Sunday, May 24, 2009

Toni McGee Causey - Dear God, the stick turned blue . . .

Toni lives in south Louisiana and along with her husband, Carl, owns a civil construction company. They have two sons who managed to survive the crazy. Sort of. She’d love it if you visited her site (with links to other blog entries) at

The first book in the Bobbie Faye series, Charmed and Dangerous, is a romantic suspense that follows Bobbie Faye Sumrall as she tries to rescue her brother from the kidnappers intent on killing him, while trying to stay ahead of the cops and out of the clutches of her own hostage. You can read an excerpt here, or see what other people are saying about Bobbie Faye here. A starred review from Publishers Weekly described her first Bobbie Faye adventure by saying this: "Causey doesn't miss a beat in this wonderful, wacky celebration of southern eccentricity."

Dear God, the stick turned blue… by Toni McGee Causey

Dear God, Universe, or Elves (I am covering all bases, I cannot afford to be picky here):

The stick turned blue. I'm 19. And a half. The stick turned blue. I think my brains just leaked out of my ears because THE STICK TURNED BLUE. It cannot turn blue. I only had sex once. Okay, maybe twice. That's in base 200. Or something. (Shut up, I am an English major, we're not expected to know higher math.)

Is this like... trial-sies? Practice run? Just to see how good my adrenal system works because let me reassure you right now, IT WORKS JUST FINE, though I think my neighbors might need a hearing aid after all the shrieking died down.


Seriously, you're kidding, right?

Dear God, Universe, or Elves:

This is pregnant? This can't stand to move morning sickness bloated pasty can't fit into anything anymore look like a whale and where the hell is my GLOWY feeling? What? Were you out of Deep Fried Crazy Hot for the highs this summer and thought you'd just go ahead and substitute Miserable Seventh Level Of Hades and thought I wouldn't notice?


So very not happy with you right now.

Dear God, Universe, or Elves:

It's a boy. Two-and-a-half weeks overdue. GET HIM OUT GET HIM OUT GET HIM OUT GET HIM OUT GET HIM OUT.


Hate you and your shoes.

Dear God, Universe, or Elves:

HE CAN STAY IN, I swear, I will shut up, forever, please do not make me have to OHMYGODTHATHURT. If I die and there is a heaven, I am bringing a LEAD BASKETBALL and you'd better not bend over.


Never having sex again, ever.

Dear God, Universe, or Elves:

Wow. I just... wow. He's perfect. Unbelievably perfect. And just... wow. Who knew?


Okay, you're forgiven.

Dear God, Universe, Or Elves:

Oh, damn. How am I supposed to know what to do? How am I not going to break him? I don't know enough. Maybe when I'm forty. Or fifty. Maybe. I am so going to screw this up.


What the hell were you thinking, trusting me?

Dear God, Universe, or Elves:

Um, I hate to mention this, but there is one SERIOUS flaw in your design here. WHERE IS THE OFF SWITCH? I'd like to be able to shower, five minutes. Five. I don't think that's too much to ask.


So bringing my stinky self to your doorstep in about three seconds if you don't FIX THIS.

Dear God, Universe, or Elves:

My husband came home and heard me arguing with our two-year-old and took me aside and said, "You're the adult. You have to outsmart him." The sad thing is, I'M TRYING TO.


Send brains. Quick.

Dear God, Universe, or Elves:

Okay, I get the whole "have sex, can get pregnant" thing, you can't fool me. And okay, I'm not wholly surprised that I look like I ate an entire football stadium, but they just told me they expect this one to be over nine pounds. NINE. That's like giving birth to a TWO MONTH OLD. WITH TEETH. Why not just go ahead and shoehorn in a COLLEGE GRADUATE while you're at it. Maybe you've got a couple of missing OCEAN LINERS from the Bermuda triangle you don't know what to do with; you can just SHOVE THEM IN MY UTERUS, I DON'T MIND.


I hope your hair falls out.

Dear God, Universe, or Elves:

That was really freaking EVIL of you, playing that "cutest kid on the planet" card, twice in a row. It gets easy after this, right?



Dear God, Universe, or Elves:

Look, I know you're really busy with all that famine and war and mythical alternate universe of Reaganomics and Wham!, but if you could just take a couple of seconds out of your busy schedule? Because my kids are infected with the HE'S TOUCHING ME HE'S LOOKING AT MY STUFF OH WOE!!!! disease. How much trouble will I be in if I duct tape them together?


Duct Tape On Sale Now

Dear God, Universe, or Elves:

He's never going to forgive me for wrapping him in multiple rolls of aluminum foil to turn him into the Tin Man for Halloween, is he? Or the eighteen blocks I made him walk (while re-wrapping him) because we were going to trick-or-treat and we were going to BY GOD HAVE FUN, DAMMIT. I'm still going to hear about this when he's twenty-five, aren't I?


Seriously thought about tying the bathroom rug around him for "lion fur"-- he doesn't know how lucky he is.

Dear God, Universe, or Elves:

They are sticking a needle in my four-year-old's back. A needle. They are holding him down in the other room, and he is screaming. They made me leave, because he was lunging for me and he's supposed to be absolutely still.

I just sat across from one of my childhood friends. She's our pediatrician now, and one of the smartest people on the planet. We made mud pies together when we were five and six years old. We even managed to sell them (well, she did, she is that smart).

I never dreamed I would be sitting across from her one day and that she would have to say, "meningitis." That the words "risks" and "death" and "possible brain damage" and "spinal tap" and "could paralyze him" would float, jumbled, over the space between us, that we'd ever talk about the fact that she had to stick a needle in my son's back. A pediatric emergency.

She is sending me to the ER. I'm carrying him (passed out), while my oldest son is clutching his brother's spinal fluids in some sort of glass flask, and I'm supposed to drive to the ER, because we do not have time for an ambulance.

She said to try not to stop for red lights. I CANNOT BREATHE right now, and there is no oxygen going to my brain and I CANNOT STOP FOR RED LIGHTS.

I don't care what it takes, do it to me, not him. I will give you anything. I will give you everything. Just do not do this.



Dear God, Universe, or Elves:

Four days later, and his brother and he are making a slide out of the hospital bed's mattress. It is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.


thank you.

(your hair grew back in nicely, by the way)

Dear God, Universe, or Elves:

The oldest is fifteen, and in this state, he can legally drive. HAVE YOU FREAKING LOST CONTROL OF THE UNIVERSE, OR WHAT? How in the world am I supposed to let him drive? I can barely keep from hurling myself in his path to keep him safe while he's WALKING AROUND, BREATHING AIR, dammit. I have tried to remember that they are supposed to grow up to be independent, strong men. I have tried to remember to reinforce their decision-making skills. But this is just asking TOO DAMNED MUCH. It's too soon.


Where is the time machine?

Dear God, Universe, or Elves:

ANY PHONE CALL THAT STARTS WITH "Mom, I'm okay, DON'T WORRY," is NOT GOING TO BE GOOD, I don't care HOW earnest you make them sound.


Like I am that easily fooled. Ha.

Dear God, Universe, or Elves:

I sat on the floor in the hallway today where I could see into the door of each of their rooms. They are empty, now, of boy stuff. One is an exercise room, and one a guest bedroom.

I did not break them. I screwed up. A lot, sometimes. I got self absorbed and busy and short tempered. I lost confidence and lost my way, but I did not break them. I remember the smiles, the laughter, the tooth fairy, the Christmas mornings, the late night talks. There were baseball games, wrestling tournaments, graduations and hysterically funny meals. I remember tears and heartache and not knowing if just loving them more than breathing was going to be enough. I remember too many close calls where it seemed like it might not be. But they are funny and smart and good hearted men. They have (mostly) outgrown the HE'S TOUCHING ME HE'S LOOKING AT MY STUFF OH WOE!!!! disease, and so get along pretty amazingly well. They make me laugh and surprise me and are fascinating people. They are kind. They treat people well, and they not only love deeply, but they are loved deeply in return. They are both the kind of men who, if I just met them somewhere, I'd like them tremendously. They have started families.Wonderful women I'm so lucky to have in our family. A granddaughter (the most beautiful, happy baby in the world).

You did not tell me when you gave me that blue stick that you were giving me my heart. You did not tell me that you were giving me everything that mattered.

Dear God, the stick turned blue.



toni, a mom.


Vicki Lane said...

THIS WAS WONDERFUL! I'm sending a link to my pregnant niece at once!

Amelia said...

As Vicki's pregnant niece, I have to second her praise, it's endlessly comforted to be reminded by seasoned mothers that this crazy journey is going to be worth it! Thank you for sharing!

Jen Forbus said...

Wow! Just Wow! I loved it!

Unknown said...

So, if I can make the tears stop long enough, I'll tell you how great I think this is. Also a seasoned mom (6 kids ages 15-27), I recognize the moments you're talking about. It is all true. And you wrote so wonderfully!

Anonymous said...

That was so sweet. Honest too.


Toni McGee Causey said...

Thank you, everyone! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. ;) And thanks again to Kaye, who truly rocks, for inviting me today.

Neil Plakcy said...

Really funny and touching... Toni is sure setting the bar high for your bloggers!

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

I just knew we'd have some tears from this one.

I so love this piece.

Thank you, Toni!

Neil? She is, isn't she?!! - but you're up to the challenge!!

Merry Monteleone said...

This was awesome!!! I've got three and am still in the 'Dear God, can't I just duct tape them together stage' - gee, maybe duct tape really does fix everything... just don't tell my husband I said that.

Thanks for the smile today.

Nancy Coffelt said...

This made me cry until I remembered our 22 year old son just moved back home after graduating college.

Then I cried again.

Stephen Parrish said...

Damn, this is powerful. Mine is 13 and I'm already dreading the empty room thing to come.

Edie Ramer said...

l love this. It made me cry and laugh. I'm sending this link to a few people.

~Jamie said...


It was fabulous!

J.R. Johansson said...

Wow, Toni, this is just so so amazing. I have two little boys 4 and 7 and I feel like I just walked through my future. Thank you, Toni!

Jenny Milchman said...

Wow, Kaye and Toni. A post that makes me genuinely LOL (the QE2 up her uterus, hysterical) and tear up (their rooms, when the kids are gone). How did you run that gamut in such few words? I'm really impressed...and want to go up and put my arms around my five and three year olds, sleeping so blissfully now, and totally unaware of what it means to know that life is this precious, and this fleeting.

Thank you. Jenny (from DL)

Christy said...

This was right to the heart. It made me cry and then go kiss my sleeping daughter. Suggestion: send it in to O magazine, see if they will reprint it.

McKoala said...

Echoing the wonderful! A great piece of writing, and so true.

Right now my kids have the "HE'S TOUCHING ME HE'S LOOKING AT MY STUFF OH WOE!!!! disease". It's more infectious than swine flu.

Jody W. and Meankitty said...

Well, God and the Elves never answered the question of how much trouble you'd get in for duct taping them together, did they? Because I need to know.

Thank you for sharing!

Karen in Ohio said...

After 38 years of parenting my youngest just drove off this morning with the rest of her stuff. This made me weep.

Thanks, Toni. So true, in the sense of writing truth.

Terri said...


Aymee said...

Oh my god, I'm laughing, I'm crying, and I'm crying... As a mom of two young ones (7 and 9) I can so totally relate to the first half... and both dread and anticpate the last have. Wondeful job!

And pssst... you never, never know what to do...

Christina said...

Toni, That was incredibly awesome and I agree that you should send that in to "O" magazine. Make everyone else cry as much as you made me.
Thank you, again, that was unbelievable!!

Jackie said...

Toni, I'm smiling and bawling all at the same time. Thank you so much for sharing this. (And it makes me hopeful that one day, the Precious Little Tax Deductions will get over the HE DID IT/HE DID IT FIRST syndrome.)

Yamile said...

I loved this post! I have 4 (!) little ones, ages 2 to 8, and I can relate to the beginning. I don't want the rest to come too quickly; I lvoe my babies!

Kaz said...


That was some of the funniest & poignant stuff I've read in a long while... I'm still laughing ;)

Aniket Thakkar said...

This was very touching, funny, witty, wonderful, amazing and wonderfully amazing and all those goody adjectives that exist or those that you can coin.

Am glad I followed McK's linky here.

PS: You have a lovely name. When I read it I thought you were an NCIS fan. :D :D

Toni McGee Causey said...

Wow, thank you, everyone! You all totally made my day.

To the answer about the duct tape question... unfortunately, yes, lots of trouble. (for one thing, that stuff is STICKY and will pull off skin when it comes off... try explaining THAT to the homeroom teacher, how both boys just happened to have the same shaped rash over their mouths. I wouldn't recommend it.)

The suggestions for O magazine were wonderful. I hadn't thought of that and so wish I had. I will follow up on this and see if they might be interested--maybe for mother's day next year.


B.E. Sanderson said...

Darn it all, Toni. It's too early in the morning to cry.

Thanks for the wonderful story, even if I'm a little weepy now.

Melanie Hooyenga said...

Wow, I really love this!

I found you through Janet Reid's blog and I'm glad I did!

AMelodyPearson said...

Absolutely brilliant. I'm sending it to all my daughters (3) and granddaughters (5).

Laurel said...

This was poignant but not artful accomplishment!

I haven't tried duct tape yet. There have been moments of insanity where I wondered how much trouble I would be in for using a shock collar.

You're going to look me in the eyes and maintain that you DIDN'T KNOW not to swing the bat at the window? Or hammer holes in the walls? Every time I read Calvin and Hobbes I wonder how Bill Waterson knew my son before he was born.

Gayle Carline said...

Toni - beautiful! I have an only, so I'm spared the HE'S TOUCHING ME drama, but I get it in other ways. And, having friends who lost their 6-yr old to leukemia, I know the fear of doctors' diagnoses.

Kaye - cute dog! I have a Corgi, too. Mine's 10 and a little pudgy, mostly because there's nothing he won't eat.

Gayle Carline

Janie Emaus said...

I somehow stumbled upon this and thought it was absolutely beautiful.

Aimlesswriter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aimlesswriter said...

Dear Toni, God, Universe, Elves or whatever,
How did you reach into my heart and read my life?
PS: That was wonderful. Thank you.

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Oh, my goodness. Sp my two are 23 and 21 (Dear God how is that possible?) and I just have to think that we were somehow living parallel lives or something because you saw into my heart and hopes and fears much too well.

Thanks for saying what I didn't. I flat out love this.

Mary Welk said...

Fantastic post. Thanks for the memories, Toni. I can relate to everything you wrote. :)

Orkun said...

Simply Amazing! And i fell to the floor with the Bermuda stuff.

Great work.

Mindy Tarquini said...

From the throes of puberty (theirs, not mine) I thank you for the lifeline.