When you have a mini-van, you must have rules.
Simple, yes. Optional, no. Otherwise, you are asking for utter (and disgusting) anarchy.
The other night, we had an infraction of the no dairy allowed clause. Anyone who has a kid knows if this one falls they all do. You know it the moment you find your first sippy cup of milk under someone’s seat, proceed to open the lid and promptly DIE of asphyxiation.
This night, however, dairy nearly caused my mom-crazy to explode all over the place….
“Grace. Is that yogurt?????”
“And is that a cheese stick?”
“And the rule is??????”
“I know, Mom. But it already smells in here.”
This is when I certifiably lost my mind and launched into an ALREADY SMELLS dissertation of epic proportion.
“It already SMELLS? It already SMELLS? So with that logic, if we have a dirty diaper in here, do we just leave it? Because it already smells? If someone vomits everywhere, do we not clean it up? Because it already smells? If there are maggots crawling over rotting food in the backseat, do we just throw a backpack on top of it BECAUSE IT ALREADY SMELLS???????????? WHAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!”
“Um, Mom? So can I bring the yogurt and cheese stick in here?”
“It already smells?”
This is my world, y’all.
It used to be I’d have CNN on in the background while reading all the major news junkie mags and throwing in a little Foucault every now and then simply to keep up with my debate kids. But now I wax eloquent about smells in my mini-van. And often wonder if my philosophy of parenting is limited only to the words of the immortal Tami Taylor, “It’s my job to make sure you don’t grow up stupid. It’s bad for the world.”
Life has gone from intellectual to primitive survival.
So hear me when I say I am not an expert on any political anything. Shoot. Even that whole gummy bear explanation about the Iowa Caucus did nothing for me except leave me jonesing for a giant bag of gummy bears.
But it seems to me that we have a whole lot of but-it-already-smells logic going on in every camp.
Throwing around vitriolic spew at each other along with the ever-so-lovely assumption that Jesus belongs to a certain political party. Jumping in and jumping on every bandwagon to tear down people piece by bloody piece. And I know I’m just over here eating gummy bears…
Love doesn’t add to the smell or the poo or the problem.
And I’m pretty sure the guy who defined love didn’t either.
Because if there is one thing I have gleaned over my ten years of motherhood, it’s that love gets in there and cleans the mess up.
Over and over and over again.
Which also brings us to the point that this but-it-already smells philosophy is not limited to politics.
It’s gossip. It’s bitterness. It’s complaint.
It’s a whole circle of guys standing around a woman stripped bare of dignity, throwing out vitriolic spew and demanding her life. Publicly shaming. Ridicule upon ridicule.
Love wades into all the junk. Love bends down and draws quietly in the sand. Love uses words to defend with, “You who are without sin…you throw the first stone.”
Love stands up to words that tear down.
Over and over and over again.
So while I’m not the world’s authority on the political whatever it is of the given moment, I do know that we need to do better. We need to love more. We need to subtract more than we add. We need to stop saying, “But it already smells!” And more than anything, we need to remind one another of the one thing He taught us the day a crowd gathered…
That real love always stands up.