The One-Legged Chicken Dance

September 19, 2010

Happy Autumn, faithful readers!  We’ve almost made it to the end of this hot and humid summer, and even though the temperatures still hover in the upper 80’s during the daytime, the evenings have begun to hint at that glorious crispness in the air that autumn will soon (please!) deliver to our overheated bodies. Won’t that be just the ticket to put the happy back into our scorched brains? Yes, I believe it will.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I could use a little cool brain bath.  Maybe it’s my age or the particular phase of life I’m in (late motherhood) or perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve taken on a couple of new responsibilities lately, but I seem to be running around like a chicken with more than just my head cut off. I think I may be missing at least one leg, and maybe some feathers. And the brain that’s left in my cut-off head appears to be steaming a mite more than usual.

“And so,” you might ask if you don’t know better, “What have you gotten yourself into now, Ms. Doodle?”

Let me tell you. First of all, since both of my regularly nannied children are now in school full time, I’ve taken on a couple of extra little girls to care for just two hours after school two days a week. That doesn’t sound like much, does it?. And really it isn’t. They are sweet, fun lovin’ girls that I know from church. The problem is my old brain is having a hard time remembering when I’m supposed to be where each day. I’ll be driving down the road, listening to the oldies on the radio,when suddenly I’ll feel a pulsing thud in my belly. “Where am I going right now?” I’ll think, panicked. “St. Camillus to pick up Camille and Rachel? Central Primary to pick up Grace? Central Intermediate to pick up Grant? The high school to pick up Carly? The dog groomer to pick up Alfonze (the nannied dog?)” Then I look in the back seat and realize I have Grace and we must be headed to piano lesson. Or I have Grace and Grant so I’m probably on the way to football practice. Or it’s dark out, so obviously I’m just wandering around in a daze on the way to some meeting or program I’ve more than likely already missed. So that’s when I head to Kroger for chocolate or my latest obsession, Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche ice cream.

Life in the nanny world just gets sweeter and sweeter, even without the chocolate and ice cream. The other day I had four girls in my car. That’s one more than I used to drive around in the good old days of stay-at-home-momdom. What a crazy blessing!

I’ve also taken on a tutoring opportunity that excites this headless chicken more than a miracle re-capitation. Once a week I meet with a teenage girl from church to teach her creative writing!OH MY HEAVENLY WINGDINGS!!! This is almost as wondrous as a Paul McCartney concert, but not quite, because let’s get real, Paul is Paul and nothing on this earth is more wondrous than he. Just look at that proper usage of a subjective pronoun! And have you noticed my scintillating use of extended chicken metaphor (that’s an extended metaphor involving a chicken, not a metaphor involving an extended chicken) and vibrant imagery? Yes, this tutoring business could lead to unparalleled enhancements to the monthly Doodle. Or maybe not. As long as my tutee enjoys our adventures in writing, it doesn’t really matter how it all affects me.

Crazy as I may become during this school year, this one thing I know: Even a headless, one-legged chicken with missing feathers can do all things through Christ who strengthens her. And the same goes for the rest of you chickens out there!