Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Shopping with the "Girls"

Meet Abbie Lincoln and her twin friends, Andrea and Drusilla Jackson:

Let me begin by stating that I dread the approach of Mother's Day every year. Every year. It's one of those holidays where I sit in church and listen to stories about mothers who should be awarded sainthood, and catalog all of my glaring defects.

And then I start wondering how hard Stephen had to twist his kids' arms to go out and buy the obligatory Mother's Day present.

I'll admit I didn't make my kids five-course breakfasts before sending them off to school. I did teach them how to pour milk on cereal. I am pretty sure they will not be able to give one of those aforementioned talks in church and say that they never heard their mom raise her voice. And in my house the running gag is that my kids have an imaginary censor button at the ready when Mom begins speaking. Not that I would ever fall into the category of George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television." Not even close. But my occasionally unguarded wit had earned me some rolled eyes and "Mom!" comments. *sigh* And well-mimed censor button pushing.

So, with dread lurking and needing to be faced, I made a conscious decision to think about my mom (love you, Mom), who has been gone a couple years now, and spend time with my wonderful mother-in-law (love you, Grandma Audrey). I chose to be the kid and not the mom this time around, and focus on the mothers in my life.

As a result, I had a terrific Mother's Day.

And amazingly, because I had no expectations about what my kids would or wouldn't do, an already terrific day got even better. I got a great, gushy note from each of them (we moms like to hear that stuff from our kids) and they gave me a shopping spree--very creatively.

Now the challenge is this: I don't want to spend the shopping spree money! I don't want to go shopping with the "girls," I want to keep them!

Here's to all you mothers and mothers to be.

Monday, May 17, 2010

OH MY WORD: stultifying

Stultifying: appearing stupid, inconsistent, or ridiculous. (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Ed.)

I remember the first time I read the word stultifying. A friend used it to describe written passages I had shared with her. They weren't passages I'd written, but they were ones I cherished just the same. Not so much for her. The ensuing dialog between us was a tough but valuable one; ultimately it allowed us to share our thoughts and beliefs more openly and sustain a friendship that has lasted decades.

But that isn't why I chose the word stultifying to highlight today. Stultify is a cool word. It does more than simply render something stupid or ridiculous--it slashes at and stomps into the ground what it considers ridiculous. It is onomatopoeia-like in nature. It stops us in our tracks, like a rimshot on a drum, or a sforzando. It gets in our face. It means business.

But it doesn't do business in an elegant way. It's heavy and harsh and, as a result, renders its intended victim even more stupid, inconsistent, and ridiculous.

When I was first introduced to stultifying I didn't like it very much. Now I wield it occasionally myself, respecting it as the useful weapon it is.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Testing, testing, one...two...three...

Is this thing on? Okay, good. I would like to thank the Academy....

Just kidding.

This blog is all about life in the fast lane, life in the trenches, living, loving, reading, writing, sometimes arithmetic, and trying to make sense of it all. Assuming that "making sense" also includes humor. Well. More to come, but I need to figure out what a widget is.

Be back soon.