Monday, July 29, 2013

a blur.

Jasper,

I need to order new pages for your baby book because there's much to tell you about this stage. You wear your blue Crocs everyday and declare, "Shoes off!" whenever you get home. Sitting in the front entryway, you take them off and stack them next to ours. Once you were heard congratulating yourself for this organization: I so proud of you, Dap-per.

You do this, of course, except when you don't. "Shoes on, shoes on! NO off!" you shout when you're moody or bossy. And then you run around the house and declare you will sleep in them that night. Ugh.

It's hard getting you out the door for school on Mondays and Tuesdays. You'd rather stay and play with trains in the den. You're usually just halfway through your "p-toast stips" (peanut butter toast that's cut into strips) and you fist them in the car the whole way there. "Orange, Mommy! Construction zone!" You notice excavators and bulldozers from blocks away, always alert while we're driving through the city.

Then we get to school and you remind me, "Mommy, no leaving til Dap-per say, 'Bye Bye, Mommy'".  We worked out a deal earlier this summer and it calms your anxiety around transition. We hold hands and run across the street. We walk up the steps together and open the door slowly. And then I do not sneak out or slip away. I sit and rub your back while you take it all in for a moment. You watch your friends moving around the room and Teacher Pam singing songs to some. And then, a switch flips and I hear, "Okay. Bye Bye, Mommy".  Sometimes I get a hug and sometimes you're already running away toward something fun. Your brave curiosity sets my day up for success, too.

There's always a hug when I pick you up. It smells like sunscreen and play dough and sweat and pure joy. And then the rest of the evening is a blur. You run in circuits around the house. We trace hands and make letters with sidewalk chalk. We build tunnels and towers and knock them down. I start to vacuum and then you take the vacuum from me and work over the same 3 square feet until I have to count to ten and turn it off. We tickle and hide and seek and wrestle and kiss...and only fifteen minutes have passed. Only fifteen minutes?!?! You are busy and I do my best to keep up.

As you get older, you look more and more like your dad. You two have inside jokes and silly games and I love the way you pose like him, peeking at him out of the corner of your eye to make sure you look alike. You are blessed by a dad who opens your bedroom door every morning, makes you feel like a million bucks, and serves a mean breakfast while Mom gets ready behind the scenes.

I think you're impatient because you're a toddler, but you're also impatient because you're mine. I watch you struggle with "last time" and "one more" and "just a second". As the wheels turn in your little noggin, I can feel your emotional process in my bones. I'm the same way and that's why I don't center pictures on the wall or make souffl├ęs or go through labor without an epidural. So I am learning patience as you learn patience. We're in this together and I wouldn't want it any other way. Keep up the blur, Jasper, and I'll make sure my shoes are on, ready to run after you.

Love, Mom

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

lucky gal.

If you've been reading along for awhile, this will be old hat. But I feel the need to say once more...my job is weird and awesome. Here are things I've done today:

1. There's a local opera singer about my age. She needs a space to rehearse several nights a week. She can't afford rent, so we've figured out a trade. She'll help lead music and solo at Zion once a month. Won't THAT be interesting?

2. I tried to explain to a Somali woman that morning ESL classes are at the bank a few blocks away. We host the evening classes. She didn't understand, so I walked her to the bank. Then I realized I had a check in my wallet I could deposit. Double win.

3. I watered rose bushes.


4. I made the weirdest bulletin I've ever made. Tomorrow night, Recovery Worship is moving outside under a tree. We'll have a fire pit. We'll burn our written confessions and prayers until they rise like incense. We'll sing and dance to the drums of The Little Thunderbirds, an American Indian Drum Troupe made up of a local dad and his kids. This service has been living in my head for months and it's clear others are nodding and smiling, letting Meta try something random that might be a beautiful bust. It will be fun to see how tomorrow night comes together...or doesn't.

5. I planned a funeral with a family. When there is so much pain for so long, this part is filled with relief and comfort. My head and heart are filled with family systems and resurrection. Tomorrow my belly will be filled with funeral food - yum.

6. I hid things in the dumpster. I do this a lot when no one is looking. Churches have pack rat tendencies, but I'm happy to say goodbye to the 1950s staples, the outdated spices, and the broken hoola hoops in my office closet.

7. I wrote letters. I do this when people disappear for the summer. It's not a guilt trip - it's to make sure they know they are loved and noted. (Pun not intended, but awesome. "Consider yourself noted - boom.")

8. I looked at a list of things I probably have time for today. There are a few hours without meetings and I could tackle one or two of them. But instead I read Proverbs. I'm preaching Proverbs right now and it's strange, hard, lovely stuff. Wisdom Literature trumps List today.

9. I answered the phone a lot. My Parish Administrator's phone does not ring, so she only picks up if she can hear mine in the distance or if she happens to see the light flashing. We are getting bids for a new system, but until then I get to surprise people and have new conversations. (But seriously, it's also annoying, so feel free to send me a check for a new phone system.)

10. I got hungry and dug into Jasper's snack drawer. One of the big drawers in my desk is filled with Goldfish crackers and applesauce pouches instead of files. Classy. I was reminded of how lucky I am to have a snack drawer. That implies that, despite the heavy load and long hours, I have personal space and the flexibility to have my child here sometimes. I found a few Hot Wheels cars in the bottom of the drawer and smiled.

Not a bad deal, this gig. I'm a lucky gal.