Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hot Cross Buns, Thaw of the Chicken, All is Grace

ThismorningIhadtogetupatsixtomake8lunches, 10 breakfasts and get everyone who somehow forgot to lay out their clothes last night to have what they needed to get dressed for school before taking 7 in the car to go drop off and not forget the three band instruments or coats because it was chilly before coming back to tell the bus driver Paul wouldn't be going to school today.  Why? Because we had to get an oil change on the car (last time pre-Disney trip) and then drive to College Park so we could pick up the oldest and take him to the Board of Education for 20 minutes where he could pay 7 dollars to get his fingerprinted for going to observe in a classroom as part of his classwork. 

Now I don't have a GPS.  So naturally, I got lost.  Twice.  Before getting to my son.  Then we scrambled to grab lunch and get him back to the campus so I could drive back home.  Traffic was bad so I had to dead reckon but when that didn't work I called my oldest son and had him GPS me back onto the right road.  My second son developed an eye twitch so he was scheduled to get that checked.  Against all odds, we made it to the doctor's for the blood work, we hope it's just a vitamin deficiency or a relic of a silent strep.   The daughter I thought was staying late after school didn't  have to, but did need a pick up.   That worked out as I could let her babysit while I drove to drop off dinner for a friend's family (I'd promised) and then pick up the kids from band and my other daughter who did have to stay late, from the metro.

Issuing a ruling that no matter how much you love music, you cannot practice the trombone inside the car, whether parked or moving, proved difficult to enforce when the violator is in the back row. He's figured out a way to be diligent, seemingly virtuous and annoy his siblings at the same time.  My oldest daughter wants more food because her lunch was light. Running through the drive thru, we get two bean burritos and I issue a ruling about a fight namely that I value peace over justice and therefore want silence rather than fights over who can read aloud in the car.  I get home and my second son scolds me for not picking them up earlier so he could run.  Mind you, he's still going to run, it's just later than he would PREFER to run.  To teach me a lesson, he wears his gorilla mask to scare my youngest two while I'm handing out snack.  He misses out on snack.  I remember that it is another friend's birthday.  Jot down a note to bring by card and present. 

As I sit typing while the beans and rice are cooking and consoling my son who got told his trombone playing on the first day sounds like what a older brother would say a younger brother's first day of trombone sounds like, the weight of everything starts to crash in on me.  But the day is saved as my youngest son stops everyone in their tracks by voluntarily going into the bathroom. It is the first time he has initiated toilet training.  The momentary bliss shatters as the timer goes off, the toddler not in the bathroom objects to Mommy being out of sight, and there is a battle over the computer.   The six year old wants to play starfall, the seven year old, ABC mouse, the 9 year old, Cool Math games.  All three want educational enrichment, what's the Solomon Mom ruling in this case?  GO READ A BOOK!

My second daughter returns from her run. I'm thinking, I understand the appeal of running, of being by yourself, unreachable for 20 minutes. Then I remember how much I hate the feeling of my feet to the pavement.  Still, it's a day when the idea of jogging seems somehow preferable to the speed of life. 

My third son proclaims after practicing his first 20 minutes that the Trombone is the greatest instrument in the world.  For him, life right now is perfect.  My six year old devolves into tears at a check minus as we go over her homework folder.  The five year old sees the folded laundry in the living room and begins moving the baskets. He's decided it is his task.  Since he cannot do it alone, the others follow to assist.  Peace reasserts itself.  Moods shift in our home like the tides.

Then I go back to my friend who is only a week a widow.  She is still moving.  Despite death being so near, life did not stop for her either.  It just is.  Pain, big and small, struggles, grand and minute, and still, there are meals and errands and homework and noise that must be endured, must be done with something more than tolerance.  As I see her, she is a rock of grace. She does not run from having to be a rock.

There are days when the only reason I'm still moving is somehow, someone somewhere said the rosary for me.  It is all grace, the grace of the busy, of the still, of the mourning and the everyday, of the allness of how life seems to need to stop and yet keeps going. It is a profound severe mercy, a profound severe mercy to be alive and to go about the business of living with all of its humor and silliness and pain and mundaneness and important things all mushed together.  People say all is grace and the reality of life is, all of this running about and living is grace; all of the seasons, all of the sufferings, all of the everything, even the messiest of parts that include children scrambling to fight over stairs and gorilla masks and donuts, bills and insurance and homework.   It's just, we lack the eyes to see clearly, all the gifts of every day because we are so busy trying to go on living, without realizing the great grace that is life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Today was a two rosary day- one said while walking at the mall (yes my feet hurt) and the second after mass with a group that prays for the sick. I still barely made it through the day. I felt so stressed, and the walk, and the rosary did help to calm me down. I wonder why we are feeling so stressed. I do not like this feeling at all. Wish you lived nearby- where we could walk and pray together. Have a blessed night, and take some deep breaths!

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