Filtering my humor

I see the funny side of life a lot. Things that others may not find funny strike a chord in me and I chuckle.

This tumor thing. It does not strike my 12 year old funny at all. No aspect of it feels funny to him. It could be that the black and white of what is funny is just extremely clear to him and none of the parts of his mom having a tumor in her head seem funny in the least. Still, I see the funny. And yet, I also see it through his eyes. This is not a time to be irreverent about his feelings. No, his feelings matter every bit as mine do. So, within the funny moments, where life is ridiculous ( like the bandage on my head that looks like pad being worn in the wrong place…), I also see that it is not ridiculous at all in one of my dear ones’ eyes. Perhaps that is why this particular blog has been silent. To mock that which is incredibly serious, even life and death, seems, well, it seems a little irreverent to him. And he matters. Will this prevent me from writing the silly? The outrageous? No. It simply will be a filter from which I look at life. It’s good to see things through anothers’ eyes and understand that they see it differently. My son is special with a capital S. He is extraordinary in his insights. I respect that. So in the last few weeks as we traversed the halls of the life and death of this thing called a brain tumor, I have seen it from his perspective a little more and mocked myself a little less. He’ll come around at some point. He has mischeif waiting to say something about how funky I smell, I’m sure of it.

Don’t judge a family by a picture

I have a friend down the road who is a photographer. She’s very good. For as many years as she’s been posting her pictures I have wanted her to take our family pictures. Alas, we’ve always found a higher emergency for our money. However, this year, I am a working mom, Yo. I make a few pennies a month and thought I’d rub them together to get our pictures done…FINALLY! The date was solid and the pressure was on to SELL some TEA. Then three of my tea parties cancelled.

“Dude, I’m not waiting any longer!” I said to myself. The Reverend HATES pictures and so it’s like ripping off a band-aid. You just have to go for it or regret it every second you slowly pull. Ok, so not a clever word picture but whatever. I forget what I was trying to say.

The pressure was on, not only to sell some tea, but to also find some clothes to put our family into that didn’t clash horribly.

Have I said already how incredibly painful it is for our family to have our picture taken? NO? Well, then listen to this story because it’s only a snippet of what our lives are like when we try to get all of us smiling at the same time. I knew that if anyone could make us look happy it would be Kristen.

When I had booked our appointment, with the pretty photographer, we hoped for good weather. Then it was the coldest day ever in September, so we postponed for a later date. We could not have asked for more beautiful weather. In fact, I had bought a sweater for myself, on the coldest day, in anticipation that it could be cool on our evening adventure. But it wasn’t. Of course. It was HOT. H-O-T, hot. I nixed the sweater and hoped for the best. My shirt was the only thing that wasn’t matchy matchy with the rest of them. Sigh.

The other part of moving the date was that both of our daughters had dance starting that very night. What I had hoped would be a lot of prep time to get everyone looking spiffy turned out to be a scream into the finish line. My oldest daughter had 2 dance classes that night because they were trying her out to see in which she would fit. This one or the other? Can we say sweaty hair?

I got our outfits all ready and clean. Big fat pat on the back for not scrambling last-minute to scrub a stain off of a shirt. Oh wait. I did that. I coiffed hair, put outfits on at the exact last-minute and then went like a madman to pick up my daughter. Somewhere in there I made chicken fingers and put them on a plate for her. She ate while I worked with her sweaty hair. The girl did NOT want it up. It would have been so lovely if I had been just given a chance. Nope. I love puberty. With a wave of the brush, I gave up and we whizzed out the door.  She ate while we drove and I hoped she didn’t have chicken cooties stuck in her teeth and that the sweat wasn’t visible to the naked eye.

We made it on time and family pictures commenced. First the group shots. Those started with a fun “I’m NOT going to smile!” Kristen then tried to get some individual shots. The boys were in fine form. All I had to do was yell out the word “Fart!” and they were all smiles and laughs. The girls? Well, let’s just say they didn’t kill each other.

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The Reverend and I were getting cozy and kissing for the camera. Look Reverend, family pictures are FUN!!  Suddenly, we heard what we thought was “Get off my Sh** you Butt-head!” and realized, with great relief, that they were playing “Ship”. The name calling just became that much less horrifying.  We love drama. Super hard to get all serious and cozy with that kind of drama going on behind us. I could NOT stop from smiling.

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Then, there was a sisterly moment, when the two of them were posing on a precarious ledge. One got a little “feisty” and they both fell backwards on the grass. I laughed, then realized one of them actually got a little hurt and was crying. I thought we were done for, for sure. Alas, we moved into other more serene (ha ha) poses.

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We survived the Family Picture adventure that we had all dreaded. It had it’s ups and downs and it’s fair share of belligerent behavior but we made it. We even got to kiss each other more (The Reverend and I) than we’ve been able to kiss each other for…well, for too long. That part was down right enjoyable! And I was right! Kristen was able to make us look like a Loving family despite all the outtakes she had to sift through.

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Oh wait, I know the “normal” pictures are around here somewhere…

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Oh goodness, I guess there is no way to look normal after all

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How about this?

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There we go. A winner! Although I think the crazy, ill-behaved pictures suit us just fine! 🙂

And the awesome ending, as I was talking with Kristen, was when I noticed my daughter chewing something in the van. When asked what she was eating, she held it up triumphantly and declared `Chicken!` with a winning smile. Where was the smile beforehand I ask you? No where. But for a cold crusty who-knows-how-old piece of chicken…there it was.  For a moment I wondered just where had she gotten chicken and just how old was it? She’s been known to eat mysterious items. As I pondered where she had gotten it, I realized that it was from supper and she had found it on the seat…so much less awful. We live the life of Napolean Dynamite.  Tater tots in the pockets…yup. Been there.

That concludes our edition of Painful Picture taking  with the Reverend’s family.

And the end of the story really is in how God provided 4 more parties to help me earn what I needed to pay for the rest of the photo session. God knew I needed those family pictures as a great reminder of what HE had built and put together and provided the money for us to enjoy them.

Quirky family

animal_muppetI’ve known about it for a long time. I’ve known that I have a quirky family. Let’s be honest, you don’t want to know the quirks of your Spiritual Leaders do you? The Reverend and his family have quirks. Some. Yes, we have embraced our inner weird. We’ve accepted it long ago. Do you want to know and put a face to someone who cleans out their nose a certain way? No? Well, then this post is not for you.

My family will remain nameless, but extended family is welcome to take credit for some of the quirks, if they feel so bold as to do so.

I have outed some of my more mundane quirks. Today I out the Reverend’s Family and those in the extended sides. I think I’ve probably terrified a few by that little statement. Well, I couldn’t be alone now, could I? You can rebuke me later…I won’t name names if that helps.

In no particular order with no particular gender assumption I give you the weird side of the Reverend’s much-loved, mostly acceptable bunch.

1. Someone just can’t help sniffing every single candy before it is ingested. Can. NOT. Help. It.

2. Prays with a conversational voice while walking around so we never know if they are actually talking to us or Him. Scheduled events have gone unwritten on the calendar because of this inside voice. Sometimes they are talking to us.

3. Has to touch and possibly move every item in the house. If I left something in one place it likely will have moved to a place only known to one person…and that person ain’t talkin’.

4. Thinks we all chew/swallow too loud. Apparently, it is annoying.

5. Cannot watch a sports game without loud volume and then complains when we try to communicate (talk) whilst the loud crowd cheers over something.

6. Thinks her cat bowl is prey and must play with it. In her mind it is acceptable to bat it all around the kitchen and slop the water all over while she decides whether to eat it or not.155

7. Hates water on the floor, because when it gets cold, and she steps on this cold water it makes her loo loo. Crazy cakes!  Said water on the floor is thanks to the one who hunts her cat food.

8. Thinks child noise is wonderful yet feels like it’s tearing her ears out at the loudest of times.

9. Thinks smelling farts is a must. Inhale deeply to get it all.

10. Saying “Fart” is funny EVERY time. Has pet names for farts like “tart” or “park”…tries to hide the word fart in normal conversation.

11. Has to adjust themselves (you guys know what I mean) ALL the time. Do you need that much adjustment? I’m thinking new underwear.

12. Loud scraping of a knife on a plate can send one into an internal (or external) shiver and a loud “Ahhhh!!”

13. Hates it when someone is reading over his shoulder. He can’t read while someone is lurking. Can’t do it.

14. Types so loud the neighbors can hear it. I don’t know why the letters must be pounded with such enthusiasm but they are. They must be writing something terribly exciting all the time!

15. LOVES to be tickled. I think it’s crazy but what can you do? Just tickle.

16. HATES to be tickled. Tickle me and DIE. Not really, but to come out of it severely injured, is a possibility.

17. Is the most patient and loving person until you make her plan something and time is running out. Getting in the vehicle with you can be a lesson in hysteria as she lurches from one stop sign to the next. RRrrreeeev. ERCH. RRRrrrrev. ERCH. Fun times!

18. Needs to end on an even number…I don’t know why…but that would be ME.

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I love my family. I love that they love me as I am and I love them as they are. Let’s face it, we all have our “things” that people either get irritated about or get over it and accept who we are.

Around here we call some things “Doing a Marcy”.

Quirky? Not I.

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I just finished wiping the tears from my eyes because I was laughing so hard. My kids had to check on me because they thought I may be dying some horrible death. No, it was just me… laughing. That’s how delicate and graceful my laughter is. I was reading a blog post from Jen Hatmaker and the comments that followed had me in stitches. I never did get through all of the comments. First, there were so many funny responses and second, my kids kept interrupting my happy place to argue who was the most bored. After a late night, last night, and a day at home they thought it unfair that I was having so much fun in my head.

The commenters, who responded to Jen’s post, were funny and brilliant, if not insanely obsessive in the quirks they shared. Alternatively, I make Obsessive Compulsive people cry. Well, I don’t know if they cry, but I do know I must drive them nuts because I am the exact opposite of OCD. I am about to let a few skeletons out of my proverbial closet . I’m quirky in a she’s-a-weirdo sort of way.

1. I don’t have to have my house organized to a T and then keep it so. I’d rather just cram as much stuff into one possible closet/room/garbage can that I can, and have the floor clear. This causes my Reverend no end to grief. I can organize and I have been orderly, in the past. That would have been before four children. Who am I kidding? My drawers have always looked like it was done by a child. I can fold laundry and organized and then throw it efficiently into the proper drawers. If people would just see how great I am at folding they would know there is more to me than my overstuffed drawers. Who sees my drawers anyway? The appearance of neatness is all I am going for. Just don’t look in my bedroom! I used to have it neat(ish) but it seems that the same disease has overtaken this particular room.

2. My trash cans are an experiment in mass vs. volume. I don’t actually know what that means because Science class was a while ago, but I’m sure its a thing. I push the garbage down and make it as possibly thick and high as it can go so that it either comes off it’s hinges or it topples over. The Reverend probably had put up with enough when he recently assigned a child to the chore. It’s brilliant really. I thought I was teaching the children Science but he has taught them responsibility. I think he’s onto something!

3. Plants are lovely! Just don’t ask me to keep them alive for long. If they don’t cry, they don’t get watered or fed. I found out that I could keep kids alive but plants? not so much! Children can tell me they are hungry or thirsty and I am all over it! Plants don’t tell me a thing until they are dead. They are finicky. Put me in the sun, don’t put me in the sun, give me water every day, no don’t. They don’t TELL me this, they just get quietly persnickety until they are dead. Inside or out, I’ve tried. They’ve died. So we got a cat. Just so I don’t leave you hanging, she cries therefore she gets fed.

4. Flossing. I promise I do this every day. I do.  However, my neighbors would beg to differ. I have a new cereal that includes chia seeds. I LOVE it!! It’s like a cold and hot cereal mixed into healthy goodness but it’s all seeds and dried fruit. So good!! It’s my new GF find that is a snack that does my body good.

This summer, I wanted to say “Hey!” to my neighbors who had moved in just a few days before. I went over, without looking in the mirror, and had a lovely chat. For some reason, I looked in the mirror afterwards and found a little baby chia seed sticking in my front teeth space. It was embarrassing enough, but the next day I happened by their house again and chatted for a few minutes. As I was backing out of my driveway after our visit, I looked in my rear-view mirror and find another chia seed stuck in those silly teeth. Why, oh WHY did it have to be the same neighbors? I turned to my kids and asked if they had seen the food in my teeth. They shrugged and mumbled that they had.

I think I should get a little more OCD about checking my teeth. My teeth are quirky.

5.  I used to be prompt if not early to most appointments or events. I still like to be. Since having kids and needing to wait for them to do any number of things before leaving the house, I’ve learned how to (ahem) wisely use my time until  we need to scream out of the house to get to a scheduled whatever. Waiting for a child to go to the bathroom or get their blankie, or have a tantrum has taught me this skill.  These days, I’m afraid to say, I usually have all the kids out the door except for, well, me. I am doing things last-minute then remembering all the things I should have done, like find my keys or purse or go to the bathroom myself. Usually, I am at the van already before I remember that I haven’t locked the house or need my coffee mug or that it’s -40C and I should really have put on long underwear.  I usually arrive on time to a few minutes past the anointed hour.

Now that I’ve led you to believe that there isn’t an OCD bone in my body, I’ll go ahead and tell you the truth…I have a few obsessive tendencies.

Since I numbered five quirks that aren’t OCD, I’ll go ahead and give you five things I don’t laugh about. Ha!

1. I like to have things balanced. If I have five things over there, I like five things over here…see? Uneven things throw off my center of gravity and then I can’t think to save my life. Balanced decorations, furniture, schedules…they all need to be balanced and then my life goes more smoothly. Predictability is something I strive for but never really accomplish so I am fairly certain that my schedule will continue to be goofy, my wall pictures will hang crazily and life will have it’s wrecking ball (no Miley reference meant there) of unpredictable events that keep me off-balance. It’s what you love about me right…right?

2. Beards are weird. Hate me but it’s true. Santa is not off the list because he’s Santa. I remember a few times crying in the Red Man’s lap while someone tried to take pictures. Beards are in style these days. Maybe, like striped toe socks, it will wear me down but don’t count on it. I am not judging beard growers but why would God want men with hair on their faces? If he wanted them to grow it he would have balanced it out with the ability to grow hair on the top of their heads, no? I am certainly not pointing fingers at my man.

3. I can’t stand other people making me wait. I’ve been known to spaz like a teenager who has just been told she can’t wear lipstick, but just like the teenager, I couldn’t help myself. I know, that goes against everything you think I said in #5 of the previous list, but I honest-to-goodness do make it on time most places…most days…sometimes. I know I’m a hypocrite.

4. I think boys/men should be able to hit the toilet every. single. time. If you were given a device that great, then by cracky, learn how to use it!! Conversely, if you don’t know how to use it, just sit down and save yourself the embarrassment.

5. Before I can do any productive or heavy thinking task, I need my environment uncluttered. I’ve learned how to cope with this because my environment stays uncluttered for about one second these days, thanks to five other people in a small space – I just don’t get anything done. I am distracted by the littlest things. I used to clean my bedroom from top to bottom before being able to study for a test or finish a term paper back in the day. Nowadays, if I am baking or prepping for something, I try to clean my main area of work production. Again, I barely get that task accomplished before it’s undone. Could be why I am not asked to take on anything of great importance these days…or why my friends call to remind me what’s on my calendar for the week. When all else fails, or I’m expecting company, I revert to #1 on the previous list.

I have so many other quirks that have come back to haunt my mind, thanks to Jen Hatmaker, that I have found myself rocking in a corner a few times today. Quirks like fussing with my kid’s hair in public, when I’ve clearly forgotten to do it at home (or they have toque-head…it’s a thing in Canada), fidgeting with my stretchy jeans because they just don’t want to stay above the muffin top, laughing at inappropriate times, laughing in a nasally guffaw instead of anything resembling a ladylike chuckle, being a picky coffee drinker…well, the list goes on. You don’t need it all in one gulp.

Now, come on…you need to share something. I can’t be the only one (besides Jen’s commenters) that have a few odd eccentricities. You know you want to get it off your chest.

Toddlers, anyone?

I like to get under the skin of my oldest child once in a while, just to shake things up. He has Asperger Syndrome (which is on the Autism Spectrum) and has very black and white ideas of what life should be like. While he was a fabulous older brother to his siblings when they were little, he now thinks younger kids are a totally different species. They are stinky, messy, loud and tend to break his things. We were in a Dr.’s office today and there was the cutest little almost-two-year-old ever. She was active and chatty and just lovely. So, since I like to mess with his mind to keep things lively, I suggested that maybe we should “get” another baby. Good thing we were in a psychiatrist’s office and she called him in right away, so they had something to talk about. I may or may not have gotten in trouble for joking with him like that. After his session, she asked me into the office, as usual.  I explained that it was just me trying to be funny (ha ha…anyone?) and that it was not at all possible that we were going to be adding to our family in the next two decades….

Toddlers, I love toddlers…when they are with other people! That stage lasted so very long in my house and it was rife with tiny bodies but huge strong-willed behavior. I like to think we are growing the next generation’s leaders…all within my house. They all like to boss everyone else around and not listen to anyone. It is a big responsibility to see the gift of leadership in several children under our care. By God’s grace they will become (and are blossoming into) leaders that will change their worlds.IMG_3077

What did the toddler stage look like in church? You could ask the people who attend our little church in the wildwoods field, but they might all be blocking out that particular stage as effectively as I am. All I remember is trying to all sit in a row, hopefully not in the very front (which the kids inevitably picked), and keep them all entertained/quiet/not yelling while the Reverend did his fine work preaching at the front. Often, that neat little row became a war zone and I was dragging one, two or three kids out for a sound whooping (as if I would do that…) talking to/time out. Crayons were scattered EVERYWERE, peeled papers from crayons littered several rows around us, little cars were on and under the seats…it was a little piece of chaos right there for everyone to see. The grace that surrounded us in those years, by the people we were there to serve, was incredible. Truly. They surround us in love still…even after all the crazy years.

One Sunday, the Reverend recorded his sermon. He sat down, in the living room, to critique his own work. I sat down, with a little dread, to watch with him. All I could see was the front row. When he set up the camera, there was no one in the room. Of course, someone (not me) chose the front row and we were all lined up, front and centre on the recording. I told the Reverend that he may as well just stop the video now because all he was going to see was me giving everyone the “stink eye” and the pointer finger…you know the one. It’s the one that says “You, come here!” or “You, stop or else…” That Sunday was a particularly rough one. I couldn’t stand to watch it. I was embarrassed about how I would actually look. It wasn’t the kids I was worried about, it was me.

I’m glad to say that as the kids age, so am I. Aging, that is. I don’t get as overwrought about all the little things that kids do. I don’t have the energy. Also, my “stink eye” has been perfected over the years.

My kids are going to need years of counselling. Am I alone here?

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Fix It!

Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha

Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha (Photo credit: Calgary Reviews)

The day started out unlike any other. My dear Reverend was not poking me in the shoulder to wake me up at 7am. In fact, the only reason I woke up at all at 8am was that someone made someone else cry. I lit up like a lightning bolt on the prairies and reminded myself of my previous evening’s promise to myself. I was going to say “yes” as much as possible, yell as little as possible and take a little Jamaica with me into the day. My “Hey Mon” attitude kicked in and I calmly tried to cram an hour and a half of before-school prep into a half-of-an-hour.

“Mom, we wanted to let you sleep in today, so we didn’t wake you.” Said someone I couldn’t quite make out. Blinking the sleep from my eyes I saw that they all looked at me with angelic faces. Aw…

“That is, until So and So started crying.” Accusing looks backed a guilty-looking child into a figurative corner.

“That’s ok guys…it’s a school day.” I said, giving them each a hug and a push toward the breakfast table. I was quite thankful for whoever made the kid cry. It was my alarm clock. I’m certain I would have remained in an almost-dead state of sleep if a Wake-the-Dead scream hadn’t pierced my ears.

I had plans to be somewhere else as well, this morning, so I kissed the idea of a hot shower good-bye and stuck on my usual bad-hair-day cap. I have one. It’s sparkly.

So far, the Reverend would have been so proud **snort** of me! He only tried to call me 2 times and the kids had not answered because they were being all awesome by letting me sleep.

My plans today were filled with a lot of people. Most had no idea that it was my birthday, but I didn’t care. I was so excited to have a day filled with friends that I was getting to know and friends that I know and love.

In between all the busyness, I took a moment to have a Salted Caramel Mocha. Did you know that it tastes way better with the plastic cap OFF? I did not know that!! The whipped cream gets all mixed with the coffee and the caramel and the salt…OH MY! Heaven. I sat in my car, soaking in the few moments of peace and looked into the clouds to lift my cup to the One who made it possible. I told my sweet Savior that I was so thankful for all he had given me and for this moment with this coffee with him. It sounds weird, but it was a beautiful birthday moment that I will probably remember even when my mind dims. The quiet bliss of the day with the sun shining on my face and having (astoundingly amazing) coffee with my Best Friend.

My plan for the “Hey Mon” attitude mostly went according to plan. I only raised my voice to call the kids in for supper…and maybe one other time.

A few hours, and a left-over supper later, I sat down with all my sweet little darlings and watched our favorite show. I snuggled, and tried to keep the thought of what I had to do before the day ended, out of my mind.

That’s right. The day isn’t over yet. This birthday still has some time left in it. I have procrastinated for 24 hours now and I better not test my luck. The garage door latch whatcha-ma-hoo-sit broke yesterday and it’s stuck open. Now, that is not permission for any nefarious town-dwelling folk to come on over and help yourself to all our cheap junk…though, if you don’t mind, would you come over and take it all out? Thanks!

No, I must go and climb a ladder in the cold and use a screwdriver (I’ve used one a few times for battery replacement and such) to get the thing shut. If I wait long enough I’ll be afraid of the dark and…Oh wait. It gets dark at 6pm these days. Rats! No excuses for me!

…I waited long enough that the Reverend called. Yeah, that’s right. He was checking in on me. He was making sure I hadn’t maimed myself trying to crawl up the ladder in the semi-darkness. Sweet thang! No, I am almost certain that he knew I hadn’t done it yet, so he offered to stay on speaker phone while I did the job. I am sure I purposefully made a few suspicious “Ahhh I’m falling! Ow! How do you work a screwdriver?” noises just to see if he was still awake. I’m still not sure. He knows me too well…sigh!

I did get the door shut though, so those suspicious characters won’t get in my freezer this time. I guess procrastination does pay off. And my suspicious husband was proven right…again. Sheesh!

All in all, this day was a very happy one.

Basketball in Pajamas

Basketball Planet

(Photo credit: J.Gabás Esteban)

I get the kiddos all to myself for a few days **insert Muppet-type laughter**. Yes, the Reverend is gone for a few days while I whittle away the hours with nothing to do but knit **more laughter** Hold me.

I get to turn another year older tomorrow. That’s fun! And while we’re talking about birthdays, let’s talk about the fact that I was keeping myself up at nights for the last week trying to will myself to remember to renew my Driver’s License before this birthday. I don’t like to write notes to myself in bed because in the morning I will either forget that I wrote myself a note, or I will forget where I put the note, or how to decipher the hieroglyphics that I wrote in the dark. Too bad my best memory is while I am trying to sleep. I must have reminded myself often enough the last few nights, because I did it yesterday! Whew. That would have been awkward with the husband gone. Then we’d have to walk everywhere or drive illegally…and I wouldn’t do that. Ever. So we’d be walking. For a day.

You might as well know now, that I get distracted like a dog with a new scent.

Our small town has done major renovations in the hub of the “downtown” this year. I’ve not been downtown for months. I’ve seen it from a block away or edged close to it while walking the kids somewhere, but I’ve not taken a drive through and parked in its whole new street design. I did yesterday. I probably should have been aware that they haven’t finished the last phase of topping the road but that little fact escaped me. Now where DID I put that town newsletter **looking under STACKS of  paperwork** That little piece of information could have been useful to me. While I was exiting the vehicle and telling the girls to wait for me, I got distracted by my phone. The exposed curb came over and kicked me and, instead of rolling into it, I grasped at air as if it were a flailing rope and came up with nothing. SPLAT! Like a messy exclamation mark. The good thing is that we don’t live in a tourist trap where people’s phones are out and ready to record. In fact, I’m not sure there was another living soul on that street to see my fantastic leap of death into the air. Small towns are great like that. I was pretty sure my body would hurt for a few weeks.

Surprisingly, I woke up feeling a tad less like I was an elderly woman and more like I’d been rear-ended in a slow moving car.

Tonight I had the pleasure of taking our crew to Basketball practice. By that time in the day, I usually yearn to be comfy and warm. My body had begun hurting a little more and my PJ’s were calling to me. I didn’t care if I’d become “that mom” who wore PJ pants to public places. It’s a small town and I have little dignity left anymore. I’ve gone to Kid’s Club in slippers. If people are going to talk about my gigantic black slippers and fluffy pink pj’s then they really need some new material for town gossip! When you deal with arthritis and Fibromyalgia this long you start to think about survival in ways that make you happy. When flare-ups happen, Flannel PJ’s make my body all sorts of happy. So, out I went in my bright pink PJ bottoms with hearts all over (and a top, in case you were wondering) and I was ready to go.

After practice, my daughter said “Why did you go to practice in your PJ’s?” and I asked “Why? Did it embarrass you?” **a little dramatic eyebrow waggling** She replied ‘YUP!” I said “Well, I could have danced around like this.” Giving my best rendition of a shaking cha-cha with a little awkward belly dance move. I said “Now that would have been embarrassing.” Piping up calmly. “No mom, your PJ’s were more embarrassing.”

That’s when she offered that I should do the waltz with her in our small livingroom. Like I know how. Waltzing with me is a dangerous venture, as she found out, when we fell over the armchair and onto the floor. Well played, my girl. Well played. Fits of giggles later we had more requests for Mommy’s peculiar style of dance and once again the crowd was cheering.

I think there are definite possibilities for this time without The Reverend, like breaking all the rules. The Rev and I don’t waltz…at least, not yet.

For my birthday tomorrow, I have covert plans to drop consequences and current grounding. I will be nixing any groundings that have been in effect. I take life to seriously sometimes and I think my birthday is a perfect time to let my hair down (I may have fallen on my head). I want them to know how much of a pleasure it is to be their parent. Happy birthday to me! I have a plan to give them candy too. In their lunches. Teachers can thank me later. It’s organic candy.

I may even wear pants…well, not PJ pants. Normal pants. If I can get the laundry done on time.