Someday when I get to heaven, I’m going to ask God about right decisions and wrong ones. . . . I’m really curious to hear what He says. Until then, I’m not going to live my life based on fear of doing the wrong thing, making the wrong decision. I’m not going to be reckless, but I am going to give myself freedom to make mistakes. I’m going to give myself a free pass to mess up every now and then.
~ Ally Vesterfelt, Packing Light
“Mommy, you should drink this Gatorade. It is good for your energy and it will help you run.”
“But I don’t like Gatorade, buddy. And I don’t run. When was the last time you saw me run anywhere?”
“Any time I get hurt, you run to me.”
“Good morning, Tricia! And how are you today?”
I have a half-second lead time to decide: to be authentic or to give a safe answer.
“You know what?” I pause for a moment. For so many reasons. “I’m very sad today.”
“Sad?! Well, that’s because the sun isn’t shining today. I’m sure that’s why.”
Actually, it’s not. I love grey skies. And you don’t have enough in you for me to tell you that I want to pass the parenting baton. Tag the teammate. I don’t think I can do the reading log and the math homework tonight. Plus the baths and the fingernails. And the fighting and the silly. I don’t want to do this anymore, and today I’m not even striving for excellence. I’m putting one foot in front of the other because that’s what needs to happen. So, you know what? You’re the one who asked. I’m sad. And too tired to pretend I’m not.
“Well, that just won’t do! You’re my ray of sunshine! I count on you to bring sunshine into my life!”
Then don’t. Don’t do that.
An early reader came to me with this question:
“Tricia, I’m a little concerned about two words in the book. Boobs… do you think you could use another word? And schmucks… it’s so derrogatory. Could you say ‘jerks’?”
See, here’s the thing. No.
A different word for boobs? Well, let me visit my thesaurus app on that one. Actually, every single option makes the sentence *more awkward.* Breasts? No. That’s simultaneously way too personal and way too medical. And I’m not going to substitute jugs or girls or milk bags. (I could continue with a litany of options.)
Schmucks. “It’s so derrogatory.” It is. I meant it that way.
I don’t mean to be a smart ass about it. Sorry – I don’t mean to be a smart alec. I’m a real girl, and I use real words. I remain open to suggestions and critique, but this author may have met her limit on the conservative revisions.
The boobs and schmucks get to stay.