12 January 2010

And There Was this Girl Named Rosa

Breathe. On a day like today, I need to remind myself to breathe.

On a day like today, I will repeatedly need to tether myself back to earth, to prevent myself from completely flipping out over the competing interests pinging around in my head.

On a day like today, I should keep a picture of my five treasures close at hand, to remind me what all this craziness is all about.

Because today, here is what life looks like:

To baseball or not to baseball? Competitive soccer? Which level? Which kid?

Our 7 year old is making her first confession tonight. I love this first sacrament -- I think its lovely and holy and, well, sacred. It's a big moment for her, and for us. She's not even nervous about it, or so she says. I'm nervous for her, so we've got the nerves thing covered. Oh, and "parents are encouraged to show their children a good example and go to confession as well." So maybe I'm not really so much nervous for her as for myself.

To Avatar, or not to Avatar? We are naturally suspicious people, especially when it comes to popular culture. Do we let the boys go see Avatar? Normally this would be a no-brainer: we wouldn't even consider it. But a friend has offered to take them, which has me thinking about my naturally suspicious self, and reconsidering my non-consideration of this movie. Always good to check those assumptions.

Our 9 year old is starting an art class today. Not such a biggee, right? Well, our 9 year old hates his 4th grade life these days, so this will hopefully be some kind of balm for his 4th grade wounds. He is crazy about art, loses himself in art, comes alive in art. I'm totally excited for him. It's a biggee.

Our van needed a bazillion dollars of repair this month. That just completely threw a wrench into our world. Actually, it threw an entire toolbox right at our heads. That's been a hoot. Still working out the details...still existing on cars that don't actually fit all of us. More hoots.

Oh, and our 11 year old has a basketball game tonight. Routine stuff, except: is it our turn for snack? Excellent question. Must find answer.

Work decisions. Many, many work decisions. What will or should our working life look like? How should we set up this whole self-employed thing so that it operates more smoothly? It's time to think about this: we've been self-employed for almost five years now. We can't be rushed.

Oh, and did I mention potty training? Yeah! With some actual success, though, so that's HUGE. Incredibly time-consuming stuff, this potty training deal. But off she went to daycare today in underwear. What do I care, someone else will be handling the accidents, and she gets one more day under her belt of being a big girl. It's all good, and exhausting.

And the conversations! Oh, the conversations: "No, junkies are not called that because they, as people, are junk." "No, homeless people are not, in and of themselves, scary; they're just poor. Some of them are sick, some are addicted, some are just dirty because they have no place to live. You can't always tell by looking at them. And there are plenty of very rich people who are scary as all hell get out."

Highlight, from the 5 year old: "Mom, did you know that a long time ago, black and brown people couldn't sit anywhere on a bus, but they had to sit in the back? And there was this girl, named Rosa, and she was really tired, and all the seats were taken, and she didn't want to stand up, so she sat down in the front, and she wasn't doing anything wrong at all, and the police arrested her? Did you know that mom?"

Logistics: How to feed seven people, and get them all where they need to be: 3:45-5:30 for one kid...5:30 to 7:00 for another kid...7:30-9:00 for another kid...throw in one 3 year old who morphs into Linda Blair past 5pm, and one trooper of a 5 year old who will do her best until she can't take it anymore and ends up openly weeping because she can't find her straw. Plus, we'll have to make sure four of them do their busywork homework.

* * *

And on a different plane of existence: Yesterday, a dear friend of ours lost her mother to a long battle with cancer. I am overwhelmed with thinking about this loss and about what this day must be like for her. If you see this, my friend, please know that I am so honored to have been able to hear your stories from this past week, and that I hold them close to my heart. I met your mom just once, but was delighted with her, and enjoyed so much seeing her have fun with my girls. She was lucky to have you; I'm certain that you made this past week a blessing for her.

* * *

So there is much in my mind today. A day like this, well, it's what life is all about, I guess. People growing up, people dying, people needing to be fed while all the rest is happening. Cars crapping out and children learning about civil rights. Little kids peeing in the potty and a child making confession for the first time. Bills that need to be paid and friends that are calling and emailing. Always, work to do to feed the family, and loved ones to stay present to.

I'm not a fan of the word intense. But find me another one that captures this day. This day, that finds me holding on by my fingertips and hoping I land in my own bed, underneath warm blankets, by sometime late tonight.

Breathe.

* * *

4 comments:

Kerri said...

you've done this child/confession thing twice before..can't you just recycle the sins? I saw it on the school calendar and thought about how agnozing it was...i feel your pain.

Momo Fali said...

Wow. I hope you don't mind if I pray for you, because you sound like you could use it. Well, whether you mind or not, I'm praying! I'm exhausted just from reading your post!

I hope you went to confession, because I bet that will make you feel better. A clean slate, so to speak.

Monica said...

Kerri, aren't ALL sins recycled? Can't imagine anyone has said anything new in, like, 2000 years.

Momo, I'm always happy to have additional prayers offered up on my behalf; the more the merrier! And I did indeed cleanse my slate; it does the heart good.

Viv said...

Monica, this might be too late for Avatar, but, I'd vote in favor of letting them go. My son and I were talking about the 'unanimated' version that is coming out...and I really think it is okay. Talking to him gives me a real 'Karate Kid' meets 'Star Wars' kind of feel about it.