Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ready for stand-up

Thomas, Kylie, Julie, and I went to dinner on Friday. Thomas was, even for him, in rare form. On the way home we had this humorous conversation, begun when someone cut me off by driving in the wrong lane:

"What are you DOING?"

Thomas: "What you talking about, mama?"

"Oh, somebody's being stupid driving."

"Who is it?"

"It's nobody we know. I hope."

"Why you hope?"

"Well, I don't like to think people I know are stupid. I like to think that the people I know are pretty smart."

(Pause, doubtfully)

"You know Eric, mama?"

I can't make this stuff up.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Seed starter

This time of year I long for a garden -- anything from micro to macro. I always start with seeds.

The first time, it was because Matt and I were getting through the summer on the tail end of one graduate stipend. We needed a vegetable garden to eat the way I like to eat. Seeds were cheaper!

Now, I go and pull out the seed packets and the tiny expanding peat pots by choice. I love seeds because they want to live so bad. When you sprinkle those dry grains onto the squishy soil pods and see tiny white shoots flying out the next morning -- even from those hopeless seeds that fell into the bottom of the tray where there's no soil -- you realize the power of the gospel metaphor.

"Unless a grain of wheat should fall to the ground and die, it will remain a single grain..."

The only thing they need to live is water. I get to provide that -- a privilege indeed.

Friday, May 01, 2009


Thomas was hyper at bedtime tonight.

"I want to pway, mama."

"If you're not tired, you can play with your animals in your bed, but I'm not going to stay in here, because it's time for you to sleep."

He just looks at me like I'm insane.

"I want to pway."

"Thomas, it's not time to play, it's time to sleep."

Stares at me again.

Holds up his bear, the two hands pressed together.

"I just want to pway!"

"Oh, I'm sorry, kiddo, I'll pray with you. I didn't understand you."

I'm a terrible mom!

"You want to pray the Our Father, since we already did a 'Dear Jesus' prayer?"


Mom: "Our Father, who art in heaven..."
Meanwhile, Thomas: "Rrr Fader, ... heaven. Baby sister nananaygoggoo --" (breaks off suddenly)

"Jesus is holding baby sister."

"He is?"

"Yeah. In his arms. That's why her heart is getting better."

I so don't deserve this kid.

Gee, thanks

Matt and I got a retirement account balance today.

"Expect to be working a long time," he says.

"I'm an academic. I'll never retire!" I respond. "We don't really retire, we just become emeritus."

"Yeah, that's true. You just stop teaching -- or stop teaching well."


"Just telling you my experience."