Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up

I was a part of an interesting conversation with my friends about what we want to do (work or otherwise) with the rest of our lives. A couple of us are about to embark on the adventure of having both children in school fulltime so it makes sense that we rejoin the workforce. While my friends were chatting about the big things God is calling them to do (working with the elderly, becoming a motivational speaker), I sat uncharacteristically silent, listening. Finally they pressed me about my big dreams as a semi-free woman and I couldn't answer. I have no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life.

It's not that I don't have interests, talents and education, but I just want to work some place where I can be home with my kids when they are home. I want to be able to take my kids to their piano lessons and sports events in the evening. I want them to be able to spend their time at home and not at a sitter's home. I want to keep being a stay-at-home mom with a real paycheck. Is there a job out there like this?

I mentioned before that I recently attended my 20 year high school reunion. Of all of my girlfriends, I was one of the only women who has stayed home with her children instead of pursuing a career. I was almost jealous until I heard about their hour long commutes to daycare and the lack of sleep they experienced.

I take great comfort in the fact that I did the right thing for my family by giving up an extra income. I thank God everyday that I have a wonderful husband who provides for his family and sees the benefits of someone staying home. At times I worry about the prospects of me settling in a career since I have been out of the workforce for almost a decade, but I wouldn't trade it for the time I have spent with my children.

So what do I want to do when I grow up? Just like I told my friends, "Eh, something will work out. It always does."

Friday, May 8, 2009

Jesus, Power Ranger... and Other Things I Never Thought I Would See, Hear or Say as a Mom

During Holy Communion at my church, it is traditional for the children in the Sunday school class to join in communion. Communion in my church is done through intinction (the pastor breaks off a piece of bread from the loaf and you dip the element into a cup of wine) or as we called it growing up “chip & dip”. In the Methodist tradition either taking the bread, or the wine, or both, or neither puts you in communion with Christ and the Church. Since my 5 year old has had a wheat allergy most of his life he doesn’t take the bread at communion, but instead comes up with his arms crossed over his chest (from my Episcopal days) and gets a blessing from the pastor. During our most recent Feast, Jim came up to the alter with his arms crossed. The pastor bent down slightly and quietly said, “Jesus loves you” from which Jim strongly and forcefully uncrossed his arms and threw them down at his sides in an inverted “V” and said “YEAH!” in something reminiscent of a Power Ranger move. In addition to being a bit embarrassed, I also got the giggles and found the serious moment of Communion lost in the antics of my feisty and exuberant 5 year old who was just thrilled that Jesus loves him. The situation came to mind other scenes and sentences I thought I would never see, hear or say in my lifetime as a mom.

“My mouth is not a parking garage.” (My toddler son trying to put trucks in my mouth)
“And there were in the same country a Viking and a seal keeping watch over their flock by night.” (My daughter’s misinterpretation of Luke 2:8)
“Why did you put your lunchbox behind the couch?”
“The only things you are allowed to put in your ears are your elbows.”
“I’ve been to Heaven. It was about 5 years ago.” (My son at age 5)
“I’d like some rats crackers and simian toast.”
“Why are there (insert favorite cereal here) all over the floor?”
“You aren’t the boss, Mom. Jesus is the boss!”

No truer words have been spoken by my children than that last statement, but I still want so much to be the boss and to be totally in control of every situation. I want my children to be well behaved at all times, including church. I never want there to be Trix cereal ground into my living room carpet. I certainly want my children to obey me. But God has other plans and reminds me constantly that I am not always in control, but if I trust in Him I will get something better…peace.

Being is a mom is the best job I ever had if only for the wonderful writing material motherhood provides. All kidding aside, God’s gift of my children brings me joy, excitement, frustration, anger, happiness and love…YEAH!

Happy Mother’s Day!