Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Pondering God the Father

A not-altogether-uncommon scenario had me recently pondering God the Father in light of my own internal emotional failings as a mother.

Back in September or October, with the academic year newly underway, we were all a bit tired and being struck down one by one with colds.  I was filled with a dual sort of dread: so early in the fall, and already we were being struck down with illness; and also, it would just have to be that particular week, when I had three rehearsals and two concerts and would be getting very little sleep.

I was trying to catch a nap alongside Molly one day, the girls having been duly instructed to stay in their rooms and play quietly during their usual quiet time. Things began to unravel, as I was awakened a few moments after dozing off to the sounds of the two older girls squabbling loudly about something insignificant.

My first hazy thought as I was jolted awake?: "I'm about ready to kill them."

Then: "Is this how God feels?  When we're down here running around on earth just being wretched all the time?"

Oh wait.  No.  Quite the opposite, I guess.

I'm about ready to die for them.

But I really read them the riot act before quiet time!  I reminded them what was expected...!  I told them it was important!

Oh, you mean like the Ten Commandments?  Some basic rules?  Not too many but not too few?  Just a doable amount of rules?

But I really condensed it to just two things.  Stay in your rooms.  Play quietly.  Lots of freedom within that.  So much freedom!

Ah, two things.  Like love God and love your neighbor, for example?  How's that going down there?

Oh.  Right.  Good point.

Well, shoot then.

So there I was, and here I am, knee deep in this weird mixture of chaos and frustration and love.  Knee deep in my own sanctification.  I maintain that if I hadn't had children I might have labored under the illusion that I was an OK person.

How humbling it is to realize that not only have I not loved my neighbor as myself, but I have not even loved my own children as well as I ought.

She doesn't always sleep, but when she does, she's awfully cute.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Wendy, Peter Pan, & Tinker Bell

Well, Halloween 2018 is in the books, leaving me with a poignantly thematic sense that indeed, "All children, except one, grow up."

The older two girls have been much enamored with Peter Pan ever since seeing a family friend and babysitter starring as Wendy in her school production last year, and I am currently reading the book aloud to them, which they are loving.  It seemed a foregone conclusion since months ago when they first began dreaming about this Halloween, that a family of Peter Pan costumes was in order.  Daddy could be Captain Hook, of course!  And as for Mama, she had a rehearsal on the night in question, so it was a good thing that we had the essential characters of the story covered without me needing to be terribly involved.  All that was necessary was for me to acquire and/or make costumes for the little Darlings, so to speak.

Nell's costume consisted of a beautiful vintage dress and shoes that were gifted to us, Molly's was a second-hand costume I acquired, and Ree's was a shirt from Savers I embellished with felt leaves, an old belt of mine, a felt hat complete with requisite feather I made for her (she sat in my lap and helped me sew on the machine).  Her fabulous dagger was constructed for her by a friend at her request, and she was quite pleased with the outcome.  {Thanks, Patrick!}

{The Tink topknot was just slaying me with cuteness.}

“Forget them, Wendy. Forget them all. Come with me where you'll never, never have to worry about grown up things again.” 

"I can't fly."
"I'll teach you."
"Oh, how lovely to fly."
"I'll teach you how to jump on the wind's back, and then away we go."
"Oo!" she exclaimed rapturously.
"Wendy, Wendy, when you are sleeping in your silly bed you might be flying about with me saying funny things to the stars."

"How sweet!" cried Wendy.
"Yes, I'm sweet, oh, I am sweet!" said Peter, forgetting his manners again.

“When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.”

“Tink was not all bad... on the other hand, sometimes she was all good. Fairies have to be one thing or the other, because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time."

"Wendy... Wendy, one girl is more use than twenty boys."

“Proud and insolent youth,” said Hook, “prepare to meet thy doom.” 

“Dark and sinister man,” Peter answered, “have at thee.” 

“Pan, who and what art thou?" 

"I'm youth, I'm joy," Peter answered at a venture, "I'm a little bird that has broken out of the egg."

"Now Wendy was every inch a woman, though there were not very many inches..."

"Second to the right," said Peter, "and then straight on till morning."

“Come on, Tink,” he cried, with a frightful sneer at the laws of nature; “we don't want any silly mothers!”

“Keep back, lady, no one is going to catch me and make me a man.”

“Would you like an adventure now, or would like to have your tea first?”

In the end, the best laid plans were slightly thwarted, but adventure did indeed win out and a sprinkling of fairy dust and magic prevailed despite it all.  Nathan, who was slated to be Captain Hook in my inevitable absence and to take the kids trick-or-treating, was delayed in getting home thanks to unusual amounts of traffic on the commuter rail coming out of the city.  I had hoped he'd be home in time for me to at least do a portion of the neighborhood rounds with them all, but he arrived barely in time for me to snap a quick picture of them all together and dash out the door to my gig.  

I do believe that it was all "an awfully big adventure" for them, and a good time was had by all.

And I'm left with the sense that: "I suppose it's like the ticking crocodile, isn't it? Time is chasing after all of us."