Friday, October 25, 2013

Love, Respect, Duct Tape and Self Control

1.  "God, grant me the courage to put down this stupid Pirate Booty!" was my most recent prayer.  But things went downhill from there.  Steeling myself to lock them in the cupboard, I found chocolate chips.  Beside the peanut butter.

So I will type during my snack break here.  Dinner is boiling--I'm Irish; I boil things--it's hissing as it overflows a bit.  Have to get that.  From upstairs the sounds of a escalating disagreement can be heard, primarily the phrase "not fair."  My poor children have been sentenced to tidy up their room, and seem to invent arguments so that interventions delay the process.  Today, I'm not biting the bait.  But this snack on the other hand...

The peanut butter is basically empty.  Would you tell anyone if I told you I just dumped a half cup of chocolate chips in there, and am eating it from the jar with a spoon?  No, I'm sure you wouldn't... thanks. ;)

2.  I'm a wee bit stressed, you see.  Not just because it's the witching hour(s): everyone's tired, but dinner's not quite ready, hubby's not quite home, the house is not quite (ever) clean, and my mind is not quite "all there."  We just got back from a farm where we pet animals 

AND had a hayride 

AND did a corn maze 

AND picked pumpkins

AND did a craft while eating apples, throwing the cores to the cows. 

I get a Mommy "A" for all that, I'm sure.  But now, I'm tired.

3.  And tonight is date night!  I can't count the number of times I've been all "Yayyyy date night!  Actual adult talk time!" and charged through the day, then rushed to feed and dress the kids, and clean for the sitter (well, as much as possible), returning this phone call and that email, and then finally find myself driving away with the Dancause and absolutely, totally falling asleep.  Communicating in lifeless grunts, not able to think of a single interesting thing to say in my exhaustion.  Sliding into the (very real) version of myself who with sublime intentions buys the perfect occasion card well in advance... but then forgets the birthday all together, or remembers but then finds it utterly impossible to successfully unite pen, envelope, stamp, address, and mail box.

Marriage is challenging.  Marriage as parents is even more so.  So...

4.  Through a miraculous alignment of Orion and the Washing Machine (read further for explanation), I found three sets of sitters so that spouse and I could go on a day-long "Marriage Renewal" day last weekend, featuring the (very good) book "Love and Respect."  The basic premise of the work is that men need respect like women need love.  In spots, it's quite brilliant.

Since college days, Dan and I have had a habit of doodling notes to each other in the middle of class.  Glancing over, I noticed he'd marked down "My use of duct tape" under respect.  Instantly remembering a particularly broken window repair, I loudly guffawed and...

You know when you think someone's telling a joke, and you rofl, and then you lol as you realize they aren't smiling quite as much as you thought they would and then, j/k, wasn't laughing because they were serious... wth?.. oops.

Turned into a good conversation.  Found out I could offer "unconditional respect" on the creativity displayed in my man's use of duct tape (shower repair, house plant support, etc.) while not necessarily liking the end result of the work.  I could do both.  I can at least try. Also ended up talking about

5.  Sports.  Like stuff that ends in "ball."  Yeahhhh.... I have issues with those things.  Even when "my" home team is in the World Series, I'd pretty much still rather watch paint dry than sit through a game.  I'm envious of the excitement evident on play-by-play Facebook stati.... I'm just missing the gene I guess.   Or maybe just experiencing the effects of being raised "anti-sport," as in "sports are a secular religion and thou shalt not care." If only that were more of an exaggeration...

But back to respect... while realizing I will likely never share this male interest in what happens with balls, I can avoid "contempt of sports."  Which probably defines my attitude: if I'm not playing it, and no one I know is either, why am I watching this?  Well, again, I can try.  Room for improvement.  And hubby will cultivate an interest in flower arrangement in return.  :D

6.  Similar room for improvement can be found in my attitude towards NFP I've been realizing this week, especially after reading Simcha's book.   I won't give away the punch lines here, but it sure helps refocus one's stance.

Cuz in general... I'd kinda been looking at NFP like a rope bridge I have to cross once a month.  It works really effectively if you know what you're doing, but it can be frightening as Hades while getting there and adjusting to the gaps and sways of it all.  Particularly when you're learning some new cycle trick and trying to maneuver the blasted thing while trying to avoid both pregnancy and mortal sin.  At times, this means you can only have sex while really scared or stressed over whether you've charted right or not.  Which stinks.  Especially when, say, you are taking some weird med and really (really) can't get preggo right now.  Terrifying.  Much more so when you look down.  So you learn to look Up as much as possible.  Which reminds me...

7.  I apparently lied about the moon, enthusiastically, on my Facebook page.  At least according to the jocular message left on my machine a couple days back.  No, I didn't: I was merely duped by a bigger blogger, so blame her.  Just because it was so slight that you could barely detect any shadow at all, an eclipse is an eclipse, no matter how... faint?  In any case, it was GORGEOUS!  Here, my I-Phone will attempt to show you:

So much better in person!  I tried.  I even lay prostrate before the Temple of Music (with a van of screaming kids parked beside me) to try to capture the glowing orb better... still ended up only looking like a small disc.... Just take my word for it, it rocked.  God is awesome.  Love how it says, "He tells the number of the stars; He calls all of them by name." Ps. 147:4

So I get all excited about celestial events, despite that fact that I'm not well-versed in astronomy. Heck, I didn't know what a constellation was until I was in 7th grade, on my home-schooled substitute to a father-daughter dance: dinner at a Chinese restaurant.  Happened to see three stars in a perfect row, and so learned about Orion's Belt.  Just thought star pictures and meteor showers were sooo cool from then on...

Also thought this guy in college I met was sooo cool because he wanted to show me the "Washing Machine" constellation.  Took me out in a field and spent quite a while trying to get me to see it.  Never did.  Did end up marrying him though.  

Currently, I really respect that he's taking me out to a TV-free section of a TV-laden restaurant, to talk about "us" instead of watching the World Series game.  Thanks hon.  I confidently assert you've chosen the better part.

Judging from the Facebook comments, they lost anyway.  Having never felt such sorrows myself, I don't know what to say to Red Sox Nation... hopefully a simple "I'm sorry" will suffice.  And I am sorry... the general mood of the neighborhood just sunk considerably.  Goooo get 'em Sox!!!   Better luck on Saturday!  (This is me, trying.)


  1. I don't think anyone without children realizes how challenging preparing for date night can be.

    I am with you on the sports. I must confess that I am more excited that kids eat free at (( the day after the Red Sox win than I am about said win. I'm not proud about that.

    I am in danger of showing up on your doorstep one morning, 2 year old in tow, crying, "you understand. You really understand." then collapsing in a heap. Be forewarned.

  2. I'm asleep bt 10 neatly every night...we had to start doing lunch on Saturdays! (In other words, I laughed really hard when I read that take!)

  3. We spent our last "date" talking about Ephesians 5:22 while waiting for a reception to start after a wedding. Great way to get prepped for an open bar.

  4. wow - sounds like you have a right to be tired! :)

  5. Your description of the day at the farm is exhausting just reading. Petting farm and corn maze and...yeah, all that other stuff. I need a nap.