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Thursday
Jul152010

Little Gods

The hardest part about having kids, hands down, is the way they botch up all your plans. Just a minute. It’s Lucy. She wants some scrambled eggs.

Okay. I’m back. You see there? It’s not like it was hard to make scrambled eggs. The actual event of making eggs isn’t the hard part. The hard part is the way my plan to write this blog post clashed with Lucy’s need to have scrambled eggs.

“Dad. Do fish drink water?”

“I don’t know, Jackson. Does Barack Obama like grilled cheeses?”

“Huh?”

You have to stun them. It buys you some time. Anyway, there’s something in the way the kids so suddenly intrude. It’s like POW! They’re right there. You know? It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. You might be on the phone or reading or even merely trying to finish a thought and—hold on.

“I DON’T GIVE A SHIT WHAT SHE DID! YOU CAN’T DO THAT TO YOUR SISTER’S HEAD! DO YOU WANT TO KILL YOUR SISTER?”

There’s a weird kind of psychic pain that accompanies having your plans interrupted. It’s not like having someone sit on your head. But still. It hurts. Because it’s your will. It’s like you want to do what you want to do but the kids—they destroy that. The kids destroy what you want. Just a sec—

“Excuse me what?”

“I love you, Daddy.”

“Aw, I love you too, Lucy. And guess what. I’m gonna love you even more in 10 minutes after you let me finish writing this blog post.”

See? That was sweet. It’s not like I’m saying the kids are terrible. The point I’m trying to make is subtle. Even being interrupted to be told that I’m loved is a sudden readjustment to my intentions and it’s bracing.

When you think about it, what you want could be construed as a definition of who you are. So kids are constantly messing with who you are. Jackson just knocked a glass of red juice on the carpet. Jackson just knocked a glass of red juice on the carpet. Jackson just knocked a glass of red juice on the carpet.

Shit. I have to hurry. Last night, I was reading—the kids were sleeping, but you’re still never safe—and I came across this Carl Jung quote. It really hit home, so I wanted to share it with you.

To this day God is the name by which—“I’m sure it’s important, Lucy, but I’m right in the middle of a really cool Carl Jung quote. Gimme two minutes.”—I designate all things which cross my willful path violently and recklessly, all things which upset my subjective views, plans and intentions—“I don’t care how much Tom Nook just paid you for a barred knifejaw. Just play your video game and, please, spare me the running commentary.”—and change the course of my life for better or worse.

Gods destroy what you want and mess with who you are. They do this because there’s so much more—worlds and worlds—than you and what you want. And kids are more than kids. They’re little gods. Honor them.

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Reader Comments (33)

Your writing messes with who I am, too. What does that make it?

Profoundly true, and well executed.

July 15, 2010 at 8:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterKit

I was just interrupted three times while trying to read your blog post.

"MOM! I"M DONE!"

"Mom, can I have a waffle?"

"Mom, I love you!"

Little Gods for sure.

July 15, 2010 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterJodi

wow. I needed to read this!! thank you.

July 15, 2010 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterJulie

Parallel universes everywhere, it seems.

I, too, was interrupted multiple times while reading this. To which I would respond with increasing agitation each time. They are messing with me. They are messing with My SELF!

And then, fianlly, I got to this part: "And kids are more than kids. They're little gods. Honor them"

Those are words that, I hope, will stick in my brain for a long time to come. Getting off this machine now. (thank you)

July 15, 2010 at 10:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterC

Loved th...shit...I'll be right back...

July 15, 2010 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterLojo

Shit. My dog is a little God too then.

July 15, 2010 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeannie

My kids aren't here. I have a few hours to think complete thoughts and to read without interruption. And yet, while I was reading your post, right at the Jung quote, a guy rang the doorbell and tried to sell me an encyclopedia. I didn't even know people still did that. Trying to avoid interruption is really futile, I guess, but I'd much rather think of my kids as little gods than the door to door encyclopedia salesman.

July 15, 2010 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMegan (An Acorn Dreaming)

I was just interrupted while writing this comment by a child's tale of her nightmare last evening. It was about a tornado interrupting a birthday party she has plans to attend on Saturday. Oh, the interruptions.

July 15, 2010 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterApryl's Antics

And strangely enough, K just told me her favorite iPhone app is Pocket Gods.

July 15, 2010 at 1:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Despite the interruptions, this was fantastic.

July 15, 2010 at 5:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterelizabeth

I love this.

July 15, 2010 at 5:59 PM | Unregistered Commentera.w.

You will have a happier life if you can believe in a God. Alas, I cannot.

July 15, 2010 at 8:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJuli Ryan

Uninterrupted thought processes are what I live for. I think it's a bit like sleep deprivation - constant psychic interruption drives you mad eventually. My children don't notice that they have a mad mother. All they want is a drink of milk.

July 15, 2010 at 11:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterGappy

Ah, yes. Despite the fact that I should be fluent in the language of interruption it still took me a minute to take the quote in. But, yes, very important. It just took me a month and a half to write a 4 thousand word story. it wouldn't come out for some reason, and then as soon as the juice would start to flow I'd get bounced on. They sense the electrical current of creative thought, I think.

But this is great. Good for Jung.

And it's not about a big man in a white beard, Juli. It's about the divine and the universe and all of that everything.

July 16, 2010 at 3:36 AM | Unregistered Commenterjo

Oh yes, I giggled at this one. I don't have kids, but I do have two nieces. And not a phone conversation with my sister takes place without some version of "Girls! What am I doing right now? That's right, I'm ON THE PHONE. SO WHY ARE YOU TALKING TO ME?!!" going on during the first 30 seconds of the call.

July 16, 2010 at 4:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterShasta

I have to remind myself on a daily basis of my responsibility to my children. Love, food and shelter. Anything else is just a privilege and they should be grateful for sheets...
What does that have to do with life interrupted? I have no clue. Just wanted to comment something different from everyone elses "loved it."

July 16, 2010 at 6:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Little Gods explains them exactly. One of mine I feel is in kahoots with the God of the Underworld... ya know who that is...

Anyway. Awesome post.

July 16, 2010 at 7:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterShelle-Real World Venus vs. Mars

"The point I’m trying to make is subtle"

I'm nto sure how "I don't like to be interrupted" counts as subtle. But hey, go for it.

http://www.okcupid.com/profile?u=NutellaonToast

July 16, 2010 at 9:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterNutellaonToast

I come here to say nasty shit because I'm smarter than everybody else. Why do people pay attention to this jerk when I'm so smart? I don't have shit to show for it so you'll just have to take my word for it. I'm smarter than you. Lonely. But smarter.

[this comment was altered by BHJ]

July 16, 2010 at 10:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterNutellaonToast

This? All kinds of awesome.

July 16, 2010 at 6:00 PM | Unregistered Commentersarah

She came back half an hour later to say more mean things?

This post was really important to parents. It might not have been subtle, but there's a lot about parenting versus being an individual that needs saying out loud, clearly and gently, and often.

July 17, 2010 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterJo

You just got to the core of how having kids changes your life. Thanks.

July 17, 2010 at 7:47 PM | Unregistered Commentergreenheart

BWAAHAHAHAHA!

If I was asked for a single bit of advice for people about to become parents it would be, "prepare to be interrupted for the rest of your life."

Your post illustrates it beautifully, as well as gives a name to the psychic pain that accompanies having my momentum halted.

Thanks for the Jung quote. He definitely had to be talking about children.

July 18, 2010 at 8:45 AM | Unregistered Commenterexcavator

I just wish they'd start their little goddom after 7am.

July 19, 2010 at 6:31 AM | Unregistered Commentermuskrat

Perfection.

July 19, 2010 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered Commentermaggie, dammit

I heard this on the radio yesterday, and wanted to add it to the conversation. I'm sure I've made errors transposing it, for which I appologise. For me the grave internal nod I felt when reminded by your post to be more generous is complimented by this reminder to recognize my son's generosity.

Children's Voices at Breakfast

The boy has silver hair,
Blue eyes and freckles.
He draws cartoons
Of men with muscles
Like mountains.
He watches t.v.
And thinks we go on and on forever
As he says
Until we land up in Heaven or Hell.

The girl listens
With her dark eyes.
The tea's brown tongue is licking
Out the cup
She says
As if to nobody.

When you fold your memories
In the map
Of all the moments you have ever had
The cup is stillness on your lips.
The words of children never counted much.
We shut them out.
Yet it's for you alone
They give their silence up
To show you something you will
Never have again.

Dennis Casling

July 20, 2010 at 3:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterJen

This weblog is being featured on Five Star Friday!
http://www.schmutzie.com/fivestarfriday/2010/7/20/five-star-fridays-112th-edition-on-a-tuesday-is-brought-to-y.html

July 20, 2010 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterschmutzie

Oh, glory! John E. Simpson of "Running After My Hat" sent me. I will be back, and often.

July 20, 2010 at 7:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterNance

I don't know, I think you should pay attention to Tom Nook, he's a fucking crook. He's always giving me horrible sell back rates for shit. But as for the rest of it, right on!

July 21, 2010 at 5:54 PM | Unregistered Commentererin

"You have to stun them."

Awesome.

July 21, 2010 at 8:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterBetsy

it is this , yes.
and I know I wouldn't want it any other way.
I just need reminding ,
like
every day.

July 22, 2010 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterdeb @ talk at the table

Corey likes this.

July 30, 2010 at 10:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterCorey Auger

Oh yeah. I felt that one. Been a stay-at-home mom for so long (kids span a lot of years) and am so used to interruptions that now when the kids aren't around, I actually interrupt myself!!!! Aaaack! I suffer from child induced ADD.

June 27, 2011 at 4:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterLynn

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