November 3, 2014

Jumping Right In...

Sometimes my blog too closely resembles a digital scrapbook.  There's nothing wrong with that but I really admire the way other SMCs blog about their lives in a way that isn't just captioning photos.  Here's my attempt to write a post that's a bit more than cute fall photos.  (I have plenty of those on my hard drive--so stay tuned.)

I didn't have grand plans for this weekend, at least nothing I was looking forward to.  The weather was not pleasant enough to be outside for long.  Still, I managed to accomplish a few things that I didn't even know I wanted needed to when the workweek ended on Friday.

On Saturday I drove my boys the forty-five miles to see their grandmother for her belated birthday celebration.  They had fun choosing a cake in the bakery section of our local store.  We listened to Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing in the car on the way into the City.  We are definitely on a Judy Blume kick, much to my relief since H was bringing home the non-age-appropriate Wimpy Kid novels.

I feel it's important for my sons to spend time with their grandmother but it is not a simple undertaking.  This weekend, in the throes of her mania, I finally admitted that I am powerless in the face of my mother's illness.  There's nothing I can do to change the situation.  There never was.  It's too bad it took me four decades to realize that a) it really is an illness and b) growing up, most likely I was more worthy than either of us gave me credit for.  

Upon returning home, I felt less drained than usual.  I was surprised by how much extra energy I had that evening.  Not enough to fold the five loads of laundry sitting in baskets in the bedroom, but enough to tidy up the kitchen and not fall directly into bed after the boys.  My lack of exhaustion continued into the next day, even though I hadn't eaten anything different and there were plenty of chores to keep me occupied.  Could it be that this acceptance of being completely powerless the day before had lifted some sort of weight from my psyche?  Anything is possible.  Meanwhile, I tackled those five laundry baskets.

In other positive news, my spirits were lifted, well, spiritually on Sunday.  As a former Catholic who attends a bright, happy Protestant church on Sunday but sends her children to a parish school five days a week, my family's religious status is a bit complicated.  Now that H is in second grade, his classmates are preparing for their First Communion.  Since his Protestant baptism is not recognized by the Church, not only won't he participate in the first sacrament this spring, but he won't be allowed to take communion during the weekly mass for students.  Ever.   This bothers me more than (it seems to) bother him.  He enjoys his school, including the religion lessons and mass.  He has a keen understanding of God's laws and has taught me a thing or two.  Still, I want him to understand my adopted faith, including especially the welcoming grace of our church.

This weekend I made a point to bring H to the morning service.  (Many Sundays, he stays home with grandpa while I attend alone.)  It seems more important this year than ever, to have him experience a counterbalance to his weekly school mass.  You see, everyone can take communion at our church.  Everyone.  When I attended membership classes years ago, it was explained this way:  It is God's table, he made the guest list, we just provide the napkins.*    I want Henry to understand that he is always welcome and accepted in God's house.  There are no conditions, restrictions or reservations.  That's a lot to put on a little boy's plate but I can give him a glimpse of the feast every now and again.  He paid attention during the service, enjoyed the children's portion and quietly participated in communion.  I can't say I have tons of parenting successes, but I count this clear, crisp Sunday morning in the win column.

This particular weekend wasn't all delightful excursions and nonstop entertainment. It was filled with more important things.  Things that, hopefully, make a family stronger.  In my book, that's time well spent.

*Okay, so I added the part about the napkins.  But it's funny, right?  I figured if you read this far, you deserved a laugh.


  1. From where I sit, you have many many parenting success. Don't sell yourself short! Remember what you learned about your childhood, being more worthy than you gave yourself credit for...same applies here.

  2. Wow! Quite the weekend! I am glad that coming to the realization about your mom and her illness has given you some comfort.

  3. Love reading about your life. Yes that is what I would say too a digital scrapbook. I would say you know most of the time how to make time well spent.. I admire you so much.. Big Hugs.
    And yes the part of the napkins did make me smile.