I promised several of you I would submit something by today, but realized too late that I don't have a printer and the two magazines in my sights require mail-in submissions. So. Hmph. Well, here is what I'm going to print and send to The Sun
for their Readers Write topic on "Praying" when Jim gets back from the boonies. Sunday. I'll print it, address it, lick it, mail it and then chew all my fingernails off and eat 11 handfuls of almonds.
When I was a child I remember praying in gulping, crying bursts. “Dear God, please don’t let Alfie be dead, please, please, please.” Or, “Oh God Oh God Oh God, make her come home.” I associated prayer with sobbing. Pleading, choking tears. It was a last resort, when I was too small to do anything. We went to church a handful of Sundays every year. Enough to know the Lord’s Prayer, at least, but this never seemed like a prayer to me. It didn’t have the same urgency. What was a transgression? Why did I care if someone trespassed against me? Even at that age I didn’t connect prayer with church.
As a teenager I was exposed to Christian fundamentalism during an 8th grade slumber party and became repulsed by the idea of organized religion in its entirety. At 13 I told my mom I wasn’t going to Sunday School any more. A heavy science background in college solidified my doubt into unapologetic atheism. I was proud of my belief, as one devoid of hypocrisy and half-guesses. It made me feel independent and smart.
A week ago my 15-month-old ran a fever. So hot it was uncomfortable to hold him. His fiery, naked body draped over mine, but still he shivered as his system tried to heat him more, to kill the pathogens. In the middle of the night I said a silent prayer, crying involuntarily at my helplessness. But to Whom? To What? It didn’t matter.
Then after this is done I will have that rock lifted from its comfy resting place and it will bounce along, going faster and faster as I generate more and more words to stick in more and more envelopes. My tongue will be calloused and tacky from all the licking. My desk will be dotted with folders labeled by publication, topic, submission date and I will feel a sense of calm, as only one with a drawer full of sharpened pencils and 5 different sizes of sticky notes can feel. And then
I'll be doing something about It.
Now, for something completely different, I'll give you a list of the things I just sent to my BFF Janet who just had a gorgeous, hungry little baby. I think it's a pretty good care package...
- Hand-me-downs. Of course. And they're clean and soft.
- Gripe Water
. Best stuff ever. I'm not sure what the rest of the developed world is doing about their colicky, gassy babies, but when we discovered this (recommended by the lactation clinic in Portland) it saved my sanity. Best stuff ever. Apparently it works well for morning sickness too...
- Good, rich, dark, naturally decaf tea
. I had no stomach for coffee, even the virgin stuff, until about a year after I had Madeleine, and it took me forever to find a good hearty morning tea that wouldn't make my baby turn into Linda Blair after nursing.
- Quiet music: Greg Brown
, Further In (you gotta check out his site, just to see what he's wearing); Nick Drake (admit it, you're getting a little sick of me talking about him); and an instrumental Beatles album. At first I hated the idea of the Beatles thing, but Madeleine goes to sleep to it every night and it reallly is quality musicianship.
- And some other stuff I forgot to include: Kandoos
(these little butt-wipes are the best when you've got a mess on your hands...), Double Haul IPA
(some friends in town own the local brewery and are now "bottling" their Excellent IPA in cans because Missoula doesn't recycle bottles, and rafters can take the cans on the river without worrying about broken glass in the streams AND I'm sure it would help with milk production...), and lastly, I forgot to tell her to eschew the goddamn thank you note. The worst invention ever. I'm sorry, but I truly despise writing thank you notes. And especially when I've just pushed a bowling ball out my 'gina and I'm wearing an adult diaper and crying about the fact that we're almost out of Ziploc bags. Jan? NO THANK YOU NOTES! TO ME!
- Thanks to Tink
for muscling through my inadequacies with CSS and making word jumbles and stuff. Your music should be there early next week, Tink-a-bink-a-bottle-of-ink. Has anyone found all the hidden words?
- I really like this t
. Except that the lobes look a little sac-ish.
- My mom sent me a link to this advice site
, and I'm finding it very helpful for several minor mom-issues. Just a shout out.
- Happy weekend, yo.
Song of the Day... SexyBack
, J.Timberlick... I'm serious - this makes me shake ALL of my ass.