Monthly Archives: August 2008

Passive Regression or “My Glorious, Shining Moment”

A few Sundays ago, M, W & I were enjoying a lovely summer walk around a local lake when we came upon a park bench along the side of the path. There was a black, wrought iron planter stuck in the ground next to the bench, but instead of a plant, it contained a ziploc baggie holding, on a piece of cardboard, a handwritten note that said something like this:

“Several years ago, I put this bench and planter here in memory of my late husband. Every day, I have walked to this planter to water the flowers it contained. Yesterday I arrived to water the flowers only to discover that they were gone. Apparently someone else needed some sunshine in their life so they took the flowers. Sincerely, Mrs. ___________”

“Now that’s a little passive aggressive!”, my husband noted, and I heartily agreed. Aside from being struck with a dose of sadness by the woman’s obvious loneliness, I was struck by the fact that even though she was obviously hurt (and probably angry) enough to leave a note for all to see, something prevented her from either leaving the matter be, or simply and honestly writing “Someone stole my flowers, which really makes me sad. If it was you, please return them.” Instead it seemed that she felt the need to dance around the issue, hoping that someone would “get the hint” that she was hurt. And mad. 

Ah, passive aggression.

I can gripe about it all day, but I do it all the time! You see, it’s soooo much easier to hint at feeling hurt than to:

a) Either forgive and forget, or

b) Simply confront the person who sinned against me.

Oh, oh! Let me give you an example. It was a glorious, shining moment for me, I’m sure you will agree.

Last week M, W & I were enjoying a lovely afternoon at the Science Museum. We had yet to see the Star Wars exhibit, and considering the fact that we are M is a Star Wars nerd, we knew we had to see it before it closes at the end of this week. The exhibit itself was pretty cool, but the museum was another story (probably for another blog post). Lots of grumpy staff members…way too many rules (“…and why exactly can’t I come back into the exhibit if I leave to go to the bathroom even if I have a stamped ticket to show you I paid to get in?”).

But I digress. 

My glorious, shining moment occurred after we had seen the Star Wars exhibit as well as all we could see inside the museum, when we decided to check out the “Big Back Yard”, an outdoor area at the museum featuring mini golf, an area to “mine for gems”, and several park benches. It was quite lovely, so the 3 of us found a cozy little park bench area adjacent to the 18th hole, where we enjoyed the beautiful weather for about 20 minutes or so.

Then, out of the corner of my eye I caught the split-second motion of a young, towheaded boy standing at the 18th hole, no more than 20 feet away from us, swinging his golf club as hard and fast as he could….

whooooosh. SMACK.

I saw a small, blue blur whiz through the air, past my baby’s stroller, probably a foot and a half from his head, and land 4 feet directly in front of us. 

A golf ball. A hard, fast golf ball could have hit my precious baby!

Mark’s back was turned to the boy, but I saw the whole thing. The boy was absolutely reckless, but just being all-boy.  I probably would have been “shaken, not stirred”, if it wasn’t for the reaction of his mother:

Laughter.

“hahahahaha, oh Tommy, you hit the ball too hard, hahahahaha!”

Calmly, I stood up to retrieve the ball and return it to them.

“Oh, we don’t need that back,” the mother says, laughingly.

Slowly, ignoring her words, I marched the 20 paces to them, thinking to myself all the way:

“I will be gracious. I will hand them their ball back and smile and tell them it’s OK. Surely she will apologize, after all.”

I handed her the ball back.

More laughter. Laughter! 

Grrrrrrrrrrr.

So what did I do? Why of course, I smiled brightly, wished them a lovely day and returned to my husband and son for the remainder of our afternoon in the Big Back Yard…

….OH NO WAIT….actually, I handed her the ball and kindly and honestly said “Please don’t laugh, my son was almost hit and could have really been hurt.”….

….OH NO WAIT. That’s NOT what I did, either.

Here’s what I DID do: I silently but purposefully MARCHED back to the stroller, turned it around, and STORMED — STORMED — off. Right in front of her. I hoped she saw it (and I know she DID see it), and, for good measure,  I was sure to mutter something (loud enough for her to hear) about how I guessed I needed to get W away from the mini-golf because the golf balls were flying (What I really meant by this was “Lady, your kid almost hit my son, and I hope you feel BAD for laughing about it!!!”)

Oh yes, it was a glorious, shining moment in my Christian walk. The love of Jesus was flowing right through me, I tell ya.

You know what the most awful/funniest part of the whole thing was? When I “stormed off”, I didn’t really know where I was going, so I stormed down the path right into the other part of the golf course, which didn’t make any sense, and was a dead end! So I had to turn the stroller around and go the other way. This was right in front of the woman, too. If she wasn’t frightened of the hideous creature I had become, she probably would have laughed at my buffoonery.

Thankfully I have a husband who very NOT passive-aggressively called me on my error (saying something to the effect of “cool it!”) and a God who is FULL of mercy and grace to forgive me.

Proverbs 24:26: “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.”

Passive aggression: it honors NO one. It makes us look like fools. It gets us nowhere.

So really…it’s passive REgression.

🙂

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Summer Project Completed!

As I mentioned in a previous post (that I’m too lazy to find and link to), I had the fantastic opportunity to record in an actual studio this summer. Now, recording a CD has been a life-long dream of mine, and earlier this summer when I was given the opportunity to book a gig at the State Fair for August 25, I decided that August 25 would be a good deadline to have a recording in hand by, to sell at the Fair. My original plan was to record it myself, here at home, in GarageBand* on my laptop (*GarageBand is the name of a computer program; not a literal garage band. Though that would be kind of fun), but when I told my friend Sarah about my plan, she insisted that I get in touch with her friend Russel, who has a studio in his basement, fully equipped with ProTools gear (ProTools is also a computer program, but a  more sophisticated one than GarageBand). So, long story short, Mark and I ended up heading over to the home of Russel and his lovely wife Allie for a few very full but productive days, where Russel was able to help me put together this, my first “real” recording:

It’s just a very simple, 5 song acoustic CD, but I’m very happy with is and grateful to have had the opportunity to record it! And I’m excited to be able to have it available at the Fair tomorrow night (Monday, 8/25), where I’ll be playing at the Crossroads Chapel from 5-6:30 pm. If you’re at the Fair, please do stop by and say hi!!! And if you’re not there, and think of it, would you say a prayer? Playing at the Fair is always a unique opportunity to reach those who need to hear about Jesus, and I want to make the most of it. Thanks!

Beavers on the Loose

One house that I know of has Badgers on the Loose.

Our house, however, is infested with an altogether different animal: Beavers.

Observe a piece of evidence:

Note the crib rail…my beautiful, beautiful crib rail.

We decided that something must be done, and that perhaps the best way to fend off the toothy little critters would be to purchase some of these. So we did.

They didn’t fit on our crib rail.

Back to Babies R Us we went (a few weeks later, of course – after the damage to the crib rail took a drastic and sudden turn for the worse), where we got one of these. Much to our delight, it fit!

That was 2 nights ago.

Tonight I was out, and when I returned home I received this brief email message from my husband:

“W. chewed thru the gummy rail already.”

These beavers are relentless!

We are at a loss. Does anyone have any good suggestions for stopping these little critters? We are taking a look at one of these — has anyone used one before?

And while we’re at it, does anyone know of a good way to repair beaver damage on board books and onesies? We are open to suggestions.

These beavers are pesky, I tell ya…but they sure are cute. 🙂

Oklahoma Caviar

Tonight I made a new favorite recipe: Oklahoma Caviar (but don’t worry, no fish eggs here!).

It’s kind of like a salsa…but more like a meal. A great, summertime meal.

And DEFINITELY yummy.

You must needs make some.

Here is the recipe:

OKLAHOMA CAVIAR

3 green onions
1 16oz can of shoe peg corn drained
1/3 cop chopped cilantro
2 16oz cans of black beans
2 green peppers chopped
1can black olives chopped
1 med white or purple onion chopped
2 tomatoes diced
1 tsp fresh garlic (I use a 1/4 tsp of garlic powder)
1 8oz bottle of zesty Italian dressing (bottled)
mix together and serve with Tostitos Scoopables (or the corn chip of your choosing). 🙂

ENJOY!

Life Lesson #801: Think Twice Before Assuming You Know an Infant’s Gender

The other day as little W and I were walking into our local grocery store, we were stopped by an elderly gentleman who reached out to my son with a very warm greeting of “Hey, pretty girl!”

There was a brief, but awkward silence.

“Boy”, the man’s wife scolded, “It’s a boy.”

The man shook his head, looked at me, and with a knowing nod said “Girl, right?”. 

“Um, he’s a boy.”

More awkwardness.

“Well, God bless you!”, said the man.

“Thank you!”, and we moved along…shaken, but not altogether dismayed.

All was forgotten until we got to the check-out line. Little W was flashing his sweet little smile at the woman in line in front of us, who laughingly asked me “How old is she?”

“Um, he’s a boy, and he’s 11 months old” was my immediate reply.

For some reason I felt a strong need to clarify his gender before answering her question…as though it was my role to defend his manliness, even at this young age.

Of course, being asked twice in a matter of 40 minutes if your boy is a girl is enough to ruffle a mother’s feathers and cause her to wonder what she’d done wrong with his attire or grooming to cause such confusion. I immediately came home and asked my husband if I was dressing our son like a girl, and he calmly reassured me that I had done nothing of the sort.

Now it’s your turn: reassure me. 

Here is what Little W was wearing at said outing. Tell me, tell me true (or not, if it would make me feel better…you know what answer I want to hear): does he look like a girl to you?! 

DIDN’T THINK SO!

A Lovely Summer Evening

Grandparents coming over the play with/watch the baby…laughs and conversation outside over a delicious dinner at Camille’s Cafe…holding hands while strolling down main street on a warm August evening…watching a movie in a theater…having that movie be “Prince Caspian” (which I *still* hadn’t seen yet)…returning home to watch our baby sleep and marvel at how he’s grown…

…the makings of a lovely summer evening. 🙂

Have I Mentioned How Much I Love This Boy?

‘cuz I do 🙂