My friend Rachel over at Testosterhome made me laugh with this little piece that summarizes why I blog: It's cathartic.
As to the Oh! No! moment that inspired her post, all I can say is Been There, Done That. Many times over, unfortunately.
I gave a talk a year or two ago, a talk focusing on humility. Humility, we all know, is the mother of all virtues. While I certainly have a ways to go in growing in true humility, thanks to my kids, I'm a tad further along than I once was.
A few specifics:
The kids were all getting dental check-ups. Our ever-helpful dentist gave my son a lengthy and detailed demonstration on how to best floss his teeth. The boy - we'll call him Anonymous -- looked at the dentist and said, "I've never flossed my teeth in my life."
Why? Why, I ask you. Why?
On the way home we had a little chat about edifying speech. Before speaking, I instructed Anonymous, ask yourself three questions: Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary?
Unsolicited and overly honest comments to the dentist, comments that cast your mother is a very dubious light, well, these are clearly covered by the necessary clause.
Then there was the day way back when John was teeny tiny. It had been six years since I had had a newborn in the house. While I adjusted to the middle of the night feedings and the constant diaper changing, my forty-three-year-old body positively rebelled when confronted with that instrument of torture known as the infant carrier. Women -- young or old -- who are five-two really can't carry them at all.
Out went my back.
We were in the middle of a bedroom shuffle. Mattresses and bed frames were strewn around. I hobbled as quickly as I could manage down the hall, hit a slippery patch of something or other, flew into my bedroom, hopped over a bed frame, and nearly clocked my head on the window sill.
I let fly a rather choice word, probably the same word Rachel did, you know, the one that rhymes with Mitt.
And my bedroom window was wide open. And not five feet away a gang of innocent middle school boys was shooting hoops. I'm sure I only imagined the silence that instantly fell over the court as the boys took in the language used by their middle-aged neighbor.
And then there is my coup de gras.
One afternoon found me ranting and raving at the older boys about the state of their room. Oh, the socks! Oh, the Legos! I was in rare form, chewing them up one side and down the other when I noticed that one son -- we'll call him Incognito -- had a phone in his hand.
"Why, Incognito, why are you holding the phone," I asked in a carefully measured tone.
"Oh!" he replied, handing me the phone. "It's Uncle Nick. He's calling about Cub Scouts."
All this should go far in explaining my reputation with the local dental establishment, the basketball crowd, and the Boy Scouts of America.
And somehow, someway writing about the whole sordid mess really is quite therapeutic.