A: Big A, little a. What begins with ‘A?’ Aggravation, allergies, acceleration. A, a, a.

Of course, I’m not referring to Mr. Schrock’s children who are now all home for the summer when I mention that first ‘A’ word. I can’t possibly be thinking of the dirty dishes that multiply like rabbits when my back is turned or the noise level that makes the walls ring or the punching and chasing that’s started up again. Of course not.

And acceleration? I’d mention how all that uproar accelerates my blood pressure, but that’s a ‘B’ word and belongs down below.

B: Big B, little b. What begins with ‘B?’ Birthday boys and food by the bushel. B, b, b. (And boy, can those guys eat!)

Mr. Schrock nearly choked. Well, he spluttered a little and turned a light shade of purple when he saw the grocery bill (oh, hey – another ‘b’). They’re hungry when they get up. They’re starving by midday, and they’re positively ravenous when they come home from work. When my brother hit this stage, I remember dad saying, “He gets hungry just eating!” I know now what he means. Boy, oh boy, oh boy.

C: Big C, little c. What begins with ‘C?’ Clamor, clatter, commotion, and chaos. C, c, c.

One summer, I recall posting a status on Facebook that went something like this, “Chaos and confusion, thy name begins with a ‘J.’ Thou art 16 years old and highly underemployed.” Friends cackled and chimed in, offering condolences and commiseration. There were, I noted, no job offers forthcoming. And that brings me to this week’s letter.

D: Big D, little d. What begins with ‘D?’ Dirt, donuts, days in a daze. D, d, d.

It’s discomfiting, dismaying, how much dirt those guys bring in. I’ll bet old folks only sweep once every two or three weeks. I doubt retired people ever step in grape jelly or find fingerprints on the fridge or milk on the counter that “Nobody” spilled. When they buy donuts, they don’t disappear when they run to the restroom, and there are never any tooth marks in the ones that are left. Surely they spend their days in a haze of happiness, a cone of quiet, a bubble of bliss…

Aww, shucks. Sounds like boredom to me. Maybe I’ll just stick with the whole crazy alphabet – aggravation, bills, chaos, dirt, and all, and say a very quiet, “Thank You” for this crazy life.


Rhonda Schrock lives in Northern Indiana with her husband and 4 sons, ages 22, 18, 13, and 5. By day, she is a telecommuting medical transcriptionist. In the early morning hours, she flees to a local coffee shop where she pens “Grounds for Insanity,” a weekly column that appears in The Goshen News. She is an occasional guest columnist in The Hutch News. She’s also blogged professionally for her son’s school of choice, Bethel College, in addition to humor and parenting blogs, and maintains her personal blog, “The Natives are Getting Restless.” She is a writer and editor for the magazine, “Cooking & Such: Adventures in Plain Living.” She survives and thrives on prayer, mochas, and books.


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