So, my seven quick takes Friday is happening on Saturday which is a great reflection of my life these past few weeks. My husband has been out of town and we are celebrating his return tomorrow. I think he is looking forward to arriving at a comfortable place that doesn’t smell like a gym or move like a tour bus. He will get his wish but his comfortable place will be filled with toys everywhere, and screaming children. And I may just sneak away from this comfortable place for a little while and let him wallow in the chaos- um, I mean tranquility.
While I have held down the fort all alone these past few weeks, I would be remiss not to admit that it wasn’t that bad this time around. I am not sure if it is because I am getting used to my husband’s absence and all the extra work that his absence entails or if I have just reached a new level of insanity that broadens the parameters of my normal. In these past few weeks, on more than one occasion, I have run low on patience, time, patience, sleep, patience, adult conversation, and patience. But one thing I did not run low on was vodka (cue hallelujah chorus). I refuse to take my kids inside the liquor store so I usually run out of vodka while my man is gone for extended periods of time. This time, I have vodka to spare, so I think that is a good indication that I wasn’t quite as overwhelmed this time around.
This past Thursday, I got to pretend to be a reporter. I covered the Guadalupe Radio Network Summer Speaker Series at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas for MetroCatholic (www.dfwcatholic.org). Fr. Larry Richards was the speaker. And he was hilarious. On more than on occasion, I flashed back to my days of sitting in a pew in my southern Baptist church on a Sunday morning. Fr. Larry is a great preacher. He tells it like it is with no apology. I had the privilege of interviewing him before the event. And, being that I work with youth ministry, I asked him what advice he would give to a teenager. His answer was awesome and should be the mission statement of every youth minister: (I’m paraphrasing) ‘Today’s young people need to come to know that they are beloved children of God. They need to realize how awesome that is. And in that understanding, they can experience the love of God in a profound way. They come to know that God loves us more that any person ever could. And they need to live in that love.’ Isn’t that awesome? I think it is particularly awesome because young people think they are many things but beloved is not one of them. They spend much of their time trying to feel important to someone- anyone. For them to realize how important they are to God would be a life changing experience for many of them. It would be the beginning of something extraordinary in their lives. It would set them on fire.
Speaking of being on fire, how ‘bout this heat? We are on day 22 of 100+ in a row. I am glad that I had no desire to plant flowers this year. If I had, it would have been easier to take the money outside and light it on fire than try to keep flowers alive. Our lawn is starting to get brown in a few places. And we water it! We water it as much as the city will let us water it. I am sure the TruGreen man is all in a dither. I wonder if he will come do a rain dance on our lawn. Is that in the contract?
So, I am getting to do something today that I do not get to do very often: enjoy a clean house. My kids are with my wonderful Mother-in-law. So, because I have a sickness, I saw a perfect opportunity to get my house CLEAN. I turned up Matt Maher and rocked out with the Lysol, vacuum, and Pledge. Everything is put away. There are no little people to get it right back out and spread it all over the house. I can sit and admire the order. I can bask in my reflection in the coffee table. I can walk around bare footed and not wonder what I am stepping on. And (drum roll please…) the bathroom is CLEAN (which is pretty awesome when you live with a whole bunch of boys). It is a glorious day. I may even get to read a book!
I also got to do something I do not get to do very often- go shopping! I am the cheapest girl on the planet so shopping is always hard. I dread parting with the little bit of money I manage to scrape together for the blessed event. But today, I did well. I got three dresses and a pair of dress pants at Ross for $70. Not bad. And then I went to Two Hearts Catholic book store. What I saved at Ross was spent there. I did get Fr. Larry’s book Be a Man! which is turning out to be really interesting. It is supposed to be for men but, since I live with all boys, I figured I was allowed to read it. I also finally bought Lisa Hendey’s book A Handbook for Catholic Moms. I am embarrassed that I write for catholicmom.com but I have never read her book! She has a new book coming out in October so I need to knock this one out first. Also, I figured I would need a book on how to be a Catholic woman after reading about how to be a Catholic man.
I fear that my oldest son is turning into a…..(heavy sigh)….teenager. We seem to be dealing with mood swings. He is going off to middle school this year at a school in a new district. And I fear this change is going to be tougher than we originally thought. I am praying that he makes some friends- and fast. And good friends, of course. He needs these friends because I am clearly NOT COOL anymore. Somehow, I have crossed from the realm fun, loving Mom to dorky Mom who just doesn’t get it. I don’t think that Dad has made this transition. I think his absence has made the teenage heart grow fonder. So, that is good for now. I think this dorky Mom needs to read some books. And hit her knees. May God have mercy on all of our souls.