I’ve read that the principal fault of “mommy blogs” is that we write only things that are happy, warm, fuzzy, and perfect. We make ourselves so ethereal that the “common mom” cannot hope to aspire to be as spiritual/beautiful/organized/spic-n-span/coordinated as ourselves. Those of you who have been following my blog these past few years will, I hope, admit that I’m not perfect. I speak often of projects that may or may not come to fruition. I rarely have a picture of my house in a perfect state. I rarely have my house in a perfect state. There hasn’t been a picture of my family taken in about four years where everyone is facing the camera. And smiling. Ok, make that maybe six years. I just do not choose to write about most of our terrible days. We have them, trust me. I didn’t choose to write about the troubles we were having with a particular child and a particular homeschool curriculum because that is his story and he can tell it later if he wants to, and also because I wanted to make sure the next curriculum was really a better match before I wrote about it (it was, incidentally). I didn’t tell any of you about Baby Posy (and is that how you spell it? I was thinking Posie or Poesy but Merriam-Webster says Posy. Sheesh.) because as with all my girls, the first trimester is one long Hurricane Hormona. It’s bad enough my family and I had to deal with it. Going into hormonal hysterics on the internet was not what I had in mind. We were and are very excited about our new little one, but the thought of what I might have said if someone commented adversely about my family size was enough for me to keep it under internet wraps until the first trimester–and hormones–subsided.
All this to say, life kicked me in the teeth today. So finally I can keep myself off the ethereal podium by announcing I HAD A BAD DAY.
Ok, so it wasn’t all bad. Actually, some things happened that would have kept me in the Perfect Mommy Blogger Zone. I was able to wash out most of my refrigerator! Two small condiment shelves had to wait, but they weren’t harmed by the Quart of Chicken Stock that was dropped into the nether recesses of the fridge, or by the splash of milk that ensued when some toddler got her sister’s open milk cup out of said fridge and with the door open, proceeded to baptise the shelves. Also, they weren’t anywhere near the Vegetable Crisper of Doom that was harboring unknown organisms. Anyway, it looks pretty darn good right now in there. AND I made a smashing good pear apple cranberry crisp for our homeschool potluck today. Let me tell you, that’s a divine concoction.
Shortly before arriving at the potluck this afternoon something happened that hurt me greatly, but I’ll save that for last. We do so enjoy our potlucks. We get to visit with the people we see nearly every week at co-op and then some others whom we might not get to see as often. We’ve been increasingly more involved in the group for two or three years, so pretty much everyone knows us, and knows our Trooper. But today he had the chance to interact with some kids in his “peer group” who didn’t know his case that well, and misunderstandings ensued. Sure, he was hogging the swings at one point. It’s a fault of his, and I came out to remind him to share. Later though, when he was highly amused by the game the big kids were playing and wanted to watch, the girl turned to him and just gave him a look. I happened to see it because I was looking outside to check on the whereabouts of Sunshine, and my heart broke. It was the “retard” look.
Almost before I could recover from that, Rascal approaches me with eyes swimming. Apparently another friend, an older boy, had taken the opportunity to make himself look ‘cool’ by belittling and humiliating Rascal to his face. So there I was in the dining room of my friend’s house comforting my big second grader while still smarting from the “retard” look and also from the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” that I’ll go into next. I reassured Rascal that his friend probably didn’t mean half of it, and to just smile and go play with someone else. Later when he brought it up again on our way home, I was able to calmly remind him that people will misunderstand us or say things that hurt us, but we must show compassion and understanding in turn. I should have summed it all up in one word:
Yep, that’s a good word. Forgive others when they misunderstand, when they misjudge, when they forget to see beyond the outward appearance of things. After all, how often are we guilty of the very faults we see in others?
And sometimes we have to forgive things that we don’t understand. Like when driving up to a cemetery to pray on this All Souls Day morning, stopping the van next to the side of the hill where your baby son is buried… only to see that someone has removed the brass vase from his gravestone. I stared at the gaping hole in shock, the artificial foliage limp in my hands. That brass vase didn’t blow away in any storm. It didn’t wash away in any flood. It was chained to the stone, for heaven’s sake! I know this because I frequently lifted it out to pour away the icky rain water that would collect there in between visits. I hoped for a second that the maintenance guys had hit it with a lawnmower in a moment of mental abstraction (hey, they hit a solar light my parents had left there), but it would be hard to hit the vase. I couldn’t call the cemetery office today, so I will call first thing tomorrow morning if they are open. I don’t know how long the vase has been missing, and really, in the scheme of things, it’s just a vase. I googled “stolen cemetery vases” to see if this was really going on, and apparently it’s been pretty popular during the recession. Ironically, although these vases retail in the triple digits, they only garner you a whole whopping $13.75 in scrap metal cash.
Someone please tell me that no one disturbed Jacob’s grave for $13.75. Someone please tell me this was an accident and no one disturbed my baby’s grave at all.
Because you see, I have to forgive this, and it would be easier to forgive an errant lawnmower–also because the vase would have dented it but good, leaving me with a mean satisfaction because you see, I’m not a perfect mommy blogger.
I’m me, and I struggle to forgive things too.