Friday, January 22, 2010

Shock and Awe 5th grade style

I write this with tears in my eyes and my heart breaking...and yet I can say God is good! The last few days here at home have been full of drama...the shock and awe kind...5th grade style.

I could see my daughter starting to spin out of control on Tuesday evening when she came down crying because Wednesday was report card day. She was starting to take an inventory of all the things she did not do over the past quarter and knew that it was going to be on paper for us to see. She was terrified of facing that truth. The tears started to flow, her stomach started to hurt, she was too sick to go to school in the morning...and on and on. She cried literally all night long. I still sent her to school. She called me at 11am to come pick her up. I did not. I told her she wouldn't die, that it was what it was, that she needed to face up to the truth take her punishment and move on. She cried. She cried so hard all day that when I picked her up her face was swollen, her eyes were blood shot, her head hurt.

At this point in the story, let me say that she is an all A and B student...mostly A's. Her report card was brilliant. Except. Except for the two places she was responsible for putting in time to read or practice. Those tasks that you can't save until the end, the stuff that needs to be done consistently day in and day out. The stuff you can't fix at the last minute no matter what. The tasks that will kill a procrastinator every time. I know these tasks because I have suffered from procrastination my whole life. It sucks, there is a lot of shame involved in knowing that you could have done something but that you choose not too and now you have to pay the piper.

So, she showed us her report card. She was told, "good job" and that in those two places she needed to improve. That her environment was going to be altered to set her up for success(I literally used those words); that she shouldn't blame any teacher for this problem yet she should own this and make it better. There wasn't any yelling, there wasn't any screaming, no one threw anything. And yet, she cried. She cried and she cried until her anxiety gave her such bad heart burn she talked me into letting her stay home from school. It was against my better judgment, but I caved none the less.

Throughout the course of the day she lied to my face three times. The first was a slight lie, the kind that you pull when you think that simple coincidence will be your friend and cover for you. The kind where you don't give up the truth right away, but hope that someone else in the room will explain away what happened so that you don't have to. The type of lie that makes a mom wonder, did she just pull a fast one on me?

The second lie was the kind the exaggeration kind. "How'd you do?" "Great!" is the reply. "Really?" "Well, I got a little bit done." "Really?" "Well, I just started." "You need to be more truthful with your answers..." was my response. But I was starting to get irked...something was telling me to take notice.

At that point, I turned on my computer and found a reply from the band teacher. It read, "Sure, I'll do that. Mr. Band Teacher" I was confused, I checked the date stamp, I checked the original message, I didn't understand and then, lightbulb, "OH, Crap!" The origninal message was: Chris(Mr. Band teacher's first name), My daughter practiced 300 minutes but forgot to turn in her practice sheets. Please change her grade to reflect this. Thanks, MY NAME

At this point in the day, I could have ripped someone's head off! I simply was dumbfounded by what was in front of me. I was shocked. Shock and Awe...reigning down on me 5th grade style.

Parenting these types of problems makes me sick to my stomach. I love my kids yet I want them to know that their actions have consequences and sometimes, I'm at a loss of what those consequences should be. I wish there was a manual about this, a troubleshooting guide for when things go wrong. But there is none.

In your room for the rest of the day, computer privileges taken away, TV taken away...but really don't know if these are consequence based punishments. I firmly believe that the punishment should fit the crime but those aren't always the easiest to come up with.

This morning I wrote her principal and her band teacher. I told them what has been going on and asked for their help. I asked for a detention. I know this is going to crush her...really, really hurt her. I'm sick. I know it's right but my heart is breaking...breaking for my beautiful little girl and the pain she is going to go through. It's not jail, she's not pregnant, she hasn't robbed a bank...and thank God!

I'm laughing at little because when I was toilet training her and was so ultra frustrated, older parents would say, "just wait." I'm so glad that I had that option. As I grow as a parent, so do the issues. I'm so thankful for that...that there is a learning curve. I know it could be worse...but for today this is about as bad as I can handle.

I know she will live. I know I will. But I don't like it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ode to My Funeral (inspired by a true story)
When I die, will you dance at my funeral?

Would you have loved me enough to wear your favorite tutu
twirl your very best twirls
and point your toes?

When I die, will you dance at my funeral?
Even when all others will concentrate on suppressing a smirk
Will you proudly resemble a pink jelly bean
up on the stage?

When I die, will you sing at my funeral?
Will you clasp your hands before you
warble your strongest warble
and attempt your best opera?

If you love me, you will dance your best dance
and warble your best warble
and embarrass yourself as much as possible
And hopefully accomplish my goal-
to crack everybody up.

At your expense.

Now THAT would be an awesome funeral.
(Dedicated to the most pious and godly Deb Marth.Amen.)

So I ran across this poem yesterday on a blogging friends site and I couldn't think of a more fitting tribute to my girlfriends.

Friends who have become more important to my heart than any I ever thought possible; my life would not be as rich and as full and as purposeful without them.

At this point in my life, what was once a constant is now only a distant memory and our new "normal" is nothing like I ever thought it would be. Sometimes, often, I long for the day when we were all SAHM's who lived close and met often. Back then, I couldn't wait for the babies to grow and leave us so we could finally have uninterrupted conversation. But when that happened...suddenly we were called on the leave as well; to take up other projects. There was a time when I took our time together for granted, believed that a Wednesday morning would always hold the reverence and awe and strict observance it did...but Wednesday mornings have become just another ordinary morning... I hate people who live in the "glory days." But today: guilty as charged.

This past summer, one of my sister-friends lost her grandma. Attending her funeral together caused us to think about our own mortality...and in true sister friend fashion, that got us laughing and then what followed was totally irreverent.

We pictured the five of us a pall bearers...I've written and rewritten what comes next, the description of all of would be bossing everyone around, another complaining that the casket was too heavy, one of us would be late and have totally missed the funeral, one would be so loud that someone would probably call the cops for a noise disturbance, one would be so busy preaching to anyone who might listen that she'd wonder why in the world she had to do the work of carrying the casket...and of course, we pictured ourselves old and gray.

During the time I've been working on this post, there was a mom from a near by highschool who passed away at the age of 42. I thought twice about posting this, hoping you wouldn't see this as tacky and uncaring. However, I think this post is even more important in the wake of this recent tragedy....we need each other. In life and in death, in happy times and sad, when were SAHMs and when we are called to other jobs.

We need our girlfriends. Without them, who would keep us sane? Who would make us laugh, who would we cry with, who would understand us the way only a girlfriend can?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Almost Finished

I'm getting to the end of the book I've been using for the past 3 months for my prayer/devotion time. This is always a bitter sweet time for me. Mostly, because by the time I get to the end of a book, I'm so familiar with a writer's thoughts that the last few chapters are almost always the most significant and challenging for me personally. However, because I've been with this writer for so long, the thought of getting to know someone else is daunting. And it's often a struggle to keep this "getting to know you" phase from tempting me to stay in bed.

However, I'm not done yet...just not looking forward to actually turning the page and finding the end. So, today I read about really understanding God and His intentions. This is a huge concept but today it's reduced to something really simple and incredibly convicting... I have a problem or a need or see someone in need....I pray and ask God about it... I get a glimpse of what I think God might be up to and then I fill in the blank and take the ball and run with it...never stopping to see or hear if this is really God's intention or simply mine. In my rush to "do" God's will I leave God behind. And only after I've "done" something do I take the time to consider if that was God's will. I tend to follow my "hunches" and then fast forward through to the end. I guess the way I watch TV is somewhat similar to the way I live my life.

Really listening for God and truly waiting to hear from Him takes patience and quietness. Not two of my strongest attributes. I'm learning that God doesn't always write me a letter but rather leaves me clues to follow and search out. And that taking the time to do the work is more fulfilling than filling in the blanks and pushing fast forward. I'm learning to listen...learning to ask, "God what do you want me to do here? What do you want me to see or hear? What do I need to repent of? What do I need to confront?"

I'm also really wondering about the effect of spiritual warfare in my life and in the world around me. I'm starting to learn to ask God what is going on, when I don't understand the way people are acting or don't understand why I'm feeling the way I do. I love this adventure of getting to know God and Jesus and the Bible....I love it when it seems as if the veil is lifted from my eyes and suddenly I'm given the opportunity to see things ...things that have always been around me but I never had eyes to see them. Life with Jesus is amazing... pursuing Jesus is thrilling... surrendering is freeing...

The book I've been reading is called Walking with God by John Eldredge He's been a good teacher, I know this because I'm able to walk with God more freely now than ever before. It's amazing how when you start to learn "how" it gets easier. I think someday I might write my own book about this, piecing together all the things I've learned from all the authors I've read. But for now, I'm looking for another spiritual teacher to guide me through my mornings...and as I've mentioned before, I'm not too fond of this process. ~Christine

Monday, January 04, 2010

I'm pissed!

This is not a long thought out blog post...that will come soon I hope. But today I just need to be pissed because I'm again starting a weight loss and exercise program...and my foot is killing me. I've done EVERYTHING to heal this stupid foot and nothing works! I hate that this makes everything so difficult. I hate getting old! I hate that if I lost weight my foot probably wouldn't bother me so much but in order to lose weight I have to exercise...and my foot is "standing" in the way! I'm so pissed! I guess if a 400lb guy can run a marathon, I can do this...but really why does it have to be so frickin hard. So today, I'm so frustrated. I want this healthy body weight and I want to physically be healthy...but my dang foot!