the church at Faithvillage
My family isn’t from America. We’re Scotch-Irish. Family crests tattooed on flesh, bagpipes at weddings, hot tempers, strong drinks, and my older brother wore a kilt to his wedding: that kind of Scotch-Irish. I expect my ancestors were the sort coppers in the 19th century had their eyes on. We had the sort of Scotch-Irish lore that birthed a quiet pride in us all. We are Ferguson-Bradys, through and through.
I grew up outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, though, where we watched reenactments of Washington crossing the Delaware on Christmas, toured Valley Forge more times than I can remember, and the Liberty Bell was a familiar sight. We were Americana Americans. But as much as I felt like an American, I also knew I wasn’t this kind of American.
Voices in my head
The toxic harpies from the Belvedere Tennis Club have been particularly loud and nasty these past months. They screech with delight over my every failing — every time I raise my voice or, God forbid, actually yell at my kids, they keel over in gloating glee. Every time I question my worth or my calling, they cackle and cry, “Poser! Fraud! Hypocrite!” Every time I feel overwhelmed by my life, they spit poison in my ears.