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Religion and My Mom – Like Oil and Water

A few weeks ago, I went with my asbestos friend around her neighborhood trick or treating to collect canned goods for the local food pantry. My husband and son were along as well. The activity was part of the church’s Wednesday night dinner and study. Sometimes my husband and I go for dinner. We don’t do the “study” part so much, but we often can be found at the church’s activities.

I was trying to tell my mom about this the next day, without disclosing it had anything to do with the church. I told her that we went to Blissfield and had dinner with my asbestos friend. I told her then we walked around the neighborhood because it was such a beautiful night, and that the toddlers played musical seats between the stroller and the wagon.

She got to asking me her million questions (as she has no life of her own and lives vicariously through mine), and I admitted I wasn’t telling her that these activities took place at the church.

“Just as long as you don’t find religion. You aren’t finding religion, are you?”, Mom pushed.

“I am an adult. I can do whatever the f*ck I want to do,” I raised my voice at her.

“You think you hid things from me, but I know. You told me that all those nights you weren’t really at P’s, you were out gallivanting around. I knew that,” she said.

She doesn’t know what it’s like to have a baby in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and how good it feels to know a whole church full of people are praying (or positively thinking or whatever) for him.  Or how good it feels when he is finally better and it feels as though all those people’s thoughts may have moved something in the universe to create that desired outcome.

She also doesn’t know about my two tattoos, that when I used to come home and tell her she smelled car exhaust on my clothes that it was actually cigarette smoke that she smelled, that I got my roof redone and it had issues, that I have a blog, that I write about her on my blog she doesn’t know about, that I went to Detroit by myself, that I am interviewing for jobs, that our my family’s name is in the church directory.

I didn’t want to tell her when I was pregnant, but I thought even she would have figured it out sooner or later. And I was like 5 months along by the time I told her.

Back to the religion thing. I am pretty sure that I do not believe what everyone else at the church believes about God and the Bible. I do enjoy spending time with my asbestos friend there. I do believe they are a very nice and good group of people at that church, who have accepted my family even though we are a bunch of tag-alongs. I do believe that my husband was raised in the church and doesn’t mind going there. I believe it is good for my son to experience aspects of the church, including the sense of community spirit.

Have I found religion, Mother? No, and I probably never will. Because you have drilled it into my head that I am undeserving of belonging because you never wanted to.

While I don’t believe, I see where it would be so much nicer and happier and simpler if I did. I envy that people can feel like there is something out there more than their fragile human selves. I would love to believe that there is a Heaven to hang out in when I die, instead of having panic attacks as I try to fall asleep at night thinking of the black nothingness when my life suddenly stops and I just cease to exist and my whole life was for nothing.

It makes me sad.

My mom’s hate also saddens me.

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So Eager


Do all first time parents feel the need to give their child every experience right away? Or are my husband and I just like that because our son had medical issues?

My husband and I bought my son, M, a shiny, new, red Radio Flyer tricycle…when he was just two months old. And, of course, my husband assembled it right away. My son is now 21 months old. We recently brought the tricycle down from the attic. He enjoys sitting on it and pushing it around, but he doesn’t have the hang of pedaling yet. Yes, we realize we are a little crazy.

But this doesn’t stop at tricycles. My son sat on Santa’s lap when he was just 15 days old. In his first year, M attended his first hockey game and his first baseball game. He was so young for the baseball game that the crowd’s cheering bothered him. He seemed kind of oblivious to the hockey game. M rode a carousel–twice.

At the animatronic dino souvenir store (check out the AWESOME T-shirt)


By the time M turned 18 months, he had had two rides on a real full-size train. He also had been on his first vacation, to a family event in North Carolina. Not yet two, he has now also racked up his first penny pony ride at Meijer, and seen life-size animatronic dinosaurs. M has ridden a Ferris Wheel. He has seen a full-size Thomas the tank engine, racking up yet another real train ride. He must just think that kids get to ride trains all the time. I think I was in middle school before I ever got to ride on a full-size train. There are probably some people who go their whole lives never riding one. (I like trains, can you tell? Random Fact: Also, lighthouses.)

To top it all off, M has already had his first flight. And not on a commercial airline or for vacation. We had an opportunity at a local festival to go up in a four seater Cessna and fly over our own house. M wasn’t scared at all. In fact, he fell asleep. (In case anyone cares, I got a little nauseous.)

I just wonder if this is normal behavior for parents. My asbestos fiend has a boy six months younger than M. She doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to have him participate in life events before he is old enough to appreciate them, as we do. But then again, this is her second child. I don’t know how she felt with her first child. My asbestos friend lived clear across the country when her first was born.

Are we so eager because we are first time parents? Or is it because my son was born with an issue with his urinary system that required surgery at 6 months of age? Surgery that had complications. I know I really felt the rush to “hurry up” and “make experiences” with M while he was laying in the Pediatric ICU. My husband wanted to get a family portrait done as soon as M was born. I put him off and told him we would do it for Christmas, for our Christmas cards. Sitting in the hospital with my son, all I could think was that if he died before we got a family picture taken, my husband would never forgive me.

We got the picture taken on my son’s first birthday.

On television shows and in movies, the new mother always gazes down lovingly at her newborn child. I was not that mother. I found that I could not even let my heart fully love my son til he was almost a year old. It was a mechanism I used to guard myself, in case he should die from his medical issues or from the complications a surgery could bring. (Morbid, I know. And it hurts my heart to write it now. And it hurt my heart to live all this.)

M has a follow-up appointment on Wednesday. It makes my chest tight just to think about it. Our last appointment brought good news. I don’t know how to ask the universe or pray to God or beg and plead for more good news. I can’t handle a nephro tube or surgery again. I can’t. And my boy wants to put that all behind him and play with his Cozy Coupe and Thomas Wooden Railway (“toot-toot” he says). Please, everyone put in a good thought for him. And I will in return wish that you all get a moment to yourself to enjoy an ice cream.

What will be the next life experience we rush my son into before he turns three? Run for President of the United States? Trip to the moon?

You guys are wearin’ my ass out.


I’m not stalking you. is NOW ON FACEBOOK! “Like” that I’m not stalking you and get an update when there is a new post to read. (It is sort of like YOU are stalking ME.)

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