Daily Archives: May 3, 2015

If I were Brave

It’s been awhile since I have attended a Sunday morning service at my last church. This place is really top-drawer when it comes to quality of video and music, but I still found myself aggravated within about a minute of the service starting. This place is really directed to twenty-somethings, and the stage is full of young people earnestly singing, playing instruments, and giving the standard Sunday morning routine at this particular church, talking up the upcoming events and how many people they need and how to sign up, and then showing some crash hot stats about the big effects the Financial Peace University has been having on the group members, and finally segueing from there into a time “to be generous, to fuel the life-changes that happen around here” (i.e., give an offering).

Texted my Christian, non-church-going sister and said pray for me to get through this service, sort of tongue in cheek. She reminded me that if I was looking for things to be irritated about, I would most definitely find them, so she encouraged me to focus on whatever good I could see in the service. I agreed and signed off.

Oh, by the way, the reason I was even there is because I wanted Kepler to be able to attend his class, and Greg had left this morning for his next business trip. Either I had to go, or Kepler wouldn’t get to.

So I listened to the message, which was presented by the senior pastor from a place in Israel. (similar to a destination wedding, I suppose). I’m not exactly sure what the theme of the message was today, but I did notice that the call to action was basically to do a brave thing. He mentioned several things, including have a child, and ask a girl out. Although those are the only two I remember, I am not suggesting that his suggestions were frivolous. The main point I came away from it with was that anybody with any beliefs at all could suggest that their listeners be brave and do the brave thing.

The brave thing that came to mind for me is to embrace parenting Kepler like I did parenting the big kids. But I don’t want to. I worked so so so so hard with my older kids, having certain expectations and a clear attachment to the outcome, and all that has happened is that I have had to discover more and more how to allow them to be their own unique individuals, accepting that each of them are on their own journeys, and that their journeys look different than I thought they would.

(Some of my kids occasionally read my blog, and I want to clarify that even though my expectations and attachments to outcome were foiled, I believe that it is a good thing that each of them is on their own journey. I believe it is right that part of my learning is to allow each of them to walk their own path. I an thrilled with the people that they are. I just recognize that there was a just a lot that young mother me did not know.)

I believed back then. I believed that what I was teaching them was right, that homeschooling was a fabulous idea, that church involvement was a pre-requisite for a satisfying, upright life. I believed in black and white back then. I believed I knew what was black and what was white.

I trust the Universe enough to recognize that there are no doubt aspects to embracing parenting Kepler wholeheartedly that would change me for the better, and few that could possibly change me for the worse. But I haven’t figured out my why for this. I guess with the big kids, my why was so unconsciously strong, I never had to stop and think about it much. I believed in self-improvement and perfection, to the detriment of understanding the importance of contributing to the greater good. It sucks pretty much to look back now and think I was lacking in such basic understandings.

There are ways in which parenting Kepler feels like it is something more than I can actually handle on my own. I have no idea how to fight for inclusion for him in the school system. I have no idea how to persevere with teaching a child who learns so much more slowly. I really have no idea how to motivate myself to be enthusiastic about teaching him, to be enthusiastic about trying new and different things to help him learn information. How to continue to set boundaries and enforce them over and over and over and over again.

I might have missed a terribly important window back when he was tiny and I was reeling from his birth. Basically, I think I’m probably just going about this all wrong. But I really don’t know how else to approach it.

No tidy lesson today. No breakthrough yet. Just some honest wrestlings with the circumstances I am in. But I’ll leave you with a song by Jana Stanfield that continues to inspire me, even in the midst of these questions:

Kepler and The Boomerang

This . . .

boomerang

is, of course, a boomerang. A dear friend sent it to me from Australia about 13 years ago. I have displayed it, enjoyed it, moved it, lost it, found it, but until today, I had never played with it.

This . . .

Kepler

is, of course, Kepler. Here he is at his first baseball practice last night, rockin’ the swag, just having a ball. Kepler saw the boomerang today and decided it was to be played with and he invited me to come out and play.

As we played, I began to notice some real differences in how he plays compared to how I play. As we would race to the boomerang, he would throw his body to the ground hoping to get that extra oomph that would help him get to the boomerang before I could. I thought about how extremely injured I would get if I threw my body to the ground like that.

While on the ground, he would grab a dandelion or three and blow dandelion fuzz (cause kids’ll blow dandelion fuzz, according to the Snowman song from Frozen). He blew the seeds lustily, joyfully, and without a care in the world. All I could see was all the new dandelions that were going to sprout in our dandelion ocean front yard in a few days.

Kepler runs all out, all the time. We’d throw the boomerang and then he’d urge me on, “FASTER!” All I could think about was I wonder if my fitbit is getting all these steps recorded, while I tried different methods of trying to look as though I were running (such as the running in slow motion trick).

Once I convinced him we should pause to get the mail. He threw the boomerang to distract me from going to the mailbox. He got there first, and then when he finally got the sticky door open, he shouted, “MAILBOX!” When’s the last time you or I shouted mailbox when we opened it?

Once I convinced him I was tired and needed to sit on the swing for a few minutes. He escorted me to the swing, looked me in the eye and encouraged me to breathe in one breath deeply (something he has learned from his bouts with croup), and once I demonstrated I could do that, it was time to play again.

While playing, Kepler teases, laughs, jumps, twirls, and invites me with his every motion and word to join in with him. While playing, I feel like I creak, lumber, waddle, and wonder when it will be over. I think I’d have to play a little more and little more regularly to get to the place where I thought to tease, laugh, jump, twirl, and just lose track of time, but that sounds like a lot of work fun.