— 1 —
As my Facebook friends might have noticed, (“Thank goodness she’s no longer posting links to her stupid blog every day!”) I crashed hard on the blogging front after last week’s Epic Blogging Challenge. I eked out a little wrap-up by way of my Monday Morning Miscellany, and then I took a break. I’d been hoping to fit in at least one post before 7 Quick Takes Friday, but no go. “No-go” in a dramatic Julie meltdown kind of way:
Wednesday I found myself with some unexpected quiet time due to two little boys being such tired messes that I put them both down for naps. (The 3-year-old almost never naps anymore; I only succeeded in getting him to sleep this time because I bribed him with ice cream.) So I used part of my break to start writing a post I’ve been planning in my head for some time, on… (do you hear the ominous thunder?) …abortion. It’s a topic that requires some careful, quiet consideration, is it not?
But do little boys care about writing that requires quiet, concentration, and more quiet? Absolutely not. So on Thursday, when I’d planned to spend a couple of hours finishing and posting the piece, my 3-year-old very slyly ruined my plans in that most maddening of ways: bit by bit. The 22-month-old went down without a hitch and slept for FOUR hours! (What a tease!) But his older brother got to stay up because he was behaving decently and promised to play quietly (HA!) so I could write in peace.
I won’t bore you with the details; I’ll just say that all the noise and the sporadic interruptions and the questions and the following me from room-to-room and the unwillingness to just be quiet, already drove me up the wall. In that slow, simmering way that leads you (or maybe just me) to finally boil over all at once. After getting done in three hours what I should have gotten done in 30 minutes, I lost it: I banished the kid to the parlor (Yep, we have a “parlor;” I’ll explain another time), realized I was too angry to keep writing, and went outside to take some of my own mommy advice and run laps across the backyard. Or rather, I dashed one way across the yard and then dragged my sorry, out-of-shape self slowly back the other way. Several times. It must have been quite a sight to see.
Then I came inside, sat the kid in front of the TV, and poured myself a glass of wine.
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Oh, and do you know what he proceeded to do just minutes later? Yep, fall asleep at the table.
It was like there was this big neon sign flashing at me: YOU SHOULD HAVE PUT HIM DOWN FOR A NAP!
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Have I mentioned about a million times that my boys are wrestlers? Like, every day, everywhere, with everyone wrestlers. Here are some recent examples:
So now do you see why I feel like I deserve some quiet time every once in a while?!?!
— 4 —
Usually when we go grocery shopping, the three-year-old gets to hand over my Safeway card. It makes him happy and the checkers think it’s cute. But the other day I made a quick trip to the grocery store sans children. (Cue heavenly chorus.) After I loaded up the belt, I handed the very polite, clean-cut, shy-looking teenage boy my card. And then I proceeded to load it back into my wallet, search my purse for my keys, and… walk away. “Umm, Ma’am? You need to pay.”
I was pretty embarrassed. I mean, how ridiculous is it that my excuse was that I did not have my two toddlers with me at the time? That handing the checker my Safeway card by myself tricked my feeble little brain into thinking I’d actually paid the guy?
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I thought this article (“How to keep Millennials in the church? Let’s keep church un-cool.”) from Wednesday’s Washington Post was interesting, and the last paragraph especially so:
As a Millennial, if I’m truly honest with myself, what I really need from the church is not another yes-man entity enabling my hubris and giving me what I want. Rather, what I need is something bigger than me, older than me, bound by a truth that transcends me and a story that will outlast me; basically, something that doesn’t change to fit me and my whims, but changes me to be the Christ-like person I was created to be.
The author seems to have been writing with evangelical Protestants in mind, but his sentiment certainly fits with most of the (practicing) Catholic young adults I know. (And yes, with my own viewpoint.) I keep hearing anecdotally that the faiths that are attracting and retaining young people are the ones with more orthodox teachings and traditional liturgical styles. I would be interested in reading any studies on the topic that might be out there. (Know of any? Send them my way!)
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As per usual, I have an NPR program to point you to, though this week’s recommendation comes with the caveat that I haven’t actually heard it yet: The radio signal was going all crazy Wednesday night when I was trying to listen to listen to the program. I heard part of the introduction (which sounded super interesting), but the static ended up being too much to ignore. Maybe later I’ll pull it up on the computer while I wash all those dishes I’ve got sitting around.
The program, “What Would Lawrence Of Arabia Say Today?” was on NPR’s On Point:
Much of the Arab world looks like a terrible mess these days. And much of the mess goes back a century. To the end of the Ottoman Empire. The end of World War I. Britain and France drawing imperial lines across a desert map.
And in the midst of it all, young T.E. Lawrence — Lawrence of Arabia. He did not like what he saw coming in the victor’s boundaries laid across tribes and sects.
It’s all come back to haunt.
This hour, On Point: A new biography puts the lens of Lawrence of Arabia on the Arab world today.
I track the news from the Middle East with so much sadness these days. Syria, Egypt: what impossible, tragic situations. I am generally a very optimistic person, but there… I just don’t see a lot of hope for real and lasting improvements in those countries. It seems like one possible “solution” is worse than the next. And there’s always Afghanistan… and now Iraq is making its way back into the news… I look forward to listening to this program for some more perspective on the region; maybe I’ll check out the book too.
— 7 —
Here’s a random, funny little note to leave you on – one of my favorite little tactics/tricks for getting the boys to willingly eat their breakfast and cut down on my breakfast prep work: Hand them a waffle and tell them it’s a cookie. (Or rather, because I’m supremely honest and I can’t bear to tell even that small of a white lie, I say the following with much excitement: “Do you want to eat your waffle whole, like it’s a cookie?”) They fall for it hook, line, and sinker.
Have a great weekend! Go visit Jen and the rest of the Quick Takes crew!