Sunday, October 31, 2010


Bangs! Not a big deal for most people. I am not most people. I have a humongous collic.

It separates my bangs like warm gravy from the fat.

I sat in my hairdresser's chair several weeks ago.

"What do you want?" Chris asked.

After a busy day of teaching children, I felt brain dead. I couldn't think.

"Do you want a highlight or more brown pulled through your hair?"

Once again I stared at Chris with the stare of my daughters when I ask them if they've gotten their chores done.

I began, "I don't feel like deciding. You're the professional. Do what you think."

After saying that, I immediately felt relief which quickly turned to fear.

Chris looked intently at my big forehead, "I say let's do some heavy bangs and trim the rest."

"Bangs? I can't have bangs. I have a collic, remember?" I asked.

"You can't do wispy bangs. You can do heavy bangs," Chris said.

"Wow...I thought I couldn't have bangs."

Chris began adding color through my hair. She rinsed it. Then asked me to go back to my styling seat. As I sat down, I glanced in the mirror.

Fear! Fear! Fear...pulsated through my being.

What if she cuts my bangs and I don't like them? What if I don't know what to do with them? What if they look horrible? I glanced in the mirror at my ever-present, growing larger by the second, forehead. I hate my big forehead! What if I hate my bangs more?

Chris nonchalantly picked up her scissors and brought them to my hair. She looked calm and knowledgeable. Could she not tell I was starting to sweat like I did in Freshman Speech?

She pulled up a small segment of hair. Her scissors opened. It was like the slow motion in a movie before something dramatic happens.

"I'm scared!" I shouted, clutching her hand with the scissors.

Embarrassment spread like icing on a warm cake.

I looked around. Everyone was looking at me. Chris looked intently and questioningly at me.

Chris smiled, holding back what surely must be a full-belly laugh. "It's just hair," she replied calmly.

"No," I countered back. "To you it's just hair. You are good at hair. You know what to do with new hair. I don't. I'm not a hair person."

She smiled reassuringly and with one snip, I had bangs.

She finished cutting my hair. Thirty minutes later, while climbing out of the chair and glancing quickly in the mirror, I still wasn't sure.

When I first met up with my husband that night, it was during prayer meeting. He said nothing. He must not like it, I thought. Well, I'm not sure I like it either, I thought, while continuing my thought conversation with the man, who was either oblivious to my new hair or decidely against it, but unable to tell me.

After church, when he got home, he stared at me. I did not like it! My least favorite thing to talk about is hair. "Your hair looks good," he said casually as he hung up his coat.

Then he walked into the living room and started channel surfing.

That's it! All I got was that? Did he mean it? Was he sensing my insecurity and trying to make me feel better?

I glanced into the living room. He was already engrossed in a cop show.

The next morning I got up a little early. I needed to be sure that on my debut hair day it looked as good as I could do. I didn't wash it for fear it would look better a day-old but done by Chris, rather than fresh, but in the hands of an amateur.

I went to school.

No one noticed! (O.K. nobody except Linda, who was in the beautyshop, too.)

What could I make of it?

Two weeks later I met my beautiful 5 sisters, with (you guessed it) great hair, along with my mom and dad for my dad's 75th birthday. I checked to be sure my hair was as good as I could get. It was fine.

As we exchanged hugs....nobody noticed!

How could these sisters of mine not notice? Growing up they noticed if I had black socks instead of blue with my jeans. They noticed if a new pimple was starting to pop out along my hairline and handed me the consealer. They noticed if I said the word 'mirra' instead of 'mirror.' How could they not notice?

They didn't.

The next day, Carla said, "I noticed your hair looked really cute last night." Several other sisters chimed in agreement.

I smiled. "Oh it's just hair."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dutch Blitz

Have you ever played Dutch Blitz? Last night Michaela challenged me to a game. It's fast paced and demands constant thinking, watching and slapping cards down into a center pile (with one hand, mind you) trying to be quicker than your opponent.

The first time I played Dutch Blitz I loved it. Matt showed me how to play several years ago. Let me say that more truthfully, I hated it because he killed me at it. Yet, I knew I would love it as I played it more and got better.

I have played that game 100 times...I am NO BETTER! I now hate Dutch Blitz. I always lose. No matter how many people play I am always the loser.

Now for those of you that simply play to have fun, you may not get this. Part of the fun of playing a game is in the unpredictability of who will win. Part of the fun of playing a game is the anticipation 'It may be me.'

I have no such anticipation!

Michaela tried to console me the other day. "Mom you should play grandma. You could actually win!"

I made a discovery last night...always losing at Dutch Blitz is not the only reason I do not like it.

Madison joined us after soccer practice. We started the game over...yes, Michaela graciously let me start over instead of continuing on with the 113 to 17 previous score. ("At least you're not in the negatives" she said with a smirk.)

So as I was flipping every third card over to see if I could play any in the center...I heard it! The sound I hate in Dutch Blitz.

Slap, slap, slap-slap-slap...the sound of Madison pelting the center piles with her cards.

I felt anxiety rise up in the pit of my stomach..."the game is passing me - I should be throwing cards in - red 5? - no I just have a 6! - wait...a green one just got put down-my 2? Shoot! Too late!"

If that weren't stressful enough, Michaela shouts "The yellow 7! Mom put down your yellow 7!"

"Yellow 7?" I ask stupidly. "Where's my yellow 7?" "Oh" I grab it and just miss the pile as Madison's yellow 7 glides onto the pile first.

Gosh, writing about this is giving me clarity. This doesn't even sound like a fun game! Why would anyone want to play it? I'm confused and I know (sort of) how the game works.

I hate Dutch Blitz because the sound of others "getting somewhere" brings ridiculous anxiety to me. I feel like I am getting passed by. I am missing my opportunities. I am being left in the dust.

Sometimes I feel like that in life.

I'm already 44. Where am I getting? What am I doing? Am I making my life count?

When I look around and see others zipping through life, getting master's degrees, going on expensive vacations and having it all...I might think, "What am I doing?" O.k., I do think "What am I doing?"

Then I hear it. A very small but comforting voice inside the pit of my stomach. A voice that is nothing like a game of Dutch Blitz...more like a Starbucks Peppermint White Mocha.

It whispers..."Darling, look what you do have. An amazing husband who you are crazy about. (D'ya like that, honey?) Four children who just thinking about them makes you tear up with pride. And Me...the God of the Universe who is doing more in your little peon life than you could ever imagine.

Nothing is passing you by! Drown out those loud slapping sounds with the sound of my voice. I'm here to remind you as often as you need.

I love you! Trust me! We are going somewhere...together. :)

I gotta love that!

Just one question...what ever happened to the card games where everyone takes their turn?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Meredith's First Kiss

Meredith came home from school today...with a smile as overflowing as my laundry basket. Of course, the second I walked in she was telling me all the details of her school breakneck speed with no breaths.

Today was different, though.

She began by talking about what she had written. Her teacher, Mrs. Hochgraber, had asked them to think about a story they could write which had lots of emotion.

Meredith smiled demurely and continued..."So I wrote about the time I was helping in the 2's/3's class for church. We helped the rambunctious little kids line up and go into the big gym to play on the bounces. Then we had to help them take off their shoes."

Meredith continued on, "I felt this little tugging on my black gouchos. I looked down and there was little blonde haired, blue eyed Aiden."

He very quietly said, "I don't have anybody to play with."

Meredith bent down and looking into Aiden's gorgeous eyes said, "You can play with me?"

Aiden nodded, grabbing Meredith's hand. She kicked off her flip flops and the two of them jumped into the Noah's Ark Bounce. The whole time, they talked and talked and laughed and fell over.

After a little while, it was time to line up to go back to their classroom. Meredith quickly set out napkins while the teacher scooped out the cheese whales. She sat down between the little ones. She looked up as Aiden squeezed in between her and little Gabriella. She smiled at her new found friend. He beamed back.

After snack it was Movie Time! Everyone lay down on the rug to watch Veggie Tales. Aiden found his way to Meredith. Then it happened!

It happened!

Before Meredith even had a clue, Aiden cupped his chubby, dimpled hand around her neck and gave her a kiss!

"So," Meredith said smiling, "I've decided to title my writing..."My First Kiss!"