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Have traffic, will reintroduce

March 22, 2012

Thanks to those who came by this weekend from the thread on Simple Mom‘s Project Simplify.  I have no idea if any of you will stick around, but that traffic bump was almost as big a win as the cookbook coming to me in the mail from Tsh’s contest:

Canceling Weight Watchers account in 3, 2, 1...

I’ve been thinking all week about a way to introduce myself to any of the newbies or lurkers who have arrived here accidentally through Google searches like “real hockey face” or “Suzanne Sugarbaker hair.”  I was thinking maybe a “me in a nutshell” paragraph, but it kept coming back to this scene, so you’ll have to bear with me for an entire post:

Okay, that was slightly off-topic, but that kind of stuff happens around here all the time, so you might as well get used to it in the first paragraph.  It’s pretty hard to stop mid-stream in a blog and say a “how do ya do,” so some of y’all may just have to catch on quick.  Like other blogs you may have met, this one features things that happen to me.  Because I’m very interesting people.  I humiliate myself on a consistent basis which could be fun for you.  I just find it hilarious, myself (intro to sarcastic italics.  There will be no consistency with regard to fonts in this matter).  Also, I’m always biting off more than I can chew, which proves for useful blog fodder when I fall short or God falls long, whichever or both.  It’s a blog and it can get personal.  Here are a few tidbits that might clue you in to what goes on around here:

First and most recently, we became foster parents last week.  Apparently this makes us saintly, according to all the people telling us how wonderful we are for doing it.  So listen up, St. Becky’s typing.

Not THAT one.

Not THAT one, either.

Things are more nuts than usual (and our house is routinely chaotic).  “That’s impossible!” you say. “It’s a contradiction in terms.” Yeah?  Come over sometime.  We have two dogs (old as dirt) and two children, nearly 6 and nearly 4.  Now we have a new guy who’s about to celebrate his first birthday (FYI: I’m calling him Batman in social media circles to protect his privacy and I’ll probably do that here every now and then). Our whole house is an overwhelmingly furry, dusty, “how did that get THERE!?” mess and there’s not much that be done to stop it, though we try.

We decided last year to foster parent after much prayer and several pauses, and we finally sealed the deal last week when we got our first placement.  He is the best kid we could have asked for as amateurs.  He sleeps well, naps included (something my birthchildren still don’t do like I’d want them to), and he eats well.  He’s happy and likes almost everybody.  He seems to be bonding with my husband and me, but that takes a while.  Our two are proud and glad to have him…except when he cries, then they want to know who’s picking him up and when.  But, they feel that way about each other, so we’re taking it in stride.

We’re white and our foster son is Asian, so we’ve already gotten the “nice sweater, where’d ya get it?” kind of questions.  “He’s SO cute!  What is he?” “Human.”  We have some snarky retorts for that kind of thing.  I actually got a barrage of questions from a less-than-stable person who cornered then followed me around at church on Sunday:

“Oh, is that your son?  Is he adopted?”
He is my son but he’s not adopted.”
“Is it too personal for me to ask if he’s your real son?  He’s Chinese and you’re white, so I’m just curious.”
Yes, that’s very personal.  He’s my real son.
“Well is he from another marriage because I see your husband is white, too.  I’m probably offending you.  Is your husband the father?”
My husband is his fatherThese are inappropriate questions, you know.
“But I have to ask was there a sperm donor or some kind of mix up because your husband is obviously white and so are you.  Is your family Asian?”
My family is white, too.  And you’re asking rude questions.  I think that’s quite enough.  We are his parents.
“But you’re white, how is that possible???”
It’s a mystery, I guess.  Bye.”

I don’t know why I took the onslaught as long as I did.  I wouldn’t have normally; snark would have gotten the better of the situation.  And if my son were older, there’s no way in The Bad Place that I would have let it go on.  Maybe it’s because I knew the woman couldn’t help it and needed to be told she was being rude because she didn’t know that for herself.  For the record, because you’re probably a polite person, but just in case: the best question is the unasked one.  Let us tell you things when we want to tell you things.  Odds are once we know you’re not a total jerk, we’ll fill you in because we understand human curiosity and we would want to know, too.  The second best question would be clumsy but framed in terms of ethnicity, not citizenry.  We had an Asian child in our home for about 28 hours before getting the “Where’s he from?” question and the fact is, he’s from HERE.  Let’s not perpetuate the perpetual foreigner stereotype because we know a white couple or two who adopted a baby from China.

Second and most obviously, I kinda love a good rant.  Mine, some preacher’s, Julia Sugarbaker’s, [the 1990’s] Dennis Miller’s, almost anybody’s.  Even the crazy people’s.  There’s something about getting up on a soapbox that I love (and you can’t tell, but I sang “love” operatically just now in my head because I freaking LOVE rants).  Maybe that’s why this little ditty appealed to me when I saw it on Pinterest:

Aptly titled "Duty calls."

Consider me “always on call” for that sort of thing.  I even got into one this morning before my weekly Bible study, which has so far turned out to be a regretful event (the rant, not the study.  Antecedents are the worst).  I don’t go looking for a rant because it almost always gets me into trouble, even when I’m right.  Especially when I’m right. So many of my posts here, even those that start as a “welcome to my blog” will eventually become an anti-racism (or something else) rant.

Third and most frustratingly paramount to my identity as a person, I’m an evangelical Christian.  I almost hate to stick that “evangelical” in there because of its religious, political and social connotations (also can we all be just be plain ol’ Christians again? Wait, what?  Not til Jesus comes.  Okay.), but it is what it is.  That’s me.  I love me some evangelicalism.  I don’t care if all the Christian magazines say it’s dying.  Call me Talitha.

The frustrating part is that I’m often at odds with the behavior of the group, so to speak.  That’s why this is Becky not Becky. I swim in the same tank, and eat the same food, but I’m one of those fish you point at and go “is that actually a FISH?  Looks like some kind of lizard or something.”  Okay, so that’s a horrible metaphor because I just compared myself to a lizard, but I started the analogy back there and couldn’t make it work by the time I got to the end.  (Another frustrating thing: internal editor asleep at the helm.)

All that adds up to a blog that is an occasionally personal (almost always personally embarrassing) series of rants and stories with a little sitcom-like “What I learned in this very special episode of Blossom” lesson at the end.  No matter how hard I try to get rid of it, the lesson always presents itself.  I try at least to keep it from reaching the level of downright cheesy, but I rarely succeed.  Wait for it…

When I was growing up and in my “I hate country music, why can’t we listen to Guns N Roses!” years (I was a prodigy in this area and began such nonsense around age 10), my mom used to play tapes of Emmylou Harris in the car.  Unlike me, she’d sing quiet enough to blend with the songs playing and us kids could actually hear the words and music.  Emmylou is the stuff. Axl Rose listens to Emmylou Harris.  (Okay, I don’t really know that, but Axl if you’re following me again, you should really check her out on iTunes.)  As I’ve become a grown-up and assumed the harrowing mantle of womanhood, I’m becoming my mother.  What!  No, no, no, no I meant to say, I’m starting to understand my mother. GAH.

In that car, once we’d shut up because she’d threatened us just the right amount, she would tighten up her face and create a virtual wall between herself and the back seat.  If she wasn’t driving, I’m almost certain she’d have closed her eyes or lifted up her hands on certain lines for emphasis.  She sang like she meant the words.  Like she wrote them herself.  And not in some lame “heckyeah!” way I sing along when the theme from St. Elmo’s Fire comes on the adult contemporary station at that place where I get my tires rotated (though, to be fair, I can climb the highest mountain, cross the wildest sea, and feel St. Elmo’s fire burning in me.  Lotta saints in this post, eh?).

Now that I’m in that front seat with a hot mess of passenger-whining in the seats behind me, I get it.  Truth is, I was a prodigy at that, too, because there’s one particular Emmylou song that sums up my entire experience as a Christian, even back when I was a new one.  I don’t know what my mother meant when she was singing along to Emmylou, but I know what I mean:  There’s some good in me, but there’s some bad in there wrestling with her on a daily basis and that B is strong. I have a lot of feelings.  I have a lot of thoughts.  One day (and almost every day is this “one day” for me), they’re all going to come bursting out because they’re what’s in my sack.  They are mine to keep or give to the world.  And one day (and this is my hopeful “one day”), I’m going to fall down tired in front of the One who put me here to wonder-wander and hear a peaceful, comforting, affirming “Welcome home, darlin’.” (Jesus doesn’t have a Southern accent when He’s with you?  Weird.)


One Comment leave one →
  1. March 22, 2012 3:02 am

    Girl, you know I heard the “Is she YOURS?” song for, let’s see, all my life, and STILL get it occasionally as a parent with my eldest child, so — if you need to talk, rant, ask, etc., I am here for you.

    And I don’t think you’re saints, but you’re Good People, and Batman is a lucky kid.

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