What have you been up to?
When I was waitressing, I forgot someone's order once (or twice.) I remember telling Justin, with surprise, "They didn't get mad or anything. They just said it was okay."
"Of course they did," he said. "We live in a civilization. You can't go nuts because someone forgets your food."
Then again, some people actually did go nuts when I forgot their food. That's why I stopped waitressing.
People often ask me, "What have you been up to?"
Maybe they ask everyone that same question.
But lately, my answer has been a little awkward.
Basically, I've been thinking of ways to keep kidnappers away from my children.
So far, I've considered buying unremovable gps bracelets, or inventing a gps microchip implantation.
But news reports of the latest kidnapper indicate that anytime someone wants a kid, they just go to Franklin county and take one. That is a rural county in Missouri.
It used to be, when the world seemed too crazy, I'd think, "We could always move out to the country. Our children would be safe there."
Well, it turns out the country is dangerous, too.
The thing is, I am always with my kids. If I wasn't, they would taste-test our pet frog's crickets, or something of that ilk. And while anything could happen, it's unlikely that it will.
Plus, it seems that this worry does a disservice to the families that are suffering through the heartbreak of actual kidnappings. They need our prayers, not our paranoia.
So needing a new obsession, I borrowed one from my friend. She has a fascination with a Kansas City-born Saturday Night Live star. Everybody loves a "local boy makes good story," myself included. So I googled him and sent her links.
It would be good if I could get obsessed with making phone calls to sources for my articles. Or cooking healthy and delicious meals for my family. Or just having fun.
Richie, for instance, is obsessed with having a good time all the time.
You might remember the new rule in our house: If you're going to say potty words, you have to go in the bathroom.
This was necessary because my children have Turrettes syndrome. Apparently.
Well, the other day, Johnny was singing a song with filthy lyrics: "Jingle poop, jingle poop, jingle all the pee."
I gasped melodramatically.
"Those are not living room words!" I said. "You need to go in the bathroom for potty talk."
Johnny swore off bad language and stayed in the living room.
Richie, on the other hand, RSVPed gladly to the invitation.
He marched right into the bathroom and yelled, "Aye, aye, Captain Poopy! Aye, aye, Captain Poopy!" and so on for the next 10 minutes.
Then he came out of the restroom and sighed. I guess it felt good to get that off his chest.
Sometimes, things just get tangled up in these noggins of ours. For some, it's fear and useless worry. For others, it's the words, "Aye, aye, Captain Poopy."
Eventually, you have to let go of them in order to enjoy each day as it comes...or to re-enter the living room.
People have all sorts of mottos to remind themselves of this need: Let go, let God; One day at a time; Lord, there is nothing that will happen today that you and I can't handle together; and 'Don't worry about everything. That's my job -Love, God'.
But if you can't remember any of these, just go in the bathroom and yell, "Aye aye, Captain Poopy" 17 or 18 times.
It may not provide the spiritual solace that you need, but it will make you laugh. And sometimes, that's the best medicine.