I read Shel Silverstein poems to my children almost every night. They know them so well they usually finish the poems before I do. We only get through a few before they fall asleep, but I keep reading to myself, I love them so much. I find that at the end of the day, whenever something is nagging me, Shel Silverstein has made fun of it somewhere in a poem. They are always good reminders not to take life too seriously.
It is only Tuesday, but I have sent off a grant application that was hanging over my head and causing me headache. I have finally recovered from a marriage counseling session where I thought my husband and therapist were going to have to tie me to the chair to get me to stay and talk about my feelings. My oldest daughter, the "willfull" one, as she is lovingly called, is being tested for ADD/ADHD tomorrow (although I don't think she is, but is an extreme perfectionist, either way, I have no idea how to help her), and my mom has just come out of ICU eight hours away from me. She has COPD from "not smoking" my entire childhood and all the "not smoking" she has been doing has finally caught up to her.
Needless to say, I had to chuckle when I came across my favorite Shel Silverstein poem of all time. If this isn't the very definition of insanity, I don't know what is. Just as I believe it is no accident when I open the Bible or a Melody Beattie book which passage I land upon, I don't think it is an accident I landed on my favorite poem tonight. With this, I give you:
Peanut-Butter Sandwich by Shel Silverstein (from Where the Sidewalk Ends)
I'll sing you a poem of a silly young king
Who played with the world at the end of a string,
But he only loved one single thing-
And that was just a peanut-butter sandwich.
His scepter and his royal gowns,
His regal throne and golden crowns
Were brown and sticky from the mounds
And drippings from each peanut-butter sandwich.
His subjects were all silly fools
For he had passed a royal rule
That all that they could learn in school
Was how to make a peanut-butter sandwich.
He would not eat his soverign steak,
He scorned his soup and kingly cake,
And told his courtly cook to bake
An extra-sticky peanut-butter sandwich.
And then one day he took a bite
And started chewing with delight,
But found his mouth was stuck quite tight
From that last bite of peanut-butter sandwich.
His brother pulled, his sister pried,
The wizard pushed, his mother cried,
"My boy's committed suicide
From eating his last peanut-butter sandwich!"
The dentist came, and the royal doc.
The royal plumber banged and knocked,
But still those jaws stayed tightly locked.
Oh darn that sticky peanut-butter sandwich!
The carpenter, he tried with pliers,
The telephone man tried with wires,
The firemen, they tried with fire,
But couldn't melt that peanut-butter sandwich.
With ropes and pulleys, drills and coil,
With steam and lubricating oil-
For twenty years of tears and toil-
They fought that awful peanut-butter sandwich.
Then all his royal subjects came.
They hooked his jaws with grapplin' chains
And pulled both ways with might and main
Against that stubborn peanut-butter sandwich.
Each man and woman, girl and boy
Put down their ploughs and pots and toys
And pulled until kerack! Oh, joy-
They broke right through that peanut-butter sandwich.
A puff of dust, a screech, a squeak-
The king's jaw opened with a creak.
And then in voice so faint and weak-
The first words that they heard him speak
Were, "How about a peanut-butter sandwich?"
So, I must ask, what is YOUR peanut-butter sandwich? The one thing you refuse to give up no matter how sick it makes you? how much you inconvenience others? how much you scare others? how much it drives them crazy? or drives you crazy? Without a doubt mine is coffee. And that is the lesser evil. Are there really lesser evils? or are they all just different? do you have an addiction? sugar? self-loathing? alcohol? cigarettes? sex? love? attention? shopping? The list is ENDLESS I say!!ENDLESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!