So first of all, this is the second time I've written this entry, since I somehow managed to close my browser AS I SCROLLED THE MOUSE UP TO THE PUBLISH BUTTON, so please attribute any anger to that, and not the subject matter. The first version contained a shocking amount of non-bitterness, and really demonstrated my growth as a person, and while we're at it, let's just say it was the greatest thing ever written in the history of the English language, and this version is going to suck because GAR BLAM ANGRY.
Second of all: thank you. Thank you to everybody who commented on my last entry. Your responses were all so reasoned and diverse and thoughtful, and while it did get a little overwhelming at times, overall they made for excellent reading yesterday while I LAID AROUND IN BED WITH A GROSSLY SWOLLEN MOUTH FROM HAVING MULTIPLE CAVITIES DRILLED AND ALSO THEY SOOTHED THE PAIN IN MY HEART FROM THE DENTAL BILL I PAID. A DENTAL BILL THAT INCLUDED A COMMA.
Oy. But that's a different entry o' bitching. Today's entry is about y'all, and how much I appreciate the time you took to write about something so deeply personal...and so deeplier unhip. Also for mostly keeping the fire and brimstone out of the conversation. REPENT, YE BLOGGER, LEST THE DEVIL HIMSELF RISE FROM HELL TO HEAP DECAY AND DESTRUCTION UPON THOU TEETH AND GUMS.
I was also encouraged to see that most of you actually get my real point (which, given my incredibly imprecise and poorly punctuated writing, is easy to miss): the faith/religion/whatever of my childhood was very much an all-or-nothing concept. It didn't leave a lot of room for questioning (unless you were okay with the answer always being: FAITH, my child. You simply must have FAITH.) Either you believed every word of the Bible literally, including the 24-hour days of the creation story, and went to church every week and voted Republican and didn't smoke or drink or curse or engage in heavy petting...or you were simply not good enough.
Which is why it's still a real struggle for me to accept that I can ditch 99% of that and be anything other than a godless heathen. Which is exactly what I've secretly thought of myself for the better part of a decade now. Since...well, that's exactly what we always called the Unitarians and the wishy-washy "God is everywhere" people and OMG THEY ARE PROBABLY PART OF A NEW AGE CULT LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU IT'S SATAN! AAAHHH!
(And really and truly and honestly? I AM afraid of dying and going to hell. Rhett! Save me!)
And I know. I know! For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith -- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast. Dude, I memorized that verse for Sunday school about a million times. I think there was even a praise chorus for it. So I don't know where I got all tangled up in the crazy legalism. Maybe it was my own perfectionism, maybe it was some passive-aggressive ministering, maybe it was because I was so damned IMMERSED in it all the damned time, what with going to church five times a week and the Christian school and whatnot. Somewhere along the way I got caught up in a never-good-enough mindset where I would stress because I could never keep up with my morning devotions and began to have doubts about two of every animal REALLY fitting on a single boat and also? Dinosaurs?
And of course, let's not forget all the church splits and acrimony and just downright embarrassingly awful behavior I witnessed that was all done in the name of Christ.
Christ. My teeth still hurt.
Last night I had a dream that I was passed over from some awesome imaginary blogging-type job because "they" wanted someone who was more than "just a mommyblogger." And so they refused to even read the sample entries I provided, including the one from Tuesday. And I got all mad and stomped around because it was about GOD, MOTHERFUCKERS, and it was DEEP and only TANGENTIALLY mentioned my kid, so STOP PUTTING ME IN A CORNER, I WILL CUT YOU.
(Yes, I really told them I would cut them. Perhaps the dream actually symbolized that I need to brush up on my interview skills?)
(Also, I only included this story so I could transition from talking about God, motherfuckers, and get back to talking about my kid. Yes.)
Yesterday Noah and I were hanging out in the backyard. He was chasing after Ceiba and shrieking at the top of his lungs and no, I don't know why my neighbor sends her six-year-old out to talk to me on purpose now, while I sat out with my laptop sending whiny emails to people about my teeth. Every once in awhile I'd squirt him with the hose.
At some point I glanced at the clock and realized that it was seven o'clock. Seven! Noah eats dinner at six! Oh shit! But then I shrugged and forgave myself for the omg worst mother evah hyperbole o' guilt, because Noah was obviously having fun and would have let me know if he was really that hungry.
That's when I noticed that Noah was desperately attempting to suck up hose water from the planks of the deck.
So. Question. The whole grace-not-deeds thing. That totally applies to parenting too, right?
I will not forget this, Mother. And one day I shall blame all of my existential gardening woes on you. Probably on my blog.