So They’re Remaking MacGyver

Since my main source of news is my Facebook feed (I know), the first I saw about a MacGyver remake was from a friend’s post:

It’s true… a remake of a favorite 80s/90s show has a special way of making make me feel old. Yet I also expected to be pleased with this news; the more MacGyver the better, right? Instead, I found myself shaking my head. Upon reflecting on this response, it turns out I have 3 mediocre and self-centered reasons for doing so:

1) I am pretty sure Angus MacGyver/Richard Dean Anderson was my first crush. The 30+ year age difference didn’t pose an obstacle to 7-year-old me and I was certain I would marry either him or one of the Duke brothers.

Really, CBS… why mess with perfection?

Ironically, the man I actually did marry has little use for duct tape and only uses paper clips strictly for in-office purposes as intended.

I’ve made my peace.

2) One of my very few retro-nerdy-ish things that I totally OWN will be mainstreamed and will no longer be retro-nerdy-ish in the least. That is, the fact that I daily replace the verb “made” with “MacGyvered” when referring to makeshift anything. I admit, using the term is the same as giving myself a high-five for resourcefulness on the fly. Since I lack the genius and absurdly adventurous circumstances of the real MacGyver, most of my “MacGyvereds” take place in the context of interacting with my 3-year-old:

-“Here. I MacGyvered an indoor run-away-helium-balloon-catching-device.” (tape sticky-side-out secured to the top of a broom handle)

-“Let’s get the bird poop off that slide with a MacGyvered wet wipe.” (spit on a napkin)

-“Again, Sweetie, we are on a road trip and Mommy doesn’t have peanut butter, jelly, or bread in the car… so I MacGyvered this for you.” (an applesauce pouch squeezed into a cup into which she can dunk gas station nutter butter cookies)

3) Streaming-spoiled kids these days won’t know the unsavory option of having to either negotiate a later bedtime on a school night in order to catch the latest episode or beg a parent to record it on VHS. The former was nearly impossible in my house. The latter was usually doable, though well-intentioned attempts at skipping commercials often left transitions between scenes choppy and confusing at best.

Oh well.

I will probably still give the new MacGyver a try. How about you?



Mother’s Day “After” Infertility

IMG_5114.JPGWhile in the throes of infertility, I dreaded Mother’s Day. Jared and I usually skipped church and used it as an excuse to binge on junk food, self-pity, and Netflix (before streaming was a thing, we’d head over to Hollywood Video and let ourselves go wild, which meant renting, like, FOUR DVDs in one go).

Based on countless conversations with others experiencing infertility over the years, I know I am not the only one.

I vividly remember the phrase that would enviously run through my mind every year on Mother’s Day: “When you have a child, everyday is Mother’s Day.

In other words, one day a year, my normally mature, grown-up self would devolve into a tantruming child, internally wailing, “It’s not fair! They get to have children AND a special day to celebrate the fact that they have children!?”

And it really didn’t feel fair. And it really did hurt. Deeply.

This was a dark time, Friends. My Beast loved Mother’s Day, which made it the day I loved to hate.

Never mind that I was (and still am) beyond blessed to have all of my grandmothers and mothers (my mom, stepmom, and mom-in-law) alive and well and only a phone call away. I look back at my Mother’s Day boycotts and shake my head at how lost I was in my envy and entitlement… I made the day about ME when I had every reason to make it about THEM. They still got cards in the mail, but I withdrew from truly celebrating these amazing women, and so many others, because of my own pain. I gave up the whole day to wallow. Infertility hurts and there is a time and place to properly tend to those wounds, but I realize now that Mother’s Day was not the right time to do that.

Thankfully, our society is becoming more sensitive to the woes of infertility. A quick scan of my Facebook feed confirms this as nary a Mother’s Day post is shared without also lovingly acknowledging those who long to be mothers. This is beautiful. I remember a time when this was not the case; infertility was hardly acknowledged on Mother’s Day even just a few years ago.

And yet…

While I still count myself among the infertile (having never carried any of our 4 babies to term), my arms are no longer empty, thanks to our daughter’s wonderful birthmama who chose us back in 2012. I am a mother… no longer aching, no longer grieving like I once did.

I am a mother. I am a mother with a 3-year-old child.

She is 3. SO VERY THREE.

She is the light of my eyes. The joy of my heart. I see Jesus in her precious face. And that giggle of hers! This child is brilliant, curious, ridiculously gorgeous, hilarious, full of life, and adored to the ends of the earth. She is everything I ever dreamed and more.

And yet…

Even with the most amazing child in the world… I am tired. I have mama-worries that never seem to end. I struggle to keep up with house and meals and the many things that takes us out of the house, too. About 8 times a day, I think, “How do mamas with MULTIPLE children do it?!” (Seriously… HOW?) Life has thrown a whole lot at us over the years, but motherhood has brought me to the end of myself in ways I never experienced before. I pour myself out, into motherhood. It is hard and wonderful. Sacred and mundane. And something I have learned along the way is this:

Mother’s Day is a MUST.

Our pastor put it so well this morning. He said, “You can mess up a lot of things in this life, but don’t mess up Mother’s Day.” I wanted to shout “AMEN!” But our church is kind of conservative, so I settled for a giddy mock-clap in my pew and a whispered “amen” instead.

We ALL owe it to our mothers (or whoever filled the mother role in your life) to make this day special for them. To do it all the way. To enjoy it as the happy day that it is. Those of us who are mothers, we owe it to ourselves! Please, let’s never apologize for our expectations and celebrations on this day. It is perfectly acceptable to take ONE DAY a year to honor motherhood… the flesh-and-blood-and-sweat-and-tears-and-laughter-and-poop-and-boogers-and-snuggles-and-drama-and-one-million-words-and-decisions-everyday-and-exhaustion-and-dragged-out-bedtimes-and-boo-boos-and (this list could go on forever, and she is only 3)… all of IT that is motherhood.

I know. Some of you reading this are still in the worst of it. Your arms are empty and you don’t know if you will ever hold your child. I have not forgotten you and I have not forgotten that *feeling* that is unique to Mother’s Day. Infertility has left its scars on me, too. My heart truly goes out to you today. I remember…

Yet I am going to ask you to gather the strength and the grace to not withdraw, to not hold back. I boldly ask this of you because, partly due to the struggles of infertility, I have some assurance that you already live in a profound state of strength and grace everyday.

You can do this.

CELEBRATE your mama or one of the many mothers that surround you and love you. Commit yourself to taming The Beast  for at least few hours on Mother’s Day. Wallow if you need to, but please don’t draw the darkness in around yourself all day long like I did for 6 Mother’s Days. Even in the midst of your pain and loss, I encourage you to embrace this day. Embrace what makes motherhood good, embrace what makes motherhood something you deeply desire, embrace what you received from your own mother. Make this day yours, AND theirs, in a new way by letting the light back into it. Let that light shine bright, let it wash over you, nourish you, and renew your spirit. My friend, I challenge you to reclaim this glorious celebration.

Happy Mother’s Day to us all!