Make Yourself Comfortable

My kids are learning all sorts of things in public school that we didn’t really learn/choose to learn when we were homeschooling.  Rhys came home yesterday and recited the Pledge of Allegiance (yes, I didn’t bother teaching them this – that is a post unto itself).  He got it right and here’s how it ended:

“…one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, you may now be seated.”

I’m guessing the pledge is last on their list of things they stand up for in the morning.  Hehehe…

Rush

For those of you who have never homeschooled, let me just say I feel like I never see my children and the school runs our entire family’s schedule. Our school is great and the teachers are wonderful, but they see my boy more than I do. Some random kid in class sees my kids more than I do. We’ve got approximately 39 minutes to play with neighborhood friends afterschool because then they need to do homework, shovel down dinner and race to baths and bed. Homeschooling was not like this and we were able to read for 30-45 minutes every night, unlike now, which ironically, is a requirement of the school.

I miss my old family life, the unhurried way we could learn and read and participate in CC. Now I know where my kids’ shortcomings are: Henry needs to write a lot more, Rhys needs to keep on with the reading and anger management 😂. But everyone in my family says I am incapable of doing it. I probably am. Henry is a task unto himself. Rhys gets frustrated easily. Sarah gets ignored. A dedicated homeschooling room with no distractions and toys for Sarah might help, but it might not.

I miss them. I am not used to this. Sure, “kids have to grow up,” but not all in the same mold. Goodness knows you never know what will come out of my mouth, and most of that can be attributed to self-study as I’ve aged. I just don’t march to the *normal* beat of the band. And it extends to education as well. I studied different methods when Rhys was still in diapers, found that the Classical method was simple, yet all-encompassing, and I wanted this for our kids. Dave agreed. But I don’t think I tried hard enough, did enough extra-curriculars or fun sheets. I’d change that now. Rhys has brought home the most precious artwork, makes my eyes fill with tears it’s so cute. And I think, “Why didn’t I do this to keep their interest?”

Regrets galore.

Christians and Depression and Please Y’all, it’s a Disease not a Demon (usually) (I guess) (but I’m not expert) (at least mine’s not) (I’m pretty sure) (no one exorcise me, please)

What a timely article from Relevant Magazine.  I’ll wait while you read it.  Dooo do do do dooo….

Last week was the worst week I’ve had this year. I couldn’t cook for my family; I place undue burden on Dave and his mom and (not this time, but many others) mine. His mom came up Sat – Tues and took over the house and washed probably 12 loads of clothes and took care of the kids and more or less did the work of 5 people;  I don’t know how she did it.  “She’s a worker,” as my mom says.  Meanwhile, my 37-year-old abled body laid in bed sleeping from (emotional) pain, zonked out on anti-psychotics. I am a little different, I’m bipolar so you get a side dish of anger, spending sprees and on top of that, I have nonstop anxiety.  My drug routine is going to be different from the typical person who only suffers from depression, but that’s how this journey to sheer hell (for my whole family) started.

Depression is a real disease, it hit me at about 14 out of the blue. I didn’t know what it was at the time, I just knew I wanted to stay in my room and cut my arm. What a weird desire. I wanted to release pain, but I didn’t know where the pain and sadness was coming from.  Remember, this was around 1990 and “cutting” was NOT something you heard of, ever.  I was on the “cutting edge,” I guess you can say.  I don’t know when it went mainstream, but it had to be at least 10 years later.  But back to the whys of my sadness:   I had a best friend that could simply make a noise and cause me to honk with laughter, who is still my best friend today (hey, make the noise, Andrea! I need it right now! It’s hilarious!), I was in the “new” part of SW Jr. High and it was soooo cool at the time, 9th grade was my favorite year in school – ever – I was a cheerleader and had a sweet new uniform and big hair to match…so why the tears? I kept them to myself at the time, I think. I’m sure my mom saw but probably chalked it up to hormones. It was more than that but would take four more years before I sought help.

I’ve been told the “pray it away method should work,” and asked if it doesn’t, “Where’s your faith?” before. This would be like praying and tossing the Epi pen away if Rhys ate a bag of peanuts, or just praying Henry if got mauled by a hippo when there’s a zookeeper next to me with a tranquilizer gun.  Hippos are very fierce, did you know this? They are so cute. It’s like decorating your nursery with copperheads – think about it!

I was not on Facebook a lot last week. I got a few texts, “Are you ok?” “Where are you?” “Is everything okay?” “Praying for you.” Interestingly, the last came from a psychologist. :) If I text you back and say no or give some BSish answer, and you have time to call me, or come see me, PLEASE DO – I would never ask you to do this via text, that is very un-Southern and imposing so I am asking now to plant it in your brain. I know I live on Mt. Everest and we’re going to move – oh how I want to move – and if there was one quote that resonated with me from this article it was this one:

Crying out is always the first step to healing—because depression is a disease that thrives in isolation. It wants to pull us into the prison of loneliness, where it can break us down in weakness.”

Bolding is mine.

I am crying out. I used to blog regularly and cry out if needed, but even this has become burdensome. And I figured people got a little tired of my moaning, honestly, I did.

I was broken down in weakness, though I feel much better these last few days.  It is amazing how quickly God can turn us around, if we ask Him and His timing lines up with what we want our timing to be.  You see, we don’t choose.  He does.  A lot of non-believers don’t like that aspect of Christianity because they find it patriarchial, but I find comfort in it.  Yes, the most anti-authority, cannot even stand to have my kid in public school because I feel like I’m being held down by “the man’s” schedule woman, finds comfort in laying back and embracing someone else’s timing.  He knows the plans he has for me.  Why should I try and take the wheel only to screw them up?  It’s hard, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, oh it is hard.  Dave’s probably reading this muttering “WHA?  You always take the wheel!”

If only he knew how many wheels went unmolested.  There’s a lot of untouched wheels out there, and all for the better.

If you or a loved one have depression – please seek help immediately.  If you cut your arm off, would you just stand there staring at it?  I mean, for more than a few seconds.  I admit, I would look.

  • If you are churched, see someone who counsels those with depression issues, someone who understands and WON’T shame you.  Get resources from them.  If you are in the RTP area, I have some names I can give you.  Some are believers, some are question marks.  As a counselor told me, “Good psychiatry should not change your faith or touch it in any way.”
  • If you need the name of a Christian church, period, I can give you the name of mine, or several others that are good, depending on your worship style.
  • If you already have a psychologist but cannot find a psychiatrist, I can give you the name of a few to check out.

I’ll leave you with this thought.  Believing Jesus walked this earth and died on the cross for your sins – past and future – is the only way to heaven.  I pray for my friends, people I care about, to encounter Christ.  If I have invited you to my church it is because I care about you, not because I’m trying to rack up numbers on some score sheet in heaven.  I don’t even think they have those, but if they do, I hope they’re Erin Condrens.

I’ve been bold and shared my dirty laundry that is neatly sorted in a Thirty-One bin.  Please be bold and come with me and Dave some Sunday.  It is an hour and a half you will not regret.

 

Puzzler

How does a man have “control over his reproductive rights?” assuming there’s such a thing as a “right” to reproduce.

Should my folks sue since they had to settle for adoption, forfeiting their “right” to reproduce?   It’s a little late, but I don’t see these “rights” written in stone anywhere so I don’t suppose there’s a statue of limitation on litigation.  Or perhaps there’s a clause that says you may infringe on other’s right to reproduce, if they agree.

But here’s something that’s interesting:  my biological father never wanted kids from the information I’ve been given, and he was as adult when this information was gathered.  So I guess he didn’t have control over his reproductive rights.  Where’s the ACLU?  Where’s Al Sharpton?  Where’s…?  Oh.  Because no one really cares about that half of the equation, because they know it doesn’t matter because there’s nothing the man can do if his “right” is violated.  Don’t believe me?  Try googling and finding an instance of a father legally stopping an abortion.  Or a parent – even of their minor child.

Men’s Roles

A man’s “control over his reproductive rights” ends at the front of his zipper.  Let us think logically – where else could it?  Nothing is fool-proof.   Do not let “safe sex” talks with various fruits woo you into complacency thinking condoms, and bags, and aerosols, and hot air balloons, and whatever crazy nonsense is now available on the “I can’t help but stare,” aisle at Walmart, work 100% of the time, or even close to that. (They have some really….interesting items now if you haven’t looked lately.  We got stuck in line beside them and I tried not to giggle because everything – I’m talking ever-eee-thing – vibrated or “jiggled.” 

A man can’t demand his wife or girlfriend have an abortion.    Out of desperation – a word we hear so many times relating to pregnant women when the repeal of Roe v. Wade is mentioned – this guy relabeled Cyototec as Amoxicillin and was found guilty of first degree murder of his 6-week-old baby (which is downgraded to just an “embryo” in the story).

I am in NO WAY defending what that guy up there did, but plainly, it is not fair to men in this country that women can abort babies that belong to both the woman AND the man without the man’s consent.  Some might say he’s “holding her hostage” but that’s his heir, too.  We should be civilized enough as a nation to have a rational dialogue about how to deal with a surprise pregnancy when it happens and come to an equitable decision regarding the child’s outcome.

Women’s Roles

On the flip side, his girlfriend could have strolled into Planned Parenthood without his consent or knowledge, done the same thing, and gotten “support” and a high-five from the pro-abortion community.  Granted, his girlfriend wanted the baby, but he did not.  Just like my biological father and many others around the country.

To quote an article I came across:

Women made the right to abortion a central demand of their movement because they understood that women could never be equal with men without control over their reproductive lives.”

How about, “No thanks, guy?” – this is the equivalent of where a man’s ends.  Why should we expect LESS of a woman?  That’s degrading and I thought we were going for equals, here.

How about not having sex unless you’re ready for kids.

How about birth control?

How about not not marrying someone unless you talk to them first about the number of kids you want and when you want them.

Finally, let me ask you: would you give an organ to a terminal relative that would allow them to live another 10 years?  You’re their only hope, you’re their lifeline at that point, they’re a “parasite” eyeballing that kidney of yours.  Would you give it to them?  Or would you keep it because your other might fail and you might need it?  How about sacrificing 9 months to give life to a child who will live upwards of 80 years?  Something to knock around the brain.

Fall Sports Sign-Up Time Again. My Wallet is Flat.

It’s fall sports sign-up time.  Our checking account cries out in pain.

How do you decide what to sign your child up to play? I think sports may be out for the boys after some thought last night. It’s something they like to play at home but they’re not really into it.  It’s not their first love, if you will.  Henry would prefer Jr. First Lego League, but he missed the camp he could have greatly benefitted from because I was in the hospital (he went the year before though!).  Poor thing.  I was afraid Dave was going to buy him the Mindstorm Robotic Lego set to make up for it and at almost $400, I thought that was a bit much, especially since summer is birthday season.  And THAT is an egregious amount for birthday season.  Or Christmas.  Or both combined.

Rhys wants to take guitar lessons at what will be Henry’s elementary school which are very reasonably priced along with guitar rental, and “when we move” (a nebulous, meaningless term at this point) we’re going to get a piano. He will probably take piano lessons at that point too.

Sarah. Sarah. I guess you will take dance unless someone offers kickboxing princess lessons. She’d probably beg me to do pageants if she knew they existed and there was no requirement that hair had to be brushed, let alone styled.  I can’t be a pageant mom.  No, that is a bold-faced lie.  I could be a pageant mom.  I am great with make-up and I love dresses.  I just hate the rest of it.  I’d have to get her a coach.  But she would not be caught dead or alive wearing any of those flipper things or that other device I’m not even going to mention and hope they don’t force on little girls.  I have seen TO.  MUCH.  BRAVO.  Or maybe it’s TLC?  Sad when you can get The Learning Channel’s programming mixed up with what could be renamed “Smut TV.”  What’s happened to cable?  Note to self, cancel that garbage today, we never watch it.  We watch the Roku (I still wish we had an Apple TV instead, they would have been the same price).

All this ruminating over what to sign the kids up for started because I got a letter from our community sports league and I went to sign the kids up.  Much to my dismay/relief, they aren’t offering U5 soccer.  Sarah is SO.  FREAKISHLY.  GOOD at ball control and would have been an excellent soccer player, way better than Henry at that age, and he was very good if I can toot my kid’s horn for a sec.  He didn’t get it from me!  I may check and see when Kicking for the Cross is taking sign-ups and hope I haven’t missed it.  I added the “relief” part because it’s $80 a player.  For…

  • a jersey
  • playing on a public field that’s maintained by tax dollars
  • an inexpensive trophy at the end of the season
  • 3 or 4 practices
  • 8 games
  • a volunteer coach who does a lot of work (just ask my ex-coach husband)
  • work done by higher-ups who may or may not be paid (I can find this out as I know the head of the organization)

What the DOODLE am I paying $80 for?!  That jersey is NOT cashmere!  I’m already maintaining the field with my tax dollars.  We play on public fields and at my son’s elementary school.  They’re *really* nice fields.  You know what we’re paying for, right?  The older kids to go to All-Star Games and tournaments.  We are subsidizing their trips.  Uh-uh.  No.  Sorry.  That is why you have a FUNDRAISER.  Have you heard of Thirty-One?  :D  It’s not fair to ask the parent of a 5-year-old to pony up for the expenses of a 14- or 15-year-old.  So our choice is to either do this, or not join the league.  So we won’t, and I won’t kvetch.  But they’re still welcome to approach me for fundraising opportunities, maybe it would help even out the cost over time and the younger ones could end up paying for just a jersey and a trophy so families with three kids or even TWO kids could afford to participate.  The thought of spending $240 in a few years just to play soccer makes me a little queasy.  That is a lot of money just for an extracurricular activity.  We could get some friends together and form our own league for free, say, from church or CC.  Hey!

Monty Python Gets a New Character

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged and before I recap the disaster that has been the first half of our summer in my next post, I have to give a nod to the funny Henry came up with yesterday.

Between my doctor appointments, our neighbor Maureen came over to talk to me about some Thirty-One business and when we were through, we sat and watched the boys (and when I say “the boys” I include Dave in this)  play Minecraft three-player on the Xbox.

An aside to my aside – have you ever seen three people play three entirely different first-person perspective games on the same television?  If you ever need to vomit, skip the charcoal and try this first.

Back to my story, the boys were talking about the game with Maureen who had never seen it, explaining it’s more-or-less Legos with zombies and creepers and then the topic of the Lego movie came up.  Dave bought it for the boys the other night and they’d been watching it yesterday morning.  At the very beginning there’s a man in a horned outfit talking to someone who looks like Gandalf.  I couldn’t hear the dialogue, naturally, because, well, kids, but I’d thought to myself “That looks like Tim the Enchanter from Monty Python’s Holy Grail…” so I asked Maureen if she’d seen the movie and if indeed it was Tim.  She confirmed that it WAS Tim (AHA!) and then, as only those who know MPSFHG could appreciate, she broke out with the,

“Some might call me…Tim?”

Henry has seen the Monty Python movie, but like any boy of seven, lost interest immediately after the Black Knight had his limbs hacked off, which is fine because there’s a bit of lewd stuff in it and he didn’t need to see it anyway.  He just took away the coconuts as horse hooves and the Black Knight and a British accent which surfaces quite a bit.  He didn’t remember Tim the Enchanter, which is very near the end, so he off-handedly parroted as he continued to play the nausea-inducing game of Minecraft,

“Some might call me… Tim Challies?”

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume at this point only my mom is laughing along with maybe a few others from my church and my former church who read Tim Challies.   And maybe Tim Challies himself if he takes the time to look at all the ping backs.  Which would be super cool and neat and I sound 14 and not 37.

for the record, I’m going to squeeze in that I’m 37 as many times as I can before I turn 38.