Due to Extenuating Circumstances

Adventures in Unplanned Parenthood

The wisdom to know the difference

Unless you live under an especially nonporous and far-flung rock, you know the quote about “the wisdom to know the difference.” This Thanksgiving weekend, I am deciding to embrace all of the things I cannot change.

  • My husband. If I could change what I don’t understand about Mac, someone else could change what I do understand, and love, and often secretly marvel at. I’d rather that not be the case.
  • The garage. It’s never going to be clean. It’s a black hole of old boxes with mysterious markings like “Donnie’s flatware.” It’s in handwriting I don’t recognize, and we don’t know anyone named Donnie. We also have bits of electrical equipment I don’t know how to use, a breadmaker from 2001, a giftwrap plastic holder that doesn’t close properly, giftwrap covered in finely ground sawdust, a sit-up exercising frame I should be using, a powersaw I should not, and an enormous bag of red solo cups. Who the hell is leaving flatware, cups and exercise equipment in my garage? I blame Donnie Wahlberg.
  • My students. I can teach, guide, ask, cajole, wheedle, bark, instruct and demonstrate. Not change.
  • My abdomen. My abdomen is a rogue nation in my world. The head negotiated with it, the heart pleaded with it, the gallbladder attacked it. Eventually the hand signed forms to remove large chunks of it and the legs gave up enabling it all the time. My mouth has imposed sanctions. My nerves are shot because of it. A coalition of the willing (eyes and feet) got it to as many specialists as it took, and still takes, to keep it in line with the global philosophy. They have all failed to make peace with it. So my ears are listening to every other body part and deciding some things will never be fixed.. We have extended a peacekeeping force to do what can be done.
  • Cat hair. We vacuum every day and dust three times a week. I don’t know where it comes from. We only have one cat. I wonder if he fleeces other cats and secretly brings it in while we’re at work. Every week I have enough hair to construct a whole new cat if I want. I’m thinking of going into the pillow business.
  • My friends’ friends. I never cared until Facebook. I’d better stop caring so much or I’m going to cyberthrottle someone I couldn’t pick out of a lineup in real life.
  • The plight of every suffering person.
  • The situation of every impoverished person.
  • The pain of every person who can’t tell Coke is better than Pepsi
  • The dried cereal stuck to my child. He can’t quit dropping the cereal puffs out of his mouth. They’re stuck EVERYWHERE. On the back of the highchair, on his butt, on the living room rug. I find them stuck in his hair, on bibs that got gluten-glued to diapers in his diaperbag, in the meshy part of his pack’n’prison. They’re mashed into the cat’s tail, on the welcome mat by the back door, in the mouth of the stuffed lion on his activity center, the back of Mac’s sweater and clogging up my tub’s drain. I have an incredible plan concerning cost-effective pothole repair with a Gerber sponsorship.These things are delicious cement just waiting to be activated by a hungry baby.
  • Donald Trump. He’s a natural disaster much like a tornado or a hurricane. You can’t stop it on your own, your best bet is to band together and help everyone in the aftermath.
  • Diapers
  • Dammit. Mac called me on my bullshit.
    • See the first sentence.

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