here to freak you out

I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that when I meet people for the first time I should say, “Hi, my name is Missi, and I’m here to freak you out.” Chatty strangers tend to draw out any number of details about my lifestyle that evidently totally fascinates them.

Tonight I went to purchase an area rug I found on Craigslist. This particular couple was very friendly. While we waited for the dude to go make change for me, the wife chatted me up. Eventually it came out that I was pregnant…with my fourth. And my oldest is four. (I only took the extremely volatile three year old with me because it was a really big rug to try to fit in the van.) These were upper middle class Americans, clearly only planning to have one child. She asked if I was done. (I’ll rant later on how completely inappropriate that question is.) I told her no. So she asked if maybe I was going to stop at 5.

“MMMmmmm. Probably not.”

“So, like, how many kids are you going to have?”

“I don’t know. However many I end up with I guess.”

“So, what number though, like seven…or ten?”

“Yeah. Ten sounds good to me.”

“So did either of you come from big families?”

“Nope. Small families.”

“So you just like children a lot or something?”

(Here’s where I could have totally reversed the questioning and asked what was so wrong with her child that she didn’t want more, but I was feeling merciful.)

“Yeah. I love my kids. They’re great!” 

Mercifully, Charis needed to go potty and that line of questioning was interrupted. I had totally blown her mind at this point, and we hadn’t even delved into birth, politics, or education. Why on earth would anyone choose to just have children as they came when you have so many options for preventing them?!? Aside from those “options” just being totally and completely unnatural and irreversibly devastating to the female body, it really shocks people to meet someone who genuinely likes their kids! 

When her husband got back from making change, she had me explain to him my future fertility plans. “Nice to meet you, my name is Missi, I am extremely fertile and I like it.” Seriously. I should have launched into an explanation of the birds and the bees in case they weren’t totally sure how all that works out. I digress.

I thought about really freaking them out and telling them that I home birth, but my stomach was starting to growl. We all know how that  conversation goes. 

“Wow. So you have them at home. Do they have pain medication for you there?”

“Yes, I keep my demerol on the top shelf next to my birth control pills in the bathroom.” Oh no… wait. That’s just what I imagine saying. 

Thankfully, Arwen wasn’t with me or they may have discovered any number of things about us that make completely incapable of fitting inside of anyone’s box:

Home birthing, non-family planning fertility embracing, home schooling, organic gardening, soap making, herb loving, tree people huggers, who neither fit into the right or the left in politics, embrace a model of Christianity that has totally been lost in the modern day church, organic eating yet also junk food junkies, attachment parents that spank lovingly discipline their children…

We’re just a walking freak show rubix cube. (Does anyone know how to spell that? Spell check was no help.)

that time brent ran for a political office

You may remember before my mentioning that Brent is running for a local political office. Yes folks, Brent Burgess for Calera City Council, District 5!! Woot Woot!!

 

Anyway, Tuesday night there was another forum. This time it was city wide and taking place in the high school auditorium. As far as Calera is concerned, this is the big time. Our friends, the Lamberts, graciously offered to keep the girls for us again and this time no one was sick. 

I had spent the afternoon running errands and efficiently got myself lost only 4 times on my trek to get the ultimate shiny metal stick blender. I got home just in time to run in to change clothes and hop out the door with all the kids. Whew! You know us, barely making it by the skin of our teeth…

Of course traffic was horrible and we were running late. We quick dropped the girls off at the Lamberts and drove back to Calera. I drove so Brent could look over the questions (for the first time! skin of our teeth here, people!). He was relieved to find out that all he had to do this time was answer one question: how will you use your position as City Councilman? As Brent rehearsed his speech he kept saying things like: “punish evildoers” and “opposing imminent domain”, etc. I begin to try to put myself in the shoes of the citizens and suggested that maybe he focus on the positive such as “promote the local police department” and “protect private property.” He agreed and settle on some fine words. 

Moving on to the forum. We had to listen to all four mayoral candidates speak on their plans which included a laundry list of high-falutin’ (sp?) ideas and plans- widening a bridge, a recycling program, updating the website, informational signs in front of city hall, getting gov’t grants to refurbish down town, and lets not forget- a public transportations system for the elderly. Oh My Geez, just when I thought I was really going to stand up and shout “WHO CARES?” a woman who was running for council(wo)man took the mic. She said it just like a woman. I can’t remember if her hand was on her hip, but it should have been. She got right to the point. “My children cannot play out in the street because people are speeding through my neighborhood and I’ve had enough, and my daughter is late almost every morning because that train sits on the tracks for hours on end. Now, we just can’t have our kids having to get checked into school late because a train was sitting on the tracks and I’ll not have it. ” I giggled an evil laugh in my head and thought, How sweet it would be if mom’s ruled the world!”

 

So then we get to District 5 and Brent is the first one up, going by alphabetical order. He starts with a quote from uummm… Thomas Jefferson. Loosely translated it says this: Good government punishes criminals and gets out of the way of the good people to go about their own business. (I know Brent, it’s not near as good as when you said it. I just can’t remember the exact quote!) So he did good and went on about supporting the police department and fire department (ours is currently unstaffed and also would not be able to get to our neighborhood if say, a train was stopped on the tracks hours on end when our house caught on fire. Good to know.) Then he dropped the bomb: “Our city is currently in deficit $142,000. All of these programs these men have been talking about are going to cost money, and we don’t have it.” Then he went further: “Our nation is headed toward a recession and I’d like to see Calera taking steps to prepare for it and cut corners to save where we can to protect our citizens.” WOOHOO! That’s my man! Wisdom cries aloud from the streets! I was never more proud. Trite and worthless issues are far from his mind as he contemplates the heavier items at hand. We need more people like Brent in politics and leading our country-fearlessly looking ahead to the future and bracing themselves to inspire change whether or not they live to see it. 

Folks, if you are not looking into your government officials you ought to. If just for the sheer entertainment of it you should be going to these forums in your own city. Find out who is running for governor and city council, etc. etc. Find out what they stand for and get involved. We are shaping the world that we will leave for our children and grandchildren! Don’t be idle. Do something.