So, you think your life is “interesting”? Part 2

Dunno why GOD drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, He could have just given them teenagers. Maybe that’s what “Original Sin” really is? We were all teenagers once, and maybe even have, or are having, or will have soon, more teenagers. Or, is it just hell on earth?

You can guess that yesterday was not a good day for me. And, it didn’t get any better once I got home last night. But a night on the sofa was nothing compared to the email I got from the boomerang daughter this morning.

I know, I know, I know: having values is just so, so inconvenient. I used to like John Lennon’s song, “Imagine.” But, the more I heard the line “Nothing to kill or die for / And no religion too” the more I came to hate it. Once every person and everything is beige and vanilla, then we’ll have peace and the world will be as one. Graham crackers and milk, num, num. And the poor lion of Isaiah who lies down with the lamb will starve to death. Lucky lamb. Sorry about that, lion. I have just one word for your world John: boring. Life is supposed to be messy. Sorry, I’m just biased. Maybe my world is so messy I think everyone’s should be. You know: share the love.

Back to the email.

So, she pretty much rips her heart out of her chest, lays it on the table, and says “I screwed up, and I’m sorry.” Whereupon my heart starts to bleed.

Then I get to paragraph two.

Last September, after she came back pregnant, she decided she needed to go see him – the guy who made her pregnant. So, she flew, coast to coast in October. She had the money for that, but I paid for her college class that quarter. Of course, I was silly enough to demand to see her grades from the summer quarter I had already paid for. And no, I have not seen any grades at all; but why quibble? When she asked if he could come out over the winter break, and I said he wasn’t staying in my house, he came out anyway and they stayed in my sister-in-law’s apartment. I know I had big plans for a family Christmas, including seeing the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “Nutcracker” (last season for the Stowell/Sendak version that I had come to love for nearly 30 years); my wife and I went, without our daughter (so much for the ballet lessons I had paid for).

The rollercoaster of course went into the clouds when our grandson was born. He’s two months old today, and is the absolute personification of an angel. How he manages to get cuter every day I will never know.

But, our daughter wants the father of her child to actually meet his off-spring. The fact that the horny little shit hasn’t bolted is not in his favor; I wish he would have (should that be “would have had”? yeah, more quibbling). I would lay money on a snowball in hell, before I would lay even a plugged nickel down on them getting and staying together. So, her email contains this: “He is coming here with his dad to see his son on March 31st until April 5th.” What am I, chopped chicken liver, here?

It just occurred to me that she has made plans to interrupt the most dear holiday of the year for me. As much as I enjoy Christmas, and the birth of Christ is a big deal; the Triduum and Easter is, by far and away, a much, much bigger deal for me.

Being at work, I do the only thing I can: write her an email. I tell her that I learned a few things over the years. That I didn’t paint rocks in the Marine Corps. That some things can’t be compromised without losing your identity, your “who I am.” I tell her I know her generation thinks my generation is irrelevant, and then point out the irrelevant house she is living in, the irrelevant food she is eating and the irrelevant car she is driving. I throw in the irrelevant car seat and stroller her son is riding around in for good measure. Forgot to mention the irrelevant diapers he’s wearing.

I say that, when what’s-his-name steps up and accepts responsibility, then he will be welcome in my house. I also mentioned something about the application of the quaint colloquialism, “shotgun wedding” – but only to say that, if I had a shotgun, I would meet him at my front door with it. And it wouldn’t be to force a wedding. I mean, what would be the point of doing that? Talk about irrelevant!

I stewed about it all day. I have prayed, and I have prayed hard. Two places in the Bible came to mind: the woman accused of adultery (John 8:11), and the blind man at the temple (John 5:14). In both instances, Jesus said “Sin no more.” I suggested that “repent” did not mean shedding a tear and then pressing on; it means a significant change in behavior. Not just a small course correction. I implied that to continue to live as she has was in no way something she should be doing; and hell would freeze over before I let it happen in my house.

After reading it the umpteenth time, I came to the conclusion that I would rather be known for believing in something, rather than believing in nothing (ala John Lennon). I told her I had already been called a self-righteous prig and that she needed to be more original.

Then I hit the “Send” button.

So, what can I expect at home tonight? Yesterday, after I did a whole 12-hour shift, I had to make my own dinner. They had already eaten. I guess it will be more of the same today. Will the daughter be there? She’s already left twice without saying good-bye (yes, she drove off in my – irrelevant – car on one occasion). I’m still “guardedly optimistic” that I will find another paycheck after this one ends next month (I know UPS is hiring “package handlers” at $14.75/hour). My wife is heavy with child(ren), and getting heavier and heavier.

Who says GOD doesn’t have a sense of humor?

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