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  • Writer's pictureCrystal

Say Yes To Ritual Human Sacrifice

I got a call today from my kids' school.

It went something like the scene from Temple of Doom where Mola Ram (creepy cult priest), pulls out a man's still-throbbing heart.

Actually it was the preface to that. It was the deleted scene where the would-be victim was asked if he would like to have his heart torn out in a fire cave by a guy wearing a horned skull, or if he would rather sit down to a lovely cup of tea and discuss the Prime Minister's Brexit strategy.

Here's the phone call.. word for word.

"Hello Mrs. Despain. Don't worry- there's no emergency". (Sad that they always feel like they need to lead with that...) "We are just calling as a courtesy to double check that you do, in fact, want to sign up your sweet angel/ last-of-your-womb/ gift from GOD/ baby boy for full-day kindergarten. There is a half day option for people who still like their kids.... (pause for effect) You understand that should you choose to continue with full-day registration, on the first day of school you will have one last chance to say goodbye before your baby is hauled away through the big boy school door into full grown kid-hood. At that time you will have your heart torn out by one of our volunteer Kali-cult priests in Ritual Sacrifice. Should you survive you will have visitation rights after school hours. Oh, and we'll be sending you the bill."

How do I answer that?

How does a good mother answer that?

How does an ambitious mother who needs more daylight hours answer that?

How does a mother who is both answer that?

I say,..... "Can I get back with you?"

And I and cry because I can't figure out if full-day kindergarten is for him or for me.

And I think that I am stupid that I cry over it.

And that makes me ugly cry because now I don't know if I am ambitious, a good mom, or just stupid.

So here I am: I am a good Mom. I am ambitious..... I am sometimes a little stupid.

I am also scared.

But, if there is one thing I am learning from this adulting thing... its that even being a little scared, and a little stupid, things work out.

They work out because I can own the scared, and the stupid, and step into the dark knowing that somehow things are never as hard as I think they are. I can embrace the unknown because it moves me to something new. Staying the same feels like a kind of suicide- It feels like I laid down dreaming, and passion and adventure and put a headstone over it. Rest isn't always peace.

I am realizing that this post has little to do with whether my son will benefit more from full, or part time kindergarten for a whopping 9 months out of his life.

I am also realizing that when I am agonizing over one thing... I am usually agonizing over something deeper. Today I am choosing between the familiar, and moving on to the next chapter in my life.

I am choosing between tea, and ritual sacrifice; But neither is really what is seems. I love a glass of mint tea and polite political conversation where I can share my completely unqualified opinions. But once my cup is drained and conversation has faded I know it is time to get up and do something hard.

Sometimes choosing to walk into pain, while your brain is screaming at you to go back and try the chamomile, is really hard.

I will have a phone call to make in the next two hours, and whatever my answer is I think it will be okay. I think WE will be okay.

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Elissa Hammond
Elissa Hammond
Aug 03, 2019

I'm binging on your blog and calling it "professional development" today. Last night I burst into tears when I saw lunch boxes for sale at the grocery store and remembered that my third of four children (and admittedly, the one who gives me the most opportunities to think I'm awesome at this mom gig) would be requiring a lunch box cor her entry to kindergarten. My first two kids only had half day kindergarten unless I sacrificed an arm and a leg (love the Indie Jones reference, btw), so I was not prepared to learn that full-day kindergarten comes standard in our new locale. But the first two kids? Half day was not nearly long enough! I have begun facing…


Dec 31, 2018

Currently my blog platform won't allow me to directly reply to comments (really wix?), but Ben if you get back and see this I love your comment. Thank you for encouraging me in the past and again now.

And Mom, Love you too. Thanks!


Ben Hopkin
Ben Hopkin
Nov 22, 2018

There are words that, from my (admittedly male and flawed) perspective, it seems women are taught to avoid like the plague. Ambitious is one of them. I love ambitious women. My wife is ambitious, and it makes me really happy and proud to be associated with her. I love your blog and your delightful perspective on the attempt to keep important things in balance.


Nov 17, 2018

Wow, does this bring back those ssme feelings. So well said...and read...and felt. I love...and you know how much!!

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