A slightly less ethical answer

(Is it alright to do something your husband would not strictly approve of if he won’t find out?)


I don’t know if it’s alright or not; I just know what I do. Practically speaking, I vote yes—in the stealthy disposal of items that have outlived their usefulness.

If I asked him, he would say “I might need it later; store it in the x by the z.” But meanwhile, it’s sitting in the w (as in the way), and I keep stubbing my toe on it, and if I removed it he would never notice. Promise. In the interest of scientific probability I’ve tested it in various circumstances with identical results.

Now what do you think?

Are there big things and little things in marriage?

“One little time you pull out a prop, and where does it stop? Where does it stop?” *

(Oh. Hi there, honey.)


* Fiddler on the Roof, Jerry Bock
It was fun hearing your votes. Especially since you disagreed.

An ethical question

Is it alright

to do something your husband would not strictly approve of

if he won’t find out?


I can see the shock on your faces, and it’s making me giggle.
Yes? No? Sometimes? Of course? Only if…?
Just relax now. And vote.
And explain yourself tomorrow, like me.

Keeper of the seasons

“It seems we find it hard to learn
Seasons will always turn and turn
When it feels like the die’s been cast
I have to know that this too shall pass
God’s the Keeper of the Seasons
The author and the guide of all the many changes
And when I don’t understand the reasons
I’ll just lay down my head and rest in the Keeper of the Seasons”

Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays


Confession: When I stepped across the baby gate and found more stuff, an explosion of supplies gathered and abandoned by small people, I thumped down the laundry hamper I was carrying and huffed, “Ryan, I work s.o. h.a.r.d. and we live in a pigpen. We do. We live in a pigpen. Am I just lazy, or what?”

“No,” he said. “You’re not lazy. You’re just—up against steep odds.”

art_6327

It seems we find it hard to learn

I sewed eleven small dresses in the past month, and sorted through the rooms of my house: every closet, every drawer, every cubby. But while I work in one room another implodes, and I am too hard on my children while I am getting it done. I wish I knew how to mix flexibility with order.

Seasons will always turn and turn

I have this idol called All The Things Done At Once, and while I don’t bow down and worship it (because I never behold it), I spend my days in hot pursuit, chasing after the golden image of perfection.

dishes_6324

When it feels like the die’s been cast

Until I became a mother I didn’t know how much I treasured the quiet and orderly. By the end of the day I long to move to a quiet hillside in Italy and live like a peasant and look down at the sea and think of no one but Shari J. Zook.

(Somewhere in Italy there is a peasant girl dreaming of being an American housewife with a green dell to live in and a minivan and a big comfortable home and a passel of children.)

high chairs_6320

I have to know that this too shall pass

The crying of speech-delayed toddlers echoes in my head, piercing, calling. My oldest uses a Tone with me. There are four heads of hair to comb before we go anywhere. My daughter cries when I hug her dad, because she wants the hugs and kisses too. My boy comes to me in tears with a story about his day. My baby needs her nap.

God’s the Keeper of the Seasons

Twin A started bringing me beheaded dandelions. Twin B, watching and imitating her, progressed in a week from offering handfuls of grass to presenting darling little bouquets of forget-me-nots and bluets. The only problem is, she presents another three stems every five minutes, opening the door and pad-pad-padding her little crocs across the kitchen floor. Again. Oh sweet Jesus, help me to smile and thank her and not lose my mind.

The author and the guide of all the many changes

Big decisions and small ones haunt us. We seek the prayers and advice of those we love. We cry a lot. Six kids ten and under are no walk in the park.

lego_6326

And when I don’t understand the reasons

I always thought that moms stopped talking about their children’s problems because they outgrew them and things got easier. I didn’t know you couldn’t talk about the big kid problems. It hurts too much, and the big kids know.

I’ll just lay down my head and rest in the Keeper of the Seasons.

I’ll look back on these days and wonder how we did it, but I’m pretty sure I won’t wonder why. I might wonder why I cared so much about the cobwebs, and the outgrown pairs of pants I thought I had to donate to the Salvation Army asap.

Oh Jesus, help me.

I’ll remember the time I spent with my sweet piglets—

knee deep in the heaven-kissed mess.

IMG_6239


How do you rate what’s important?

Shuttles

We started it as an energy-burning game for my hyperactive second-born son.

steps_6525

Run up the flight of eighteen stairs…

Tag the wall…

Run back down…

And tag the couch…

Four times.

Now see how fast you can do it.

Motion? Speed? Noise? Ticking timer? Oh my. He loved it.

And then his brother had to get in on the fun. And then his sister.

We called it Running Shuttles. When the game stopped bringing joy, we dropped it, but recently it resurrected, bringing grins again. It used to take them nearly a minute. Now the boys have carved down their time to 30 seconds total for four runs. It sounds like the end of the world and the destruction of all flesh, even with thick carpeting.

But afterward they collapse into heaps, panting and smiling.

Mission accomplished.