Things That Happened This Weekend
- Truman screamed when we wouldn’t stop at McDonald’s. This was as we left a lunch gathering with cousins where he did not eat. Henry, in the spirit of appeasing his little bro through the art of subtle manipulation, looked at the McDonald’s we were driving by and said, “That’s not McDonald’s. It’s Shick Shonald’s.” “Oh,” said Truman, cowed and silenced.
- We had family pictures with Jeff’s extended family. To get a feel for the mood of this event, envision three tiny babies, six toddlers and preschoolers, and one blunt-instrument Jack, who didn’t feel like posing nor behaving. He stripped his gym shorts off and put on Charlie’s spare gym shorts with Charlie’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirt, which was skin-tight, outta sight. He also smashed a plate of brownies and let loose a fair amount of screaming and wailing. Family pictures are the antithesis of peaceful togetherness, which feels like a great irony. Because family, etc.
- I was again the de facto Relief Society pianist, because I am all that stands between us and a cappella versions of the opening and closing hymns. And so, they pick me, and my imperfect playing. It’s humbling, because I’m really really really not good at it. I struggle to keep the introductory notes clean. I make lots of mistakes. Isn’t there a bit of (untested, amateur) advice circulating the internet that says you should do something that scares you every day? Well try playing accompaniment for Relief Society when your piano skills are “Fine for Oft-Practiced Songs at Home with Limited Audiences,” but “Not Quite Church Pianist Quality.” It’s a good trick.
- I made homemade, thick, soft, buttery sugar cookies. I don’t do shapes. Just circles. Whatever. Also, amen.
- I finished one of the best books I have read in a long time based on a the recommendation of my homie, Amy from Writing Group. It’s the memoir When We Were the Kennedy’s by Monica Wood. How can one be transfixed by the true story of a girl growing up in a New England mill town in the early 1960’s, learning about grief and finding her footing after her father dies unexpectedly on his way to work, you might ask? Well read it, and see. I was spellbound. It was so real, so astute, so honestly human. I absolutely loved Wood’s language, her generosity in remembering the people of her hometown, and her ability to spin a grown-up perspective into the wobbly world of her family’s life without her bread-winning, happy, stabilizing father.
- I sang “Landslide” quite a few times out loud and in my head.
- I listened to a lesson about forgiveness and thought about all the people whom I ought to forgive. One thing I gleaned from the lesson is that many of us see ourselves as quite forgiving people. But when really hard things happen, even the most forgiving among us can find that forgiving offenders feels basically impossible. A few people came to mind when I did a google search of my soul for those I inwardly view with discord. I am now in a state of letting go and also mellowing out, even while I ask for forgiveness for myself, for not extending forgiveness before. Forgiveness: it’s what’s for dinner.
- I argued with Truman about shoes, chicken, cereal, puffy vests, church, and shouting in my ear. I argued with Charlie about pants. I let Jack drag me around the cabin during the photo shoot because he hated it and was uncomfortable in his own skin, and just needed to go already.
- I thought about posting a #threefictionalcharacters photo on fb and insta. I’ll post it here. Because honestly nobody cares about anybody else’s #threefictionalcharacters. It’s self-indulgent and kind of ridiculous, but whatever. Here is my half-hearted contribution. (Kimmy Schmidt, Gilly, & Jane Eyre. Discuss)