7 Quick Takes: Volume 50

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Here are my 7 Quick Takes.
Thus endeth my turn at being Shakes.


I am totally prepared for Lent this year: I have created detailed, catalogued lists for my family members of all the ways they can be better people.

What, isn't that the whole point?

OK, OK, so that's not the point. It's a temptation, though, to pick things for my kids to do or to give up. It's pure fantasy to pick things for my husband to do or give up. But really, what I want is to mark the season, give it its due. So I will begin Lent 2012 with a few words from my spiritual mentor:

“To keep united to God through the suffering Humanity of His son–that is the aim of Lent. “— Dorothy Day
Suffering is unpleasant business. It's ugly, difficult, hurtful. Usually, we avoid such stuff. But we do suffer. Everyone does. Listen to the news each day, and you'll find a surfeit of suffering. Watch what happens on the school yard and you'll see some there, too. Consider your family, under your roof or far flung, and I think not one of us can do that without recognizing a painful experience or two or several.

It is around us. There is something about Lent that invites us to sit with the suffering, to acknowledge and maybe even embrace it, to pay attention to what it happening around us and to respond with our humanity. So perhaps the point of giving something up is to get rid of the distractions that keep us from really seeing things around us.

As vague as this is, and even though I'm not entirely sure how this will play out in the next 40 days, my Lenten goal is to weed out the distractions in my life so that I can see the people I love ever more clearly and can respond to them out of greater and greater love.

That's on page 7, highlighted in gold, of the catalogued list I made for the kids, too, right after Do Your Darn Chores The Way You Are Supposed To.

That wasn't a very quick Quick Take. Sorry.


I can't believe I'm going to admit to this, but here goes. I have posted before about how the latch on my washing machine broke. I even had a cute little quiz about it. I discovered a solution that did not require a repairman to come into my home.

Well, the other day, I decided I was tired of hoisting weights on and off the top of my washer just to make the damn thing run and I finally called a friend of ours who does "fix it" jobs. He's helped us before. He was here for maybe half and hour and charged me a measly $25 bucks, and now my washing machine works without the help of two large coffee table books and two extremely heavy landscaping rocks.

Now for the part I can't quite believe and don't want to face. I just looked up, on my blog, the post in which I wrote about the washer breaking in the first place. It was late May. I have been lifting weights for eight and half months, multiple times a day, just for clean socks and chonies. And all it took was a phone call and $25 to fix it.

When. Will. I. Learn. That 90% of the time, things are much easier than I fear they are going to be?

What have you waited far too long to take care of? Come on: public embarrassment loves company.


Another confession: I hate Target. I hate shopping at Target. I hate the lights, the smells, the noises, the endcaps, and the shoe department. And I want to know why I feel like the only woman in America who harbors such antipathy.

But I do need to go there today to buy a bunch of stuff. I need a Target mantra to get me through the experience. Any suggestions?


Two of my daughters got pink eye last week. It was gross. Pink eye has got to be one of the icky-est parenting things ever.

Did I give them the appropriate amount of love and sympathy? I don't think I did.

Here's how I know. I got it this week. And let me tell you, if I had known how utterly miserable pink eye is, I would have been a whole lot nicer to them.

This makes me wonder how many other things they go through that I don't fully empathize with. And it gives me a renewed sense of appreciation for how well they do under icky circumstances. AND it makes me feel like a very large wimp, because I just want to stamp my feet and whine about how unfair it is that I got this stupid ickiness in the first place. They are a lot more mature than I am!


Baby birdies update: A few days ago, I posted about discovering a hummingbird nest in our garden. Well, after we were gone all day on Monday, my son went out to the backyard to check on the babies, and they were gone. The nest was knocked down on the ground, but completely intact. 

So we are left to wonder. Is it more likely that the birds got big enough to fly, launched themselves out of the nest and knocked it to the ground in the process? Or is it more likely that a cat got to them? The nest did not look roughed up or harmed in any way. The kids were fearing the worst...but then we all used our brains and decided that perhaps this is just the way of nests and birds...because if the nests didn't fall out of the trees after they were no longer needed, there sure would be a lot of empty nests out there. 

Any bird experts out there who might shed some light on this issue for us?


Nothing makes me feel more like a cliche than parenting a teenager.

Am I really saying things like "You can stay in the band if you keep your grades up" and "This is the time in your life to learn how to do things you don't want to do, so that later on you have more choices about what you can do" and "It's a question of priorities. If you want to be treated like an older kid, you have to act like one, and not like a 6 year old."

Ai-yi-yi. Much as my teenager is trashing about with his newfound teenagerliness, I am kicking and screaming my way into being the parent of a teenager.

When do I get to stop speaking in platitudes?


Speaking of teenagers, I saw this gem on Facebook a few weeks ago. To this father, whoever you are, I salute you and I thank you and I want to be just like you when I finally grow up into my Big Parent Shoes.

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momto8 said…
lots of stuff going on!! the dad and Facebook..oh my goodness..but my kids tell me Facebook is now for 40 yr old moms and no longer cool...who knows?!
good luck with the teen age yrs...haha..a walking disaster..moments of total brilliance followed quickly by moments of total stupidity.

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