May 19, 2015

Boys will be boys...

This week's post is all about the photos--I have a terrible cold which includes a fever that comes on at night.  You can imagine how well that mixes with teaching all day and caring for these two yahooligans afterwards.  It's all I can do to get dinner on the table and make lunches for the next day.  I've appealed for the boys' help to no avail.  They simply can't grasp that Mommy feels like she's been run over by a truck and no, she doesn't want to mediate yet another argument over Legos and pizza Goldfish.  I have a faintly delirious memory of holding my head in my hands yesterday and pleading "please don't make any more work for Mommy.  Pleeease."  Not my finest moment.  Lucky for all of us, this too shall pass.

May 10, 2015

No Offense, Giant Global Card Company

Recently I read a heartfelt blog post entitled "Adoption Does Not Cure Infertility".  It offered  an interesting perspective, one that I hadn't thought about.  Yet having read The Belated Baby by Kelly James-Enger, I'm not too surprised at this mom's residual sadness.  All that is really another post (or maybe even a blog--oh, wait you can just read Ashley Talks a Lot.)   But with apologies I am hijacking paraphrasing her post title.

   Becoming a Mother Does Not Cure the Mother's Day Blues.  

Recently, this post on Mothering in the Middle resonated with me. It is about caring for a mother who never cared for you.  You see, for some of us this holiday is not all sunshine and roses in spite of the fact that our children bring us...well, sunshine and roses.  I love mine dearly and hold especially tight to them as I remember all the lonely years I couldn't celebrate this day at all.  But on the second Sunday in May, I also remember an unmothered childhood.

On this treacly holiday,  I feel both full and empty.  I guess that's just life in a non-Hallmark universe.

May 4, 2015

An SMC Family Goes to Church

Twice each week.  Three times if you count choir practice.

Henry plays handbells

I've said it before, and I'll say it again--I love our church.  I am very fortunate to have found this place where everyone is extravagantly welcome.  My boys were baptized and later attended preschool here.   It's a joyful place to be and a very happy ending to a long story.

I was born into the Catholic church but did not find a home there.  When I was growing up, the children of divorced parents were an anathema to the Church, if not doctrinely, certainly in practice.  The Church's exclusion simply added to the separateness I felt growing up.  I made the sacrament of First Communion but not Confirmation.  I desperately wanted to go to Catholic school when I was in sixth grade but my mother said the priest told her no.  Decades later, I'm not sure I believe her but I did then and felt awful.  As an adult in my twenties, I inquired about being confirmed and was told I'd have to find a sponsor.  I knew no one in town, much less the parish.  So you see, "church" was a place other people belonged and I didn't.

Hurtful as these experiences were, in the long view I realize that they made me who I am today.  Given no other other option, I embarked on independent study.  Yes, it involved decades of church-hopping but it also involved a lot of reading and discernment.  For many years, more than I care to admit, I was Goldilocks trying on one denomination after another.  Too strict, too universal.  Too exclusive, too existential.  I'd read Statements of Belief, then attend services for several months.  Most of the time, no one--not a soul noticed me.  And that was okay especially if the church didn't feel like a good fit but sometimes it made me wonder why I even bothered worshiping in public.  Anne Lamott kept me company on my journey and other authors helped as well.

And now we've come full circle.  My sons attend a Catholic elementary school.  I pay twice as much as the parishoners and both boys are excluded from some rituals.  But when Sunday rolls around, they are included in all that is our small United Church of Christ community.  This past weekend, as I joined the communion procession,  I felt Henry's hands on my back allowing me to guide him up to the altar.  I've rarely felt so complete as I did in that moment.