The Grieving Atheist

A Blog

Nobody Wants To Hear About Your Dreams

So yeah, I had a dream where both my parents died, and I was upset because I knew they were disappointed in me and I’d never be able to show them what I might accomplish. Then I woke up and reassured myself it was only a dream. Except, of course, that it wasn’t. It was only 50% fiction. And that was a rotten feeling, almost like dreaming there’s a foot-long spider on your face and waking to find a 6-inch spider on your face. Not terribly comforting.

Promises

My daughter is attending Girl Scout day camp this week, and the Girl Scouts require a lot of paperwork. A more organized organization you’d be hard-pressed to find. There are rules, and they take them seriously. If you don’t have the right credentials and forms, forget it. So Sunday night found me printing and signing a lot of shit. I still don’t know why they need my dentist’s phone number, but whatever. And then I got to the Code of Conduct, which included the Girl Scout Law and the Girl Scout Promise and some other behavioral suggestions.

The Girl Scout Promise
On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

Girls and parents are asked to read and discuss the Girl Scout Promise, the Girl Scout Law, and the Code of Conduct and to sign this document that they understand their responsibilities.

And then you have to sign your name.

Now, that’s what it said on the Code of Conduct form. But in many other publications, they add an asterisk. That asterisk is the reason I’m okay with my daughter being a Girl Scout. The asterisk takes you here…

(*Girl Scouts makes no attempt to define or interpret the word “God” in the Girl Scout Promise. We look to individual members to establish for themselves the nature of their spiritual beliefs. When making the Girl Scout Promise, individuals may substitute wording appropriate to their own spiritual beliefs for the word “God.”)

But, perhaps in the interest of saving ink, there wasn’t an asterisk with this particular promise. Which is fine. Religion can be a part of the Girl Scout organization. You can earn a faith badge. It’s absolutely there if you want it to be a part of your experience. But we don’t, of course, so we’re big fans of the asterisk. When asked to say the Promise, my daughter substitutes the word “Earth,” which is so progressive it kind of makes me wince, but it gets the job done.

Now the rest of the Code of Conduct is good and reasonable. Kind of along the lines of… Don’t be an asshole, try to help your friends, be a good citizen, etc. No problem there. But, you know, that God thing, so I simply crossed off God with a subtle pen stroke, and signed it. Easy peasy. But when I handed the form to my daughter, she was not happy.

“MOM OH MY GOD WHY DID YOU THAT CAN’T YOU JUST LET IT GO WHO CARES ANYWAY OH MY GOD YOU’RE EMBARRASSING ME WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ANYWAY YOU’RE RUINING MY LIFE…!”

If you have a daughter of similar age, you know what that sounds like. And I looked at her, and I saw the look on her face, and for a moment I questioned myself. I felt sorry for her for having a mom who can’t just let things go. I remembered when my own mother wrote a many-page letter to my teacher explaining how Columbus hadn’t discovered America. I thought maybe I was pushing too hard for something that didn’t really matter. I wondered if I should stay out of it, because it wasn’t my camp form, it was hers, and she isn’t as committed to anti-theism as I am, nor should she be at this age. I thought about printing a new form and leaving it as is.

But then, no. Because it said to read and discuss it. And they asked for my signature, too. And it’s a promise. And my daughter is an agnostic. She can’t promise to serve God any more than she can promise to serve Ronald McDonald. She can promise to try to be good and kind and helpful, but she can’t promise to serve God. She wouldn’t even know what that entails.

And I realized that no, it doesn’t really matter what the Girl Scouts think. She was right. It’s none of their business how we feel about God. On the other hand, it’s a promise. It’s her signature. It’s her word. And your word is something we take seriously in this house. Promises matter in this house. We may not believe the way Believers believe, but we believe in lots of things, chief among them the idea that if you aren’t living honestly, you’re not living right. So if you’re going to put pen to paper and promise something in this house, you better make damn sure you understand what you’re promising and actually intend to follow through with it. That’s a house rule. You can curse. You can stay up late. You can bicker. You don’t have to eat all your vegetables. But you’re going to stand by your word and that’s that.

So we submitted our forms, and I hope they ignored them. If they think the pen slipped, so be it. But I can’t make any promises to a deity that I don’t think exists. That’s why God wasn’t mentioned during my wedding ceremony and I’m very glad I didn’t get chosen for jury duty. Not because I want to make a big deal out of it, but because I would have to make a big deal out of it. Because I don’t take promises lightly. So there.

 

In the Summertime, When the Weather is Hot

School’s out, and that means fun for all. Or fun for some, apparently, if my Facebook newsfeed is to be believed. Lots of pool pics. Lots of beach pics. Fun abounds. And we’re not entirely immune. I mean, we’ve been to a few pools. My wonderful aunt (who’s been very generous with her time AND the reason I have a laptop to type this on right now) has a pool. So yeah, we’re pooling. We pool. But most of the time we’re just here. The ten year old has been acting like every mean girl antagonist in a teen movie, which means my three year old son, who is part mynah bird, has also been acting like every mean girl antagonist in a teen movie. And that’s getting old FAST.

But I’m really trying to get out there and enjoy the season, which used to be my least favorite. The Pennsylvania winters have made me appreciate the Pennsylvania summers, even with all the ticks and humidity and humidity and ticks. The humidity is also terrible, and did you know there are ticks? We’ve been visiting gardens and attending free concerts and mini golfing and engaging in a lot of other activities I would never do without children. Oh, and of course kayaking, which I do despite the fact that I have children. No more of that for a while, I think, as the heat of the morning is still enough to lead to blisters. I’m considering paddling gloves, but who wants to wear gloves in June?

The summers here are the summers of my youth. Purple clover and chicory along the road as I drive to the farm stand to pick up the second batch of kirby cukes I will discard before pickling. (This time I even have mason jars! But realistically, it probably won’t happen.) As dusk moves in, the smell of honeysuckle perfumes the air. (It isn’t subtle. It’s like being trapped in an elevator with a librarian who’s just visited a candle store. Does that make sense to you? Well, it makes sense to me.) Then the frogs start their throat-singing and the lightning bugs smear the sky with neon light. Storms rumble through in waves. (I hope, but don’t pray that the noise won’t wake the kids.) It’s just summer, the way I remember it, but never particularly liked. But it does have that softness. The wind doesn’t slap. The trees aren’t nearly as depressing. You know how it goes. You’ve seen trees.

Summer is all about my mom, because I had her all day long. She’d partially hand over the cooking duties, having my father grill chicken from time to time, which I would never eat, due to my aversion to bone-in meats. Yeah, I always lost weight in the summer, between the grilling and the 14 mile hikes my parents strong-armed us into taking. But I still have happy summer food memories. Sugared tomatoes, sour cream cucumbers and that jello peach dessert I adored, for some reason. No one in my family will eat that stuff, but I make it anyway. Because it brings her back a little, you know?

The week before she died, my cell phone broke, so I lost all her voicemails. But I just recently found a voicemail on my computer, through Comcast or Xfinity or whatever the hell they’re calling themselves these days to try to run away from the name that we associate with SUCK. Anyway, it’s 7 whole seconds.

“Hi Laura. Uh… call me back. Bye.”

It’s good. I’m keeping it. It’s important to me. But peach jello makes an even greater impression.

Anyway, what else, what else…

Oh! I applied for a job and didn’t get it, so there’s that. It was an insignificant part-time work-from-home position editing web content (but I was really amped about it in my cover letter, er, email, because I’m pretty sure the bosses are 25 and appreciate that kind of youthful enthusiasm). Anyway, there was probably someone out there with a better feel for millennial language, and I was passed over. But I was invited to submit galleries ($5 a gallery!). What kind of galleries?

“Galleries about luxury items, homes, products, etc. Funny Spongebob galleries. Blake Lively galleries. Please make these specific to her for instance her with Ryan Reynolds, on Gossip Girl, her style, etc.”

It was only my strong desire to recoup some of the security deposit on this place that prevented me from putting my fist through the fucking wall. Also, what a well edited request!

 

So I submitted the galleries, because…

 

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Sunless Saturday (Sorry For Stealing Your Song Title, Fishbone)

I miss my mom. I miss my grandmom and my other grandmom and her mom even more. I miss my grandpop, but not as much, because I didn’t know him very well, but I miss him being out there in the world. I miss my uncle like crazy. My other uncle less so, which, again, might sound mean, but it’s just the way it is. I miss my cats. I miss my old Celica, the view from my deck in Boulder, Colorado and my figure from 1998. All the things I’ll likely never see again.

But my mom. Man, that one just stings every damn day. And always worse at Costco, pathetically enough. But it’s where we went shopping together when I moved back. I nudged her into buying those cookies by agreeing to take half. I shopped there for supplies for her last birthday party and I shopped there for the next birthday party, which she wasn’t alive to attend. And now every time I go I look at the cookies and think to myself, “Too many for us. Mom, will you take half.” “Oh, twist my arm,” she says in my head. And then I look around at all the other families shopping together and want to collapse.

I want to offer encouragement to others who may be hurting, but sometimes I just can’t. I can’t say it gets better. For me, it hasn’t gotten better. It’s gotten worse. It’s just been that much longer since I heard her voice. I’m that much lonelier. I keep losing more and more things and people and they’re never replaced.

At this point, a lot of people might suggest I get help. If it’s paralyzing you, the grief, then it’s time to get help. But it’s not the grief. It’s everything. It’s my life. I want to change it. I want to make it good. I keep trying to make it good, but it never gets there.

So yeah, my doctor talked to me about maybe trying something, after discovering my body runs on nothing but cortisol and peanut butter. She suggested a prescription. I said no. She suggested herbal supplements. I said yeah, whatever. But then I changed my mind. I decided a nice little pharmaceutical solution might not be a bad idea. And not to make me happy. Pills don’t do that for me. Just to make me numb. To take a vacation from caring too much. For my kids’ sake. I’m not the first housewife to put all her needs aside to care for her family. I’m aware that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. And like I said, I do want to change that. But until that happens, I thought maybe I could use some help doing it pleasantly and efficiently. That’s what meds do for me. They put me in Worker Bee mode. They let me perform all the necessary duties of an unfulfilled housewife without wanting to run away. And until I figure out another way, it may be the best short-term solution.

Not that I’m looking forward to it. None of them are perfect. They all screw up something. And believe me, I’ve tried a bunch. Prozac, Wellbutrin, Serzone, Neurontin, Trazodone, Effexor, Buspar, Nortriptyline, Lexapro, Amitriptyline, Anafranil, Xanax, Ativan, probably some others I’m forgetting. Most for just a few weeks or miserable days. Can’t stand any of them. Some were far worse than others. But in 1998 and 2007, I kinda needed them for a few months. And then I didn’t. Temporary brain vacations. Ideally, I’d just go to a spa for a couple months, but that’s not going to happen. If I had anyone reliable to leave my kids with for a week, I wouldn’t need a break to begin with.

But the doc never called me back. So I called again. And again, she didn’t call me back. So…. maybe not?

I miss a lot of things. I miss my mom. I miss my youth. I miss my best friend, who hasn’t really cared about anything I’ve had to say in at least fifteen years. I won’t point fingers. It’s not his fault. It’s certainly not God’s fault. It’s one of the few things that isn’t George Bush’s fault, although a better economy might have changed my situation a bit. It’s on me. And it’s my job to change it, or at least deal with it better. I just wish I had a little more energy and a little more hope.

When God Hands You Lemons

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/05/07/310104315/faith-drives-a-father-to-create-a-test-for-childhood-cancer

This morning I heard a nice story on public radio about a lovely family and their struggle with their child’s cancer. They’re trying to develop software to help detect retinoblastoma. And that’s great. Really, it was a heartwarming, pleasant story.

Religion was mentioned briefly. The father said, “I’m a Christian,” as an explanation for why he wants to use this unfortunate situation to help others. And that didn’t really make sense to me, because I’m not sure what that has to do with being a Christian. It seems like a good thing for anyone to do, regardless of their faith. But okay.

Then I clicked on the story on the NPR website. Now this was a slightly different story, heavily focused on the father’s faith.

On the one hand, the story states, “There’s no doubt that a bad thing happened to Shaw’s family.” But then it quotes the father saying, “I believe there is no bad thing done to you.” So maybe there is some doubt? Anyway, this When-God-Hands-You-Lemons approach to life is also intended to keep his son from losing his faith.

But he worried that Noah might have trouble understanding that. “When he gets older and he can think for himself, I don’t want him to get mad at God, or stop believing that there is a God,” Bryan says. So he was determined to find ways to prevent that from happening. He hopes the early detection software will do the trick.

Again, okay. I get it. He’s a good guy. It’s a nice story. The software seems valuable. I have no beef with this family. But why is God necessary in any of this?

What if the cancer didn’t happen for a reason? What if it just happened? How does that change anything? If the cancer was a bad thing that happened, does that mean there would be no point in trying to make the best of it and creating software to help others? Are optimism and ingenuity reserved for the faithful? Wouldn’t it be a useful lesson to teach a child that sometimes bad things happen for no reason and the best you can do is look for ways to use your struggle to help mankind? I mean, an atheist parent never has to worry about her child getting angry at God. With no God to blame, we have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and try to persevere just like anyone else. Do atheists not care about their fellow man? Of course we do. Instead of looking for God’s mysterious lesson in our lives, we just find our own way. We also look at setbacks as opportunities. We also try to use our pain to help others. These are human qualities. You don’t need God to do any of this.

My friends often say “God gave me the strength to finish packing” or “Then God sent a friend to my house to brighten my day.” Again, take God out of it and what does it change? I’ll tell you what it changes. It changes your appreciation for mankind. If you found the strength to finish packing, YOU found the strength WITHIN YOURSELF to accomplish something. Good for YOU! Now you know you’re capable, even when you feel defeated. Is that a bad lesson? If your friend decided to come visit you, YOUR FRIEND decided ON HER OWN to help you. Good for HER! Now you know you have good friends who are sensitive to your needs. Is that a bad thing? Giving yourself credit? Giving your friends credit? Giving a stranger credit? Why are atheists considered immoral or shifty or mean when they clearly see the beauty, strength, resilience and generosity in mankind? Why do theists insist on giving the glory to God? The glory is everywhere! The glory is in you! Isn’t it amazing? Being human and recognizing the beauty of the world, recognizing the power within yourself, recognizing the overwhelming strength of a community committed to a good deed… That’s no less glorious than your God. And it’s real. And it’s here. And it’s inclusive. And it doesn’t judge. And it doesn’t turn its back. And you don’t have to pray to it. You just have to live it. Faith in God is like a fancy garlic press. You can actually survive just fine without one. In fact, your meals might taste better.

P.S. Fuck you, Supreme Court and your bullshit these days.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/05/supreme-court-prayer_n_5266930.html

“…attendees at the council meeting may step out of the room if they do not like the prayer.”

Because nothing makes a citizen feel like part of his/her community and the political process like being welcome to leave.

Old School

Finally accepting the idea that I’m not buying a new laptop anytime soon, I decided to go old school and buy a notebook and pen, which wasn’t nearly as easy as I thought it would be. You see, there are all new pens now. Sure, I’ve bought hundreds of pens in recent years, but only the cheap ones and never for myself. After standing in the office supply aisle for half an eternity, I yanked a couple down and threw them in the cart. Ink Joy or something like that, and I already hate them. The flow is shit, the pen itself too bulbous, everything about it is just wrong wrong wrong.

I used to write in notebooks exclusively. No, scratch that. I also wrote on napkins and on barf bags on planes, whatever was available. I filled fourteen notebooks between the start and end of college, and they were awful. There was even some poetry in there, attempts at artful drama leftover from my time spent at the University of Virginia’s Summer Writing Workshop. I went for poetry, because you had to submit samples and poetry seemed like the fastest thing to bang out, but the minute I got there I regretted it. The poets were the worst. They cried over fallen leaves and tried to get high eating wildflowers. The short story writers were infinitely more tolerable and the journalists, who honestly didn’t seem to give a fuck, were definitely the coolest. (I later majored in journalism. I also didn’t give a fuck and yeah, I was pretty cool.)

Besides poetry, there was way too much free verse. Discovering the Beats did me no favors. And love letters, all written to the same guy. There was a letter of apology to my future husband after sleeping with that guy, who clearly wasn’t good for me. (I later married him, and haven’t apologized to him once since.)

And doodles. Many many Fishbone fish symbols. Metallica, Misfits, Sex Pistols, and, after moving to Boulder, Colorado, ska and groove rock bands. They were delightful notebooks, with their horribly dated doodled covers smudged with rain and craptacular pages overflowing with self-important nonsense. They meant the world to me.

And they’re all gone. I didn’t have to kill my darlings. They were stolen, taken from my car through a smashed window one night during a cross country move, along with all the jewelry that my grandmothers had handed down, a really sturdy boombox, some good knives and a bottle of Cuervo. By the teenage children of Mexican immigrants, who could neither read nor speak English. Fair enough. The first 500,000 words or so from a young writer shouldn’t ever be shared anyway.

I haven’t cared about a single belonging since.

Anyhoo, pens have changed a bunch since those days, and I’m going to have to learn what I like all over again. And the simple act of going out and buying them felt devious and self-involved. I bought something for me, something that would require attention away from my daily housewife bullshit. Indulgence. The minute I got home, my daughter said, “Ooh! Can I have that pen?” No. “I need a new notebook. Can I have that notebook?” No.

No?

Jesus, the look on her face.

So it’s back to ink for now, and from that to WordPress, with as little delay as possible. What does this have to do with my mom? Nothing (everything). Pens, notebooks, bad poetry… Doesn’t have a thing to do with her, other than the fact that it falls under the umbrella of things she would want me to do. And the fact that every moment I’m driving, staring at pens, talking to my daughter, writing, every single moment I’m thinking of her. She’s always always there, never not there. She’s some undetectable element in the atmosphere immediately surrounding my nose and mouth. I breathe in the beauty and struggle of her life. I choke on the undeniable fact of her death. It’s like that for me, every day, with nearly every single breath. And I lock my keys in my car. And I forget to pay the cable bill. And I read my son his books without knowing what the hell I said. And I walk upon the earth like every other living thing, jealous of all the creatures that aren’t preoccupied by the loss of dearly departed things and the burden of making my own remaining days worthwhile.

I’m totally doodling a Fishbone logo on my new notebook.

Sigh.

Will there ever come a day when I don’t notice things that would make a great gift for my mom? No? Okay then. That’s what I figured.

Holy Shit

 

 

image

Nope, but thanks for reminding me that you think your dead people are partying up in the great Chuck E. Cheese in the sky and my people are super-mega-for-reals dead. Not insulting at all!

I keep forgetting the rules. Don’t go on Facebook on religious holidays if you’re an atheist or the morning after an episode of Game of Thrones airs if you haven’t yet viewed it.

A Book Review! Growing Up Godless by Deborah Mitchell

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So I just finished reading “Growing Up Godless: A Parent’s Guide To Raising Kids Without Religion,” and I thought I should tell you about it, because some of you have kids and are probably doing just that. In truth, it’s not about the experience of growing up godless so much as the mother’s experience of raising children godlessly, but the title’s catchy, so I get why they chose it.

The book is a series of essays about the author’s experience of leaving her beliefs behind and trying to raise good kids without the rigid rules and regulations of organized religion, the comfort of a benevolent deity and the promise of an afterlife. She offers suggestions on how to pass along good morals, how to break the news that you’re an agnostic, how to handle tricky school situations, ways to deal with death and some good advice on nurturing your child’s critical thinking skills, along with stories from other parents about their experiences living a secular life in a fairly religious country.

It’s a fast read, and the short chapters make it easy for a busy parent to take in some satisfying snippets before rushing off to handle the next chore or crisis. I would recommend the book for the first generation atheist, someone who is still looking to fill the vacancy left by religion. I myself am raising third generation atheists, so my experiences are a bit different. The title itself rubs me funny, similar to the way my friends without kids must feel when I call them childless and they immediately correct me with the preferred term “child free.” I never felt godless as a child. God wasn’t even a consideration. That wasn’t a part of my life and I never felt like I was lacking.

For a book about agnostic child-rearing, there is A LOT of God in this book. To me, it reads like a vegetarian cookbook for former carnivores, with recipes geared toward those who still crave meat to a certain extent. As such, it offers some “meat substitutes,” meditation instead of prayer, a Unitarian Church instead of a traditional one to satisfy one’s spiritual urges, that sort of thing. Sports and musical instruments are encouraged. There isn’t any bad advice here. It’s all good-natured, positive, love thy neighbor kind of stuff. Don’t expect edgy. This is about as Atheist Lite as you can get, so I can’t imagine it ruffling many feathers. But then again, I never expect feathers to ruffle, and that kind of obliviousness may get me shot one day.

I have some minor quibbles, but the book isn’t meant for ME, specifically, so that’s to be expected. In the chapter entitled “Sex, Sluts, and Madonnas” (oxford comma, grr), sex is described as healthy and not sinful, but includes the sentence “Every time you have sex, you give away part of yourself. If you give away too much, eventually you will have no self-respect left.” Okay. I’m sure many mothers agree with that statement. It just so happens that I am not one of them. Who says? What are you giving away, exactly? Maybe if you’re PAYING for it, but that’s a whole other matter. If it’s healthy and enjoyable, then why are you losing your self-respect? And how much is too much? And who decides? This may be a skanky thing to say, but sex doesn’t ALWAYS have to take place in a loving relationship, does it? Aren’t you more vulnerable to emotional devastation if you assume all intimate relations are loving? Isn’t that why so many young women feel broken and ashamed, because they thought it was about love and it really wasn’t and then they’re left feeling like they gave something away? People make mistakes and consequences can be a bitch, but I dislike the notion that you lose something every time you have sex. I’d like to think the act itself has value, even if it isn’t in a perfect, loving relationship.

We just happen to see that, and a few other things, differently. The author also seems to think commercial television is not great for young kids. “…But kids do grow up, and somewhere around fourth or fifth grade my kids started asking me to watch the dreaded mainstream television- the “junk” stuff with commercials at which so many of us turn up our noses.” Well, I suppose that’s how I felt before I had kids, but now that I’m a parent I actually consider it my secret weapon and one of the main reasons my kids are articulate storytellers. A story is a story, and this IS the Golden Age of Television, after all. I happen to like TV. I consider it a pleasure, and not even a guilty one. But, you know, different strokes and all that. I let my kids have high fructose corn syrup, too. Am I going to Hell for that? Of course not, ’cause I’m an atheist!

“Growing Up Godless” is a good resource for the parent who is looking for some guidance in raising good quality humans in a secular fashion. It made me want to call up my mom and ask her if she put this much thought into how she raised us. I don’t think she did. She just shared her beliefs and said we were free to look into others if we wanted. And we didn’t. And that was that. But if you need some advice or want to know you’re not alone, pick up a copy and see for yourself.

Spring Again

Seeing as it’s the time for renewal, I’m ignoring all my saved drafts and writing fresh. There was some good stuff in there, I think, but let’s face it, the next great American novel won’t be written on a Blackberry (or discuss atheism, for that matter). I go over it time and again, the value of things. The value of words, documents, jewelry, keepsakes. I’m not a keeper. So, renewal it is.

Spring came yesterday. Yes, just like that. Okay, well the willows had been threatening to do something for weeks, but needed permission from the the forsythia, the cowards. Not to be outdone, the grass turned vibrant, along with the magnolias, always a limelight stealer. And all just yesterday.

As I’ve mentioned before, the whole business makes me uneasy, but children seem to enjoy it, so I took mine outside. My son picked flowers.

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And gave them to a dead fish, which is just… whatever it is. A nice gesture.

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And I photographed it, which makes me the strange one.

And then I came home and watched one of our douchebag neighbors’ douchebag party guests deliberately spit on my kid’s sidewalk chalk drawing and I got really, really, really angry. Overcompensating pessimist that I am, I decided to go for a run and use that energy for good. I’ve read that running helps you be in the moment or some shit like that. Not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. I don’t know. I guess? For me, it’s not a matter of time but place. When I run, I feel like I’m everywhere. That’s what motion does for me. Driving, kayaking, running. I could be anywhere, just dancing across the earth. Because you could be, couldn’t you? If you ran far enough, drove far enough, you could be just about anywhere, with some swimming thrown in. If you didn’t stop? And the stopping is a choice. I didn’t used to feel that way. I didn’t used to think I could run for more than a few feet, that my body wouldn’t let me. Now I know that I can. Not quickly, mind you, and without any grace whatsoever. No, it’s an ugly, ugly run. But it stops when I say so. It’s a choice my brain makes, not my body. So yeah, I could go anywhere. I make the choice and stop. And if I stop, then I’m committing, temporarily, to being here. In this place. To make the best of it.

So here I am. This morning I said to my daughter, just for the hell of it, “It’s going to be a good day, don’t you think? I think so.” Because why not? And then it wasn’t, or hasn’t yet been. Really awful, actually. Screw you, The Secret. (I didn’t actually read that book, by the way, and still feel qualified to say it’s a load of shit.)

But, it’s been a great day for my friend, who posted this on Facebook…

“My God knows my love for numbers – this on 41414.”
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Yep. God did that. God made my friend drive around for 99,999 miles just to get to this place on this very day with the funny alignment of numbers on our man-made calendar just to please her. He’s such an awesome god. I’m so glad he minds the details like that. I feel so cared for, don’t you?

Live and let live, Laura. It makes her happy. Shut up and let it go. Renewal! Renewal! HE IS RISEN!!!

And by that, I mean my young son, just up from his nap. So goodbye for now, internet.

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