Then Moses says, “Now show me your glory.”
And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
— Exodus 33:18-20
One of the greatest moments of cinematic history comes at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The Nazis have captured and tied up Indy and Marion and taken back the Ark of the Covenant. And then they decide to open it. At first all they find is dust. But then lightning starts to appear from inside. The Germans’ car lights and film equipment blow out. Indy tells Marion to shut her eyes and keep them closed. Ghost-like spirits flood out of the Ark, swirling all around and attacking them. Light shoots from Ark, piercing the Nazi soldiers. The ones standing next to it start screaming as their faces melt off. The German priest literally explodes. When the light finally subsides and the Ark is closed again, Indy opens his eyes. They’ve survived, but everyone else is dead.
On Saturday morning I walked into the weekly men’s breakfast at my church wearing a t-shirt repping my daughter’s high school, whose mascot is the Eagles. I didn’t think anything about it honestly, until one of our pastors made the comment that I was awfully brave showing up there in an Eagles shirt. “What does he have against my daughter’s high school?” I wondered, thinking maybe there was some intense rivalry that I wasn’t aware of. The school just opened this year, so the thought of a rivalry already existing is pretty funny, but it was early and it took me a few minutes to realize he thought it was a Philadelphia Eagles shirt, and apparently wearing a Philadelphia shirt around a bunch of Dallas Cowboys fans would be asking for trouble.
I’ve been replaying that scene in my head ever since then, wondering if maybe there was something else I should’ve done or said, or if maybe I shouldn’t wear the shirt at all outside of school football games. But that’s silly. I’m a proud parent and want to celebrate her school as if it were my own alma mater. But it also got me thinking about all the other times I’ve attracted people’s snide comments about a particular school or team of choice simply by wearing that team’s shirt or hat. I’ve explained before why I’m a fan, but did I ever realize just how dangerous that is?
I’ve learned a word since the new school year started: forthcoming. Like in a school’s “homecoming” but for a new school, when there’s no alumni to come home. It’s Megan’s first year in high school, and it happens to be a brand new school. So this year instead of celebrating Homecoming, they celebrated Forthcoming. And don’t worry, the massive only-in-Texas mums are still the same.
We went to the Homecoming, er, Forthcoming game last night, and it was exciting as usual. (God bless Texas high school football.) But it was also a little sad. Because instead of being down in the student section hamming it up with the other kids, she was in “old farts” section with the rest of the parents, hanging out with me and her sister, dateless and mumless. And, well, I felt a little bad for her.
Is this my life?
Am I breathing underwater?
— Metric, “Breathing Underwater”
I texted Christy the other day. “Parenting is exhausting.” Because it is. I used to think it was only during the school year that things were chaotic. I’d pine for the summer when everything would slow down and we could relax and enjoy the long days together. In my mind, we were always sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch watching the sun go down as we sipped on iced tea. Even though I don’t drink tea and we don’t have rocking chairs on the front porch and even if we did, our house faces north so it would be hard to watch the sun go down. But still.
Of course summers aren’t any less chaotic than the rest of the year. Sure there isn’t any homework, but the housework and yardwork doesn’t go away. And it’s not like I can honestly expect my kids to get off their butts for five minutes and clean up after themselves. Heaven forbid I should expect them to actually do anything.
And then once school does start again, you add all the homework back in along with the school projects, football games, concerts, church events, and the ever popular last-minute “I need to go to ____ to get a ____ for tomorrow. Yes, I knew about it a week ago, but I’m waiting till now to say anything because I know you won’t mind dropping what you’re doing and taking me right this very second. Just wait here for 30 minutes while I try to figure out which shoes to wear.”
For the past couple of years I’ve struggled with what to do with this site. Do I keep it up, keep chugging away at it, keep using it as, what, my public journal? My Bible study? My witty yet insightful take on the world around me? I honestly don’t know. I never went into this with any kind of plan, and that “world around me”? Yeah, it’s changed a lot. I’m far more likely to spend my time on Twitter or Tumblr than I am here. “There” is easy. It’s instantaneous. “Here” is time-consuming and not always that fun. “There” is free. “Here” I’m paying ten bucks a month for a webhosting account for a product I’m not using. So what do I do?
I kill the blog.