Suffering Loudly

This has been a busy weekend, Kittens, so pull up a chair, grab your coffee and let’s chat. It actually started on Thursday night. JD and I went to a fundraising banquet of a local, pro-life ministry and while I usually just throw a tiny check in the envelope and head home before anyone realizes they lost money once I ate that second dessert, this time I stayed. I was asked to join three other ladies who were staying the night at the hotel to help count the money. They wanted ME to count the money! Nothing feels better than writing a tiny check unless it’s staying in a room with women who call out your name, the check number and the amount of your tiny check. Good times. We stayed up until 4 a.m. making sure everything was correctly added and accounted for, and also that I hadn’t left a zero off my check. I think I did a good job, except that as we were leaving, I forgot I was carrying the money bag on my shoulder. I got on the sidewalk in front of the hotel and suddenly yelled, “Where’s the money?” Everyone, including the swarm of folks walking into the hotel, turned to look and then I yelled, “Nevermind, I HAVE IT!” Street smart, I ain’t.

Saturday morning, JD and I took Moon downtown to the Atlanta Dream Center for a morning of service. It was our turn to host the monthly “Supper Club”, and we decided instead of the traditional dinner at our house, we’d all go downtown and help serve the poor. I mentioned the plan to my brother and he said, “Is it really that difficult to clean your house?” Yes, yes it is. Everyone was game, and it was actually a real blessing to us all. The only irritant to the whole morning was that Moon had woken up with a cold, and she had a burning desire to ensure that EVERYONE knew it. Sure you’re living in a poor neighborhood with three kids and your husband is incarcarated and you need a job, BUT I HAVE A COLD! Can’t you hear me sniff? Look at my face, I am FROWNING. Let me blow my nose while everyone is praying, cause otherwise you might not hear it! I’m downplaying it a bit, but I assure you it is true. It’s hard to be sweet and holy when you want to swat your kid on the back of the head, but I did my best.

Because I am extremely Christian, and also kinda stupid, I went to church on Sunday and took Moon. In my defense, I hadn’t actually heard her snort and/or sniff all morning. Yes, I spent the morning showering and drying my hair and looking under beds for shoes, but still, you’d think if she was all that ill I would have seen a sign. But no, she waits until we are in the 2nd row, smack dab in the middle, to decide that she must rid her nose of any and all mucus COMPLETELY even if it means blowing her nose the entire 45 minutes. I kept giving her the “really??” look and she kept giving me the “WHAT?” look and between us I’m pretty sure no one was able to pay any attention whatsoever to our pastor, so you might want to check out the podcast in case it was important.

Afterward,  I was driving to tennis and thinking about my messy, small-check, nose-blowing weekend and wondering if people were annoyed, and what I could have done differently, and basically just hashing over the weekend and then I had a thought. Just two simple words really, but they brought me comfort. I thought:

Screw It.

That’s right, screw it. Somebody has to be that family, right? I mean, my check was small, but I’m giving, and my daughter was frowning and sick and snorting, but she was downtown watching her family give out bread to POOR PEOPLE. And maybe someone sitting in the back row with a crying baby next week will think, “Who cares? At least he’s not blowing his nose for 45 minutes!”

Hey, everyone has a calling. Mine just happens to be making people feel better about their own lives.

(FYI, Moon’s fine – no fever, drinking lots of fluids, etc. I’m sure she’ll snort and sniff her way through school with no problem.)

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