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What I Think About

I am a traditionalist. And, by that, I mean a Leftist's worst nightmare. On the other hand, I am most absolutely not the Republican kind; I haven't voted either Democrat or Republican in at least three presidential election cycles. Both parties make my stomach turn.

I am a Christian, I am divorced, and I am a mom. I am aware of the contradictions and sins in all of that. I am also, and of course, a pariah. I collect my earned income credit during every tax season.

I walk a tightrope, and I truly believe that everyone, including myself, is so enamored by the Modern Project that we have truly lost our minds.

I am somewhere between a former member of the privileged white, educated middle class and a part of the “deplorables” that many like to analyze but for whom not many actually care about when it is all said and done.  I am a public school teacher in a rural community who believes that compulsory education is one of the roots of all evil.

I am a former Baptist turned Orthodox Christian, the Church who was too busy defending itself against Islam and Communism to care much about what we were doing over here in the West.

I am stuck between not wanting to offend my liberal, progressive social justice warrior friends and not wanting to betray the neo-conservative Baptists and family who gave me life and loved me beyond what was necessary.

I love America and I hate Her. I am not a Capitalist. I am not a Marxist. I am not a social justice warrior. I am not a part of the Religious Right. I am a label that noone has named.  

If you have ever thought that you have nothing to say to the Other sides because the Other sides don’t have a clue what you are talking about, then maybe we have something in common. Maybe some of us, the ones stuck here in the middle wondering what the hell happened, maybe we could have a conversation. Maybe we could say a proper goodbye to what was once Western Civilization. Maybe we could hope for the best while preparing for the worst . . . together.

That’s what I think about  . . . when I’m washing sheets, kissing bruises, and making dinner. . . It is a blessing and a curse.


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To Hear One More Laugh

We buried my grandmother in July. The photo above is my last of her. I took it to show family members who needed to know she was feeling better on this particular day. These final weeks were spent in the hospital — well over a month of needles and meds and ups and downs. On this day, I happened to be up on the 3rd floor with her, and so my dad, ever her companion, took the chance to stretch his legs. On his return, he brought back coffee for each of us. Meema was so happy about it; nonetheless, I didn't put this photo in her slide show at the funeral. When someone has suffered a chronic illness like congenital heart disease, you don't want to show them at their worst. Now, after over a month, I don't know if it is her at her worst. Perhaps it is her best. The pain and the discomfort at the end made her so mad, and sometimes not like her usual self, but in this photo, her hair may be sticking out a bit, but I can see the beginnings of a smile as she laughed at me for takin…

Interrupting the Shame Tape

As I almost hit that deer earlier this fall, my oldest son screamed from the back seat. It was a baby-like squeal similar to other sounds he makes. This is done for no articulated reason. I sense he is wishing to remain a child and cute in addition to trying to be funny.
Because he has a prefrontal cortex more closely resembling a cat than an adult human, he makes poor decisions about what is appropriate for his age and what might be humorous. The cuteness has dissolved into a blend of pre-adolescent awkwardness and obnoxiousness.
He has developed the habit of growling, hissing, cooing like a baby, or my favorite—doing all three at once. To say that it annoys me is to say that I need air to breathe. I am desperate for the day he finally stops, and I fear it will never come. And, no, I won’t miss it when it’s gone just like I still don’t miss the diaper stage or the tantrum stage.
Inappropriate Behavior All of this may explain, though not justify, why on that early morning driving throug…

To All the Heartless Moms Out There

Two ideals of myself met themselves on the highway during a downpour with no one else around to see, and that was kind of the point. The two of us seldom meet: the loving, selfless mother and the 21st century Queen of Generation Me. I don’t really like for anyone else to know the latter exists, so the lack of acquaintance between these two versions of me is by design. As I drove away and the distance between us grew, a brief rising ball of tears caught in my throat, but nothing followed. It would remain that way, no hysterics, no crying. The cold, calculating version won out—again.

I left two little boys for a month away from their mother, away from me, and drove away with no sobs.

I didn’t post on Facebook about them being gone this time. I didn’t want to lie. The trouble is I enjoy the break, and saying, “Oh, I can’t stand to leave them” is so fake that . . . well, I just left it out this time. We cold-hearted mothers aren’t supposed to say this aloud. We live in the midst of the ea…