Tuesday, February 23, 2010

outer body experiences since Saturday night

Saturday was a good day. Huck had a good basketball game. Ruth had an awesome basketball game. And I was really looking forward to watching the Lady Wildcats play after dinner. It had been at least a month since I had last seen them play. And the girls did not disappoint. Great game and a win, with Miss Lax the high scorer to boot. She had one three point shot that just blew me away. I couldn't believe how fast she can jump and shoot....and for three.

But by the time we left Belk I had this sneaking feeling that my sore throat had very little to do with how much I had been yelling. And now, 72 hours , 1 shot of penicillin, 3 nights of night sweats and way too many old episodes of Friday Night Lights, I have re-emerged. Being sick does strange things to you mind. Where have I been? Well, here is where my mind has been, at least.

CLEANLINESS: It is not next to godliness...I assure you it is much more a neighbor of neurosis and perfectionism...but still, this place looks horrible. If I am ever chronically ill someone will have to step in or DSS will take our kids for reckless endangerment, just allowing them to live here. I mean, I'm not the cleanest housewife, but how do things get so bad so fast. I can't even put the dishes in the dishwasher because it is already full of dirty dishes...and we won't talk about dirty clothes, or pet spit -up (no one ever sees what the pets do but me...I mean, how is that possible?) Why we don't have a problem with ants is beyond me. I mean this place is like a buffet of dropped food all over the kitchen. Thank goodness we have cats, or we'd have rats, too.

GODLINESS: I have been married for 16 years and been sick many a time over that period. Never Has Mr. Brown stepped to the plate like he has this time. He has loved me, brought me goodies, left me alone, taken care of the kids, taxied them to various practices and church, and even made meatloaf and "the best macaroni and cheese ever". I don't deserve him, but boy did I choose well all those years ago. So if your dating, just ask yourself, do you see this guy serving you by sleeping on the couch, getting up early with the kids and fixing dinner (not Papa John's) when you are older and your figure has sagged? It a question worth serious pondering.

PASSING GAS: Why does my family spend so much time doing and /or discussing this activity? I mean are we abnormal? Shouldn't this be a taboo subject? What do other families talk about? I received a Christmas card from a friend today, yep February 23, that noted her boys are learning Latin and reciting poetry at their new school. I don't think we will be sharing a meal with them any time soon. We might blow them right out of the water...cause I think Ruth has mastered burping the alphabet.

CHOICES: In reading my friend's letter and catching up, I was so amazed at how different our lives are. We've made different choices about careers, what part of the country to live in, hobbies, education (for us and our kids). Knowing her husband and her as I do, I'm not surprised by their decisions. I wonder if she would be surprised by mine?

CLEAN SHEETS: Clean sheets are truly one of the luxuries of middle class life that I do not take for granted. And after three nights of the sweats....I can't wait for clean sheets tonight!

KINDNESS: Such a powerful but often elusive virtue. I think next to love it is what makes home home.

Well, I would tell you more but I have to go. Huck just farted in the tub and wants to now tell me all about it it. It is good to be back and living life in this dirty, smelly filled with love Brown home. I am one lucky woman.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

missing you

Today I find myself missing my Momma. Chris, my husband, says I have a 6 to 8 week internal clock when it comes to my parents and home. Sure enough, we last saw them at Christmas which was 7 weeks ago. I'm not sure that my heart truly works that mechanically. Nor am I sure what spurred on this longing to see her. But I am sure that I am missing her.

We ate lunch at Shane's Rib Shack by the mall. That certainly brought this longing to the forefront of my mind, but it was already there. Last time my parents were in town I took them to Shane's for lunch. My Momma loved it. My dad and I sat there for a half hour after we had finished, sipping sweet tea as we waited for her to finish her meal. She has always been a slow eater.

I came home and read the paper, and lingered on an article in the travel section. It was about an exhibit on Princess Diana that is currently in Atlanta. My Mom loves
Princess Di (or at least she use to) . How fun would it be to go to Atlanta together and view her wedding dress...and all 25 feet of the train. We could gaze upon her crown and oh and ah over her other dazzling outfits on exhibit. We could grab lunch at some hip place in Buckhead, maybe even go shopping before heading back. I wonder what we would talk about....the kids, I'm sure.

But we won't go to Atlanta and enjoy the day I dream of. Maybe this week, I will meet my parents for lunch in Burlington ( a midway point for us), or maybe in a couple of weeks they will come down and watch the kids play basketball. But regardless of when and how and for how long I see her, I will still be missing my Momma. For what I miss has been gone a long time. My mother's disease has evaporated a part of our relationship. What I have is good enough, and for it, I am grateful. But some days I just long for more.

Friday, February 5, 2010

the gift of time

I am a woman of many gifts. I am smart, creative and have disposable income. I like using all of these for the Kingdom of God. But with my sweet little kindergartners (I volunteer in a low income school on the north side of the county), I have come to realize these gifts are secondary. Even though I want to use these gifts to love on these kids, the best gift I have to offer them is simply my time.

I have come to realize it is the gift I want to most give them as well. Over Christmas when I was away from them for several weeks that drifted into January....I began to think that tutoring was not so important a kingdom thing. It didn't really change things...or help them and maybe I should reconsider how I use my time. But then I went back...

Time is not only what the kids desire the most but it is truly the most helpful thing as well. So since the snow day Monday cleared things off my calendar this week, I gave them more time. This week with each kid... I reviewed 25 sight words (simple, common words that kids are taught to recognize by memory) and helped them read 1 book to me.

This is what I saw: a handful of kids who after a half a year in school still can't recognize more than five words (two of which are "a" and "I"), some who still don't know their letters or the sounds that go with them, some that didn't remember in which direction to read the letters ( so than "on" is read "no"), and a handful of kids that probably need a referral to the speech therapist. A few of them are already starting to give up on themselves and believe they can't do it. It can leave you wondering if your time makes any difference at all.

But the majority of these kids were really, really trying...they have a great desire to learn to read... and are proud of their improvement. Their faces light up when they achieve something new. ALL OF THEM love to read books one on one. They love being read to...such a simple thing. I wish I could show you a picture of the face of child who realizes for the first time that he can read...he is smart enough to do this.

What they need most...benefit from the most is my time.