Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine's Day Approaches

Valentine's Day is nearly upon us and with it comes the special combination of anxiety and neuroticism that makes me uniquely me. As if my general fears of the day aren't enough, I am now finding myself contemplating what illness or accident will land me another romantic evening in the Emergency Room.

I'm so glad that my kids have not inherited my Valentine's craziness. They seem pretty cool and matter-of-fact about it. There's no anxiety about giving a valentine to the weird kid or people thinking that they like the weird kid. I guess that's a plus to today's school system. They really emphasize that every kid in the class is "one of our friends." That wasn't the case when I was growing up. There was a definite stigma associated with being friends with some kids. Was it fair? No. Did I want to exclude people? No. But when you're a kid with thick glasses, freckles and really messed up teeth, you can't take any chances giving a Valentine to the smelly kid. Childhood was really rough for me.

We actually have the opportunity to have a grown-up night out this year. Our church’s Married Couples Group is sponsoring a romantic evening of dinner and entertainment. It's reasonably priced, but we can't make it for a few reasons, which coincidentally is the exact number of children we have. When you have three kids and not a single one of them is old enough to stay home alone or watch any of the others, you spend a lot of Valentine's Days eating chicken nuggets and watching Curious George.

We could hire our niece to babysit. She's done it before and did a great job. She's responsible, organized, and really prepared. She's much more prepared than I ever was when I used to babysit kids. She brings toys, prizes, candy and activities. But that's not really the problem either.

My parents are going to the Married Couples Valentine's Dinner. I suppose this isn't really that big of a deal. But personally, I find it really difficult to look deeply into my love's eyes while my Dad is asking me to pass the salt.

And here's Robert Downy, Jr., just because he makes everything better. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Paper Cuts and Miracles

The Barbie Band-Aid really
does make it feel better.
I cut my finger while using scissors the other day. This is a potential injury I had been warned about since Kindergarten. Even as a child I wondered how one was supposedly able to cut through human skin with scissors that just barely cut through an ordinary piece of construction paper. (Side note: One can get beat up simply by referring to oneself as "One.")  Most of the time the paper ended up being ripped rather than cut.

I've always been pretty good with sharp objects. Most of my cuts are usually from broken glass or paper.  Paper is, by far, the worst enemy of my epidermis.  I've gotten some pretty nasty paper cuts. For some reason they always seem to hurt the most. Maybe it's because they're such a clean cut. Or maybe it's because I usually get them right on a knuckle where they never get a chance to really close up. All I know is that I can be bested by some thinly sliced tree pulp.

I've always excelled at using sharp objects.  It's a point of pride my father instilled in me as a child.  I've mentioned before that my father used to send me outside with a large knife and practice throwing it so that it would stick straight up in the grass and not land flat on its side.  Yeah, it sounds weird to me now, too.  But it seemed like a perfectly reasonable past time as a kid.  Dad would also bring me to the Rochester Fencing Club and have me poke a knot in the knotty pine bleachers with his extra foil while he and the rest of the club members parried and thrusted.  Good times.

My mother is generally discouraged from using knives.  She has accidentally sliced herself open and ruined more dishcloths than I can count.  We tend to take stock of the paper towels and bandages when Mom goes to slice up anything for a big family dinner.  Clearly, her parents never sent her into the back yard to practice her knife throwing skills.  Poor thing.

The blood-free project!
Since I am generally pretty good with sharp objects, I have to admit, I was quite shocked when I felt the tip of my brand new, race-car-red scissors slice through knuckle of my left index finger while cutting felt for a new project.  It was a rookie mistake.  I was so focused on cutting the felt in a straight line I didn't notice I was placing my poor little piggy that stayed home in harms way.  It was a bloody mess, but I managed to finish up my project without getting any on it.

Yup, I got cut right on the Middle
phalanx of my left index finger.
Fortunately for me, the next day was Sunday.  I went off to church and, having forgotten to put a new Band-aid on after taking a shower, was very conscious of my grody, open wound.  But worry not!  That day in church the Holy Spirit was moving!  It was a really awesome time of worship.  Pastor didn't actually ever get to his sermon, cause instead of telling us about stuff, God just did what God does.  While I was sitting there praying I looked down at my open cut.  But it wasn't as open as it had been when I got to church.  I periodically would look down at my finger, and the cut was closing up.  By the end of church, there was a small red dot where before the raw insides of my finger had previously been.  Now you may be thinking, "So what?  It was just a simple cut that would have healed in a couple of days."  And you would be right.  Except that I didn't have to wait a couple of days.  It was healed in less than an hour at church.  And yes, it wasn't a cancerous tumor or a deadly disease that I was healed from, but if we can't believe God to heal the little things then how will we have Faith to believe for healing when big stuff hits?

I don't know about yours, but my God still does miracles.  He's pretty cool like that.