Keepin' It Real...with Watermelon Eyes
Okay... It's time to get real! My 15 year-old son has tried to enlighten me as to the error of my ways...that error being too Lofty, TOO Religious, too BORING! "Mom," Isaac said, "I'm only trying to help you. No one is going to read that stuff. It's a total turn off." "Well, I asked, slightly...ok, very defensively, "Have you even read it?" He responded with, "I saw the bible stuff (teenager speak for scripture reference), and knew it's just like all those other sites out there. You're too formal when you write Mom- too hard core. I've lived with you long enough to know that's not you. If you were to be in a room with strangers and they read this (he's talking about my post Drowning in muck...and Scones - which, incidentally has ONE scripture reference (adult/formal talk for bible stuff) they wouldn't get a clear picture of who you are. "It's called writing to your audience, son," I countered, then kind of slumped from his room, which is boldly decorated with a teen's idea of cool, ie. one of his first hunting kills: a stuffed and mounted turkey- strewn with Christmas lights hung on the wall.
Fume, second guess, self doubt...repeat...
Alrighty, Isaac...you want real...here we go...** READER- PLEASE REFER TO EARLIER POST TITLED: BAGS PACKED AND READY TO GO. Perhaps a bit lofty...included deeper meaning. I shall now share with you the REAL LIFE that was unfolding all around me as I wrote that "pie in the sky" piece.
Earlier that morning God had placed the idea of the story in my mind- what He didn't give me was the immediate time to write it. A good friend once told me, "God will open a window of opportunity and you must grab it then." Now, I am known to be a bit...uuum...distractable. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that at 7:30 p.m., while climbing steps to get my daughter's jammies, I noticed the family was occupied and a window seemed to have suddenly opened and called my name! Of course it made sense to me to toss the pj's over the landing and holler to the nearest child to snag them while I fired up my trusty laptop and dove through that open window.
It didn't even bother me when my second eldest son heard me yell about the jammies and took it as an invitation to join Mom upstairs. Within minutes I had Stevie, Sam, and Jamie playing their e-game, Dinosaur Hunting, a mere three feet away from me as I typed away. My daughter Susie decided Mom looked lonely sitting at her desk and decided it was time for a hair make-over. Envision if you will, me- lost in thought staring at the computer screen while my fingers are tapping out the latest blog, meant to inspire readers to start their day with God, while my nine year-old has removed my pony-tail holder and is trying to tame my naturally tight curls into flowing locks with the help of a vent brush. "Does that hurt Mom?" she asks as my head jerks back and my eyes tighten into slits with the pulls of the brushing. "No, hon, it feels good," I respond, not missing a beat in my typing. I'm not lying either. At this point in my life being pummeled by a hale storm kinda feels like a massage. Around this time Lily, my ten year-old joins the party and exclaims, "I get to do the make-up!" Susie yells, "Grab the flat iron and don't let Dad upstairs til we're done!" while Lily descends the stairs to raid my makeup drawer. Now I'm switching screens on my computer to look up a bible verse while the kids are trying to decided if the scary voice on their dinosaur hunting game is really saying,"Giiive meee yooour sooul!" "What the..Gimme your WHAT?" I demand. "What are you playing, Stevie? Jamie, get off your sister! Ouch, Sus, that one kind of hurt... No, I don't think the dinosaur wants your soul...turn it down though, I can't think."
Okay, breathe.. type, type type ...God, holiness, type... "Mom?" Lily asks, "what's your favorite
fruit?" She's returned with my eyeshadow pallet and her hand is hovering over various colors. "Fruit?" I ask, "well, I like blueberries." "Oh," she sounds a little disappointed, "do you like watermelon?" I smile as I notice her hand poised above a bright pink and say, "Sure, Lil, I love watermelon." Then I continue on trying to wrap up my inspirational thoughts while the flurry of activity around me escalates into a blur of hair straightening, face beautifying, t-rex slaying frenzy.
Suddenly Susie shrieks, "Daaad! You can't see her 'til she's done!" I can hear his voice climbing the steps as he's not about to take no for an answer. "It's late, Hon," he says, "and we should've been getting the kids to bed an hour ago. "But there was a window," I silently think...
"Ok," the girls call, "You can come up! What do you think?" I know I'm in trouble by the glazed look that always accompanies my husband Steve's efforts to cover up a laugh... he manages to croak out, "Wow!" By this time I've seen a cell phone picture of my hair that Susie took after she pulled back my bangs with the largest, shiniest, silver daisy clip I've ever seen. What I didn't know was that Lily had turned my eyelids not into a lovely shade of watermelon...but into a likeness of the seeded fruit itself! I believe there was even a green rind.
Steve can't take his eyes off me as he is led to the black rocking chair with flowered cushions and Susie immediately appoints herself as his beautician and begins to gel his receding hairline into a magnificent mohawk while I launch into reading my future blog about the wise man and poor villagers. We continue on amidst the tracking and shooting of various prehistoric beasts until Isaac, our 15 year-old and only family member who was not congregated within four feet of my "window of my opportunity" came upstairs and took one look at Mrs. Watermelon eyes and said, "WAIT...Mom, you can't be serious." "What?," I responded, "I'm reading the blog to Dad. Now quiet." Isaac said, "Mom, that would be like me trying to read you something serious while wearing a Darth Vader costume." Taking his words as inspiration I continued on, "So, the wise man," pause for *SOUND EFFECT* Darth Vader heavy breathing through cupped hands, "says to the young man..*MORE ELECTRONIC HEAVY BREATHING... until Isaac, shaking his head, disgustedly stomped back downstairs. Somehow I finished reading to my husband amidst the chaos, only to have him respond, "Well, it's kinda long."
AND THAT, DEAR READERS, IS THE BACKGROUND WHILE MY KEYBOARD AND I MAKE MAGIC HAPPEN...(tongue in cheek).
You should know, every word of that is true. As is the fact that while I've been writing this Stevie has asked me about 100x if I'm ready to take him fishing. I've doled out at least seven chores and watched my five year-old do a "leprechaun dance". Sammy has stomped upstairs and slunk back down after being scolded for his echoing volume while Evie, our 22 month-old, is napping in the next room. Lily brought me salsa chicken and reminded me to count my Weight Watcher points. I had just downed a box of Mike-n-Ikes, so shamefully asked Lily to wrap up the chicken to avoid going over my Points (siiiigh). And now the sun is out...so I will hit the road to take Stevie fishing and let the others go crazy on the playground. This is real life. My life anyway... As for being too "hard core," in the words of my 15 year-old, I will continue viewing life through eyes trained on the goal of Heaven but will attempt to be more open in letting my imperfections and surrounding chaos show too... Certainly not perfect here but definitely human. Isn't that how humans connect? By relating to what is common in life. I know not everyone will find their eyes decorated with a fruit theme or hair frizzed out a mile wide...but then, maybe it will open a window for you into my life. Maybe it will spark some sort of connection somewhere down the road. I hope so.