Category Archives: Baab

Mother’s Day Booty Call

Dark chocolate, wine, nature, invitation to embrace my calling, I am seen by my children this Mother’s Day and every day. I feel loved all year long by the best kids. I do not need a specific day to remind me.

Still, they show up with surprises. Some with their presence, some with a text, some with a call. Loaves of dark chocolate babka (not pictured) draw waves of laughter, because Baab. Of course it is a fitting type of Mother’s Day specialty bread.

We tear into it together with delight. Then bemoan our stomachs being full of chocolate and rich, glutenous bread.

I have learned to rest on Mother’s Day. I have come to a place of deeper healing and kindness in my mothering story. What once was a struggle has become a challenge, an honest one, at that. Engagement with my narrative has brought deeper healing to my heart.

I have learned to repair with my children. They extend grace upon grace upon grace.

We laugh and cry and discover more inside jokes. Older siblings heal through youngers, as they name similar feelings and childhood anxieties and process them together. It is a beautiful mess.

So on this day set aside to honor mothers, which can feel fabricated and false, I marvel at the booty arranged on the table. My people love me well. They love me with their thoughtfulness and presence. They love me by feeling freedom to celebrate with their other mothers. Oh, how I love the others who mother them.

It brings me deep joy to see my adults living their lives in freedom as individuals. Whether with me in person or by text or by call or in spirit, the space we give one another is a gift. There is big space.

Now I do not want Mother’s Day to end. I want it to last and last, and in many ways, it does. Every day feels like Mother’s Day.

I look forward to a card arriving in the mail this week. I anticipate goodness with a son and his girlfriend joining us for a favorite dinner on Wednesday. The sun goes down on the day, and my heart feels full and so very blessed.

That is the greatest gift of all.

Hanging Dresses

They hang from a curtain rod in the laundry room. They have been hanging there for over a week. Left to dry after being carefully washed, they have been dry for days. They have come to  represent a symbolic hanging on to all that happened over wedding weekend.

There is still much to process.

I say this out loud, and my husband asks for specifics. What do you still have to process?

Isn’t all of life a process? Will I ever be finished? I answer lightheartedly, because though I feel the weight of feelings, specific words evade me.

Folding laundry, I look up at the hanging dresses, grateful for what they symbolize. Just as I was clothed for my daughter’s wedding in an outfit carefully curated, so I was for my son’s, in a different way.

My metallic-colored, sheath-style Mother of the Groom dress was a Ross find over the summer. I knew it was the dress, and that by fall it would look even better on me as I tended to healthier eating and exercise habits.

A girl can dream, right?

Jewelry was found at a local consignment shop for under $15. A sparkly $6 scarf from TJ Maxx, a $10 purse from another consignment shop, and free sandals from my closet brought the entire look in at under $75.

I consider this a kindness for a season that found us in the midst of a major life change. When our son proposed to his beautiful wife in 2017, things looked a lot different in our world. Maybe the hanging dresses are continuing to remind me of the faithfulness of God in every change. Especially then.

There is enough.

I wore the black dress to the rehearsal dinner with shoes and a sweater from my closet. It was found, along with a sparkly necklace and silver purse, on a seasonal clearance sale at a consignment shop for $18, total.

I write of costs and consignment shops and looks, because I want to remember. I want to remember that even in seasons of uncertainty there are reasons to celebrate. Maybe especially then.

I want to remember that there is room for creativity and expression and for thinking outside of the box when finances are tight. I do not need to worry about what to wear. I can consider the lilies.

My son and daughter had a beautiful wedding weekend. There is more to share slowly as it unfolds in my heart, and I find more words. I am thankful for those of you who have been with me behind the scenes as life returns to what has never been normal. Part of this return should probably include taking down the dresses and putting them away.

Here is a peek at the wedding day. There is a bit more sparkle to my hair than there was 4 1/2 years ago at my daughter’s wedding. I love it.

 

Idle Words

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Matthew 12:36 (KJV)

As a child I grew up in a Baptist church where three times a week, Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday night I was in the pews. Dad was up front leading music. Mom was coordinating the nursery.  Sister was shining her Strawberry Shortcake mirror into the aged pastor’s eyes. Church was familiar, comfortable, unsettling, scary. All of the above.

Familiar and comfortable were the people and routines. The red of the sanctuary cushions and carpet, the curve of the armrest at the end of each row, the red Great Hymns of the Faith hymnbook to look through finding Fanny Crosby’s name (because Fanny), the tiny pencils and offering envelopes on the back of each pew, these all brought comfort and delight.

Unsettling was an open cross panel behind the pulpit, revealing the baptismal tank, or the atmosphere of the sanctuary was tinged with tension over a business meeting, or someone choose O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus for favorites night. These moments stirred anxiety.

Scary was the talk of judgment and hell and the end times. The rapture. The trumpet of the Lord. It seemed as if these days were imminently looming, and the only way out was 100% assurance by saying the Sinner’s Prayer, thus knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt with every head bowed and every eye closed, no one looking around.

Of course, I looked around, and if I was looking around how could I trust that no one else was?

I tried, but was never quite sure if I got it right. I never felt safe in God’s hands. I could never escape the shadow of a doubt. When that trumpet sounded and time was no more, I wasn’t certain that I would be there when the roll was called up yonder.

Those were terrifying thoughts for a child growing up outside of Washington, DC. Every midnight ambulance siren, train whistle, or police chase resulted in a frantic leap from bed to make sure my parents were sill in their room, and I had not been Left Behind.

How would I face the terror of the tribulation and the second chance that would only come if I did not receive the Mark of the Beast, enduring unspeakable torture inescapable even by death? The end of the world was always upon me, and I lived with a level of anxiety over my idle words to be given account of and shouted from the rooftops. I was a child full of words.

Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
Luke 12:13 (KJV)

This was especially poignant, because the closet in my bedroom was the perfect hideout, clubhouse, safe place for secrets. It came complete with a sliding board (following the construction line above the stairs) and was where I told the most important things to my teddy bear or my sister.

I often pondered how all of those idle words were tracked. What would the judgement day be like, when I stood before God to give account? I pictured God turning to a card catalog, like the one at my local library only bigger, and pulling out a drawer with my name on it. There were all of my idle words, categorized.

How times change.

I never imagined the technology of today, where idle words abound and multiply. They are everywhere, our own and others. We share them in texts, comments, and emails. We carry them in our pockets on our phones. They can be retrieved with a click of a mouse or swipe of a screen or insert of a flash drive.

In having a motherly   my children recently, we discussed the importance of being thoughtful and careful with the words they use and send in cyberspace. Some are newly navigating those waters. I am well-aware I cannot monitor every word texted, sent, or spoken. I can remind them that once the words go out, they stay out there somewhere, even if we do not understand where or how.

I tried to explain my card catalog story, but I might as well have been speaking a foreign language. Times. They change. Words. They remain.

Choose wisely, choose well.

How to Enjoy Spring Break

1. Pack up the kids and head out of town.

2. Visit the new home of your adult daughter and son-in-law.

3. Sleep in the best room of the house on account of being the oldest person and the Baab (and Scoby) of the family.

4. Attend church as a family on Palm Sunday.

5. Pick up pizza after church and arrive home to find everyone singing karaoke.

6. Join in.

7. Do a Costco run with adult daughters and pay for everything in the cart, because looking around you realize you are the Baab and that’s what the Baab in the group does.

8. Come home and play Game of Things after figuring out where the pen is.

9. Laugh a lot and then some more.

10. Shop at LUSH getting bath bombs for most.

11. Meltdown on a double dog walk and crash from exhaustion while everyone else plays Quiplash into the night.

12. Keep your regularly scheduled Tuesday call due to no WiFi to send an email postponing it.

13. Go to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art with 9 other people related to you.

14. Relax and enjoy the museum.

15. Watch Netflix Nailed It over lunch.

16. Read 2 books.

17. Dream deeply and vividly each night.

18. Watch the kids open the pool for the season with a polar bear swim.

19. Wrestle your demons while your kids exercise their freedom.

20. Grab a second of hotspot to blog quickly before going off grid again and diving into a third book in as many days.

Composting the Fart: No. 3

Hi, it’s Riley again, here with another edition of COMPOSTING THE FART. More baabishness awaits in this one post. Please, computer….. please don’t explode of baabishness…… Anyways, let’s move on to the first one…

You’re in your room, reading a book. It’s almost lunchtime and you decide to go downstairs to see what’s for lunch. You walk out of your room and you go down the stairs. You walk over to the kitchen and as you walk in, you hear someone in the kitchen. They’re opening the oven and you hear a loud creaking noise, then something is put inside the oven and it is closed again with another CREEAK. You walk all the way into the kitchen and you see BAAB. Now, you realize she has just put pizza in the oven to warm up, and you casually walk by her when suddenly…. you realize…… she is wearing a scarf indoors. I mean, who does that?? It wasn’t even COLD inside the house!! (No offense to anyone who wears scarves indoors when it is pretty hot….. but…… I mean…. that means you’re a baab, too………………….) You walk out of the kitchen knowing that you’re having pizza for lunch. I think that the creaking of the oven was probably NOT the oven……. just saying……….

Second:

You’re walking downtown with Baab because Baab says she needs ‘FRESH AIR’. Well, I could’ve guessed that she would need fresh air because of the oatmeal stench of her room….. Well, you’re walking and you’re talking with her about things. BAAAB wants to talk about FEELINGS and that sort of thing. You’re diverting her from the subject by talking about other things in your life that just MIGHT change her mind from talking about all that other junk.. You finally find another thing to talk about, when suddenly Baab stops on the sidewalk.

“A DIIIIIIME.”, she says in her most BAABISH VOICE. “Remember that DIMES are my SIGN to remind me to keep PURSUING my GOALS and keep on GOING.”

She bends down to pick it up, and I’m surprised she didn’t break her back…… but that was the most baabish things she’s ever said………… EVERR.

(BOBA FETT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) (He’s my favorite Star Wars character.)

Lastly but not leastly, here’s a typical everyday thing of a BAAB….

I was writing this post at my dining room table when my little sister asked me to move because she was doing her chore which was cleaning up the dining room. I didn’t want to move, but Baab said she had a place where I could write this post. I followed her into her room, and she pointed to a place next to her closet….. It was a desk-ish thing that has a chair where you could sit, and the chair had a pillow and the desk was covered in BAABISH things. There was a spot where I could set the laptop down so I could write there, though. Baab called it her WRITING SPACE. Where she writes her BAABISH stories and things.

I just think it’s BAABISH that she makes these little NOOKS (<– that’s what she calls them, and it sound baabish) where she can do her BAABISH things.

Anyways, that’s it for now! Thank you for reading this, this is Composting the Fart!

-RILEY

Becoming Baab

Last year my youngest son had a head cold. He kept following me around saying Mom, Mooom, in the whiny voice of a sick middle school boy, but it came out sounding like this, Bab, Baaab.

Somehow it stuck. The name, Baab, pronounced Bab. Rhymes with drab and flab.

Now all of the kids call me Baab, and sometimes even my husband lets it slip.

I have become Baab.

It’s a process I didn’t fully embrace until looking up its meaning in the ever-reliable Urban Dictionary  (not for the faint of heart, and possibly a very Baabish thing to do). I found it means Bad A$$ At Birth. That totally describes me, so I owned it.

Besides, I named each of them. It’s only fair they get a turn to name me.

Becoming Baab has meant embracing my aging self, as many Baabish things can be translated as old. It has also meant seeing myself as my children see me, as many Baabish things are annoying, funny, or embarrassing.

Becoming Baab has meant not taking myself too seriously and finding the humor in growing into a new season of life. It has reframed my experience of being teased and laughed AT to being teased and laughed WITH. There is a difference, and my children know how to walk that fine line.

I am learning to embrace their humorous selves.

I don’t want to say too much more, and thus hijack Riley’s column. It would be Baabish to go behind and overexplain. You will get a clearer picture of Baab as time goes on.

Mostly I wanted my readers to know that I am Baab, and I approved this new column.

Enjoy!