Sunday, September 16, 2012

Reprinted by request: "The Best of Jadenisms"

Okay, people, you've been asking for it . . .

For over three years now, my Facebook friends and followers have been encouraging me to write a book of "Jadenisms" -- quips and quotes from my sharp-tongued son, Jaden. I found a way to search archives of my Facebook statuses dating back to 2009, and compiled the following list both for posterity and for your amusement. As for me, I get to live with this kid; my biggest challenge is knowing when to laugh and when to wash his mouth out with soap.

Without further ado . . .

The Best of Jadenisms, 2009 through 2012:

"Mom, you're pretty. (pause) No, I mean it, you're actually kind of pretty. I don't know why guys aren't just gagging all over you." (age 6)

"Mom, can I have some strawberry milk?" (Me: How do you ask politely?) "Can I have some strawberry milk . . . if it be thy will?"

Jaden to Spike (the cat), who was freaked out by fireworks on July 4, 2009: "Aw, don't worry, Spikey. Relax, boy . . . it was just a bomb."

(Talking to himself in the mirror, age 6, as he wiggled his first loose tooth: "You got this, Jaden. Just grab and pull. Gotta take this like a man, damn it." (I really can't remember how I disciplined him for the swearing . . . )

Stylist told Jaden he had the thickest hair she'd ever seen on a seven-year-old boy. Jaden replied, "Oh, don't be so melon-dramatic."

Jena to Jaden: "Get your fingers outta the peanut butter jar!" Anne to Jaden: "Go get a spoon and I'll make you a peanut butter lollipop like Pastor Clem likes to eat." Jaden to Anne: "Miss Anne, I need more women like you in my life."

Second grade math homework assignment asked the students to write a math story problem and show the equation. Jaden wrote "Mom + Dad = Baby." He likes to think outside the box.

Jena to 7-year-old Jaden: "Please take the garbage out and put your bike away." (Jaden rolls eyes.) Jena to Jaden: "Remember, I let you live in my belly, rent-free, for nine months..." Jaden to Jena: "Fine, mother. I'll go get my checkbook."

Jaden to Jena after putting up their Christmas tree, 2009: "Mom, I hope this doesn't make me sound too girly, but can we just turn off all the lights and lay under the Christmas tree and just . . . talk about our feelings?"

Jena, while making vegetable soup, said to Jaden, "I wish you would be my taste tester. This soup needs something." Jaden replied, "Mom, I'm not gonna taste that soup, but I will tell you what it needs: meat."

Another one for the books... Jena: "Do you understand why you were sent to your room?" Jaden: "Because you have no patience today."

I was just torturing Jaden by pinching his cheek, and he yelled, "Help! This is kid adultery!" (I, uh, think he meant 'child abuse.')

Me: "Argh; she left my hair longer on one side than the other." Jaden: "Welcome to the real world, Mom. Nothing in life is perfect."

Jaden woke up singing "Blessed Be the Name of the Lord", so I asked him what he had been dreaming about. He told me: Darth Sideous, dolphins, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Of course.

My parents have been divorced for 28 years. Tonight is my dad's birthday celebration, and Jaden told my mom she should go because "after all, he's your long lost husband."

Jaden (singing): "I could really use a wish right now..." Me: "What would you wish for?" Jaden: "That this would be an all-girls school but they'd let me in anyway."

Jaden: "Mom, can the average man lick his own armpit?" Me: "Ummm... I don't think so." Jaden: "I knew it; I'm talented!"

Jaden: "I would never want to be a teacher. You have to get to school at like 6AM to grade papers, plus you never get to pee. Mrs. Deeter literally NEVER pees. It's freaky."

Me: "So, what goes on at a boys' sleepover?" Jaden: "Can't tell; it's part of the Guy Code." Me: "What's the Guy Code?" Jaden: "Can't say; that's classified information."

Me; "How was your day?" Jaden: "Good." Me: "What did you learn?" Jaden: "Nothing." Me: "What did you play in gym?" Jaden: "Mom, I get it; you care about my day. I'm just tired of speaking."

Jaden and Jackson are wrestling upstairs. Me to Jaden: "Please don't kill each other." Jaden to me: "Is it okay if we badly injure one another?"

Jaden: "Okay, from now on, we're all gonna get along and stop arguing. So let's just, I don't know... pretend to be other people."

Jaden: "I mean, what if there is no Santa? What if all those presents are just dropped off by some guy named, like, Bob Shinkenheimer?"

Just had to have the Great Inevitable Santa Talk with Jaden. His response: "That explains why I never get coal even though I'm bad every year!"

Jaden, at bedtime on the eve of back-to-school: "Not... Feeling so well... I don't think... I'm gonna pull through..." *Falls to floor*

Jaden: "I can't go to school today. I'm not throwing up anymore, but I think I have Brownchitus." *fake cough*

Me: "Jaden, you are not leaving this house until you brush those teeth." Jaden: "Come ON, Mom. I promise I won't smile at anyone today. No one will know."

So, my work is hiring RNs, and offering a referral bonus. Mom suggested a friend of ours, but I said "she hasn't nursed in a while" -- to which Jaden replied, "Not from the looks of things; she doesn't even have kids!" *slaps forehead*

Jaden: "Alexis' sister Alyssa almost broke my thumb today. I should have told the teacher, but I figured that might ruin my chances with Alexis. So I make sacrifices; big deal."

Jaden: "A teacher at my school had a baby two days ago. He's a boy and his name is Cameron. Or Henry. Definitely either Cameron or Henry."

Jaden: "What if we switched bodies while we were sleeping?" Me: "You wouldn't like it. You'd have to be a girl." Jaden: "Yeah, but YOU would have puberty all over again, so the joke's on you."

So the boy has Strep. When the doc told Jaders he was contagious, he goes, "Do I have to wear a cone on my head?"

Jaden: "I heard on TV that our president keeps giving Mexican people free stuff. I'M Mexican! I know I don't look like it, but geez, take a blood test!"

Thursday, September 13, 2012

TOP TEN SIGNS THAT YOU NEED MORE REST (from personal experience)


10) You've talked yourself into believing that Red Bull actually tastes good in lieu of the milk you once used in your Wheaties.

9) Drinking coffee will no longer suffice; you must now keep a stash of coffee grounds inside your lower lip, and you tell yourself that maybe carrying a spitoon will be considered classy one day.

8) You've mastered the art of resting one eye at a time -- while driving.

7) When you finally climb into bed late one night, you find a stranger sleeping there -- and your bed actually says to you, "Look, it's been a while. I assumed we were seeing other people."

6) You consider putting it in your will to have your tombstone say, "Asleep at last -- DO NOT DISTURB!!!"

5) The last time you completed a thought was

4) (See what I mean?)

3) You've considered buying a medic alert bracelet and having it engraved with the word 'narcolepsy' -- so that when you nod off while someone is talking to you, they won't think you rude.

2) Every time you pass a Rest Stop along the highway, you bitterly shake your fist at all the sleeping truckers as you lay on your horn.

1) And the number one way to know you need more rest: You started work three hours ago and reading some snarky chick's blog is the only thing you've really accomplished.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

No More Prayer-as-Usual . . .

Someday I think I might write a book entitled Everything I Need to Know About Authentic Prayer I Learned From My Moody Fifth-Grader. I never have to guess how Jaden is feeling toward me; when he’s angry, it isn’t a mystery. When he’s sad or disappointed or any other variation of bummed-out, he says so. I’m sure he may become more and more enigmatic as puberty moves in like an intrusive houseguest over the next few years, but for now, Jaden still seems to want me to know when he’s upset. And why? Because I’m his parent -- and while I seem to become less cool by the day in his opinion, he still believes on some level that I am capable of kissing his (emotional) boo-boos.

Motherhood has helped me, over the years, to understand Father God just a little bit better. I am now better able to identify with Him as “parent” – as One who allows circumstances to befall me, allows life to happen to me in all its complexity, so that I will learn and grow and develop character, etc. But don’t be too impressed; that’s a very tidy description of a very messy process.

Unconsciously taking a few pointers from my ten-year-old and his shameless emotional transparency when in distress,  I guess I’ve changed up my prayer life a bit in recent weeks. For many years, somewhat unknowingly, I had adhered to a respectful, albeit formulaic, method of communication with God, most often probably adhering to the A.C.T.S. (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication) structure that so many of us were taught in Sunday School. And while I believe it’s important to praise and confess and enter into God’s presence with gratitude, I guess I just . . . had enough. I had to get real. Truth? It hasn’t been pretty.

And I thank God for that. Seriously. Because I think I’m finally catching on about what it means to approach Him as a child, just as Jaden approaches me – and it is far less polite than prayer-as-usual. When my kid has an issue – especially an issue with me – he walks right in and lays it out on the table, daring me to do something about it. And yes, he’s ten, and some of his approach might have to do with a ten-year-old’s capacity for impulse control. But nevertheless, it’s honest – and that’s what I want to be. In fact, at this point in my journey, I don’t feel like I can afford to be anything less.

Prayers lately look like this: “God, where were You when . . .?” and “How could You . . . ?” and even “How dare You . . . ?” Bold, I know. Shocking? Not to my Father. He knows me. He knows what is really in my heart and on my mind, ugly as it is sometimes. And he welcomes my outbursts. He can work with brutal honesty. It’s the pious politeness – censorship, really – that ties His hands. He won’t force me to get real with Him. He receives me as I come to Him, He listens as I spout off my pre-cleaned, sanitized sentiments, seeing my heart all the while – and He waits. For me to lose the mask. For me to get real. Maybe even for me to get mad.

I often hear women say to me, “I’m really mad at God, and I know that’s wrong.” Whoa. Hold the phone; where’d we get that idea? Read the Psalms. David was one emotional dude; the Psalms read like a rapid-cycling bipolar diary. And yet we read that David was a man after God’s own heart. God was especially fond of David – and I suspect that it was his emotional transparency that God found so endearing. He was mad at God a lot – and he never really pulled any punches or minced any words. And now we have this amazing chronicle of one man’s journey with God, and it gives us permission, in a way, to get real. Or, at least, it does  for me.

So, here it is, shocking or not: I’m mad at God. For a lot of things. I’m disappointed. I’m confused. I disagree with Him on several points, and we’re duking it out, Him and me.

A friend asked me yesterday, with narrowed eyes and furrowed brow: “How are you doing, really?” And I answered her slowly, carefully: “I am wrestling with God. And it’s . . . okay. It’s a worthy struggle.” 

And I think  . . . I think I really believe that. I’d rather be shaking my fist at God, fully relying on the unlimited access I’ve been granted through Jesus, than to be poised and proper, hands folded into a very prim, pretty, tightly-clasped lie. Truth is, things between God and me are not all that smooth right now. There’s some tension. There’s disagreement. The air is not yet clear. But, we are on speaking terms. No more silent treatment. It’s raw, it’s ugly, and it doesn’t feel good. I feel out of control.

And that's something He can work with.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Learnin' Lessons . . .

Okay, okay -- so I've dropped the blogging ball lately. I admit it. I have a problem -- and admitting we have a problem is the first step to change, right? Right. My problem is this: I start strong and finish poorly -- in pretty much everything I do. So, somewhere in the middle of a thing, I need to intentionally give myself a check-up from the neck-up and turn it back around.

Wanna know how I know this about myself? Because I've slipped up a lot, and dropped a lot of balls. And every slip-up is an opportunity to learn something. Which leads (almost seamlessly!) into this blog of mine from last year that the amazing Constance Rhodes asked to feature over at the FINDINGbalance blog this week (nice segue-way, huh?). Do me a favor and check it out -- and while you do that, I'll start thinking about actually writing some fresh material for this blog again. I mean, it could happen.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Because there is still time before Labor Day . . .

Seriously, people  . . . Where has this Summer GONE? This one has to have been the busiest -- and shortest -- Summer on record. And it is with much regret and a heavily bummed heart that I tell you that I made it to the beach a whopping ONE TIME this season (in part due to the fact that my offspring spent the first half of Summer in a full-arm cast, and dragging him to the beach to watch me play might have been cruel and unusual punishment).

Anyway, enough about ME; what about YOU? Did you take time to play in the sand this Summer? If not, it isn't too late . . . And, because I used to be so diligent about reposting my guest blogs and columns here and I have majorly slacked off in the past year (I'd insert a masterfully crafted excuse here, had I such an excuse), I shall use this, the penultimate week of beach season, to repost an offering I wrote back in July (link below). Huge thanks to Dr. Maria Rago (author of "Shut Up, Skinny Bitches", which I urge you to go buy and read) for inviting me to contribute to her blog. (And huge amends to Dr. Maria Rago for neglecting to re-post it on my own blog, which is sort of, like, Writers Etiquette 101. But I digress . . .)