Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How Do We Do This?

It's a question that bites at four in the morning, when you just went to the kitchen for some water and discovered your teen asleep at the computer, having pulled the high school equivalent of an all nighter.  You send her down to bed.  The seven year old comes down the stairs, thinking it's breakfast time.  You send him back up.  The next day there is a parent teacher conference and a basketball practice which runs late, and a presentation at ten which two of your children are in, and who will feel crushed if no one shows.  You go.  There is a pile of a laundry in your room because you took everything out of your drawers looking for your daughter's pair of white pants which she insisted were missing, but which she found in her drawers after you'd done the damage.

My five year old slumps on the floor, demanding food and entertainment.  My ten year old chafes at being told to take a shower.  She doesn't have anything red, white or blue that's clean for the show, so I fish through the laundry, while my husband drives the two to their school, and the overtired teen who missed the bus to hers.  He stops and gets our daughter a shirt while I'm at home doing pony tails and trying to brush long hair without snagging, for she snarls when there are snarls in her hair.

And I know I'm not the only one feeling the crush of things.  My sister's family is rocked by my niece who broke her arm so badly, it will need surgery.  My mom needed care at the start of October. Fall has been hard.  The fall is hard.   Being fallen, harder still.

So what do we do? How do we do this? How do we keep doing this?

It is a choice, gnash or sing, weep or pray, growl or read.

Sunday, we took a late date night to see the latest James Bond film. We forced it into the schedule, because it wouldn't happen any other way.  The next day, I put out table cloths and Thanksgiving decorations and we had apple pie. There's only one way to fight chaos and stress, and the pain and nuisances of this life, with deliberate kindness, delight, service and beauty.  

The Blessed Mother did not scream at the crowd for mutilating her son.  She did not rage at the injustice or the cruelty of it all, and she had cause.  I just have nuisance value.  To prove the point, the nurse called from the elementary, to let me know Paul's eye is red, and he might have pink eye. I felt the sting of it, even though I know my sister is dealing with far more vexing medical issues.  I can understand how we are to respond.  I do not respond that way...also,  my four year old does not want to go back into the car.   She slumps onto the floor, rump in the air and says, "This is boring. I'm so bored.  I don't want to do this."

How do we do this?  I bribe her with mini-muffins, clapping hands and a song.  By recognizing we are always in a fight against time, against all the paper cuts and bigger wounds of the world.   This morning, my ten year old came down the stairs with a case of the grumps.  Her father hugged her until it melted away.   We have to keep remembering, to try again and together, with flowers and light, table cloths and books, hugs and games, kind words and second chances, we will make today, and all the days that come after, memories of light, and not one long scratchy dull fall of frustration.

But it is tempting to fall into that way of thinking, so God keeps sending reminders through other people.

Today, I went to Veteran's day at my children's school.  They sang songs. They asked the men and women to stand and be recognized. The principal asked them to speak.  The kids clapped, they recited a poem, and all children who had family still serving, were asked to stand.   Two boys stood for their father.  At the end of the school ceremony, when we'd clapped and sang and saluted the Veterans, a special guest arrived, and these two boys saw their father in the flesh for the first time in a year.   There wasn't a dry eye in the auditorium.  Here was a reminder that all of the pain and nuisance of life, is fleeting, this is what remains eternal.

1 comment:

Nick said...

Thank you for sharing this and your blog. I sat here today, in my office procrastinating. Wondering how I'd ever get to what I thought, was a multitude of work. I was actually googling drop your nets and the book from another catholic author, another, "Sherry" and by happenstance, or by the subtle push of God's hand, came across your blog which has now become a favourite. I needed to say thank you. Truly, your blog is a gift.

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