Tag Archives: parent

Never Had I Ever: Fallen More in Love Because of Puke

A receipt for courtship (LOC)

When I was eighteen years old, I read Good Advice for Would-Be Lovers, Others in my hometown newspaper and immediately cut out the advice I liked best:

Look for a man who cries during happy movies, writes his own name on cards you send, has you model all the new clothes you buy, slow dances, will bring you a coke at 2 a.m., holds hands, likes to kiss, catches your eye at a party and winks, will help you dye your hair, whose favorite saying is, “It doesn’t get much better than this.”

Fourteen years later, I still think it’s pretty good.  The person this advice describes is open and invested, willing to make sacrifices for the one he loves.  (Needless to say, those are great qualities for a man or a woman.)

However, I spent most of my college years falling for Quiet Boys Who Play the Guitar (also Quiet Boys Who Like Jane Austen, Quiet Boys Who Have Beautiful Eyes, and Quiet Boys Who Pick Up Your Scarf When You Drop It, to name a few).

And there’s nothing wrong with any of those boys, exactly, except that instead of being quiet because they are  soulful and sensitive and deep, they are often just . . . quiet.  They are not boys who are easy to talk to and be around.  They are not boys who write their own names on cards.  They are not the boys for me.

[Man playing the tuba.]

The boy for me, it turns out, played the tuba in high school.  And maybe he is a relatively Quiet Boy, but he’s one who is open and invested and willing to make sacrifices for people he loves.

It’s true.  It turns out that Mike does just about everything on the list I cut out of the newspaper when I was eighteen.

I mean, I have never asked  him to help dye my hair (Pro Tip: because I have never dyed it), but the things he did for me during and after childbirth . . . let’s just say, hair dyeing and coke getting do not come remotely close.

And then we became parents, and he rocks that, too.

So, inspired by a recent Epic Preschool Puke Clean Up in which Mike’s heroic efforts made me fall even more in love with him, I give you . . . Good Advice for Would-Be Parents, Others:

Look for a person who laughs during crazy tantrums, changes dirty diapers without being asked, has you show him all the great garage sale items you buy, reads bedtime stories, will clean up the puke at 2 a.m., holds diaper bags, likes to snuggle, tosses your child up in the air and catches her over and over, will put together all the new toys, whose favorite saying is, “Listen to your mother.”

What advice would you give would-be lovers / parents / friends?

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Dressing Down

My heart sank as Zoe and I got out of the car at the library today.  Getting out of the car in front of us were Snow White, a hippie, and a superhero.  Getting out of the car next to us were Buzz Lightyear and Woody.

“Were they supposed to wear their costumes today?” I asked Buzz and Woody’s mom.

“Well, they could if they wanted to,” she graciously answered.

Zoe noticed (“I’m not wearing my costume!”) but was not upset (“I’ve got my shirt on!” she proudly told the librarian).  I, on the other hand, was crushed.

Seriously, you guys.  I was thisclose to dashing back home and grabbing Zoe’s bumblebee costume.  It’s partly that I love Halloween and dressing up, but mostly it’s that I don’t want my kid to be left out.  And I certainly don’t want my kid to be left out because I missed the wear-your-costume-to-story-hour memo.  (Pro Tip: Never skip story hour right before Halloween.  Apparently.)

Thankfully, those five kids were actually the only ones wearing costumes.  Also thankfully, the other moms and grandmas had clearly not gotten the memo either, so we all felt like bad parents together.

Solidarity, my friends.  That’s what it’s all about.

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Filed under Your Moment of Zoe

Hazardous Pilgrimage

There’s something about Milwaukee.

One of the cows at Kopps Custard.

Maybe it’s all the Big Things that happened to me there–learning to cook, making amazing friends, “discerning my call to ordained ministry” (as they say), falling in love.  The five years I lived in that city were very good years, and maybe that would have been true in any city, and I would now be writing a love letter to Minneapolis or Seattle or Wilmington, Delaware (you never know).

But I don’t think so.  As I drove east on Wells Street Sunday after worship and fellowship at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, I found myself growing misty-eyed.  I love you, Milwaukee, and I am not ashamed to say it.

What a gift to be back in that beloved city.  I got to worship at St. Paul’s, a congregation that nurtured and shaped me.  I got to stay with two great friends.  I got to reconnect with my internship supervisor and some of the other folks at that congregation, Capitol Drive Lutheran Church.  And I got to show off Zoe in the process!

Experiencing worship at St. Paul's in a new way: from the balcony cry room.

It was a joyful visit, but a melancholy one, too, as trips down memory lane so often are.  So, how fortuitous that when I opened up my eagerly awaited library book, Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad"", the epigraph included this quote from In Search of Lost Time:

Poets claim that we recapture for a moment the self that we were long ago when we enter some house or garden in which we used to live in our youth.  But these are most hazardous pilgrimages, which end as often in disappointment as in success.  It is in ourselves that we should rather seek to find those fixed places, contemporaneous with different years.

I don’t want to argue with Proust (who would?), but I think these “hazardous pilgrimages” are worth the risk.  I did recapture my Milwaukee self, but I also experienced my Milwaukee memories in a new way: as the parent of a very busy two-year-old.  So worship was mostly overheard through the cry room speakers, and instead of a Lakefront Brewery tour I ate supper at 5:30 (which is no different than what I do just about every night, no matter where I am).

Talking on the phone at the desk of my internship supervisor.

Take care, Milwaukee, until my next hazardous pilgrimage to you.

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Filed under Thankful Hearts, Your Moment of Zoe