Saturday, August 31, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday ...on Saturday

1.  This week school started.  I didn't realize how tired I was from school starting until I went to bed Friday 10...and slept...until 8....then napped once I'd had breakfast.   It's a good thing next week is short, we'll ease back into this full throttle schedule. 

2. I don't want to. I don't want to. I don't want to.  There are pools to swim in, berries to pick, beaches to walk on, ice cream to eat, just so much more summer that shouldn't just be packed up into a box and stuffed in the  basement until Memorial day weekend. 

3.  It's no secret, I hate homework.  It's like the equivalent of laundry in the school world. It's never finished, it never ends and no one is ever grateful, they only notice if it's done poorly or not done at all.   End of rant  1.  

4.  Laundry, like homework; expected, constant, time consuming soul sucking, theoretically necessary and tedious. When is Spring break from the laundry? I want to know.  End of rant 2

5.  The ice machine of our refrigerator broke. It leaks such that I had to pay a repairman to properly break the ice machine so it would stop leaking.  Breaking it properly didn't stop the machine from leaking, it just changed where the ice machine was making the ice.  I now have to use a hammer to smash the ice to keep it from leaking onto my floor and then clear out the ice which causes the floor to once again, get very wet.  The dryer is also not working, which makes it very hard to get wet clothes dry, a problem when you've banged up the ice and cleaned it up, and your clothing is no longer dry as a result.  My life right now is measured in irony. 

6.  Sometimes I forget things.  I write stories so often, some of them get lost.  One of them even got published and I forgot all about it until the book showed up in my mailbox.  Big Hearted by Patti Armstrong and Theresa Thomas is a collection of stories by families that could safely be categorized as larger than average.  There's a piece in the book about our travels down to Texas for my brother's wedding last year.  I think our story acts as a lighter fare, a sorbet before some of the meatier stories, to refresh the reader before heavier things are served.

7.  Yesterday, I went to confession and mass.  I'd been getting my daughter ready for school when she announced to me, "Today we are going to mass to learn how to behave at mass. My teacher is taking us.  You will come won't you?"  It's hard to resist such an invitation.  I didn't. 

Against my better judgment, I took Paul (age 4) and Anna (2) with me to the 9 o'clock.  Each of them had eaten. Each of them had two toys.  The players were a car, an elephant, a sabre tooth tiger and a horse.  At my church, there is a cinder block wall in the back that serves as the cry room for squirmy toddlers.  Parents look through the not quite see through glass and listen to the priest through the speaker and there is a kneeler right against the brick wall.  On each side of the wall is an opening to the rest of the church. 

People like me who show up without a stroller (dumb I know but it was wet from having been taken out of the car the day before to be able to load the car with laundry and thus subjected to the rain), spend mass praying neither child makes a run for it down the aisle.   They didn't.  However, within five seconds, my son had baptized the elephant and the car and dropped both behind the kneeler.  I couldn't reach them.  He sobbed.  It was growing loud.

Looking around, I spied a green umbrella someone had left in the back of the church.  I fished the toys out of the pit behind the kneeler during the homily hoping the woman with her beautifully behaved daughter weren't too appalled by my behavior or my children's.  Stupidly I gave the toys back to my son.  I grabbed the car before it returned to the pit but missed the elephant.  I decided to wait on fishing until after mass.  My son then went to get a book to drop in the perfect slot pit so my son's elephant could continue to follow along the mass even if the mother was now hopelessly distracted. 

The well behaved kid came over to me at the sign of peace and told me my son's toy was trapped.  The usher moved the kneeler and I quickly recaptured the elephant.  However in the meantime, my son fished the car out of my purse and it took the pachyderm's place.  Discouraged, I left the hot wheel for some other mom's lucky kid. 

By the end of mass, my children were reasonably placid so I figured, why not go for broke and grab an opportunity for grace.  Alas, there was a line that filled quickly both in front and behind me.  I'm sure some of the people thought I was being pious as I kneeled to hold onto both children.  It was more to get a better grip on them and avoid being pulled over by either. 

The sacrament itself proved tricky as my son kept trying to throw back the curtain.  At one point, his feet were sticking out as he was lying down facing the ceiling. It looked like a murder scene from an Agatha Christie movie complete with the screaming which I felt slightly grateful for, as they drowned out anyone else hearing my sins.   I told the priest, today God needed a laugh so He said, "Let's try Sherry."  He laughed.

Grace always comes with laughter, willful cooperation for me is always marked by humor.  Next time I decide to go to a daily mass, we're going toyless.  Besides, I can always just go fish out the green truck behind the pew.  

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