Monday, January 30, 2012

The 5 stages of sickness

Stage 1: Denial. A scratchy throat? Nah, it's allergies. Or...something. I'm not getting sick. I don't have time to get sick. I'll just drink a lot of water and tomorrow it will ALL be gone. And look, I ate a lot of fruits and vegetables today so all of those vitamins are swimming around in my blood doing their job. Free radicals and antioxidants and all that stuff. Yep, by tomorrow morning I'll be just fine.

Stage 2: Anger. All right. WHO gave this to me? Did one of the boys bring it home from school? Was it that child who coughed without covering their mouth? Someone out and about who SHOULD have been home? It's not fair. I don't have time to be sick. Why can't people just stay home and keep their germs to themselves?

Stage 3: Bargaining. If I just get better I PROMISE I will clean the house from top to bottom! Everything will be clean and beautiful and fairies will dance over the sparkling surfaces of my kitchen tossing rainbows and joy everywhere. Just PLEASE let me feel better.

Stage 4: Depression. I will never feel better. I have always been sick and I will always be sick. There is no health. Pass the chocolate, it is the one joy I have left in life. Except I can't even taste it.

Stage 5: Acceptance. OK, so I'm sick. I've been sick before and it passed, so will this. At least I can stay home and work in the comfort of my robe and slippers. I think my cough is turning the corner into something slightly less miserable. I'll go drink another mug of tea.

Happy cold and flu season, ya'll!

By Andrea Joseph via Flickr

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Old school

"I had an argument with one of my friends in class today," he says. "We were talking about businesses we would create when we grow up and he said he wanted to have a weapons store. I said I didn't like that because it is about killing people."

"Some of the kids tease me at lunch and say I am old school because I say a prayer before I eat."

Photo by vakoom via Flickr

"I don't think I trust those science people and their evolution stuff."

Oh, God help me. I'm so not ready for this. I'm not ready to handle even one of those issues let alone all three in the span of a fifteen minute ride home from church when it is already past their bedtime. Can I please go back to the days when all I had to do is sing 'Jesus loves me, this I know' to them? Back to the days when we weren't on the 'read through the picture Bible in a year' plan and I didn't have to try to explain why all those people had to die and reconcile that with a God who loves completely.

I'm still trying to wrap MY mind around issues of deep theology and ambiguity and being okay with questioning, I'm not ready to deal with it in a nine year old. How do I explain that there are things we don't know to a child for whom logic has an answer for everything? How do I explain that there isn't anything bad or evil about scientific fact and that it is perfectly all right to weigh everything and come to his own conclusions? How do I explain why some people don't believe in God, or why they think it is silly to pray before a meal? How do I explain that two people can love God with all their heart but believe very different things on so many issues?

photo by Sylvain Masson via Flickr

I want it to be easy for him, but it isn't. It will never get any simpler than it is now. All I have to offer is the heart of a broken mother on her own long journey.

All I can do is pray every day, "God help me."

I take his face in my hands and look into his eyes. "I don't know the answer on this", I tell him. "But this one thing I do know for certain from the Bible. That God loved YOU so much that even if you were the only person on earth he would still have sent Jesus to die for you. THAT I know, even when I'm not sure of any other answers."

And for now, just for this evening, that seems to be answer enough.