Once upon a time, there was a girl who wasn’t very good at scrapbooking. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that she wasn’t very good at crafts, because crafts made her need to sit down, with her back against a wall and her head hung between her knees, as she drew in long breaths of air to keep herself from hyperventilating. (She hyperventilates easily, because she is dramatic, but that’s a story for another day.) Oh, she WANTED to be good at scrapbooking, because all of her friends were diligently using those crimped scissors to make scalloped edges on THEIR photos, to perfectly preserve their trip to Cancun and the arrival of their new Golden Retriever and the time when their kid was five and lost his first tooth. She wanted to have a fully-finished scrapbook, too, to whip out at dinner parties and declare, “It was nothing. Just four hundred and seven hours of labor with the glue stick and $14,000 spent on fancy paper and stickers.”
But the truth is, she gave up on scrapbooking because when her boy was five, she had completed the first four months of his life on acid-free scrapbook pages. There they were, in all of their full-color glory, with every manner of fancy paper involved. Four entire MONTHS. She had documented his birth. She had documented the first night he slept in his crib. She had documented the first time he had a bath and the first time he ate baby food and the first time his grandparents held him. But… the boy was FIVE YEARS OLD, and she was behind enough to make her OCD personality need a nerve pill. And that’s when it dawned on her: cutting pictures into fancy circles and asking the Lord for a vision on the layout style for her pages (that would impress the world and get her into scrapbooking magazines) was so time consuming, she would never catch up.
And that’s how the boy became a nine-year-old, who was tall enough for the third grade, and the scrapbook still sat in a basement box with no pages to turn after the page celebrating LOOK!! HE IS FOUR MONTHS OLD NOW!
So she started blogging, because blogging was all the rage, and WAHOO!! There is no glue involved and no glittery stickers to worry about! So while her husband was on a business trip, that girl who was every bit as good on a computer as Martha Washington was, started a blog with nary a second’s help from the husband.
Because he was out of town.
She texted the blog link on her old flip phone, when texting took two minutes for five words, to the man she loved and said, “Look what I have done!”
And that husband texted her back and said, “I am so proud of you,” because emojis didn’t exist yet, so he had to use real words instead of his favorite THUMBS UP picture. And then he came home from his business trip with a book entitled BLOGGING FOR DUMMIES, which she immediately devoured, because WHAT ON EARTH HAD SHE GOTTEN HERSELF INTO? But, lo! She was committed, and she faithfully blogged five nights a week, come the first frost in Hell or high waters in Small Town. She was determined that this blogging endeavor would not be like the scrapbooking hobby.
And it went on and on for years. The boy grew. He lost more teeth. He grew his hair long; he cut his hair short. He turned ten and then thirteen and… yes! Even eighteen! He got a frog for a pet, he had Nerf gun wars with his friends. He hosted sleepovers with his buddies; he went to prom. He got a little brother. The girl got older, and so did her husband, and there she was… still blogging like it was HER JOB. Look, everyone! She had quit scrapbooking and she had quit step aerobics and she had quit her George Foreman grill, but SHE HAD NOT QUIT BLOGGING!!
The little brother grew up. He ate baby food; he crawled. He lost teeth; he went to kindergarten. She recorded it all, right there on the World Wide Web, just like it was her digital scrapbook. She wanted to write a post about how he slept through the night, but that never happened, because she had taken so much pride in how well her firstborn slept, the Good Lord told her to settle down and see what life was like underneath of her pride, where her second child stayed awake more hours than he didn’t.
And then somewhere along the line, during Hell’s trifecta of great hotness, when it was June, July and August in Small Town and she was sweating like a pink pig the week before Easter, she let a few nights slip on the blog.
And then she let a few more nights slip on the blog.
She was tired. The younger son was always awake.
The laundry piled up like fourteen people were living in her house and taking all their clothes off for showers. She wondered how four people could generate so much laundry, and how she could get it to stop. She suggested they all pick a favorite outfit and wear it for an entire week, but… even though she lived with nothing but menfolk who don’t put too much stock in smelling fresh… they declined her suggestions. They continued changing clothes frequently. The laundry baskets grew heavier and heavier, until she wanted to cry.
So… she let a few more nights slip on the blog, because she was waist-deep in mounds of freshly washed socks and T-shirts that all had to be folded, and she was living in a time when she considered getting up at 5:30 on a Saturday morning with the little man as SLEEPING IN.
And then there was dinner. Every single night, they all wanted to eat, and it was so hot, and she was still folding laundry, so WHY COULDN’T THEY MAKE CAP’N CRUNCH IN A BOWL?! Though they professed their love of cold cereal, they only wanted that in the mornings, like traditionalists. In the evenings, they wanted meat and potatoes. They wanted fruit. They wanted noodles and sauces and fried this and sauteed that. They wanted everything…
… except vegetables.
So she let a few more nights slip on the blog.
And then sometimes, when all the planets were lined up just right and the wind was blowing slowly out of the east, she and that husband would find a couple of minutes before the washing machine bells chimed to sit on their deck and drink pineapple rum mixed up right with frozen fruit.
So she let a few more nights slip on the blog.
And now… here it is… the middle of SENIOR YEAR and the FIRST STINKING GRADE, and she feels like she’s back at that old scrapbook page labeled FOUR MONTHS.
But, she is a feisty girl, who has been known to pull her act together before. Even though she walks through the valley of the shadow of little sleep, she will try to blog. Even though her sprinklers are currently broken and the lush greenness of her front lawn is being threatened by NO DRINKS THIS WEEK, KENTUCKY BLUEGRASS… and even though the husband keeps sending her to the basement to turn handles on water pipes, but she accidentally turns the handle on the gas pipe instead, because WHERE ARE THE DISTINCT LABELS?, she will try to blog better. Even though the six year old is still a rotten sleeper… even though one of her cats has done an ungodly thing and… AHEM!… WET on her carpet and caused her to HATE CATS and want to SKIN CATS, because OH, HOLY MOTHER OF SCOOBY-DOO!! THE STENCH!!!… and even though the laundry pile is still obscene… and even though she still has to pack a lunch that follows the guidelines of GLUTEN-FREE AND ALSO DAIRY-FREE, but adheres to the term KID FRIENDLY, every single weekday morning… and even though someone at her house used a ballpoint pen to make superhero signs on a T-shirt that must be dealt with… and even though the toilet in her bathroom keeps running but seldom flushing… and even though she committed herself to helping teach Sunday School to first graders on Sunday mornings, FOR THE ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR, even though this is not her spiritual gift… she will try to be more faithful at blogging.
Amen and selah.