Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Schools In!

What is it about new beginnings that is so unsettling? The long-awaited day is here. Me and the kiddos have looked forward to the start of school, all three reached their destinations on time, and I have a ball of anxiety in my stomache. I should be overjoyed, exuberant, doing the Tweezy dance like my friend down the road. Instead, I'm fighting the urge to email my youngest's teacher and make sure he is in the seat with his name on it. I wonder if I text Em, will her phone go off in class and humiliate her? Can I just send a short "U ok?" How pathetic would it be to drop in on my 6th grader's lunchtime, the first day?

What is going on with me? I have been counting down the days until the little rascals could go back to the heavenly place parents call "the school building". I have been clinching my teeth for at least a couple of weeks now. If I gave myself one more time out, I'm sure the kids would report me. The deep breaths ceased working many days ago. Why am I longing for a little peck on the cheek? A sniff of sweaty hair? The thumpthump of too loud music from upstairs?

I do love time with my kids. They are the most wonderful creatures on the face of this earth. They are creative, beautiful, talented, brilliant. Why then does it have to be this feast or famine? Oh, how I love my sweet children! When will the bus be here?!?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Who do you wanna be when you grow up?

Many moons ago, twenty-ish years ago worth of moons, I was a young, idealistic, college student ready to change the world. I lived in a dorm with mostly Business majors and they became my closest friends, accepting me despite my lack of direction. See, there's not a major called "Setting out to change the World." So, I settled on Psychology.

When I graduated, I sent resumes far and wide, but I think my lack of knowing my place in the world probably glared off the page. I was offered two memorable jobs, one as a live-in counselor in a youth home, the other as a Red Cross assistant director on call 24/7. Neither job meshed with my newly acquired title of "Wife." My degree, temporarily rendered useless, went on a shelf, and I worked diligently at various administrative jobs until the birth of my first beautiful daughter. Thus began the hardest job in the world...Mom.

In this complex postition, I know I have used that Psych degree. From attachment to developmental issues, reward vs. punishment, all the way to today's sibling rivalry, I already knew a lot of that stuff all the parenting books try to explain. (Of course, it's a bit different with your own live kid;) There is though, the danger of intern's disease...I have diagnosed my family with a variety of personality disorders that I'm pretty sure they don't have.

With my youngest in school now, the inevitable pursuit of "career" ensues. And still, I desire to change the world. As much as that sounds childlike, I know a little more, twenty years later, about what that might look like. I want to leave my world a better place. I want to ease someone's suffering. I want to feed the hungry children, and let them know love. I want to be a friend to the friendless. I've considered returning to school, to pursue a higher degree. But, I have come to realize I already have the schooling I need for this next job--LIFE and an open heart.

Watch out I come!

"Unless you accept God's kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you'll never get in."
Mark 10:14 MSG

"He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us."
2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The nut don't fall far from the tree...

I know, you missed me. I have been sucked into my new (Although, in the case of my family, that 'A' could be an 'I'!) A friend introduced me to the wonders of researching my family tree, and I have spent countless hours tracing all the Clines, etc. back to our mother country. I should have known it would be a time sucker when my friend, who I'll call the big DM, traveled out of state to follow his roots!

I did NOT even want to sleep last night, I was on roll! In the afternoon, I found the place in time where one of my dad's relatives ran off with one of my mom's. For real! That really got me thinking about how we are ALL related. I don't mean in the biblical story 'related'. I mean, most of us whose families immigrated here to the New World and settled on the east coast. My maternal and fraternal ancestors all stayed in North Carolina and seemed to have a small pool of suitors to pick from. Like I said, fascinating stuff.

I highly recommend tracing your roots. I believe all the folks that came before helped shape us into who we are. I've said before, when I was young (and foolish), I thought we were all blank slates, written after our birth. I now ascribe to a different theory. I believe our personalities are partly formed by our genetics, by all the people that came before and made it possible for our unique selves to be here. Doesn't it make sense to know a bit about them?

I remember, years ago, thinking of Christianity as separate from Jewish beliefs. And, we could say, way separate from the beliefs of Islam. As I had the opportunity to learn about the Old Testament and the greats whose stories fill its pages, I gained an appreciation for my Judeo-Christian tradition and Jesus' own Jewish heritage. As I've grown to know Muslim friends, I appreciate our common father, Abraham. We all have more in common than different.

I've been serious enough for one day, so I won't go into my "we are all immigrants" speech right now. Plus, I really got to get back to