To all my readers, near and far
Merry Christmas. I love you all!
To all my readers, near and far
To all my readers, near and far
Merry Christmas. I love you all!
Laws Concerning Food and Drink
Lamentations of the Father
by Ian Frazier
*Laws of Forbidden Places*
Of the beasts of the field, and of the fishes of the sea, and of all foods that are acceptable in my sight you may eat, but not in the living room.
Of the hoofed animals, broiled or ground into burgers, you may eat, but not in the living room.
Of the cereal grains, of the corn and of the wheat and of the oats, and of all the cereals that are of bright color and unknown provenance you may eat, but not in the living room.
Of quiescently frozen dessert and of all frozen after-meal treats you may eat, but absolutely not in the living room.
Of the juices and other beverages, yes, even of those in sippy-cups, you may drink, but not in the living room, neither may you carry such therein.
Indeed, when you reach the place where the living room carpet begins, of any food or beverage therein you may not eat, neither may you drink.
But if you are sick, and are lying down and watching something, then may you eat in the living room.
*Laws When at Table*
And if you are seated in your high chair, or in a chair such as a greater person might use, keep your legs and feet below you as they were.
Neither raise up your knees, nor place your feet upon the table, for that is an abomination to me.
Yes, even when you have an interesting bandage to show, your feet upon the table are an abomination, and worthy of rebuke.
Drink your milk as it is given you, neither use on it any utensils, nor fork, nor knife, nor spoon, for that is not what they are for; if you will dip your blocks in the milk, and lick it off, you will be sent away from my presence.
When you have drunk, let the empty cup then remain upon the table, and do not bite it upon its edge and by your teeth hold it to your face in order to make noises in it sounding like a duck: for you will be sent away from my presence.
When you chew your food, keep your mouth closed until you have swallowed, and do not open it to show your brother or your sister what is within; verily I say to you, do not so, even if your brother or your sister has done the same before you.
Eat your food only; do not eat that which is not food; neither seize the table between your jaws, nor use the raiment of the table to wipe your lips. I say again to you, do not touch it, but leave it as it is.
And though your stick of carrot does indeed resemble a marker, draw not with it upon the table, even in pretend, because we do not do that, that is why.
And though the pieces of broccoli are very like small trees, do not stand them upright to make a forest, because we do not do that, that is why.
Sit just as I have told you, and do not lean to one side or the other, nor slide down until you are nearly slid away.
Heed me; for if you sit like that, your hair will go into the syrup.
And now behold…..even as I have said, it has come to pass.
*Laws Pertaining to Dessert*
For as we judge between the plate that is unclean and the plate that is clean, saying first, if the plate is clean, then you shall have dessert.
But of the unclean plate, the laws are these:
If ye have eaten most of your meat, and two bites of your peas with each bite consisting of not less than three peas each, or in total six peas, eaten where I can see, and you have also eaten enough of your potatoes to fill two forks, both forkfuls eaten where I can see, then ye shall have dessert.
But if ye eat a lesser number of peas, and yet ye eat the potatoes, still ye shall not have dessert; and if ye eat the peas, yet leave the potatoes uneaten, ye shall not have dessert, no, verily I say unto you, not even a small portion thereof!
And if thou tries to deceive by moving the potatoes or peas around with a fork, that it may appear that thou hast eaten what thou hast not, ye will fall into iniquity.
And I will know, and ye shall have no dessert.
Do not scream; for it is as if you scream all the time.
If ye are given a plate on which two foods ye do not wish to touch each other are touching each other, and your voice rises up even unto the ceiling, while ye point to the offense with the finger of your right hand; but I say unto you, scream not, only remonstrate gently with the server, that the server may correct his transgression and peace shall prevail throughout the land.
Likewise if ye receive a portion of fish from which every piece of herbal seasoning has not been scraped off, and the herbal seasoning is loathsome to you and steeped in vileness, again I say, verily, refrain from screaming.
Though the vileness overwhelm you, and cause you a faint unto death, make not that sound from within your throat, neither cover your face, nor press your fingers to your nose.
For even as I have made the fish, and it is as it should be; behold, I eat it myself, yet do not die.
*Concerning Face and Hands*
Cast your countenance upward unto the light, and lift your eyes to the hills, that I may more easily wash you off.
For the stains are upon you; even to the very back of your head, and there is rice thereon.
And in the breast pocket of your garment, and upon the tie of your shoe, rice and other fragments are distributed in a manner beyond comprehension!
Only hold thyself still; hold still, I say.
Give unto each finger in its turn for my examination thereof, and also each thumb.
Lo, how iniquitous they appear.
What I do is as it must be; and you shall not go henceforth until I have done.
*Various Other Laws, Statutes, and Ordinances*
Bite not, lest you be cast into quiet time.
Neither drink of your own bath water, nor of the bath water of any beast of the field, or any fowl of the air nor of any kind; nor rub your feet on bread, even if it be in the package; nor rub your feet against cars, not against any building; nor eat sand.
Leave the cat alone, for what hath the cat done, that you should go forth and afflict it so and bindeth it with tape?
And hum not the humming in your nose as I read, nor stand between the light and the book.
Verily I say unto you, you will drive me to madness.
Neither forget what I said about the tape.
Complaints and Lamentations O my children, you are disobedient. For when I tell you what you must do, you argue and dispute hotly even to the littlest detail; and when I do not accede, you cry out, and hit and kick.
Yes, and even sometimes do you spit, and shout “stupid-head” and other blasphemies, and hit and kick the wall and the molding thereof when you are sent to the corner. And though the law teaches that no one shall be sent to the corner for more minutes than he has years of age, yet I would leave you there all day, so mighty am I in anger.
But upon being sent to the corner you ask straightaway, “Can I come out?” and I reply, “No, you may not come out.” And again you ask, and again I give the same reply. But when you ask again a third time, then you may come out.
Hear me, O my children, for the bills they kill me. I pay and pay again, even to the twelfth time in a year, and yet again they mount higher than before.
For our health, that we may be covered, I give six hundred and twenty talents twelve times in a year; but even this covers not the fifteen hundred deductible for each member of the family within a calendar year. And yet for ordinary visits we still are not covered, nor for many medicines, nor for the teeth within our mouths. Guess not at what rage is in my mind, for surely you cannot know.
For I will come to you at the first of the month and at the fifteenth of the month with the bills and a great whining and moan. And when the month of taxes comes, I will decry the wrong and unfairness of it, and mourn with wine and ashtrays, and rend my receipts. And you shall remember that I am that I am: before, after, and until you are twenty-one. Hear me then, and avoid me in my wrath, O children of me.
[Ian Frazier, “Laws Concerning Food and Drink: Household Principles, Lamentations of the Father,” The Atlantic Monthly, February 1997, Volume 279, No. 2, pages 89-90.]
I have Christmas music on in the Living Room. I’m trying to get “into the spirit”. These past four weeks have not felt very “Christmas-y”, and I really REALLY don’t want the Holiday to go by and not be enjoyed because of all the to do lists. It helps, though, that those to do lists are getting shorter! I sent the fudge in the with the kids today, as well as the Christmas cards. I’ve been working on straightening up the living room this morning, because, well, it’s a PIT. The kitchen isn’t much better. And it’s all pretty much just picking up after ourselves, which none of us is all that good at, myself included.
So, here’s to the first real day of Christmas in our home. I want to consciously celebrate today and ENJOY it. May you find the grace and time to do so as well.
This week is, um, the easiest to list.
Monday: Beef Stew in Crockpot
Tuesday: Hot Dogs, mac’n’cheese, carrots
Wednesday: CHINESE FOOD (annual tradition)
Thursday: Whatever Jim’s sister is serving
Friday: Whatever my sister is serving
Sunday: Not exactly sure….maybe leftovers from Christmas or soup or something.
About Wednesday’s: We’ve been married for 13 years, so this will be our 14th Christmas. We have yet to miss this tradition. Jim LOVES LOVES LOVES Chinese food. I can eat it about once every two or three months. I like it, but that’s about as far as it goes. It’s a fun thing to look forward to, especially now that Bennett likes it too (Laura and Catie are still holding out).
This morning Bennett and I made our way down to Dupont again. I cannot ever spell that the same way twice! DuPont, duPont, Dupont….they all work! Anyway, I want to say something about Dr. V. The man needs to work on his bedside manner! Especially as a pediatric surgeon who deals with HELLO….KIDS all day long! He’s ok with me, but rather stern with Bennett. It annoys me. Bennett is shy to begin with and I just want to slap this man and tell him to lighten up. Unfortunately, he’s not only the only reasonably close guy in this field, he’s also fairly well known and high up in this field of treating Hirschsprung’s Disease. Ugh. He just needs to lighten up!
We had a “wintry mix of precipitation”, meaning ice, snow, sleet all together. They canceled church. It’s actually a lovely day at home with the family just hanging out with no specific plans. A day of REST. What a concept for a Sunday!
Jennifer’s post reminded me of something I’ve wanted to post about for awhile but never remember to do so. (Thank you Jennifer!). It’s long, but I hope you’ll stick with it.
I grew up in the church. My parents, Baptist to the core, took me to church in utero and every Sunday thereafter. It was just the thing you did. While it gave me a great biblical foundation, as well as any number of hymns stuck forever in my brain, it did not give me a PERSONAL relationship with Jesus. I knew about Him, believed He existed, but that can be said of the demons as well. It wasn’t until I was 17 that the light went on. I changed churches to one closer to my home that had a youth group and read…Oh My Word….the New International Version of the bible. Up until that time I had only seen/read/heard about the King James. While beautiful, it did not inspire me to read it in my leisure. If it works for you, that’s wonderful. It didn’t for me.
But the NIV!! Wow! I would take my handy-dandy highlighter and mark up PAGES at a time of what God was suddenly showing me. This bible thing was amazing! Cool! And you can actually apply it to you life outside of church! Whoa! Amazing!
That lasted for quite awhile. I eventually switched churches yet again to worship with Jim. He went to a non-denominational church, which was Quite. The. Change. They didn’t dress up. There was a guitar. And drums! And people raised their hands sometimes.
Pretty heady stuff for this Baptist girl.
Fast forward to 2001. My relationship with God weathered questions during the infertility stuff, which was Not. Fun. Then I got pregnant with quadruplets. Um, hello? Are You SURE You know what You’re doing up there, God? Ok…..if You say so!
Then premature birth at 25 weeks. And Connor dying. And Ethan being blind. And Laura and Ethan having Grade IV brain bleeds, and trying to care for three medically needy babies. And the answer “no.” from God again and again and again.
I turned away. Through necessity, we stopped attending church unless it was Christmas or Easter (having left our previous church for many and various reasons that don’t need to be said) because of the children. I got PREGNANT AGAIN. What in the World Was HE Thinking Bringing a Baby Into This Chaos??
I hate you, God.
Yes, I actually said those words. Out loud.
And God kept on loving me. And Jim, who, by the way, wasn’t on friendly terms with Him either.
And he kept nudging. And knocking. And loving. Four years ago he led us to a church with loving wonderful people who didn’t expect anything from us but to come when we could. That was pretty much the extent to which we could give at that point.
And God kept on whispering. Battering my heart. Letting me know that He was still there and He wasn’t ever going to give up.
And finally, at some point a few years ago, I put the “Why” question aside. I allowed my trust in God to overcome the questions. To let the belief that God is, indeed, GOOD. Despite my questions. Despite my experiences. In spite of my husband that continued at that point to question and not want to move forward in his personal journey. I allowed God in.
Am I saying that I never question? No. Would I love to have a miracle and wake up some morning to having Ethan be able to see? Yes. Do I believe that God COULD work that way? Yes, I guess I do. Do I think He will? No. If that’s lack of faith, then I guess God will have to deal with me on it. He’s pretty good at that, don’t you think?
8 years ago, deciding to take a break from the infertility treatments (to enjoy the holidays), I could never have thought what lay ahead for me and my faith. It was largely untested. I can’t look back and say that I came successfully through the fire. I opted to turn away from God instead of to Him. I chose to walk alone. And managed it, somehow. I know loads of people were praying for us. I’m guessing that had something to do with it. I’ll probably never know this side of heaven.
But in the end, the gold was purified. The faith, challenged, finally rose to the occasion. The trust was rebuilt. And the journey, itself, was important for the lessons learned.
(And yes, that whole paragraph was in passive voice.)
I apologize for that last post. I wrote it in the frustration of the moment, which I really try not to do.
Onto the patting myself on the back post!
wrote out the menu
went grocery shopping
folded and put away two loads of boy laundry
washed, dried, folded and put away three loads of girl laundry
put away two loads of adult laundry (just sitting in the bedroom)
emptied the dishwasher
filled it again and ran it
worked for an hour on a CYWA project
called DirecTV about our broken receiver
fed the kids, played with them and put them to bed by myself b/c yet again Jim had to work late
Today I SHOULD:
Work more on the CYWA project
make 1 batch of fudge
wash, dry, fold and put away adult whites
bring our budget up to date
start on the box o’ stuff I put into Ethan’s closet to get it out of the way for the party. Bad Tina! Bad Tina!