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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Parenting, Chapter 4

The crazy thing about being a parent is that you started out this whole overly optimistic project by believing some idylic nonsense about "happily ever after". Somewhere between the notions of "her pomegranates will satisfy you always" and "His eyes are like doves by the water streams" all that symbolism just sort of got to you. All those flocks of new shorn goats mingled with the mhrrh and honey and HOLY SHA-MOLEY the lilies and saffron began to procreate!

Right about that time, you and he emerged from the mountain haunts of the leopards and became fully aware of some other realities. Little goats and doves all over the place. Dripping snot and poo and yelling for chocolate milk and monster cookies.

What the -----?! Time to wake on up and smell the saffron.

Here's where the mama-idealists skip ahead to the whole Proverbs 31 thing. They trade in their two gazelles for a business degree, do a little sewing on the side, and pass up the wine and milk for running out and planting a little vineyard for her and hers. Apparently right about the time she comes in with a cluster of grapes, she can expect her children to rise up and call her blessed. Her husband will want for nothing.

Now, what separates me from the people who seem to have made this transition smoothly? The serene ones who spend time doing sand art and cooking with their children-- those parents who start insisting on good manners by the age of four hours instead of waiting til the beasts are 12, then yelling at them to SMARTEN UP! ?

I think I spent Waaaaaaaaaaaay to much time in that leopard cave admiring rods of gold set with chrysolite. By the time I had fully exited and my eyes adjusted to the new lighting, I think I just went into full blown shock. The kiddies were wild little animals. The closest we'd come to the proverbian formula was for the kids to rise up on one elbow and call out for more blessed popcorn.

Its hard to tell if Mr happily-ever-after is still mesmerized by the nectar of my pomegranates when I'm gently reminding him about garbage day and occasionally letting words like "selfish bastard" escape through my clenched teeth. The teeth that used to look like a flock of sheep coming up from the washing.

Maybe its time to make these passages more relevant to present time. Maybe the best we can do is dress in purple lounge suits (with lycra) and throw some wool or flax into the occasional frozen casserole. Maybe instead of watching over the affairs of our households and not eating the bread of idleness, we could snack on mojos and gingerbread whilst watching Entertainment Tonight and tut-tutting over the bad people having illicit affairs.

Our children will become so disillusioned by the mistakes that we make, that they will rebel. Their elbows will come off the table. They will look adults in the eye, smile, and say "please" and "thank you". They will always stay fully alert, never confusing a human for a dove washed in milk, or a lilly dripping with myrrh. Then when they grow up and pro-create, we can sit back and strengthen ourselves with raisins, exhausted from leaping across mountains and bounding over hills like gazelles and young stags.


Marshkies said...

Hey! First one to comment -- wow! I started loving Prov. 31 when I got to know my mother-in-law. Can't help but love her. Love your take on it. Come bask in the love of mom G. She's the best.

Judy said...

Proverbs 31 covers this woman's ENTIRE life.

That gives me hope. For later.

You are SO funny.

So very very funny.

lettuce said...

This is brilliant Joyce. I love the way you blend hilariousness and truth.

Anonymous said...

great post Joyce....Lindalew

Brian the Mennonite said...

" rise up on one elbow and call out for more blessed popcorn"...DAMN, that's funny Joyce.
I think that I just finished reading one of those "things you should perhaps send in".
You're fabulous!

rosa said...

anyone know where we get Saffron from?

Anonymous said...

Saffron at Main Bread & Butter.
What about pomegrantes (with nectar)?

shelley said...

too funny.

Homo Escapeons said...

Awesome transfer from the OT Joyce.
That Prov 31 woman (Martha Stewart) was all of that and a bag of chips umm hmmm....
in today's world she wouldn't need (or probably want)
a husband schmusband!...
that's progress...
so marry a Dentist or a Lawyer next time..Sheesh!

We also need to remind ourselves that the ancient Hebrews had a healthy (legal) outlook on women's to their neighbours anyway.

Linda said...

Tee hee hee. I've never liked Prov. 31. What really got me mad was that while Mrs. Perfect was working her ass off, where was her hubby? At the city gate, yakking with the other lazy slobs.

(It's 3:16 AM and I can't sleep and I'm feeling a little feisty. I may regret leaving this comment in the morning. If you must delete, I will understand. But not now. Do it tomorrow.)

Linda said...

I wish you would have written your Parenting book years ago. My kids are mostly grown up and it's just too late for me to use your wonderful suggestions and wisdom!