched teeth. The only writing I've done is compose angry emails in my head that I'll never send to people I don't care about.

Somehow I don't think this is what Jesus would do.

So I'm stopping it. My part, anyway. Instead of anger in the extreme, I'm going to focus on extreme joy. Less hating, more loving. Less pontificating and more thinking. Less talking more acting. And no judging.

And writing. More than 140 characters at a time.

Because I've learned that we humans have an infinite capacity to love, but finite energy to spend--I'm done wasting mine.

There's more of course, but my focus is definitely shifted toward the light.

And away from any and all Assholes.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Teaching an old, fake-furred rat new tricks

One of the problems with having children spread so far apart in age is that I can sometimes forget the lessons I've taught myself over time.

Through a mixture of pseudo-science, fear, and fair dose of all-out lies, I had convinced three of my four children that Chuck E. Cheese was the source of pink-eye. Those three had experienced the eye-prying torture of burning drops after a days of gunk-induced blindness, so it wasn't all that difficult to dissuade them from ever entering that den of disease again.

But just like a child who has never been exposed to chicken pox, Jessie had no immunity whatsoever and had begged for months to go. I had run out of excuses, and pink-eye just sounded like coloring her face with a marker which she does every day anyway.
So we went.

Luckily, there weren't many people there. Just a few bamboozled grandparents who looked as though a trip to the liquor store for cheap vodka was imminent-- to either drink or to disinfect with--who am I to judge? So Jessie and I spent two hours and ten bucks playing games, riding rides, collecting tickets and eating frozen chicken nuggets over the soundtrack of clicking fur-covered robots, video game trailers and children's screams.

And you know what? It was pretty fun.

While I still think its health department score hovers around the temperature of Nome in January, Jessie was thrilled the entire time. She laughed, she played, we did everything she wanted to at least twice, and there was no having to share her tokens--or her time-- with anyone. Everything was exactly how she'd imagined it and there was not a hint of disappointment. And when all was over, she took her tickets and bought prizes for every one of her siblings with no prodding from me.

So I still stand by my original assertion that this place does and will cause pink-eye, but perhaps I'll amend the lesson to inlcude an occasional misty-eye phenomenon as well.

Friday, February 03, 2012

A Lottawa fun in Ottawa

An exasperated, “Why do all of our vacations turn out like this?” Is not the way any weekend should begin.

This was uttered from my oldest as we sat in customs filling out a lost bag report from a foreign city not on our original itinerary as we pushed Matty in a wheelchair after our flight was cancelled.

Sometimes it doesn’t occur to me that things go horribly wrong some days. Stevie was still fighting his concussion, Jessie had an ear infection, Matty had twisted his ankle the night before and our connecting flight to Ottawa for the NHL All-Star weekend was cancelled upon arriving in Washington. I guess I considered ourselves ahead of the game that despite all of those events, we made it all together.

Nor did I know at that time what a fabulous time we would have. Sure, I knew it was going to be fun--we sort of love these kinds of things--but each event was just so enjoyable together, that every inconvenience was sort of eclipsed. We pushed Matty’s wheelchair through the snow and ice-packed streets of Ottawa taking in all of the sites. We attended the parties, the games, the events. We made fun in between and just kind of took it all in stride.

There were players, and mascots and Prime Ministers. There were old friends, new friends, and laughter. There was, “Did you see who that was?” and bad imitations of Canadian accents are higher math calculations on the exchange rate.

But we were all together.

And on that last morning packing up way too much luggage and a ton of memories over the last 48 hours, I couldn’t help but think, “I love that all of our vacations turn out like this.”