Sunday, June 13, 2010
Graduation day in East Troy
(Sunday) Today was my nephew's graduation from high school. This is my husband's sister's son. We left late morning to head to East Troy, WI. J did really well in the car; reading his Cars book, doing some coloring and playing with his bristle blocks. It was an hour and a half drive. The first thing we did was introduce J to my sister-in-law Carrie's dog Rufus. He is a huge goldendoodle who still acts like a puppy. He towers over J. He was very excited and wound up with all of us there, but was giving J kisses. He knocked him over a couple times as he ran around. J seemed a bit afraid but not overly. Then after about a half hour J was looking for him and calling "Rufus, Rufus come play." Everyone went to the graduation and J and I stayed behind. I put him down for a nap and had the whole house to myself. It felt like I was on vacation, it was so relaxing and quiet. I had almost 2 hours to myself to spend a little time with God, read the paper and my book and relax outside. I found "Practicing the Presence of God" in L's bag. This is a book about Brother Lawrence. He was a "lay brother" in a monastery known for the intimacy he expressed about his relationship with God. More about him here. There are several snippets from the book that I'll share. They were so good.
"It is the obligation of every man to worship God and love him and we cannot carry this duty out as we ought unless our heart is knit in love to God, our communion is so close that we run to him at every moment just like little children who cannot stand upright without their mother's arms of love." (Beaufort)
Bro. Lawrence encourages us while we are busy throughout the day to cease for a moment, as often as we can, to worship God in the depths of our being. In this fast-paced world he challenges us to pause for an instant from time to time to worship Him within our soul, to give Him thanks, to offer our hearts of service to Him for all His loving kindness and tender mercies. This really spoke to me. I get so caught up in the day that taking the time to do this is so meaningful. I've done this a few times since and it's brought a peace and fullness to my heart as I turn my attention to Him and acknowledge Him with a hart filled with gratitude and love.
"What is most needful in the spiritual life is the practice of the presence of God; the schooling of the soul to find its joy in his divine companionship whether in temptation or tribulation, dryness of soul or even unfaithfulness by little acts of "communion" with God from the purity and simplicity of the heart."
When J woke up, I wondered what things we could do. He wanted to go outside so I searched the house for a ball and found a basketball to play with. J got bored of that after a bit so I went back inside and found some sidewalk chalk. He liked this. I was drawing circles, squares and triangles and tried to get him to copy or trace them but he didn't get the idea. He colored them in instead. I noticed when he was playing with his cars later he was lining them up on the couch like a train, one after the other. Eating was interesting. He liked the pasta salad until I snuck a carrot in there, then it was spit out. He said no right away to the Italian sausage but then came back and ate all of it. He loved the jello. It may not sound like he ate much, but this was actually good for him.
He really bonded with his cousin Dylan (he's 15-1/2). Dylan was holding him on the couch and reading him his Cars book. It's a "look and find" book so Dylan was teaching him how to look at the box full of pictures and then find each one in the main picture. He was really into it and they had fun together. Dylan was really good with him. Zach the grad opened his presents and J loved his card that played music. He figured out it played when it was opened and stopped when closed. He got so into it that he started to dance for everyone.
I was able to have some really good conversation with my sister-in-law. This is someone that really set aside her life for me when I was in the darkness of my depression. She is a teacher and has the summers off so she would come to the house and just be with me, making sure I got outside to take walks, making sure I ate even if it was just PB & J. Even just hanging out on the couch while I couldn't do much of anything. I'll never forget that.
Today was the first day of L's schedule change at work. During the summer, he moves from 9:30-6pm to 7-3:30pm. I really like that he gets home earlier. Today we had a play date at my friend Joan's again. Heather was there too. Joan had put together a craft project for us and the kids to make Father's Day cards. It was such a great idea. What we did was so cute; placing their hand prints on the front of the card, having them color and inserting that inside the card. While the kids were busy playing, we were able to have some really good talk time, something I find that is really important for me to get during the week. The kids had snack time and they all sat on a little blanket out on the balcony. They looked so cute together! (J got overly excited or something and hit Wren's face, not hard. He got an immediate time out.)
After J's nap, he was playing in an area just out of my sight but within earshot. He comes over to me and says: Hi, I'm playing. I said, Oh, you're playing? He says, Yes, with blocks. Then waves and says Bye! and goes back to playing. It was so cute. When we were eating, J didn't want to use his fork and this was starting a tantrum. I had the idea to ask if he wanted a big person's fork and this did the trick and he was fine then. We had our time at the Y and got home an hour earlier than normal. J, of course, wanted to play outside so I got the new bubble wand I found and we played chase the bubbles again. This is something I really enjoy. I love making the bubbles and then teaching him how to do it. I love him laughing as he runs around trying to catch them. I like this aspect of parenting where I get to play too.