I don’t read novels unless Ben is out of town, mainly because I get so engrossed in them little things like eating, sleeping, taking care of children, become lost in the haze. I also have a terrible tendency to choose very depressing stories.

The Holocaust? Grrrreat.

Grinding poverty AND terrible family dysfunction? Perrrrrfect.

War, lost love, lost limbs, lost mind? I can not wait!!!

There is some terribly satisfaction in reading a desperately depressing book. I feel a surge of triumph, as if to say, “See. This is how it really is. Thank goodness someone else out there feels it too. This world and every single living thing in it is terrible, and evil and this whole thing is about to self destruct.”

Yikes. The fact that I am living today is proof positive that Jesus Christ is real and working in the world. The fact that I am living a fairly normal life with love and life to share with others is undeniably the work of the Holy Spirit. I am not being sarcastic here, which I know is usually the case around here, but seriously. I am SOOOOOO serious.

So, I just finished another wonderful, terrible, novel this morning that left me in that terrible inbetween state. The story is over but the characters and all thier woundedness, poverty, and heartache is still very much alive for me. So, to try and shake it off, we went to the park.

The story was still working it’s magic and I had this terrible feeling that T4 was going to step on a landmine or discover a grenade there under the blue slide. I saw a lady pushing a baby stroller. She looked all wrong to me. Something about her… What is it? Then I had it. She’s just the nanny. She doesn’t even like that baby.

Augggh! “STOP IT, ” I tell myself. Be normal. Be nice. She probably goes to church with you and could really use someone nice to talk to. She’s probably been up all night with her beautiful baby and doesn’t need your dark, depressing, cynicism right now.

So, I start chatting with her. “Hi. How are you. Beautiful day.”

“Yeah. It’s OK. Do you think it’s OK for the baby out here? I didn’t ask her mom. I’m just the nanny. And Oh my gosh, after the way her poor mom looked this morning on her way to work, I am so glad I do not have kids right now.”

Gulp. Double Gulp.

“Kids. Kids!! KIDDDDS! We have gotta go.” Nervous laugh. “Nice to meet you…”

You know, I’m sure she’s normal. But it sure didn’t help me shake my funkiness. Thankfully, giggles and rollerskating when we got home did, so don’t worry about me and send the police. I’m all good now.

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