Camouflage Mama and True Beauty (flasback Friday)

October 15, 2006

Camouflage Mama

It happens every afternoon around 4:37 p.m. I don my camouflage pants and head out the door. Sam’s bus arrives at the bottom of the hill at 4:39. She’s in high school now. Cool. Happening. She wears lip-gloss and just a touch of foundation to take off the shine.

She even has an I-pod she received on her birthday after three years of
complaining about the bulkiness of her old-fashioned CD player. “I mean
really, Mom. All the kids make fun of me. It’s so bulky and HUGE!”

Yeah. OK. I couldn’t even LIFT the record player I listened to in the 6th
grade.

So I start walking – slowly. It’s all in the timing. If I get too close and
the kids on the bus see me, all will be lost. I hear the familiar sound.
There it is. I spot the yellow through the leaves, and see a window on the
bus. A set of teenage eyes meets mine. They widen. I’ve been spotted! Drat!
I quickly duck and pretend to pet a caterpillar.

I asked Sam once, “So what if your friends see me? They won’t know I’m
coming to meet you, they’ll just think I’m some lady out walking her dogs.”

“Every day Mom? At the same time? And a woman who looks EXACTLY like me?
Mom.” Slight eye roll. “They’ll know it’s you.”

Right. And that’s . . . horribly, mortifyingly not good, right?

Right.

The bus starts moving away. I see a bobbing brunette head coming up my way. I
wave. She waves. We grin. On this day she loops her arm in mine as she draws
close. She doesn’t even realize she’s doing it. She right away starts in on her day.

I smile a little grin of victory. Undercover. Top secret. Camouflage love.

Mission accomplished.

October 16, 2006

Swan

She was tiny, frail, beautiful. I met Swan at a woman’s conference. Wrinkles lined her lovely face. She dressed stylish with a touch of sassy. Swan spoke in a quiet voice, and her hands trembled slightly as they rested on her lap. She was the picture of gentle beauty.

Then Swan prayed.

With a voice full of passion and strength, she prayed over the conference.
With power she prayed for each woman present. She seemed to grow in stature
with each word spoken to our God.

I have a picture of what Swan will look like in heaven. I’m sure it’s a pale
vision of what will truly be, but even with my limited imagination, my
picture takes my breath away. She is adorned in vibrant colors. She is
brilliant and strong with energy spilling from every pore. Her Lord takes her
dancing and without a single ache or pain, she graces the heavens with her
lovely form. Her eyes are full of light and her smile is warm and
captivating. She is all that she is now – only with a touch of heaven thrown
in.

I want to be like Swan. As my body weakens, I pray my spirit strengthens. As
my heart grows weaker, I pray my love grows stronger. With each passing day,
may I be more like Jesus, until my final breath takes me home to him.

It’s not easy being a woman (flashback Friday)

November 21, 2003

Being a woman is hard, and the traps of womanhood snare me with greater and greater frequency. It all started with the whole eyebrow waxing thing. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. How would that look? One eyebrow to two, two eyebrows to one.

Way too confusing.

Then there came the panty hose, heels and even coloring my hair. These were fun things, little adventures into my girly world, but these seemingly innocent pursuits can turn on you. All of a sudden like.

Let me explain: my friend recently introduced me to fake nails. “They’re fun!” She said. “And they look good… and really, Elsa, they only take a minute to put on.”

So I sat on my bed, clipping and filing my fake nails. Strange, really, to hold a nail in your hand as you clip and file it. Then there’s the glue, strong enough to put airplanes back together. I read the instructions carefully. Put a touch on the nail; press the fake one on the real one. Paint. Be happy.

So I did.

The next morning I took a shower and three nails fell off. Apparently, you’re not allowed to shower once you put on fake nails.

I glued them back on.

Later I washed the dishes and another nail fell off.

Great. No dishes either. I glued it back on.

I put on my panty hose and poked ten lovely holes in a dashing formation. Which promptly caused ten galloping runs. Fine. I guess I just wish the panty hose onto my legs or ask the dog to help – as his claws are now shorter than mine.

Later on, I arrive at work and type. It sounds like I’m performing a drum solo on my keyboard. TAP, TAP, TAP. People gather around my cubicle and start swaying to the tune.

I growl at them and determine that I am done with the nails. I try to pull of the remaining fake ones and nearly pull off my real nail along with twelve layers of skin.

So now ten days later, I have seven nails on and three nails off.

Great. I’m a mutant.

I’ll probably die this way.

(Postscript: Nearly ten years later and I remain traumatized. I shudder walking through nail salons.)