Sunday, April 19, 2009

2-1/2 is Normal

I park on the 2-1/2 floor. That's right. 2-1/2. Not the 1st floor or the 3rd floor. Not even just the 2nd floor. I park on floor 2-1/2.

And I think my parking habits are generally a good reflection of how I operate in the rest of my life. Simple isn't really my thing and neither is normal or standard. I enjoy different, slightly left of center, not quite right.

I love quirky people and odd cars and I think fat babies are happy, no matter what the media tells us. I also think skinny girls are just mad because they're hungry; they're not really stuck up.

I have a thing for the ugly guy in the group. I don't know why. It just happens. (No offense, of course, intended to guys who are aware that I have liked them.) I love to laugh and my humor is not always appreciated by others because I can find humor in just about anything including death and religion. My Jesus t-shirt is evidence of that. (It about put my mom over the edge.)

I've never heard people say, "that girl's just not right," but I'm sure it's been said. And that's ok.

I could eat collard greens for breakfast and I love the smell of a sweaty man with beer on his breath. I would sit for 12 innings in the rain just to see a Cardinal victory, especially if they were playing the Cubs. I sleep with 6 pillows which is not only weird but it says something sad about my love life; and I wrap myself up like a burrito in my blankets in the winter. When I was a kid, my favorite chore was scraping "bone dust" off of the meat in my dad's butcher shop.

I love to be barefoot but I hate feet. It's my greatest contradiction in life. I hate rules but I love process. That's my second greatest contradiction. How does the top three round out? I am extremely claustrophobic but I love to be hugged.

In this life, the greatest lesson I've learned is that everybody's normal is different. We cannot judge one another by the standards we have set for ourselves. Lifestyles, tastes and the way we do things vary based on our normal, how we grew up, where we've lived, what we've learned. The fact alone that we were raised in different homes, under different circumstances makes our normals different. The fact that you'd rather park on the 3rd floor or the 2nd floor because parking on 2-1/2 is not quite right makes our normals different.

2-1/2 is normal. It's my normal. Even if it makes you a little uncomfortable...

Thursday, April 09, 2009


Everything is preparation for something. Or so I've been told. I think people say that to help you see the lesson in troubled times or to make the best of a less than stellar situation. The first time I heard anyone say that, I had been sitting up all night with the worst sinus cold of my life. The wife of one of my pastor's told me it was God's way of training me for the long, miserable nights when I would be awake with sick children. If that is, indeed, true, I have had an awful lot of preparation for parenthood. And, at 38 years old, I sometimes wonder why because I don't have any kids yet. 

For the last two days, I have taken care of my friends' kids. Watching more than one child, in my parents' home taught me quite a few things.

The first lesson was that I don't want to have children AND live with my parents. It's too much work. Even when my parents think they are helping, they are really just getting in the way of my process. And, unfortunately for my parents the baby, who they were dying to hold, was not having it so there wasn't much they could do. In reality, babies go through phases where they only want one person so, it was sort of a test for me. And my mom.

Secondly, having two children to wrangle confirmed my belief that above all else, organization is key. Preparing for the next phase of the day while they sleep is critical. The only thing I can't figure out is how I will live without TV. And what I mean by that is how I will live without putting my kids in front of the TV so they will be occupied while I do normal every day things like shower and use the facilities and perhaps sneak in a drink of water.

Finally, it became crystal clear to me that staying up until 2 AM is not a good idea when you have to be showered, dressed and fed before the kids are up. I also realized how much I missed my long hair and being able to throw it in a ponytail as well as how over-rated these acrylic nails are.

Believe me, prior to this week, I had plenty of practice with motherhood. I helped raised my 2 Goddaughters who are now 16 & 18 and there was many a weekend when I had their 5 siblings as well. But I don't know how I could do all that and work outside the home. That revelation was a little disappointing given the tremendous amount of consideration I've been giving to having children on my own, without a spouse or significant other. 

So much to consider... Maybe all things are not preparation. Maybe some things are pop quizzes to see if your ready for the big exam that lies ahead.