Defining Grace Two: Let It Be Me

During the American Presidential election debates, I became increasingly angry.

Ouch. (Rubbing my ears.) Yes, I just heard the “so was I” shouts and moans.Ever wish you could just romp and call it a day?

In my case, I’d never watched a political debate in my life. My parents, and then my husband did the watching and grousing up until this year. Until this year, my attitude has been:

What could be fun about worrying that the candidate I oppose is the fool who will lead my sons for four, maybe even eight years?

With this election, those eight years take our January baby right into adulthood. So, hearing the careless, utterly wrong and jacked up feather fluffing of the candidate I oppose went straight to my mom brain and has me sleepless with worry once again.

This blog is not about politics, so don’t leave me now, as this post will stay non-partisan and will get to my point in a few scroll clicks.

Oh “hell’s bells” as my mother would say, I’ll just get to the point now, and if you have time to read my longer than usual post, feel free to scroll and read on.

Are you ready?

The process of trying to experience grace has more than once, more than twice, even more than thrice made me mad. Very, very mad.

But, life has taught me that the only way through is not around or under these speed bumps, but to ramp those suckers and hope for the best. ~ Kate

After I got a few sentences into this post the other day I started thinking about when might have been the first time I felt the effects of trying to ram rod good to happen in my life. I found myself being little in my mind’s eye. How old are little girls when they first try the “he loves me, loves me not?” game of pulling daisy pedals off one at a time to learn the “truth” by way of an empty flower stem?

Young. That’s for sure.

I remember sitting on our front porch stoop and being irate that the damn flower didn’t work. Who knows if the object of my heart was “Fonzie”, or the handsome dudes on the T.V. show “Emergency,” or the acting student at my father’s work that ‘I could die for.’ Maybe it was the 5th grade dream boat that declared his crush on me with a Grape Ape Shrinky Dink, only to be too shy to deal with teasing as we continued to pass notes in class.

At any rate – that is what trying to jam prayers, hopes…dreams into the God funnel feels like. It’s like a little girl who did

every

single

thing right,

including trying a few more flowers and cheating by counting the pedals or accidentally on purpose plucking two to get the “he loves me” right on cue. For some reason what I remember about that day is that I plucked my little heart out, and what made me so angry is that I said to myself:

One more. Try just one more.

And the stupid thing landed on “he loves me not.”

Hopefully I went inside the house and had a cold glass of Tang and then skipped off to some other more productive activity.

But, isn’t that what wanting to throw things at a news clip of a debate is like? In the end, what upset me the most about the debates was the hyper active predictions, and re-predictions, and conflation about who won which debate and why. I’m actually a pretty big fan of social media for the sake of what it can do for good. I figure that this is where we are…many are living and breathing and believing all that is online – so grab that communication tool and promote what deserves to be promoted and try to ignore the rest.

But Good God Almighty! The concept that a news headline, or political leaning of a news channel is what decides the winner of a Presidential debate is Cray and Zee in my world. I’m not mad at the media, they are feeding us the Hostess treats we ask for…and repeating it every nanosecond because our attention spans have become that short.

Maybe the issue for me is that I had good parents and was raised to somehow know that lousy daisy pedal odds or not, my voice counts, but only if I use it.

So, use it I am…trying anyway. I’m retweeting and praying and going to rallys and signing up to give out water to the good people who are running the voting (not prediction!) polls. I launched a get out the female vote pumpking carving #GoVote TweetAThon with me, myself and I. It made absolutely no sense, but did burn off a lot of worry and impressed the heck out of said ten-year old son when lit up in our dark family room.

...tragedy, comedy, and anxiety

…tragedy, comedy, and anxiety

So, I mentioned in the previous post is that my plan is to come up with five definitions of grace, and to pass on a song that touches me in connection to that pondering. Here goes:

Grace is about being a mad hatter.

Grace is when you wipe out your mother’s garden and STILL have no luck with getting the cooties.

Grace is that the television you threw your slippers at was the 200 pound NotSoFlat screen and that you remembered to say You Rotten JackWagon! rather than…..

Grace is just that. It’s graceful!

And the music? Ray LaMontange and his song Let It Be Me. I close my eyes and try to imagine Jesus himself rowing me in a boat…and some times I am calm. Off to listen again.

Bye for now, Kate.

Ma’am, would you like your cake first?

Well.

What I wish is that this morning I could have some time and energy, and focus to write “a bit” about the terrorism that has swept my nation right before starting the school year.

I’m not so sure how much energy I have to help “us” process how, or why, or when, or where to take a knee on the terrorism part.

I’m a pretty big fan of theaters and houses of worship. (Looks at calendar on wall). Yup. Pushing 50 years of both types of buildings being my safest, bestest spots on earth other than a nice little tree stand to sit and day-dream for a minute before misplacing my planner again.

Not good timing in this family as our calendars rotate by way of the school year by trade and young’ins.

Nor as the daughter of the best actor on earth, or friend of the hippies that really did start Saturday Night Live.

But, I’m digressing again, and won’t go there yet other than to share that Mr. Coop and I fell into a date last night by default of kids being too busy to eat with the rents and we had a couple of seconds to take a deep breath over schmanzy heated salad dressing.

And, I’ll admit that I wasn’t much of a date other than I am certain I brushed my teeth before we left.

My mindset for the first, at least, quarter of our yummy meal, or maybe half, was the big deal I made with the waitress that dessert needs to be ordered first.

She actually came back to the table and said, :

“Ma’am, would you like your cake first?”

because I was being so complicated with my food order.

Okay. Truth told, I managed to pull out my theater background and make the entire evening about that chocolate heath melted surprise. But, Professor Cooper was a sport and yes, I got my cake and ate it too.

School readyness thinking on my part a few weeks ago was along the lines of the kool-aid mom thing going on in our new ‘hood. This is fun, worry about the pencil box later.

After baseball was over for our youngest he figured out that much of the team is within a block or three reach of our door. He’s extroverted. I’m not. I get that.

I didn’t think he could surpass his oldest brother with extraversion, but he has in a certain cute way that involves fifth graders in and out of the door for most of July. I picked up on complicated baseball conversation that involves something about Omar from Chi-town and dancing in the rain at the Big Red Machine Stadium vs. Babe Ruth and did the Great Bambino use to stuff their gloves with sawdust or not?

These, thank GOD are still at the top of the minds of some of the littlish people who crossed the door this summer.

These, I think, I know, are very good worries for a guy to have.

Fast track to a few days ago realizing that my favorite son of the week, the track star who I forgot to sign up for ACT’s who really does want me to remember to buy him a birthday cake this year for his birthday, zzzzpt…fast track to the one who is my favorite at Christmas who has decided to rock the work world in Ohio for us and made me take a nap in his apartment this summer on his couch….pppsssszzzzdddt. He’s the one that I can’t remember if I dreamed about mailing a birthday cake to last December or not. It was an odd winter on that front.

Sons. Hmm. Overwhelming? Yeah.

Are they doing okay? Yup. Check. Not bad at all really.

I could scroll the play list for you to my father moving, my brother and I helping him do that while balancing moving our adult kids into the universe, another niece getting married and one starting kindergarten and,

yeah.

I guess insomnia does have some logic of late.

And.

Thankfully, I had a moment to take a knee by way of scoring the two photos in this article from Facebook. The cute daisy from a bestest college friend who knows I don’t sleep, and the other of my father’s favorite students of the ’70’s.

It will all be okay.

John Fugiel Improv Troop, circa '70's

John Fugiel Improv Troop, circa ’70’s