|This is where I live now. Metaphorically speaking, of course.|
I just cannot imagine this happening to us ever. Sure, the check out lady might ask me if Mae needed surgery, and sure, I really feel strange explaining Mariana's personal health while paying for my groceries, but this kind of stuff is just stunning. I mean, if this happens to us now I know exactly what I would say, but if it was a sneak attack, I'd probably just sputter and maybe scream, "JERKFACE!" or some other mature and helpful statement.
If you do ever witness this kind of garbage, feel free to speak up and tell that particular person that the world would be better off if he/she just stays silent. In a perfect instance it would be an opportunity to educate and perhaps build a little bridge of empathy. People who say such things come from a place of pain. But if there is only one second to respond, remind that lovely person of the old adage about not having anything nice to say.
What is lovely is having teachers who value the most important things about your children, and who pull the best out of them and nurture it. Paul is becoming helpful. Molly is still super cute and charming. Charlotte's bubbly joy is surfacing, and while she'll never win a behavior award, her teacher appreciates that Charlotte is always laughing. Kate is diligent and, when pressed, will stand up for what is right. When the 4th grade boys were using the words, "retard" and "retardation" to make fun of one another, Kate asked her teacher to address it with the class.
Academically I am considering homeschooling Kate. She's got some very specific interests and challenges that I think would be well served in a homeschool setting. But the community at my kids' school is phenomenal, and I can not imagine not being a part of it. Kids are kids and are going to be jerks, be irresponsible and make big and little mistakes. To have a community of teachers that understand kids and invest in their moral formation is so uplifting that I waffle day-to-day on what we will decide for next year.
Times like this make me wonder how atheists get through. I've heard atheists claim that belief is just a crutch for the weak, but I can't help but wonder why that is such a problem? Jennifer Fulwiler did a webisode on the Explore God campaign where she compared having faith being a crutch the way gravity is a crutch. This weekend I needed to be in constant communication with God. I needed constant spiritual reassurance that, come what may, we'd be able to get through it. And I needed help to keep me from being a nasty grouch toward my husband and children while my mind was so actively trying to convince me that the worst was coming. Even now, when the tension has been released, I want to retreat and be left alone to recover from all that stress. Scott's at work and there is no school today. So I have to ask again for the grace to not get annoyed that my children want my attention and need my help. I have to push past my desire for quiet and contemplation and lean toward the beautiful life I have here and now. I need help from God to do that. If that makes me weaker than an atheist, so be it.
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