When one has four babies at once, there are certain challenges. Some people were not afraid to point them out to us. When I was still pregnant, a friend of my parents, whom I barely knew, asked, “Are you going to breastfeed?” I said I was. Across the dinner table, he pointed to my breasts, flopping his hand back and forth several times at my chest. Incredulously he asked, “How’re you gonna do that when you only have two of those?”
I think we all probably do it. At least I know that I do, and some of the homeless I’ve seen wandering downtown by Acacia Park. We have pretend conversations with people who aren’t there. I hope I’m discreet enough about it that others don’t notice that I’m doing it. But it is basically working through a problem, practicing the dialogue for what I might say in a given situation. I’ve been told by a counselor that it's a good thing to do. It prepares you for communication. It helps you explore ways to say things, how to respond to a variety of responses, and helps work out the kinks and find the right words. It also can give confidence to say something that is hard to say or going to be received poorly. It’s basically role playing all by yourself. It’s okay to do, as long as you know there isn’t someone else there. If you start hearing answers from your invisible role playing partner, or even seeing him, it’s probably time to visit a specialist.
Kids playing with "hat box,"
L to R, Spencer (pirate hat), Molly (party hat), Pierce (straw hat), Charlie (Robin Hood hat).
On my two previous Mommy Mumdays, I covered the first two of the “Three Rs” of raising kids (and being better grownups too). Numbers One and Two are Responsibility and Respect. As we teach our children to “own” the consequences of their actions (responsibility), plus treat everyone and everything with dignity and care (respect), we also need to do a self check and make sure we’re scoring well with those characteristics ourselves.
Good news came this week. One of our sons got a job in his field of teaching. We’re excited, relieved, delighted, and grateful. Definitely grateful. This coming about serendipitously for the one, after over a year of searching, disheartened, crushed, without success for the other two sons. As I was being grateful, thanking God for the provision, it wasn’t long before I switched into supplication mode, bringing up the fact that the other two could use such provision and how it might look.
How aware are you of accordions? Can you even spell "accordion" without looking? I must admit, they are pretty low on my radar. (And I had to find out how to spell it.) But just this week we happened to see a scene in an episode of “Mad Men” (our newest show obsession) with Joanie playing her accordion. In 1963 (when the episode was set), they were all the rage. Some say Elvis and John Lennon played accordion before beginning the guitar. Nowadays, Mumford & Sons and Of Monsters and Men incorporate them into their acts. I guess it is a good thing they have this month of June set aside for the rest of us to be aware of them so they don’t go unnoticed for too long. Apparently, there is a resurgence under way. There is even a Wikipedia entry called, “List of popular music acts that incorporate the accordion.”
Peace like he couldn’t have imagined. His soul felt at rest, like all was well now. The glow whispered over his skin, soft, radiant. The luminescence had substance—light that wrapped around him, incandescence that carried him along the journey.
(To protect the privacy and/or safety of certain individuals, some names—well actually only one—has been changed in the following.)
I have aviophobia, a fear of flying—the kind that drives me to straighten my closet and vacuum the corners of my silverware drawer before a flight because I’m probably not coming back—so when a daughter of mine who I’ll call, um let’s say Polly, texted me from New York’s JFK airport TSA line to tell me she was coincidentally coming home on the same flight as our church rector, Fr. Jeremiah, I said Phew. That’s a good sign you’ll probably make it home, with him on the flight too.
Did you know that in midday, one can hear slow, relaxed music piped over grocery store speakers to help the retired community feel good about lingering in the aisles, making solid decisions about choosing or passing on the new soup flavor? But at about 5:00 p.m., when rush hour is full on, the music becomes quick and snappy, keeping professionals who just got off work and are looking for a quick solution for supper moving along to help minimize congestion.
On this day in 1964, three civil rights activists--Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner—were in Mississippi to help register black voters during “Freedom Summer.” When they went to investigate the burning of a black church, they were arrested on trumped-up charges, beaten, and released by the police into the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, who murdered them. Only under extensive pressure from civil rights proponents was there a grand jury opened and were charges brought. Of eighteen men arrested, only seven were convicted and of those, no one served more than six years. The instigating KKK leader who arranged and oversaw the murders got off because of a hung jury of 11 to 1, with one woman refusing to hand down a guilty verdict because the defendant was a preacher and she could not convict a preacher.
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