Thursday, January 28, 2010

Warts, Moles, and All

This year I resolve to be less paranoid about having my picture taken. It's some sort of phobia that I have, except I can't find it on the official phobia list. Photophobia, the most likely candidate, is the fear of light, so that's not it. After screening down the whole list of P's, past pagophobia (fear of ice), papaphobia (fear of the Pope), and pteronophobia (fear of being tickled by feathers), I gave up.

And I thought I had issues.

As I was reviewing all the photos from 2009 in an attempt to put together a photo calendar for the grandparents, I noticed that I was in maybe 10 pictures. Out of 8489. The overwhelming majority, of course, was of the kids. If a parent was in the photo, it was the husband. Granted, he's a bigger ham, more photogenic, and just better-looking than me, but still. I don't want the kids to look back after they've grown up and wonder where the heck I was during their childhood. See kids? Mommy was not in front of the computer all the time.

For my kids, I gave up my photograph hang-up. Just like I've given up my job, television, brain cells, tight abs, free time, junk food, social life, everything! But hey, I'm not bitter.

Lucky for me, the kids don't need to see a full frontal view to see how I adore them.

But wait...if I'm in front of the camera, who would be there to capture these kind of moments?
Forget it, I'm going back to behind the scenes again.

The resolution was good while it lasted. Next year we'll try to make it last longer, like maybe two days.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Bright Spot

in an otherwise gray day.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Way Back

The reason I haven't blogged lately, despite having two kids in school, is because my mornings are occupied now. Mornings were the only time I could blog before because it was quiet, and my brain was alert after just awakening. It was and still is my best thinking time.

I save that time now for something better. Someone better, I should say. Everyday, after walking off the grogginess in the brisk morning air while dropping off my son, I come home and spend my best time with God. I pray and read the Bible. I jot down thoughts. Most importantly, I wait. I don't rush through this time anymore. My prayers are long and winded, much like my blog posts. Sometimes, they don't even have a point. I read the Bible and come up with way too many questions for someone who has been a believer for 20+ years. I contemplate the answers to these questions, and every once in a little while, I might come up with a decent guess. More often than not, though, I have to let go of my need for knowledge.

This humbling process started with homeschooling my son. I knew homeschooling him would be difficult and tried to arm myself early on. Yes, I prayed, but nowhere near the amount of time that I spent researching, reading books, attending classes, and drilling veteran homeschoolers. When my efforts fell apart, I doubled my research time and halved my prayer time. I gave myself the 4-kids-without-epidural talk: I can do this! I just need to change my methods a little.

One of the ironic things about homeschooling is that although parents are initially attracted by the freedom and lack of Big Brother watching over them, some (like me) become trapped by the overwhelming responsibility of not just being in charge of their children's health, safety, and emotional well-being, but also being solely responsible (and therefore blameworthy) for whether or not their children can diagram sentences or write a haiku or tell the difference between a simile and a metaphor. I took that responsibility seriously, so much so that it became oppressive.

God rescued me from that onerous burden. Despite my best efforts, I had no choice but to relinquish the control I held onto so tightly. And yet, instead of being angry at me for not trusting Him, instead of punishing me for my pride, He lovingly reminded me that He is sufficient. He comforted me, reassuring that He loves and cares for my son more than I do. My son and I are safe in His hands.

A common theme of parenthood is letting children learn responsibility by allowing them to experience the negative consequences of their actions. In all fairness, I should have suffered a whole range of unpleasant consequences. My son could have hated me, he could have fallen behind academically, the school could have turned him away, or he could have gotten a horrible teacher. None of that happened. I didn't even have to fill out paperwork for my son because they still had his stuff from last year. That's right, a government institution which normally requires a pre-application, application, and post-application (all of which ask for the same information) said I could skip them all! That is how merciful our heavenly Father is. He took my negative consequences and replaced them with forgiveness and love.

So you see, saving my best time is the least I could do for Him.

I might have given blogging up completely, except that I missed it terribly. I missed thinking of the perfect wording, scanning through the kids' pictures to choose the best one to upload, using vocabulary I didn't know I had, and being creative in my own limited way.

My posts may not be as well put together as they used to be (it is after midnight now). Still, when I'm senile one day, I'll look back at this blog and think, wow I was so coherent way back when.

When it comes right down to it, there's one reason I'll never give up blogging: I have much to say and no one over the age of 8 to say it to.