Monthly Archives: October 2016

Kid Zoned

Kid Zoned

“Mommy, I was happier before.” said Kai a propos of absolutely nothing.  He does this a lot – starts a thought in his head and then starts talking to be about it as if I were there from the beginning.  I know developmentally he’s processing that we are two separate people, that Mommy is not just an extension of Kai, and that he’s at the end of that – where he gets it, but it makes him a bit anxious…and still, I think he thinks I can read his mind.

Well, sometimes I can.

“You mean before when I wasn’t working?” I intuited.

“Yeah…” he sighed.


“But you’re at school all day,” I said, “and I’m home to get you off the bus every single day.  We spend the same amount of time together if I were working or not.”

I saw him working that out in his head…and I also know that its not entirely a true statement.  Yes, hours of the day, we’re together the same…but I’m not *with* him in this hours as I used to be.  I used to do all my “me” stuff when he was at preschool.  All day preschool.  Then, I’d get the kids off the bus and I’d be in kid-time.  Kid Zoned.

Now, I get home from work, I get kids off the bus…and I’m a bit more frazzled.  A bit less present.

Kai’s no dummy.

“I wish you were home ALL DAY.” he finally says.

“I don’t,” I tell him, “I’m happier working.  I like working.  It’s really interesting work, like how you learn stuff at school.  But, how about we try to do more together after school, sound good?”

“Okay…” he said skeptically.

I’m trying.  I blocked out 4pm-6pm in RED on my Google Calendar.  It says FOCUS ON KIDS.  I can’t put anything else in there.  Our laundry situation is a bit dire, but I’m trying to ignore that and just be with Kai.  Soon enough he won’t want me there, present with him, he’ll have homework or practice or just want to be on his computer ignoring me.  I’ll do laundry then.

Follow me, he says.

Follow me, he says.

I’m feeling a little anxious.


I leave for a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land next week.  Well, next week plus a few days.  Whatever, I leave soon.  I will be gone for two weeks.

Basically, my month of October ends on the 15th.

I am very, very, very interested to see what being suspended in a new place, out of time, feels like, especially when that place is the Holy Land.  I haven’t traveled internationally since college, and then I was on choir-tour time – not quite the same feel, although I am following an itinerary with a guide, so there will be something to ground myself to.

I am trying to get all of my October “needs” resolved before I go, and most of my early November ones done as well.  Cramming 5-6 weeks worth of stuff into 2 weeks feels about as good as it sounds like it would.

When the disciples dropped their nets and started walking after Jesus, they didn’t say “wait, let me clear my calendar first” and I’m wondering if I should sort of trust things to fall out as they should as well.

Because that sounds so like me.

Ironically most of my energy is invested in delegating and preparing others to do the church volunteer work I do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis while I’m away.

Therein lies the other source my of current anxiety – I’m trying very hard to step away from chairing Altar Guild.  I spent a year preparing everyone that I would be doing this, and we had a meeting in early September where I said I was done when Advent 1 began, and we talked about how to move forward.

And in that time since then, I have received so many e-mails and hushed pull-aside conversations, all basically saying the same thing – “no one is willing to lead this.”

Don’t I know it, I want to say, but instead I’m repeating over and over again “I’m willing to do so much work, I love this work, but I simply cannot be in charge of it.  It will work itself out.”

And then I go home and hold my body very still lest the tension of that moment cause me to shake apart.  “My heart hurts” I told Andrew the other night.

Everyone on and around Guild wants this resolved “before you leave” (as if I am never to return, and as if Advent 1 is tomorrow and not two months away), and so the intensity of those e-mails and hushed conversations is increasing just as I am trying to get the month and a half of calendar taking care of.

As I was falling asleep last night, I thought of the image of church being like putting many rocks in a bag and shaking it over and over. The rocks hit against each other and are rubbed smooth.  “I’m just being banged around right now” I thought “it will end.  I will be smoother.”

But it doesn’t feel good.