Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Lazy Birder

All taken from the dining room table this afternoon. These birds did not help me get my work done today, but they WERE helpful...helpful like a big deep breath of fresh air, like a late-night walk, like a chat with a friend.  Thanks, birds!
robin red-breast
our cardinal...
and his girl
oops, focused on the leaves...but these guys together made me happy
no words

Just how it is

As much as we try to streamline our lives, as much as we don't want to get caught up in the rat-race, as much as we hate it when all it seems people talk about is how busy they spite of all that, we sometimes do find ourselves doing acrobatics to accommodate the schedules of a mere five people (don't really want to think about what kind of mayhem would ensue if we had even just one more kid, so my hat's off to anyone who has four or more).

But today as I was thinking about the way our evening went last night, I realized that it got a little crazy for us simply because we are a family.  And what the members of a family do is work together, sacrifice for each, and sometimes bend over backwards to make something work like it should for someone ELSE, sometimes without even blinking an eye.

Case in point, several weeks ago,Sam was asked to accompany a local community choir on his ukelele--he'd actually be the opening act, playing the introduction to Somewhere Over the Rainbow just like Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole.  He didn't even really take time to think about saying yes.  A week or so later, he realized that he would be away in NYC during one of the two performances, but he so badly wanted to play that he kind of sweet-talked Mark into playing (or maybe that was ME!) for the first performance so he wouldn't have to completely bow out!  Mark had never, ever played the uke before, and it's really and truly  not his thing to be show-cased like that, but he agreed, with very little sweet-talkin'.

So last night, Jack had a football camp from 6:00-7:00.  That's not a good time-slot for us, because it's during part of the time our small group meets.  Another badly-scheduled event (for us) was the dress-rehearsal for the above-mentioned choir.  Because I was here at home with our small group (and Joel) and because Mark was at rehearsal, Jack needed a way to get home from football practice, and he'd never taken the city bus alone.  So, Sam to the rescue...we asked him to go to practice with Jack, wait with him, and show him how to get the bus home (because he'll need this info for next year when there will be times he'll need to do it without help).  I'm sure it was not Sam's first choice to miss our small group meal and to wait in the dismal weather for his brother, but he did it anyway.  And Sam needed to, because Mark was over in an auditorium somewhere fretting about being the center of attention for two minutes, all for his ukulele-playing son.

And Joel had a LOT more to do to help me get ready to host since he was the only slave left in the house.  He brought chairs from all over the house, he emptied the dishwasher, he hung coats away in the closet, he did his homework pretty much on his own.  He hates it when we are not all together, so there was that for him to deal with (which is not at perfection level yet) as well.

I had to plan out the sharing/singing time and find my own musical accompaniment (yay for YouTube ) since the ones in our group who usually play were not there.  And I lead the discussion and prayer-time, which is not my forte.

But no one had to be told why things were like that (except maybe Joel!).  It just felt right.  I guess that's what makes it even more special. Families just do what they have to do, to make life work.  And I suppose that when living this way becomes natural, the members of the family don't question it, don't need to see it all mapped out, and don't need to be re-paid for their sacrifices.

My goal for writing this was only to remind myself and my family of the beauty of what is sometimes messy living.  These kinds of days are happening more and more as the boys get older and are branching out to more complicated things than hide-and-seek with neighbors in the backyard.  I just want to get the "story" down, for cementing these moments, for appreciating, for marveling.  I'm pretty much always lamenting over the fact that things are changing, the kids are growing.  Sometimes the growing and changing should be praised and embraced.  Today I choose to do that.

That is all.