Friday, October 14, 2011

Seven Quick Takes Friday Vol. 6

Ahhh… It’s nice to feel somewhat normal again. These last three weeks have been CRAZY. The event that really put it over the top was our middle school youth retreat. It was a great weekend full of fun activities, cool entertainment, engaging teachings and intense worship. And man, planning and carrying out something like that was amazing, exhausting and draining- especially when the other youth minister went down for the count with a migraine and that left me…. in charge. Gasp! But, it went great. The Holy Spirit was really the one in charge. I’m just really good a following directions. Although this was the first time I was in charge of a retreat, it wasn’t my first rodeo. So, I was prepared for the physical exhaustion. The mental and emotional exhaustion was another story. It took me a whole week to be able to think and reason and carry on intelligent conversation again. Whoa.

 So, many of my friends are having babies. I think that normally this would make me want to have more babies. But no. I sometimes wonder if God has me doing this home day care so that I will get all this mothering of babies desire out of my system. I have to say that being held hostage by 5 small children in my home 10 hours a day has worked. The thought of carrying the baby to term (which is a challenge for my body in itself), having the baby, paying the hospital bill, waking up in the middle of night to feed the baby, pumping every three hours, dealing with teething, ear infections, and middle of the night vomiting episodes just doesn’t get my mothering hormones pumping. I know that sounds selfish. There was a time when all of that didn’t matter. I would do anything to have that cute little baby in my arms. But those times seem to be over. If the Lord does bless us with another life, then I hope he also blesses me with this desire. But right now, in all of my selfish humanity, I just hope he continues to bless us with our ability to successfully practice NFP. The two boys we have make us feel rather complete.

Like I said, my friends are having babies- including my best friend. After waiting what seemed like FOREVER, she finally got pregnant again. We are ecstatic. And guess what? I get to be her Godmother! Did you see the “her”? Yes, the baby is a GIRL and I get to be her Godmother! I am sooooo excited! This is the first time I am Godmother to a Catholic child. My nephew is my Godchild, but I don’t think I have a formal role since they are Methodist. Now that I have a Catholic Godchild, I feel like I need to read a God-parenting book or something. But first things first. I must buy all the pink baby clothes I can find.

 I am wondering if we are going to survive the 6th grade. I don’t remember praying for patience, but since middle school started, the Lord seems to be blessing me with abundant lessons in this skill. And they are rather dangerous lessons for my son because if I fail, he is in the direct line of fire of my fury. So far, he is still alive. But we are only 6 weeks into the school year. I have discovered that middle school is not only a learning curve for him, but also for us. Which is CRAZY because I used to teach middle school!!! I miss the days of him having one teacher, one personality, one person to know all his little eccentricities, one person to identify his potential and help him succeed. Now, I have 7 of these people. And these 7 people don’t have 25 students, but rather 125 students. It is a big learning curve. I am trying unsuccessfully not to helicopter.

This past month has been a big affirmation on why I am NOT a homeschooling mom. Since I hang around a lot of Catholic moms in person and online, I feel sort of in the minority because I don’t homeschool and worse yet, I send my kids to public school. As public school teachers, my husband and I are big proponents of sending our kids to school rather than homeschool. And, as public school teachers (one of whom is retired to stay home with the kids) we cannot afford to send the darlings to Catholic school. So, off to public school they go. And since we work there, it feels okay to do it. Now, over the past year, I have been doing preschool at home and I have been wondering if I should look at the homeschooling thing. However, we went ahead and enrolled our youngest in preschool this year. It was the best decision we could have made. He LOVES it. And he is thriving and growing in ways he could not grow here. Last year, I couldn’t even get him to color. After one month in preschool, he is writing his name. I could not have gotten him to do that. Yes, home schooling is not for us. I am not called to it. My kids are not made for it. And I admire those that are called and whose kids are made for homeschooling. That is a big undertaking that brings unique stressors to the family dynamic. It takes a special family to make it work. I am sure if I worked to make the square peg fit in the round hole, there would not be enough money to pay for all the therapy the children would need- or the liquor bill.

My Dad cracks me up. He recently retired from his second career and landed his “dream job.” Now, let me give you some background. He spent over 20 years in the Navy. He was a hospital administrator in the Medical Corps. He worked his way up through the ranks and even spent part of his duty working for NATO. He retired a Captain. He accumulated two master’s degrees during his navel career- one of those being at the War College. Once he retired from the Navy, he took a job at the Red Cross. He managed one of two national call centers who assisted military personnel and their families with communication during crisis situations like combat. He recently retired from that career as well. And now, he is most excited to land a job as the greeter at the Walters, Oklahoma visitor’s center. He was hoping to be a Wal-Mart greeter one day but never dreamed he would land a job as greeter at the visitor’s center. He feels he has reached the pinnacle of his professional career. HA! Sometimes I wonder if I should be living closer to my parents.

Well, here I am publishing this on Friday night instead of Friday morning. In my defense, I started this on Friday morning. But small children require my attention. All. The. Time. These days, between my day care and the church, I am busier than I ever imagined I would be. So busy that I forget to check my clothes before I race out the door to pick up my child from somewhere. The people at Wal-Mart must think I don’t do laundry since I always seem to be covered in spit-up and ketchup. Maybe I should take Jennifer’s advice and wear an apron. Of course, that is going to make for more laundry. Sigh…

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