Some Similar Sunday

Just when you think you’re trudging this road of life and parenting alone, you come across a gem like this.  I’m brought back to the Sunday evenings of my childhood, where we ate not popcorn, but scrambled eggs or a solitary bowl of cereal.  I’m mise-en-placed to any meal with my own children where we rush to throw a paper towel on the spilled pool of milk before it cascades down the cracks between the leaves of the table.  And I’m gleefully reminded how this all must be done with laughter.

It must have been a sight: eight to twelve of us packed around the dinner table, heads bowed over books splayed flat (somewhere a librarian cringes), the pages held open with one hand while the other dipped in and out of the corn, back and forth from bowl to mouth, the rhythm interrupted only when someone refilled a bowl or took a pull at their Kool-Aid.  When your eyes are fixed on text, you tend to fish around with your free hand, and nearly every week someone upended their Kool-Aid.  The minute the glass hit, Dad jumped up to make a dam with his hands in an attempt to keep the spill from leaking through the low spot in the table where the leaves met.  For her part, Mom grabbed a spoon and scraped madly at the spreading slick, ladling the juice back in the glass one flat teaspoon at a time so it could be drunk.  The same thing happened if someone spilled their milk.  Sometimes when I wonder how my parents managed financially, I think of Mom going after those spoonfuls of Kool-Aid like an environmentalist trailing the Exxon Valdez with a soup ladle, and there’s your answer.

from Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting by Michael Perry

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A Magic Number

 

I think I was brainwashed as a child.  Ha ha, weren’t we all?  But I’ve been meditating on the concept of three lately.  For some reason, it’s cycled back through my subconscious – and this song came up.

A man and a woman had a little baby,

yes they did,

they had three in the family –

that’s a magic number.

Those lines cycled around my subconscious on an endless loop growing up.  It was always those lines.

Apparently I didn’t absorb the other math concepts in the song, because instead of 1+1=3, I decided to go for three kids rather than three total family members.

But three always did have a special connotation for me.  As an only child, it was always three of us in my family and what a nice little tight-knit crew we were.  I was assigned the number 3 jersey when I played CYO basketball for several years.  And speaking of spiritual organizations, there is, of course the ultimate – the Holy Trinity.

Revisiting this song in the context of today’s antiseptic if tolerant culture, I was super-surprised that the lyrics alluded to the mystical trinity.  Whoa.

There is a reason comparable concepts cycle through the universe’s subconscious.  There’s that, and the super catchy ditty that gets stuck in one’s head like an ear worm.  But all kidding and brainwashing aside, there is a magic to the way things grab onto us and won’t let go.  My man and I could have had a little baby and stopped, but I wouldn’t see the sparkle in each of their magical little eyes.

A few years ago for Christmas, I chose a card that said peace, joy, and love to accompany a photo of our three girls.  Each of my girls has one of these characteristics at her essence.  There is no measure to that number.

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