Drowning in Dropped Balls

We stayed at my cousin Jen’s house for four nights last week. Jen’s now down a plate, a bowl and a butter dish. I think two of the pieces of china were from her wedding set. They smashed rather fantastically on her hard wood floors. Only one was during a fight over whipped cream, though, so there’s that. We offered to replace them but Jen said, “No problem. Things break. You’re more important.”

In conclusion, everyone needs a Jen.

P.S. We lost Jen’s cat at least six times. 

P.P.S. Statistically speaking, two out of every four teenagers lose their ever loving poo during Thanksgiving weekend. Their EVER LOVING POO, folks. Crying. Screaming. Histrionics. Poo; just everywhere.

P.P.P.S. Statistically speaking, four out of every five children lose their ever loving poo during Thanksgiving weekend. So that’s 80% of children and only 50% of teenagers. In other words, PARENTING GETS BETTER, man. Better. True truth.

P.P.P.P.S. I still have snot and tears on one of my t-shirts from holding one of those teenagers during a meltdown. Not my teenager. But totally mine, you know? In the way we own each other’s kids? And it was one of my favorite parts of the weekend because I got to be love in the middle of the mess. Turns out, there’s always a mess. Always. No matter what. The mess in this life is the part that’s static – unchanging, except in type and volume – but there’s always a mess. To infuse it with love is where we find the magic. 

P.P.P.P.P.S. Another grown-up was love to my teen in the middle of the mess. Magic and mystery, I’m telling you. Magnificent.

P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Can someone please tell me why we don’t co-parent more often?? Like, why – WHY – do we not all move to a commune and share the parenting and the mess and the magic-making? We would break a lot of dishes – a LOT of dishes – but THE VILLAGE, friends. We’d be smack dab in the middle of broken glass AND THE VILLAGE which is what we call WORTH IT.

P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. This was supposed to be a real blog post, but then all this post-scripting happened. I don’t know what to say.

P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Also, I was supposed to write a blurb for my friend Nathalie‘s upcoming book, but I forgot. I told her I’m sorry, and GAH, and I hate being a schmuck. Nathalie said, “DO NOT FEEL BAD. I’ve dropped so many freaking balls this week/month, I’m sucking all over the place.” Then I told Nathalie I’m drowning in dropped balls. 

P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Just FYI, if you, like me, are a visual person, don’t ever use the phrase “drowning in dropped balls.” It won’t end well. 

P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. In case you’re drowning in dropped balls, I want you to know you’re not alone. You’re not. And, also, want to move to our commune? BECAUSE SERIOUSLY. We can call it the Dropped Balls Commune which might send the wrong message but also means we dropped the ball on naming our commune so it sends the right message. BOTH/AND, baby! Who’s in?

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
18 comments
  1. The world’s worst thing happened to one of my mama-sisters 3 weeks ago and it has slammed me and my eldest son against the wall. It would be so much easier if we were in a commune to grieve and heal together. I’ve taken to weaving in lieu of drink.

  2. So in… Drowning in the dropped balls. Our furnace died three weeks ago. They my husband’s grandmother died on Sunday (not the same kind of death, I realize, but you get it, right?). The way these two stories mesh, is that upon a furnace dying, it requires that you buy a new one. Then, you take shelving off walls; the shelving that holds ALL THE STUFF not currently (or ever, for that matter) in use. The STUFF spews all over the basement and the spare room. Then, the spare bed must be taken apart to allow the new furnace to be installed. Insert Grandma’s death here. Now, have cousins from Montreal call and ask to stay in the aforementioned tornado-of-a-room. What did we say? Yes, of course! Come and visit and love. We get to spend time together as a family, and time reflecting the matriarch of an incredibly large family (over 75 people to day descending from just grandma and pap) and a life spent loving amid the mess and muddy and crazy.

  3. At our house, we were 50% for kids loosing it, and 50% for parents. Also, speaking of being a visual person, your use of “poo” seems so much grosser to me than just saying sh*t. I guess that says something about how I’m used to using those two words!

  4. In response to P.P.P.P.P.P.S.:
    One reason we don’t co-parent more is due to modern domestic architecture and technology. It keeps us separate, divided, and private, all of which are overrated. We can drive right into our garages and walk into our houses without ever seeing our neighbors. My friend Wilda, who died in 2012 at the age of 96, said that the 3 things that changed life most profoundly in the 20th century were 1) the automobile, which allows us to work and live in different communities; 2) the television, which keeps us inside with the illusion of connection (and now piggyback the computer/internet onto that); and 3) the air conditioner, which keeps us inside on warm evenings instead of out on our front porches, where people used to visit with their neighbors and keep an eye on each other’s kids. Now if we go outside, it’s in a back yard with a vast fence surrounding it and front porches are useless appendages.

    Now, in a town like Newberg, where everyone is vaguely (or not so vaguely) related to everyone else and/or has known each other forever, we do a better job than average in co-parenting. I mean, when everyone already knows your business, who worries so much about privacy?

    Our kids are pretty lucky.

  5. All I did was read the title and a huge “uh-huh!” escaped. Whoops!
    I’d love some sort of co-parenting commune!

  6. I’m in. Then somebody can help me take care of my kids when they’re sick so I can make it to work! I’ll return the favor in cases of wine for the team. And watch the moms-at-home’s kids on the weekends so they can have a vacation day or two!

  7. Just last week I was discussing the commune idea with a dear friend of mine! I mean, come on. Not only could we co-parent together and share life, but we could each pick the jobs we like best! I love to bake, so that could be my thing. Spending all day baking bread and cookies and pies? Heaven!! Another mama could garden, cook, do the laundry, whatever. I’m totally in! Either for that or having sister wives…without the sharing-the-man thing. 🙂

  8. Also totally in. Nothing makes you FEEL how badly you’re drowning in dropped balls like being responsible for less than you were 6 months ago. Also, having less kid(s) @ home means that when one kid loses his poo we are at 100% of kids losing their poo. And that 1 kid is currently experiencing some major changes hormonally speaking, iykwim. (Speaking of dropped Ba…….no. I just can’t.)

  9. I’m in! Totally in… In, in, IN!!!!

  10. Oh my goodness, yes. The dropped balls. The commune. Yes.

    Please.

    Also, I would like to report that 2 out of 2 four-year-olds lose their poo during Thanksgiving, and I am accepting Grand Marnier in lieu of flowers.

  11. I’m SO IN!
    I work retail and survived the Black Thursday-ish to Friday shopping rush after attending 2 Thanksgivings. Didn’t see my own home and clan for what seemed like 2 weeks. Once I got back home long enough to talk to family for more than an hour, each kid spent time crying on my shoulder, each taking a turn. Kid assignments for school are ramping up, spouse’s work is ramping up. The outside of our house is gearing up a for a party with Christmas lights and hot chocolate while the inside of our house…well…it’s very unChristmas-ey, and looks like the party has already happened. So…do we have a special handshake to get into the Dropped Ball Village, or is it more like a fort and a password…?

  12. If some of the balls I’m dropping are like, whole classes I just don’t feel like doing the work for… is that bad?

  13. I’m in! I’ll start packing now.

  14. Maybe there is something to be said for sister wives!

  15. I’m feeling like Queen of Dropped-Ballville right now. I had one child’s birthday party scheduled for almost a month (Thanksgiving baby) yet didn’t get invited out until the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week for a Dec (yes, TOMORROW!) party. The other Thanksgiving baby’s birthday (born 3 days and 3 years later) also had a long-scheduled party and invites that went out Sunday for a party the next Saturday. The first party (tomorrow’s) is at my house–my sorta clean if you don’t look too hard now that I’ve spent the last 3 hrs cleaning instead of sleeping house. I had to make a flow chart so that hubby and I know where we’re supposed to be and when for the next two days and then he goes out of town until Dec 19. I’m rushing towards the end of my first semester back in a high school classroom after 10 yrs at home and I just received 80 40+ page projects that need to be reviewed and graded in the next few days, plus I need to write final exams. At some point I need to send Santa (Amazon) an order for at least one Christmas present or oh nelly the drama.

    Why am I suddenly feeling the urge to listen to AC/DC?

    Here’s to your balls! When you drop them, may they bounce! 😉

  16. Oh me, totally. Thanksgiving was a last minute, my FIL had a heart attack so it’s at my house thing this year. He’s good now, well, as good as you can be after that and minor surgery, but yeah, he’s still kicking so that’s good.

    My house survived and I think my mother and MIL were thoroughly horrified by the state of certain parts of my house. But they were kind enough to tell me I still had well behaved children even when they were shrieking so loud we couldn’t hear each other talk.

    I have all the balls rolling around on my desk. Well, I think there’s a desk somewhere under there. And a blog post due tomorrow about our Christmas tree getting this weekend. That I haven’t even started thinking about yet.

    Happy December!

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