Fear and Loathing In The Diaper Pail

A wavering agnostic contemplates prayer
April 18, 2014, 3:17 pm
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The last several years, I’ve been thinking a lot about God. Whether she/he/it really exists and if so, how she/he/it really operates. I’ve come to the conclusion that I really don’t know for sure. On both counts. I like to think that God does exist, but the one thing I am certain of, however, is that God does not work the way we like to think God does. 

Very recently, a dear friend of mine discovered she has a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. Without going into detail, it will suffice to say that she is very young and her prognosis is significantly less than ideal. And in the wake of this announcement, friends and family alike have been stepping up to offer supportive words and acts of kindness. One phrase that keeps popping up is, “I’m praying for you!” 

I cannot speak with authority to the power of prayer. I’m sure everyone has had moments in their lives where they’ve beaten insurmountable odds or experienced such sheer coincidence that they have no way to explain it other than the hand of God. And this is all well and good. Maybe it was and maybe it wasn’t. Nobody knows for sure. That’s why it’s called faith. At minimum, prayer just makes you feel better. Gives you some solace, or someone to talk to when you don’t know where else to turn. At maximum, prayer moves God to miracles. And my friend needs a miracle. 

When I say God doesn’t operate like we like to think he does, I mean that God is not a magical being. He does not grant wishes and he will not, will NOT just reach down from the clouds with his God Finger and make her better. What we have instead is science and scientists who have discovered biologies and chemistries and logics and developed them into cures and treatments. We have brain power and senses of caring, so he can work through doctors and nurses to use those sciences and cures to help others. Everybody has a job when it comes to answering a prayer. The scientists will find cures. The doctors will use them. But what is our job, as family and friends? Do we sit by and wring our hands or count our beads and look to the sky? No. We’ve already been given our assignment. Our job, friends, is to help out. 

Rest assured, my friend has done more praying on the subject of her cancer than anyone has. Her life is on the line. The futures of her children are on the line. She has worries and cares beyond what I’m comfortable imagining. She has stress. Stress that is detrimental to her healing process. Our job, friends, is to promote her healing by alleviating her stress. 

So when you’re praying for her recovery, look in the mirror. You are a piece of the answer puzzle. HELP HER OUT. Make a meal. Run an errand. Watch her kids. Keep her company and give her a good laugh. Be strong for her. Prop her up by letting her lean on you. Support her and lift that stress, so her body can focus on healing. Get up off your knees and be the answer to her prayers

Because when you answer hers, it is much more likely yours will be answered too. 



Funny thing about this document. It was never notarized!
November 18, 2008, 4:59 pm
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Liam is going through a “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” phase. He loves it. We try to get him to watch the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special so he can learn about Thanksgiving, but he won’t have it. So yesterday he’s watching Great Pumpkin for the umpteenth time and it gets to the part where Snoopy the World War I flying ace is on his Sopwith Camel and Liam goes, “That silly doggy! He has to get the Red Berry!”

The Comedy And The Brains
October 29, 2008, 7:42 pm
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So earlier I mentioned that Liam takes several trips to the bathroom in order to put off the inevitable lonely night in his bunk bed covered in dolls and trucks. A couple of nights ago, he tries to make a fourth trip, but by now, he’s got nothin’. He’s just sitting on the pot, waiting, and then looks down and says in this really upbeat, encouraging voice, “Come on pee! Come on! You can do it!”
Yesterday Liam and I were playing with his GeoTrax train set and as it was heading down a hill, the track collapsed, sending the train and all its unfortunate passengers to their untimely Fisher-Price demise. “Oh NOOO!” I said. “The train crashed! Oh, the humanity!” To which Liam replied, “Mannity? What mannity?”
I don’t know why this struck me as funny, but today after preschool, Liam was opening up his little trinkets from his class Halloween party and he got a bookmark with a magnifying glass in it. And he goes, “WOW!! That’s AMAZING!!!” This kid is watching too much TV.
So Lucas is 7 months old now and about 800 pounds. He wears 18-month clothes. The sleeves fit like extra-long sausage casings and he can only wear sweatpants, because we can’t get regular jeans over his fat thighs. But he’s SMART! Today he played peek-a-boo with me, but with HIM doing the hiding. He actually pull his blanket up to his face and then he’d pull it down and smile. I’d say, “Peek-A-Boo!” and he’d laugh and pull the blanket up again. He did this maybe 25 times, so I know it wasn’t a fluke. This little guy knows how to play peek-a-boo! He’s such a smarty fatpants!

Our house is haaaauuuuuuuuuuunted!
October 15, 2008, 8:03 pm
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OK. It’s probably not. We live in an architecturally uninteresting, ’60s-era, three-bedroom ranch smack in the middle of Midwestern suburbia. Ghosts have other stuff to do than bother with us. But I think the Halloween season must be getting to Liam. He has recently been giving us more hassle than usual when its time for bed.

Seriously, this kid takes, like, 4 pee breaks before we threaten to shut his bedroom door on him. Then he’ll try to climb into bed with us two or three times a night. Adam carries him back to bed while he screams past Lucas’ room, “NOOOO! I NO GO BED!!! I SLEEP WITH MOMMEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!” And in the last week or so he’s mentioned that he’s afraid of the dark.

I recognize that this is a common thing amongst the 3-year-old set. But when I ask him why he’s afraid of the dark, he won’t say. So I tell him there’s nothing to be afraid of, that it’s the same house and room that’s there in the daytime, that Daddy and I are just down the hall, that he’s safe in his nice, warm, soft, cozy bed with his bear and his Crack. That he has TWO nightlights. Eventually he just resigns himself to sleeping in the horrible shadows with the nightmarish shapes of God-only-knows-what looming over him.

When I came to pick him up from preschool today, he told me he wasn’t going home. I said, “Why aren’t we going home?” and he said, “It’s dark. And spooky.” Now, I’m not in love with the natural lighting situation in our house either, but it is NOT dark and spooky, especially at 11:30 in the morning. Dark and spooky. Somebody’s been laying some Halloween shit on this kid and when I find out who, I’m going to call them on the phone whenever Liam gets up in the night. Because if WE have to be up, THIS fool has to be up.

My excuse for not writing.
October 1, 2008, 8:35 pm
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I know I haven’t written hardly anything lately. I would say nothing has been going on, but that wouldn’t be true. We keep busy with playdates and preschool and errands and whatnot. But the real reason I haven’t been writing is because I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time on Huffington Post, getting my daily dose of liberal outrage and reassurance. That’s really what I’ve been up to. Reading slanted news. But it’s MY kind of slanted news.

PS, Sarah Palin SUCKS MY ASS.

Waiter, I’ll have your chewiest steak, please!
October 1, 2008, 8:32 pm
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We’ve got a tooth!

Lucas has been drooling since he was 10 weeks old. Copious, nasty amounts. When you hold him, all the sudden you feel something cold and wet on your arm and it’s spit. His shirts are always wet around the collar. Soooo gross. So I’ve been checking his gums all the time, especially when he’s inexplicably crabby (because he’s never crabby) and for weeks now there’s been these two, light colored rectangles juuuuuuust under the surface. Like just a few cells separating his teeth from freedom. And for the past week or so, he hasn’t been sleeping well. He’d wake up in the night and throughout naps just because his pacifier fell out. So you can imagine how fun it was to finally see a little patch of real, true white tooth on Monday night. Woo hoo! I felt it today, too. Teeth!

One down, 19 to go.

Give me that hour of my life back.
October 1, 2008, 8:27 pm
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Wanna see something that sucks? Rent the Simpsons movie.