Goshen News, Goshen, IN

December 16, 2013

GROUNDS FOR INSANITY: A mother's holiday wish list


Goshen News

---- — And isn’t that about it? “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.” Yes, that’s just about it, but not quite. What I’d like, actually, is for those two front teeth to come out.

Poor Little Schrock. For weeks, his two top teeth have been loosey-goosey. For weeks, we’ve brushed carefully around them. And for weeks, he’s chewed carefully around them, demonstrating a remarkable aptitude for angular eating; i.e., coming in at just the right angle and avoiding those two loose incisors.

It’s not that we haven’t tried. But when his father, he of the matching blue eyes, attempted extraction, there commenced enough howling and yipping that it was quickly aborted.

Sigh. The teeth will come out. I know this. In a dark corner of my mind, though, I harbor a secret fear that he’ll be the only senior on the basketball team still chewing his burger at an angle.

Tooth concerns aside, however, there’s plenty of other stuff I want for Christmas. If I were a beauty contestant, for instance, I’d ask for world peace. This is a surefire judge pleaser and makes for a bang-up interview. I’d pair that with world hunger, both of which I’d love to solve, and I’d not only sweep the interview portion, but I’d leave the world a better place.

Since I’m not a pageant participant with legs up to here, I’d settle for peace in my piece of the world and a little help with our own hunger games. Any mother who’s raised sons will know the truth of Rhonda’s Maxim #97, “Those aren’t really boys. They’re food furnaces thinly disguised as boys.” Nod here, please, if you agree.

But back to the list. If I were a politician, my fondest wish would be for poll numbers so high even Gallup would gasp. Not kidding here. Everyone knows that getting a gasp out of Gallup is big. It is, and it bodes really well for your chances in the mid terms. It makes your opponent sweat and develop nervous tics, all of which help your cause.

Yes, if Santa would slip some stratospheric poll numbers in my stocking, I’d give him a little peck on the cheek and go back to kissing babies and all the other stuff they have to do to win. If I were a pol, that is.

I know exactly what I’d ask for if I was a pastor. All I’d want for Christmas is a year — an entire year — of unity in the ‘hood. Of peace and harmony and love in the brotherhood. That’s all.

No sniping about who took whose bench. No griping about who soloed last. No swiping at another’s reputation or spouse. Just Christian love and getting along. Such unity and compassion in every congregation would create (it would) a new and stronger nation. Not to mention a happy, relaxed pastor no longer tempted to, uh, over-baptize certain ornery members. Raise your hand if you know what I mean.

That’s what I’d ask for if I was a preacher. But if I were a policeman, I’d have a different request. I’d ask for a liberal dose of the fear of the Almighty to be infused into every citizen. Even just a bit of this would go a long way toward cutting down the crime rate. Instead of wanting to be bad, the bad guys would want to be good. And if all the bad guys were good, there’d be no more shooting, looting, hooting or general disturbing of the people’s peace.

This would turn society upside down. Or right side up, depending on how you look at it, and we’d have a calmer nation. This would put the CSI techs with all their DNA and fingerprinting gear in the street. Only in homes where kids are stealing cookies would those still be needed. Since we all know that kids will be stealing cookies until Jesus returns, I wouldn’t ditch those entirely.

Yup. A healthy, reverential awe of the Lord and the law would go a long way toward achieving world peace. From the sinners in the pews to the ones in our prisons and then to the terrorists and thugs, a new day would dawn.

In fact, now that I think about it, this could help with my other wish, the abolition of world hunger. What I’m seeing is a day when kids won’t need to steal cookies. With all this brotherly love everywhere (and the fear of the Lord thrown in), they wouldn’t be filching cookies because neighbors all would share. Further, the neighborhood watch would catch ‘em. There’s that.

In economics, it’s called the trickle-down effect. In politics, it’s called a contented populace. In the church, it’s called Christian unity. And in law enforcement, it’s called unemployment.

This, I know, is an ambitious list. It’s too much for a chunky fellow in a red suit and beard to pull off. It’s a nice dream, though, to follow the one with dancing sugarplums. But we can hope. We sure can, and meanwhile I’ll share my Christmas cookies.

Rhonda Schrock’s column appears each Monday in The Goshen News