A Jumbled Mess That Makes No Sense But Maybe I’ll Write About Watermelon Thumbs Tomorrow

I keep trying to write to you but my brain is all over the place in the current political and religious environment in the U.S., so half the time I want to unload my thoughts on serious subjects like our president’s abhorrent use today of the word shitholes to describe Nearly All the Countries Where Black People Come From, and the other half of the time I want to ask you how many Maturity Points I get, exactly, for not posting the photos I took of Greg sporting the kitten speedo I gave him for Christmas. 

In other words, my thoughts are like a tumble dryer spinning on the infinite cycle, a symptom, I suspect, of the anxiety of our modern era, and it’s difficult to stop the spinning long enough to pull out Just One Thing and write about it well. Do you do this, too? Do you spin and spin and spin and spin? Or is it just me?

I tried again tonight, and no luck. Zero. So I stream-of-conscienced it, instead, which did no good at all.

All I want in this moment is five minutes of quiet — five minutes to gather my thoughts and take a deep breath and just, you know, try to release a modicum of the pressure that’s been building in my neck and shoulders and back all day — and, because I’m a good communicator who doesn’t expect my family to read my mind, I have told them this. With words. And also with the red laser beams shooting from my eyes, dramatic sighing, and saying, “Seriously, you guys. SERIOUSLY.” 

Here’s how it’s going:

  1. I have one kid reading me all the titles in a cookbook — “Pressure cooker Chinese chicken, Mom. Tex-Mex beef and rice casserole! Bacon apple pork chops. That sounds good. You should make that one, Mom. Mom? You should… oh! Souvlaki! What’s souvlaki? Mom? Mom. Mom. MOM. Are you even listening to me, Mom?”
  2. I have one kid with expressive language disorder and an abiding desire to be the Boss of Everything correcting the first kid on his pronunciation — “Dude. That’s SHELL LOCKEY.”
  3. I have one kid who just slammed his toes on the leg of the couch, jumping on one foot and yelling, “FUCK. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck,” because of science.
  4. And I have one kid turning up the volume on his Minecraft YouTube videos because “EVERYONE IS TOO LOUD FOR ME TO HEAR. EVERYONE. EVERYONE IS TOO LOUD,” which I couldn’t agree with more.

^^^That’s it.^^^ That’s all I was able to write. It felt like my brain was cross-eyed and on fire.

But now it’s after 10pm and the children are in bed, which means I’ve got approximately 9 minutes before someone comes back out with a question about this week’s schedule… or a request to make cookies tomorrow… or a permission slip to sign. I will remind them that bedtime is Not the Time for These Things and tell them to ask again tomorrow, they will fuss because they forgot and they neeeeeeeeeed to know noooooooowww, and I will threaten to take away their screens which obviously distracted them from remembering. I’ve wasted 2 minutes already telling you this, which, if you have children, you already know, so that’s 2 minutes I’ll never get back. 

Friends, I am weary. For real. So, SO tired. I mean, physically tired, yes, but also emotionally, mentally, and spiritually spent. And trying to raise kids right now? Knowing the Trump presidency and the church’s complicity in it, along with the church’s exclusion of us and of gender and sexual minorities, will be a major part of their formative memories? It’s overwhelming. 

So, in lieu of a brain that works, I’ll leave you with the encouragement to go watch this today, on the 8th anniversary of the Haiti Earthquake: Anderson Cooper’s emotional tribute to and defense of Haiti whose people deserve our love. He explains more eloquently than I ever could why we need to treasure each other and learn from the dignity of the Haitian people. 

Waving in the dark,




P.S. Maybe tomorrow I’ll write about watermelon thumbs. That will make more sense than this jumbled mess. Maybe.


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6 responses to “A Jumbled Mess That Makes No Sense But Maybe I’ll Write About Watermelon Thumbs Tomorrow”

  1. Away for an annual girls escape weekend, one of our number is from Wisconsin, left the States about 20 years ago and married a Brit. Some of us work in Healthcare, many in public service. The topic of much conversation has been Bleurgh, Trump, what the hell? Ungh, Brexit, seriously? Argh, bloody Tory govt, do they not understand ANYTHING about kindness and love? But hey, we’ve seriously solved all of these problems this weekend, it’s been like a UN summit, if only someone just recorded our late night ramblings and actioned them we could achieve anything.

    Some of the possible solutions may have included ballistic/nuclear weapons. I think it’s not at all unreasonable for a group of otherwise peaceable ladies to ponder if assassination might be a solution, after a few drinks, and with few other viable alternatives.

    Oh Beth, around the world folk are tearing their hair out trying to figure out what on earth is going on and where on earth the sanity and balance has disappeared to. It’s exhausting. All we can do is listen and love, and try to grow a generation of kids that won’t accept that brand of madness. You are doing ENOUGH. You are ENOUGH. None of us can do more as individuals but be love in our own sphere of influence and breathe when the temptation to scream becomes overwhelming. May God give us patience and self control. May our love be big and saturating. May we be there to see the tide turn.

  2. Oh Beth… Beth Beth Beth my beautiful-friend-would-be-if-we-weren’t-separated-by-digital-miles… I feel you so deeply right now it hurts.

    Your kids will remember. They will remember cookies and kitten speedos (there’s one for the therapist’s couch) and laughter and love. They will remember that their Mama was FIERCE, in her love for them. They will remember your passion for love and for compassion and kindness. Yes, they’ll also remember messes and breakdowns and shouting, but it will all be framed in the greatest of these, which is love.

    Mine are young adults now, and having their own anger and angst about the current state of the world… and it is good because they are nearly old enough to Do Something About It. They will make the world a better place, as in turn, will your chaotic little brood.

    You’re doing Good Things, my friend. You’re doing it Right, whatever that might look like on any given day. Even if it wears kittens. (good lord what a picture. Thank goodness for maturity.) lol

    Keep on being you, sweet Beth. You are a light in this dark old world, and you never know who’s wandering out there needing that more than anything. <3

  3. Oh, I hear you. First, because I’ve been there, with 5 little people trying to simultaneously get my attention at the end of the day, when I am just DONE. Secondly, could we please make the presidency respectable again? I have never been as flummoxed about the political situation as I am right now. How on earth did this happen? How can we get back to some sort of dignity, for lack of a better word for all of that which we are currently lacking. This is beyond political. It is shameful. And I am so depressed that people that I thought I knew actually support him. Still. And laugh about it.

  4. You spin me right round baby. Just sayin’ I feel ya. And sometimes I find that quiet time praying is a joke b/c SQUIRREL BRAIN but really, God gets it. So I try. But. All the noises. Crappy weather. Crazy amount of work and personal tasks and just – LIFE – all piling up so yeah.
    Keep spinning. Maybe slow down so you don’t throw up. 🙂
    Waving from this side of the dark ♥

  5. Nothing but spinning. I feel like I haven’t been able to write as I’m crippled by the speed of thought and subject change and feeling and… blah. All of it. Which makes it nice to read your blog. Helps me get out of my own head for a bit, though apparently we’re in the same head this week. 😉

  6. I hear you. I’ve felt like my head was trapped in the spin cycle since October. But you get SERIOUS writer points for pushing through. I generally throw up my hands and slunk away. And the noise… I also have 5 kids and mostly I think they make noise just to prove they can. Or maybe to find out how serious my commitment to non-violence really is.

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