Monday morning and things started well. The Spouse was out of bed early, and there were kitchen noises happening. I sneaked into bed with the kids. They share a double bed in the room at the end of the hall, and, in the morning when they are just about to wake up, it is the cosiest place to be. I love watching Beangirl stretch and refrain from really waking when she senses me beside her. Blue wakes up more vertically. He’s instantly awake then standing on his bed with his first declaration of the day coming forth as his eyes open. Today, he was concerned about rabbits. And then happy to see me there. I was happy, too. We decided that a warm bath was in order. Usually not part of the Monday morning routine, but the weekend was a full one and the kids went off to church a little grubby about the corners. I wanted to get them scrubbed before school today.
Baths don’t always go well, but this one did. The new shampoo is still a hit – bananas and cherries apparently. I think it smells a little like the fever medicine that they can’t stand, but they haven’t noticed, and it does great things for long tangly hair. Pjs and robes warmed on the radiator. Feet into slippers and off to find Daddy in the kitchen.
Then breakfast happened, and getting dressed. And then somehow, I let Beangirl have a lull post-teeth-brushing, pre-coat-on-time. I needed to find my maternity jeans which I knew I’d shoved somewhere but I wasn’t quite sure that somewhere was in the drawer. I left her to her own devices so she grabbed a book. That’s what she does. She is a devourer. And after a couple of pages, I spotted her. Now, the book she was reading is one from the school library and she’s read it through several times. It had to go back today, which is why it was in the hallway when she hit her lull. I asked her to put it in her school bag. And everything fell apart.
She needs to read to the end.
She needs to go to school.
She needs to get through the exciting part.
I need to do something.
I can remember what this collapse feels like – I’m sure my mother reading this is nodding her head and remembering collapses aplenty. A book is so much more necessary than anything else that could possibly be happening, especially something that happens everyday like school. Then Beangirl gets to the stage where she’s crying and saying she hates school. I want to say I hate this. That wouldn’t be helpful. I need to do something.
But there isn’t really anything to do. I pick up her coat and tuck her into it. I do up the zipper and put her hat on her nice clean head. I don’t say anything else. I kiss her nose, and we both put on our boots.
We hold hands before the door is open. Outside, it is snowing, and that helps, too. The wind is swirling the snowflakes in the air. We both breath a little more deeply. A friend up the road offers us a lift to school in her car – she’s dropping her kid off before driving somewhere else and the car looks warm. But I’m note sure that the timing will work for us if we do, so I say my thanks-but-no-thanks and we keep going. Just two. Walking up the road. We notice the way the bare trees look like fingers. We find there is enough time to catch snowflakes on our tongues. And time to let go of the tangle of feelings that tripped us up earlier. I have to let go of her at the school gate, but we’re okay by then. We’re both okay.
Joni Mitchell and Isaiah seem to gang up on me in the snowflakes on my way home. I’m not quite sure if this counts are lectionary reflection but here’s what’s singing in my head and heart. There’s something there about the work of freedom, about the peace-making and freedom-preaching that we do without a hundred words. It feels like my work as a mother. It’s about holding on and letting go. It’s Christ reading familiar ancient words to his home congregation, and the wind circling us in the midst of our own weather, helping us breath. So this morning, dig out Joni’s Blue and listen with me, will you? Then read from Luke whose Christ sings Isaiah and feel better.
I am on a lonely road and I am traveling
Looking for the key to set me free
Oh the jealousy, the greed is the unraveling
It’s the unraveling
And it undoes all the joy that could be
I want to have fun, I want to shine like the sun
I want to be the one that you want to see
I want to knit you a sweater
Want to write you a love letter
I want to make you feel better
I want to make you feel free
I want to make you feel free