“What Do You Think?”

I have sat here for almost 3 hours trying to come up with a post for you. Something exceedingly witty. Something intensely introspective. I have polled the audience around me. We have bounced ideas, we’ve discussed and I’ve heard their opinions on anything and everything. The silly. The witty. The deep. So I am going to let you “hear” what we came up with.

There was mention of a coffee shortage. I don’t know whether this is accurate or not because I refuse to google it on the grounds (*snort* – grounds…coffee…tell me that you got that?!?) that if it is true, it’s devastating at best. It was suggested that I could write wittingly about it; in which I responded that I could not. I would cry, wail, gnash my teeth and cover myself with ashes. We came up with the solution to transform our Florida Room into a greenhouse for coffee plants. Just have to figure out how to make room for Juan Valdez and his donkey to assure the best tasting beans.

In wondering about the donkey poop in the house, it led to talking about our dogs and children. You see, in addition to the 8 children within our blended family; there are also 3 dogs. None of which are over 6 months old. It should also be noted that 62.5% (Thank you to the math whiz for helping me figure out the exact percentage) of the 8 children involved are 6 and under. When it comes to children and dogs; the conversation always turns to poop or poopy-heads or farts….I digress. We watched Marley & Me last night. In watching that and the chaos that Marley could do in the house; I felt like I could relate very much. At any given point there is a tug of war going on, something just got broken, someone (hopefully a dog, but that’s not always the rule) is drinking from the toilet, there is screaming, barking, pooping, there is never any hot water, ripped bits of paper still defying gravity by flying in the air and someone rocking in the corner sucking their thumb praying for serenity (Yes, that’s mostly me) We also discussed the moral of the movie. Don’t poop in the ocean…OK…that’s not really the moral, but good sound advice. More actually about being happy with the unplanned events of your life than the planned bits or the parts you are always trying to reach for. Such as this blended family thing we are starting. Not in MY plan. His side? 5 boys and they were blended to start with. My side? 3 girls. We are a blended blended family. Its unplanned perfection at its best.

Then a deep conversation about that tears actually symbolize intense joy. In order to feel the pain that brings the tears, there is a moment of realizing the happiness that you had that is gone. Perhaps its the loss of something, someone or a dream. Regardless, the tears are acknowledging the happiness that was.

Then we turned around and talked about poop again as our collie snatched a roll of toilet paper from the bathroom and came streaking towards us with his prize. We decided that Laddie (unlike his famous family member Lassie) had no interest in saving Timmy from a well, but rather just wanted to wipe.

About that time there was an all-out war over a piece of bread that was dropped. As the dogs went primal it was like watching National Geographic when a zebra is taken down by a pride of lions. One dog did not get involved in the vicious re-enactment and I had to stop what I was doing to carry her a piece of bread. I found the Cleopatra wanna-be lounging very regally in the center of the couch. She accepted her bread and wagged her tail in dismissal of my offering. It was one of those moments when I noted how big she had gotten and is still growing. It brought me back to this unplanned perfection we got going on. A year ago I didn’t have her. A year ago we were a small broken family. A year ago there was no Christmas cheer. A year ago I gave up making plans. This year we have dogs running and frolicking all over the place, more stockings hanging over the fireplace than is probably allowed by the Fire Marshall and we have plans.

I’ve come to love these moments when those around me lovingly support my need to write by providing conversation with me. It’s those moments that I get to listen to what they think is important, what they think is funny and I get to step in their shoes for a moment and listen. Often I never sit down and actually write their ideas, but they inspire me by teaching me a lesson we often forget. How to ask “what do you think?” and really listening. Asking them to expound on something and loving sharing a memory or a theory with them.

I urge you today to sit around with your family and friends and ask them “what do you think?” and then sit back and really listen. It’s amazing what conversations will come up.



Categories: Uncategorized

17 replies

  1. I just loved this. Plans coming out of ruin. Poop. Blended blended families. Today I think, I hate disappointment, but worse yet, I hate creating possible disappointment. Ridiculous.

    • Show me a person who likes disappointment and I’ll show you Albert Einstein or one of the other great minds…Confused? Disappointment and acknowledging something didn’t work, breeds new thought and inspiration towards repairing, rebuilding renewing.
      As far as disappointment you create…ask yourself, did you create that disappointment or did those who expected that “thing” from you cause you to feel disappointment because you didn’t live to their expectations?
      Thanks for reading!!!

  2. I love the perspective on tears. Our family lost someone recently, and I am going to share that paragraph with everyone.
    Hope your Holidays continue to be joyful. 🙂

    • I’d like to credit one of the older boys for that thought that led to the paragraph. He is a deeper thinker (although he laughs about poop too) and we had a great conversation about that! Glad it touched you!

  3. Coffee, poop, hopes and dreams and too much damn animal hair for anyone’s good … but what a great story you tell no matter where you head with it …
    Much love to you xxx

  4. Ohh this is a post after my heart. LOL. It’s the poop that makes life so interesting, don’t you think?

    • Girl…you rule the poop. In fact…I’ve heard you got the scoop on poop. Whereas I just need a pooper-scooper.
      It does make life more interesting that is for sure.

  5. I love the stockings comment, beautiful chaos I tell you! God is there amongst the chaos, creating order-just as he did at the beginning. So often we are too small to see what is happening, but it is all a beautiful mess, is it not?

  6. that is sounds very much like my house…except add mom learning to use a wood burning stove, a americain eskimo dog who can’t jump on my new bed so he scratches and licks himself til i put him on the bed knowing that well mommy hates to hear his noises…oh and the awful smell coming from the laundry room ccause the puppy spilled tea tree oil on the laundry by being on the nite stand and knocking the bottle over! but in retro spec…after the last year i wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  7. Someday, I’d like to spend some time in your head – I think it would be a nice place to visit (but I wouldn’t want to live there). Didn’t do 8 kids, but understand the dog poop perfectly. I remember one day in particular when Jeff was horrified to see the dog consuming her own wastes. Then the dog had the audacity to come in and lick Jeff’s face. He nearly went beserk before he could get to the bathroom and wash his face. Unlike good mothers, I found it relatively amusing until the volume of his wailing got to the point where hearing damage was probable. I think he may have been scarred for life…..

  8. As always you have given me plenty to think about and to smile about. Just imagining how happy you are right now, how content within the chaos you sound makes my eyes prick with those joyfyul tears. Love u!

  9. Chaos! My house is always chaos and I love it. It is just me and 3 dogs, but outside I have 2 mules and 2 goats. Let me tell you about poop!! Poop is unfortunately a part of my life every single day…rain or shine. Loved this post, it made me smile

  10. My son good a yellow lab, a year ago September. This year on St. Nicholas day he got the book Marley & Me and last week watched the movie. He love the antics of yellow labs.

    Laughter,,, today was my husbands birthday and the kids made signs for him for when he came home from work.. The hung one up in the garage.. so he would see it when he got home. It is so fun to was what make kids excited. I love your writing.

  11. 3 hours of brainstorming for this post, really? That’s some dedication, Alycia.

    I must say that your video-shots of your family created a vivid image in my mind reminiscent of my own blended family childhood. We also had 8 kids – 5 boys and 3 girls (fancy that!). I was #6. So many memories…

  12. thank you so much for coming alive, in a small way i can see your house, my husband just brought home a puppy last month, we added a 1 and 3 year old to our house 6 months ago. which means with the 2 year old i keep there is always a 1,2,3,6,9,11 and 15 year old running around

  13. Coffee shortage?! Say it isn’t so. I really enjoyed this post. I should poll my family to see what they come up. I bet it would be funny!

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