15.9.09

Never a Dull Moment

Do not for a second imagine that just because I am not posting that all is quiet and peaceful here at casa Carrien. Quite the contrary. It has been an eventful week of the kind that taking care of people will draw you into if you truly mean it when you say, "I'm here for you if you need me, just let me know."

It has involved middle of the night knocks on the door, waiting for the police to show up, watching many children while their mom gets important things done, holding someone while she cries for a very long time over a situation that will not change; you know, all the normal stuff that happens in a week.

I will not be telling those stories. They aren't mine to tell. But I can assure you that it is mentally and emotionally draining to be walking through them with the people we have been given to love. I can also assure you that it is very worth it. Aaron and I are of a mind that it is a privilege to be called upon in this way, to be allowed to give help where we already love.

Also there was the start of school, and a return to early busy mornings and time set aside just for the learning conversation we continue to engage in.

I can tell you that after a week of this kind of thing it took all I had to keep it together on Sunday taking care of babies in the nursery at church. (A job I rarely do.) Because keeping 5 babies who want their mommies, all on the verge of tears, distracted and somewhat calm for an hour and a half just so their moms could enjoy sitting quietly for a change was just frustrating, frustrating work. Especially when I've already used up most of my emotional and mental reserves. I particularly don't like nursery because I never left my kids there until they were old enough to enjoy it without crying and it bothers me that other parents do.

But, those moms may have had a worse week than mine and needed the break. I don't know. So I smiled, and colored, and sang silly songs with actions and doled out goldfish crackers to children plaintively calling, "Mama?" while their lower lips quivered ominously.

On the way to church Little vomited all over herself in the car. It was church so a friend with a change of clothes the right size was easy to locate and borrow from. She stayed with Aaron while I was in nursery to keep her from infecting anyone else. It was to late to just stay home.

Yesterday she seemed better; no fever, and she played all day, with the two girls I was watching, who also had low grade fevers. After school there were 7 kids in and out of my house. Then, the Boy's friend puked all over the sidewalk out front.

Today Little woke me up a bit early by vomiting green bile all over me and my pillow. It's not looking good. I'm holding my breath for another round of illness to sweep through our family, yet again.

It's eventful, and the events I can describe. What eludes words is the deep joy that runs under, through, and around a week like this and remains even when I'm bone tired and wonder how much longer before I get a break, and the contentment that attends the sleepy realization at the end of long days that I am doing my best, and it is enough.

5 comments:

  1. Does it bother you that parents leave their kids in the nursery on behalf of the nursery workers or on behalf of the kids?

    My kids were always pretty good at handling nursery transitions, but at my last church there was a fellow who was MISERABLE in nursery. He was actually almost a year old, but he seemed so much younger because he was small for his age and just so upset at being apart from his mother. He usually would not cry uncontrollably the whole time, but it was always a back-and-forth between a kind of controlled misery and the all-out sobbing. When I was in the nursery, I would wait to call his mother out of the service until I felt like he had crossed that line where I would no longer want my own children to be that unhappy for that long. Sometimes we made it half an hour, sometimes longer. It was amazing, though, to see him learn to cope, and even eventually to enjoy himself in the nursery. It was a slow process, but he did make progress. His mother stayed at home, so Sundays were really the only practice he had in being apart from his mother. So on the one hand, this was a child who was shockingly unhappy Sunday mornings, but on the other hand it was also a real learning curve for him, and one he gradually mastered.

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  2. I mean that the mother was a stay-at-home mom, not that she stayed home from church. (Just to clarify.)

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  3. Bea-Good question. :) I suppose it's on behalf of the nursery workers. I suppose that in contrast to all the real distress of the past week, keeping babies happy who could be with their mothers just seemed such an unnecessary use of energy.

    It's not like we have the type of church where babies and their little noises aren't welcome in the main service. There are always several at the back and they are usually not disruptive at all.

    Also, I just have difficulty with the idea that children should learn to be apart from close family members when it's not needed, and several of those babies were already away from mothers during the week. Why extend it further on Sundays?

    It all comes from my own personal parenting biases, which I don't really expect anyone else to agree with. But it does make it hard for me on occasion when I'm taking care of the.

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  4. No, I meant both, Kids and workers.

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  5. Marie3:02 PM

    Sorry, I'm with you on the nursery thing. I don't think kids learn to be secure in their independence by being away from their parents. They learn it is safe to be independent by learning that if they need help, it will come -- when they are older, that means help will come eventually and sometimes it will be mom and sometimes it will be God. When they are tiny, it has to be mom and dad, and it has to be now. Little ones will learn, eventually, to stop crying -- but not because they have stopped needing or grown independent, simply because they've figured out the need won't be filled.

    So sorry for the stomach bugs. Absolutely hate them. Hope everyone feels good soon.

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