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Banner Days

Last night I was chatting with my brother, and I asked if he'd seen our new banner. When his only reply was "yeah," I knew something was up. When he said, "can I be honest?" my heart broke into a million tiny shards and fell into my stomach. I took a big swig of wine and made a comment that would inflict guilt upon him but also force him to expound on what was so effing terrible about the new banner that John and I had created at the drop of a hat the other night ("sure, be honest, it'll be icing on the cake today!"). My brother and I are are those siblings that at first glance seem like polar opposites, but upon closer inspection actually think and act in extremely similar ways. This very fact, combined with my sellout, working-for-the-man lifestyle probably makes Jonathan want to vomit or drown himself. Or drown himself in his own vomit. But he knows it's true. I was the goody-goody nerd sibling; Jonathan was the popular, rebellious trend-setter. Therefore, in my mind, I benefit from this similarity, while it only brings him way, way down to a level of pop culture and suburbanism through which he never intended to wade. So, while I could not care less about the impression I leave on many and most other people, Jonathan's opinion is always of interest to me. "Well, the fire and the font reminded me of some sort of church youth group revival: Set your heart on fire. WITH JESUS!"

God, I love that guy. He is exactly right. Those of you who have attended said revivals will know immediately what we're talking about. John grew up in the Catholic church and was not privy to such experiences, so when I finished cleaning up the wine that shot out of my nose when I read Jonathan's comment and told John about it, he didn't see it. I, however, can not get it out of my mind. Every time I see that Home - Flame - on the Fringe up there, I chuckle and say several times, with passion, "set your heart on fire, with JESUS!"

He makes sacrilege FUN! I predict that one day he's going to write a book, and I intend to make it my life's mission to introduce his warped, jaded humor to the world. We need more lighthearted sacrilege, I always say. More importantly, I needed a genuine laugh, and thinking about that inconsequential banner through Jonathan's lens gave me just that.

Well, it's official: Quinn doesn't hate me anymore. The past two mornings, I have woken to his panicked, sharp breaths over the monitor after loud thunder and bright lightening has shaken and flashed over the walls in his room. The first morning it happened, I braced myself for the inevitable call for John. But no. What I heard was, GaspGaspGasp. Pause. More thunder. "Mooommmy? Mommy!" I've never been so thrilled to walk up a flight of stairs at 5:00 in the morning from a dead sleep. I laid down with him on the couch in his room hoping he'd go back to sleep, but not minding so much the pudgy fingers running across my face and the fuzzy head buried in my neck every time he heard another roar of thunder outside. It's totally wrong for me to revel in my child's fear, but that fear of the storm brought with it an unspoken expectation that I could protect him from the scariest thing his mind could imagine when given the raw sensory ingredients provided by the thunder and lightening: burrowing into me gave him pause and enough security that he didn't need to cry out for anyone else. I'll take that. I won't get to keep it for long, so I'll take it.