Saturday, May 3, 2014

My son as free agent, chooses Christ

The woman who gave a talk on the Holy Ghost asked the boys how they felt right after being baptized. The first kid said he felt really good inside. That was the Holy Ghost, the woman told him. My son said, "I didn't really feel anything." The woman looked horrified and told him he ought to think more about it.

B— has said over and over how wonderful this day has been for him and how happy he is to have chosen baptism. I also think he understands what the whole process is about better than the kid who said he felt really good inside after coming up out of the water, because when I was giving my talk on baptism the first boy admitted that he was really worried about making mistakes after the ordinance was over. 

Of course, there are going to be people who disagree with me. But I think we're teaching baptism wrong in the Church and our kids are being set up for lives filled with fear and shame rather than the trust and love they should be building in and with Jesus Christ. 

I tried to convey what baptism means to me as best I could in my talk. After, about ten people told me it was the best talk on baptism they'd ever heard. Maybe it's time to type up those thoughts and spread them around.

My son is about the Lord's business. He's entered into the partnership.

I couldn't be a prouder mother, even if it took him an extra year to get the concepts nailed down before he could choose the ordinance for himself.

On a brief side note: I survived my mother for the three hours we were together. But she did spend a good deal of time glaring at E—'s longhaired boyfriend and making him very uncomfortable. (I love Z—. Yes, he has long hair. Yes, he is atheist. He also treats my daughter better than she's ever been treated, and much like I want to be treated. I wouldn't trade him for any clean cut Mormon boy.) Also, my step dad has been watching the History Channel, and he tried to assert that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew and translated into Koine Greek, which is where the mistranslations happened. This is utter bullshit. But again, I survived.

Friday, May 2, 2014

And so the problem of lightening manifests

I don't sleep without school or drugs.

Sure, I have some grading left. But I can't bring myself to take the Ativan to calm the raging jungle cat that's had me on edge all night, and now it's nearly 3 a.m. and Friday morning is shot.

I haven't mentioned that my mother is coming into town on Saturday for B—'s baptism.

That's got my insides in a nine-car pile up on I-15.

I keep asking myself if wanting so much distance from the woman who birthed me isn't in some way entirely eFfeD up. And then I remember what happens when I let my guard down. The real difficulty with nurturing the narcissistic spirit of a parent is that you do it in anxious loneliness. Everyone else can only see her for her radiant excellence, her piety, her accomplishment. She has so deliberately and deviously crafted your shame that you know any attempt at mentioning her sabotage of any part of you that may have shown promise is voluntarily throwing yourself under the Greyhound. Your extended family knows you as the black sheep, and you're the only one who knows Bo Peeps palms are stained in dye. 

And so you count yourself over and over praying to dream that someone will roast you up as lamb chop before your mother comes hook or crook to your door.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


I'm not sure how the universe does what it does. I don't believe in luck, nor fate. But chance like mine is often too uncanny to be real.

My finals ended early, in a cast.

Two hours of parsing and rendering Greek without the book or notes proved that I know just enough to get by in the language if there is no required action. Verbs are still beyond me. I'm alright with that deficiency for now because, Ada, the other sick guinea pig who took the two blocks of a dead language along with me, is in the same predicament. On the way out I went over what I'd done with the professor briefly and he assured me that at worst I'll score a low B. It's amazing that such a grade is possible without solid verb knowledge.

I took a fifteen minute break before beginning a second two-hour finals slot in Presocratics. Philosophy is a cramp in my hand. I wrote and wrote. My handwriting has never been great. When I'm in a hurry and flustered it's worse. There were only seven questions, but I was only on the fifth at 2:14 when my phone lit up and vibrated. I tapped it off quickly and texted that I was in class. A message registered, but I ignored it. I kept writing. Less than five minutes later Ex Numero Awesome (my kids' dad) texted that L— had been hurt at school. He was on his way to get her and asked me to meet him.

I stopped writing. I packed up. Some of the students in the class congratulated me for finishing early. I told them I didn't. "My kid got hurt at school and I'm a mom first."

I handed the answer booklet to my professor and explained my dilemma. Thankfully, because I'd already requested and been approved for the "I" he agreed to pull more strings. 

"You're in luck," he said. "Think of this as getting a sneak peak at a final and being able to study up on the sections where you felt weak. I'll let you finish them when you come back in next week."

How's that for chance? Sadly, L—'s chance wasn't running as high. In a freak accident, she slipped off the ledge below her gym locker, fell less than 12" and broke her foot. We're telling people she did it hurdling tigers. 

How many people get that lucky?

Writing in bed on the eve of finals

B-- is asleep next to me, his skin smooth and warm, his breath matching the cadence of railcars colliding in a rippling, thunderous halt in the train yard two blocks away.

This sort of sound magic deserves to be shared, and so I will imagine a lover wrapped around me, as well as the reflexive response of his body with each successive impact. We will shudder together through this night.