Mary Chaos


A sister alumna of mine recently embarked upon a new career as a Mary Kay consultant; as part of her training, she was told to interview a certain number of women.  Although my skin care regimen consists of Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap and the occasional baby wipe (during allergy season), I volunteered to be one of her interviewees.  This was particularly good for a couple of reasons — firstly, she and I keep up a correspondence through Facebook that includes some deliciously spirited political argument (she’ll never know how much I value that about her), neither of us had actually ever heard the others voice, and secondly, I was in dire need of another adult voice this morning, since I was awaiting one of those phone calls that could bring either good news or bad (good, for the record).

We had finished the interview portion of our conversation and were just talking, in that way that seems to be peculiar to alumnae of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, discussing corporate philosophies and the importance of working for organizations whose goals and values match our own, when the tribe decided since my attention was on my conversation, they had a phenomenal opportunity to make mischief of many kinds.  Beanie decided to practice kicking Bugaboo in the face, which started a difference of opinion about the proper methods of expressing affection for one’s siblings that carried down the hallway and into the girls’ room; after a few minutes, I heard Bugaboo wailing pitifully.  She emerged into the living room shortly thereafter, flounced over to where I was sitting, chatting, and feeding Baby Guy to inform me that Beanie had hit her in the head.  I ran through the usual litany of questions (are you bleeding, is something broken, are you missing any body parts), ascertained that the worst injury was to her pride, and sent her off with instructions to explain to Beanie why Bugaboo did not enjoy being whacked in the head.

Moments later, Mr. Man entered the living room, grinning, and clutching a green plastic cup from his sisters’ set of miniature stacking cups.  He jumped up onto the couch to greet Baby Guy,  then clumped into the kitchen, muttering something about water.  The next time I saw him, he was still clutching the cup, but he also had a mouthful of water . . . which he proceeded to spit onto the floor.  I should probably point out that he was fetching water from the dogs’ water dish.

It’s kind of tough to carry on an intelligent conversation under those circumstances, so my sister alumna was on the receiving end of the play-by-play of Mr. Man running to the water dish, refilling the cup (which has three holes in its bottom, by the way, thus ensuring that I will drag out this story when he is of an age to understand the myth of Sisyphus), and either drinking or throwing the water.  As I explained to the lady, the floor was overdue for a cleaning anyway.

I wonder if she’ll take me up on that invitation to come down for a visit.

Today’s prayer:  Lord, You gave us the strength and faith to bear a great trial today which had nothing to do with Mr. Man and water.  Thank You for the steady hands of Nonno’s surgeon, and for the steadfast love of our friends and family, who gently held us in their prayers for comfort and healing.  You told us that love bears all things, and we are grateful for those whose love for us helps bear our burdens, and we thank You for Your love, the greatest of all.  Even though the stresses of today were, by their nature, greater than those of yesterday, I managed to keep my words gentle with Your blessings, Lord, by Your grace.

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