Saturday, March 11, 2006

Bum in a Lawn Chair

I have been practicing indolence today. Didn't get up any too early, then putzed around in the kitchen while my mom made pancakes and bacon. We enjoyed breakfast with my parents, then they packed up and started on their (leisurely) drive back to Maine.
K. and I snuggled on the recliner for a while, reading The Adventures of Johnny Chuck, by Thornton W. Burgess, which, as I told her, my mother read to me when I was little, and her father read to her. Actually, I guess being Really Old isn't really much of a recommendation for a book, but the story did bring up a discussion about animals storing up fat for winter hibernation, so it is marginally educational.
Hana came over later in the morning (and stayed almost All afternoon), and in consideration of Ed's delicate nerves and because it is a glorious day, the kids played in the backyard. They have commandeered an old tripod of mine, which is, varying with the situation, an "enemy detector" or a laser gun, and they played happily for hours. Being the conscientious mom that I am, I set up my lawn chair and "kept an eye on them." Well, maybe an ear and frequent glances, because mostly I was reading The Weight of Glory, by C.S. Lewis. I think I read the title essay years ago, but I really enjoyed reading it again. I particularly like the bit where Lewis talks about how Christian belief colors the way we see the people around us:

"All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations -- these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit -- immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously -- no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption."

I typed that passage as much to impress it on my own memory as to share it with you, since I believe it but too often fail to live it.

Speaking of, Ed handled his disappointment at once again failing to persuade his son that a day at the fair would be a wonderful thing with very good grace. Ed Loves fairs. The whole midway thing, with crowds, raucous "music," screaming barkers, and obscenely overpriced food and games of chance, brings joy to his heart. I hate 'em. I Do enjoy, in moderation, livestock tents and quilting and other craft-things displays, but they get very short shrift at our local Fireman's Fair. Last year, Ed drove us to the fair, but relented when T. begged him to turn around in the parking lot and take us home. This year, I though he had actually sold T. on the many wonders of the fair, and I was prepared to bite my tongue and not be a sore-sport. When Ed asked T. this morning, after my parents left, if he would like to go, T. replied, "No, not really. I don't think it is in the budget, Dad." He is So Right. It Isn't in the budget, and if there were money to spare, I would have loved to go to our local homeschool fair, which was also today, and done some shopping. I do feel some guilt that my little boy is already worrying about what we can and can't "afford, although I suspect that his primary motivation was that, really, he was hoping to spend the day playing with Hana. The fair is still on tomorrow, so it is still possible that we will go, but I was proud of Ed for Not moaning, and for spending the rest of his afternoon constructively. (And, because I'm not a total meanie, I've sent him off to the video store and told him to rent whatever he wants (James Bond type movies included), and, if it isn't appropriate, the kids and I will go to bed early.)


Dy said...

Oh, Melora!

I've just gone and caught up, partially, on things at your end of the woods. What a time of it - the picture of the dog cracked me up, though. Made me think of the rabbit from Monty Python's Holy Grail movie! I hope you've healed quite nicely by now and that Ed isn't making Old Yeller jokes at your expense. ;-)

K looks adorable in her tap outfit! And I laughed heartily at T's swing adventure. That is something James would also do, and he'd also get stuck. (And I'd also be laughing too hard to get a final shot!) Glad he made the escape - yay Mom and Grandma!

As to the church situation. Oh, my. T is in my prayers, and so are you. It's hard, isn't it? Being the Mom and trying to find the balance between hovering and letting go? I'd be tempted to remove him, too, and for the same reasons you stated. Since he's going to remain, though, I think I'd expect a bit more from the SS teacher. Wow. Please let us know how it goes, and give that big guy a big hug for me. (I'm ever so glad there are other children there who are willing to step up to the plate and tell the truth. And WHAT is up w/ a grown man telling another adult that he'll sic his son on another child?!? That just boggles my mind!) {{hugs}}


Melora said...

Thanks Dy!
I'm going to call the owners of that bad little dog & ask them to mail me a copy of the rabies record, more to satisfy my parents and Ed than because I'm really worried. The bite mark is nearly gone.
Travis really wants to be in Sunday School, and I know he needs to learn to deal with difficult kids, so we are going to let him attend today. Our church has the Sunday School kids come in to take communion and then go back out and mill around in the church hall, largely unsupervised, until the service lets out. I think this period between the end of S.S. and the time church gets out could be trouble for us, so I'm planning to have Travis come sit with us when they come in for communion. I hope this will reduce the opportunity for problems between the kids! I really appreciate your prayers!