I know I disappeared for two months with nary a goodbye (thank you to those who e-mailed me to ask if I'm ok). I didn't say goodbye because I wanted the freedom to indulge my indecisiveness for as long as possible. And then BlogHer wrote me to say they were going to break my kneecaps if I didn’t resume posting. Ok. I kid. They just said I can’t be part of their blog network unless I, you know, blog – but breaking kneecaps sounds better don’t you think?
So for my return post, knowing that only about a third of the people who used to visit have continued showing up regularly, I tried to decide what would make the best subject matter:
1. How I was laid off from my job last fall and have been preparing to open a coffee shop next month
2. What I think of Sarah Palin, as a feminist, now that the truth has been told
3. If and how much I’ve grown to love (or not) the Almighty Barack Obama, what it means that he appointed Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State and if I thought the inaugural benediction was racist
4. How I am struggling because I have a coffee blog (to complement my new business) that looks like hell despite my teaching myself CSS, and therefore bought a website that doesn’t exist because I don’t know what FTP means
5. How I spontaneously became a tea fanatic and I’m sure I’m going to live forever now
6. How I’ve struggled to determine what parts of my children’s psyches I should be writing about as they get older and whether I should continue to blog when I can’t find the time to read other blogs, even my all-time favorites
7. What happened when J caught me off guard saying, “Mama do you use drugs?”
And then I thought, no, you’d probably most like to hear a humorous story about my ineptness as a mother and see a picture of my puppy. Am I right? But do come back for all of the above and more. In light of my current infatuation with Vajrayana Buddhism, I thought I would tell you a story about why, in spite of my inherent religiosity, I can never be BFF with religious people. It’s not them, I must admit, it’s me.
We have these nice neighbors who have kids the same age as our’s. They invited our kids to their birthday parties and first the mother told me about a missionary trip she took to Africa and how wonderful it was because all of these children came to greet her and were just “praising God.” Which is fine, I totally appreciate that, but generally I take statements like that as a cue that I’d better watch what comes out of my mouth. Not just the way I frequently punctuate statements with impolite words, but also my “anything goes so long as no one is being hurt or exploited” moral compass (or lack thereof).
The first party was for 5 year olds and at one point everything went silent at just the moment my Little One said at the top of his voice, “Mama, did someone say the C word?”
Now let me clarify, when I say my kids hear plenty of “bad words” I’m talking about your basic everyday, “what the hell happened here” sort of swearing. They have certainly never heard the C word from me, so immediately I started composing my lecture to my husband in my head, thinking I can’t believe he would talk like that in front of the kids!!! But then after the party I asked Little One (long after it was too late to salvage my embarrassment), “What is the C word anyway and where did you hear it?”
And he said, “Crap.”
For some reason they still invited J to the 7 year old birthday party, where the kids had an impromptu conversation about who believes in Jesus. They all did, and my J told them that he believes in Jesus too, adding a small clarifier, “But we don’t actually have any way of knowing if Jesus was in real life or not – it’s just a myth.”
Thanks J. I don’t know why I teach them anything. I tried briefly at home to explain that some people are rather sensitive about that sort of thing and there are people with whom we can discuss those issues and others with whom it’s best we just keep that to ourselves. But it may not matter anyway – I mean what are the odds we’ll be invited a third time?
And now the puppy – who was supposed to be a lap dog, but as it turns out is medium-sized. I’ll elaborate another time, but for now, I’ll just say, I don’t know how we ever lived without a dog.