As I get older- I am a little more unsure of myself, a little more hesitant, a little more apt to let younger people make the decisions. Just a little. This is a huge admission from the original bossy-pants-of-America. I am a little more tender. I do know one thing for sure though: If I were a clothing designer- I would make a million bucks designing sleepwear for menopausal women. Here is what these young whipper-snapper clothing designers need to know about pj’s for us:
2.100% cotton- no exceptions
3.something you can whip on and off in the middle of the night when flash-city hits.
If number one and number two are accomplished than number three usually doesn’t need to happen. Believe me number 3 needs to be avoided if at all possible- at my age THAT can be really scary. Can I tell you how many nightgowns, t-shirts, pj tops I have pitted out in the last few years? What in the cat hair is that all about? That telltale stain under the armpit makes me use the trash can as a basketball hoop -more times than you can imagine. Maybe disposable menopausal pajamas would be the best design… I will text Vera Wang and Versace about it tomorrow.
Erma Bombeck was and still is one of my favorite writers. Some of you don’t remember her, but when I was growing up, my mom read her newspaper column faithfully. She wrote about womenhood, motherhood, parenting and anything else that popped in to her brain. She had that rare gift of being way funny, yet meaningful and tender. I can remember my mom reading it out loud to us, and all of us laughing together- almost till we wet our pants:) Erma wrote a book once called “When you Look like your Passport Photo its Time to go Home” she chronicled a time when her husband took her to Papua New Guinea on vacation. Since I have lived there-just that thought is hilarious to me:) Erma died of breast cancer in 1996, after a 6 year battle. In her later years, her writing was still funny, but she was writing more about serious things, things that were close to her heart. The equal rights amendment for women, childhood cancer, being a grandma. She became a little more tenderhearted, in my estimation. I will blog more about Erma later- but here are a few of my favorite Erma Bombeck quotes:
"If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead."
"The only reason I would take up jogging is so I could hear heavy breathing again."
"Seize the moment. Think of all those women on the 'Titanic' who waved off the dessert cart."
”When humor goes, there goes civilization."
And my fave:
"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.'"
*for more about Erma and her life, and some books she wrote:
Just lately, I have been feeling a little more tenderhearted, a little more fragile, even a little more weepy. Ok- yes- I am a girl, so I even cry during re-runs of “Little House on the Prairie” (Darn that Laura Ingalls she can be sooo sweet and sincere! ) Life sometimes is hard, and definitely not funny. The world is many times cold and callous, and we can be the same way, rushing through our lives. When is the last time you were touched by a story you read about a sick child? The last time you cried about the pain of someone you don’t even know? Tenderheartedness can be tricky. Sappy stories sometimes makes us roll our eyes. My husband is very tenderhearted, even though he does not cry much, hardly ever. A few years ago we drove to southern Illinois for him to give the eulogy for a good friend and colleague of his who died suddenly. When we got there it was just a few minutes before the funeral started. Surprising himself and me, he started to weep uncontrollably. The Lord was giving him a very tenderhearted moment.
What about our God? Is he tenderhearted? What makes His heart heavy? What makes Him grieve? A great example of Him being tenderhearted and grieving is this verse, one of my favorites by the way:)
Matthew 23:37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.
Can you hear His anguish and pain? Can you hear His heart breaking for his people and His city? Can you hear His tenderheartedness? This verse hangs above my sink in the kitchen. My kids are mostly grown up now. My youngest is 18 and he is trying to be a grownup:) When they went through hard times as they were growing up, I wanted to gather them under my wing like a mother hen and protect them. I felt tenderhearted toward them. Even now I look at this verse while I am washing dishes and pray for them. I still want to protect them from pain and anguish and sadness. The fact is I can’t. And I shouldn’t. Even though this is a “cat hair” moment, my God tells me they need the pain. They are developing their own tenderheartedness. Erma might say: (and she did)"Laughter rises out of tragedy, when you need it the most, and rewards you for your courage."