If I could have scripted today I probably would have done a terrible job and had a bunch of things go horribly (and hilariously) wrong. Because that is just they way I think.
However, what happened instead was that I got a chance to sleep in. Then I went to meeting where I asked that my almost-three-year-old come in to meeting with the rest of the preschoolers.
I was dreadfully nervous. Not because I thought she would do anything horrible. But because I know that when she says things in a regular voice (for all to hear) it is not always recieved favorably.
In that way when she speaks in meeting it is like every other message. They aren't all meant for everyone. And people get very different things out of the same vocal ministry (or lack of vocal ministry).
I was dreafully nervous because I really wanted things to go just right. And I didn't have a clear idea of what that would mean.
For a perfectionist, not knowing how to define what "just right" means is surprisingly stressful.
Would it be best if my children were silent, smiling angels? Would it be best if they started to be squirrely but were quickly cowed into subservience with a stern look from me? Would it be best if they comported themselves to the best of their abilities and didn't pretend to feel things they didn't feel? Would it be best if they just stayed home and I went to early meeting? Or if they were there but nobody noticed them? Seen but not heard?
It turns out here is what was the best...
One child was angry-- so he scowled silently. This was fine becuase I knew he was angry and I did not want him or expect him to pretend that he was not angry. He did not, however, cause any kind of scene. He was just quietly, contempletively seething about my unreasonable parental stance on the appropriate level of noise.
One child chose not to bring a book with him. He sat silently and thought about stuff. He managed to stop tapping his foot audibly against the floor without my saying anything or even glancing meaningfully in his direction.
The youngest one came in later with her class. She said some things in a loud voice. Things like, "I'm going to do this now." or "I made a T" as she drew in her notebook with a pen. Her older (not angry) brother brought his head down to her level and told her to whisper. Which she did.
There were several bouts of this... she would say something out loud and then whisper it. But unlike when she was just barely two, now she has much greater control and understanding of how to modulate her voice. "Whisper" actually means something tangible and concrete.
She sat on the same chair with her older brother. He put his arm around her shoulder.
When newcomers were asked if they wanted to introduce themelves I asked if she wanted to introduce herself to the meeting. Because she has not regularly been in the meeting room since last spring. And I want her to be known.
Naturally when I stood with her and asked if she wanted to tell people her name, she whispered it.
And after meeting I felt very welcomed by the warm responses of so many friends. I often feel like I belong, but today I felt like my whole family was welcome.
Thank thee, F/friends.
Grateful Crap: my fantastic faith community
took meds (but not until after meeting. I felt an electric jolt during worship when I remembered I hadn't taken them)
went to meeting
Quaker, teacher, parent,