A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: prayer

The Picture That Cost Me 1.3 Million Dollars

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Sometimes a picture is actually worth a lot more than that.

Thirteen years ago this month, I quit a good job to stay home with my two-year-old son, Vincent.

We had moved from California to North Carolina—not for my husband’s job as most people assume when they hear we relocated cross-country, but for mine.

My husband agreed to temporarily leave work and do the stay-at-home dad thing while I brought home the bacon as a training manager for a technology company. I was pretty good at it (at first), and with my bonuses I was on target to earn about $100,000 that year. Well, I would have earned that much… had I lasted more than 9 months there.

But I didn’t.

Because in the fall of 2001, my sweet little Vincent came home from preschool with his first school pictures and everything changed. 

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Pushy Preschool Paparazzi and The Power of Prayer

T’is the season for school parties and pageants. Or as I like to call them, Court Ordered Anger Management Practice Scenarios.

I have things to do, folks. Why must I be forced to change out of my flannel pajayjays and mingle with these people?

For all my complaining, I actually couldn’t wait to see Bucket Head in his little Indian costume at the Preschool Thanksgiving Feast singing the very un-PC songs he’d been practicing for weeks.

I got there early and found my assigned seat at a table full of very busily texting parents.


Oh look! Here he comes!

Me: “Hey Bucket Head! Pssssst. Over here! Right here honey! SMILE FOR MOMMY!

Him: “Shhhhhhhhhh”

What a good boy, shushing his loud Mama like that. Check out the ‘fro spilling forth from his headband! He kinda looks like a young Greg Brady when he went through that beaded-curtain-hanging-in-the-groovy-attic-doorway phase, doesn’t he? (Back off, Florence Skankerson. He’s only four.)

I snapped a few more (blurry) pics while the children were silently guided past me toward the “stage” (a bare patch of floor in front of the buffet table). And by the time I turned around to face the kids, it was too late. All the other parents had pounced onto ALL the good spots for photographing their ridiculously adorable offspring.

Oh. My. GOD.

Really? This is my view?

Oh HAYLE no. This is my last baby y’all. I’mma just have to move.

So I bobbed to the left:

Crap. Can’t see my kid.

Let me try the other side…


All I can see is his lone little feather framed by a sea of Stay-at-Home-Ass. This will not do.

Maybe if I just stand up on a chair…

Dammit! He’s in the back row, totally obscured by feathers. Where is the justice?

I still can’t get a clear shot of my kid.

I could feel my temper starting to rise.

Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Deep breaths. “Do not cause a scene,” I repeated in my head.

Fearing the worst, I began to pray.

“Dear Heavenly Father, have mercy. Please…help me to not lose my shit and embarrass myself or my child!

Oh, and God? If you could find it in your heart to part the crowd like you did for Moses with that whole Red Sea thing and let me get ONE good shot of my kid…I’d really appreciate it. Tell you what, one good shot and I’ll cut back on the cussing. Please God. Help a sister out. Amen.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I now present: the power of prayer…


I guess I should have been more specific, God.

Oh well. Pick a winner, honey.

Two more weeks ’till the Christmas party. I’m going to bring a ladder, a telephoto lens, some pepper spray, and a flask. Wanna come?


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