AP wire: Fatal Shooting at Empire State Building

In the longer post I just put up, I researched muppet images. My hope was to sweep away my worry and sadness about current and very real cosmic powers of darkness.

Because it was fun, and my sons are safely in their corners of the world for a few more short hours, It helped.

A lot.

Yet, at exactly the same time, folks were gunned down in Grover’s own fair city.

“Fatal Shooting at Empire State Building” 

~ New York TImes, AP report, 45 minutes ago

Saints preserve us.

Recently, City Life Was strEssfuL

until our youngest son, along with his dad and I, exhaled into a pew just on time for mass last weekend.

I think I mentioned in a previous post that getting ready for the new school year was a bit intense this year for one reason and another.

image: art parts clip art

As part of his warm welcome back to campus sermon, the college chaplain repeated a phrase from one of the gospels that said something to the effect of:

“Come in here.”

My brain was still buzzing with post week one of elementary and high school forgotten or screwed up back to school purchases, so this repeated phrase was all I could gather from that hour of rest.

“Come in here.”

Kate’s brain: “JesusMaryandJoseph where are those stupid receipts?”

I did manage to hear Fr. Chuck say,

“As a chaplain, I’d love to have a big sandwich board sign out front that says just that:

 

‘Come in here.’ “

It felt so incredibly good to sit still, yet my two adult sons were at work and rest, so it was a three person attendance.

That was a little bittersweet.

And,

rather than feeling sad that the college students we sat with are the

same age as our older sons, somehow,

my mind started to wander about this theme of signage and coming in and out of various doors.

Which led to a series of odd, I admit, but calming images about turnstiles and revolving doors.

Here goes one about revolving doors. (I won’t bore you with my communion service turnstile idea):

Being a parent is like being a fancy hotel guy with a gilded cap who says “good afternoon” as stressed and giddy folks push through a revolving door. Our off spring, their friends, our nieces and nephews, and a host of others, come through our doors,

hour after year,

after, “was that day ago, or did I lose my 2nd cup of coffee again?”.

I can think of at least 10 doors that belong to houses that we’ve been in as a family that have seen such action.

Yet, unlike the gilded door guy,

parents don’t get a paycheck for politeness.

Or a raise for anxiety and stress management.

Or a maintenance crew to keep the thing flowing and unfogged.

Or a secret panic button that will hail Super Grover to save another day.

But, we do get invited back. To church, to the gym, to the dog park, a knit n’ gripe group, an over the fence chat with a neighbor. The list is pretty darn long of the spots where faith in a Good God dwells.

I do miss Super Grover every so often though. 

From Sesame Street Workshop press archive. I told you the guy was cool. He has press agents.

Stinkin’ cute you must admit.

(p.s. If you have an extra 4 minutes and 32 seconds, click above on the blue JesusMaryandJoseph for a very sweet Irish back to school YouTube video)

Forgiveness Friday: Feeling Safe as a Parent

My brother on his first day of school.

Those of us who are parents of children old enough to be involved in group performance can relate, I hope, to the feeling of comfort I had yesterday at a school event.

I’ve had the feeling of overwhelming pride wash over me at sport events, science fairs, plays and during other big events. I also have had this experience during low keyed, but just as important interactions like on the playground or while overhearing a cute conversation with friends.

But, churchy kind of gal that I am, not much knocks me out emotionally more than seeing them wrapped up in something religious.

I’ve done some serious pondering about this today, and here is what I’ve come up with:

Pardon my French, but parenting is scary shit.

A friend said it well in an email exchange among four of us who are gritting our teeth with our beloved teens,

Rooted in fear for me is the NEED to control him

so he’ll be ok and then

I’ll be ok.

For me, the opposite is love and trust.

How many award ceremonies, playground scuffles, sports games, sideline kerfuffles, and painful kid scenarios that I want to snuffle have I been through?

A lot!

And how many more are ahead of me?

More than that.

So, when yet another friend responded to a crazed mom email I sent, she had this as one of her suggestions to survive the rough patches:

This suggestion is really hard because it does involve ceding some of that control – is to

make sure that each kid has at least one other trusted adult in their life that they can talk to and be real with other than the parents.

An aunt, uncle, mentor, pastor, coach – someone safe, responsible and with good values but someone that the kid also likes and connects with. Then, really trust that said person will carry some of the water during the times when your kid doesn’t want to confide in

or even be civil to you.

I wonder if there is a way to mix those words into my lavender hand cream and just spread it around, oh, pretty much my whole body.

We

don’t

have

to

do

“this”

alone!

This takes me back to the massive lump in my throat during a big school mass yesterday. For me, it was because having help with keeping my sons safe has a different level of meaning at a sports banquet than at mass. Both are important, but again, churchy girl that I am, I had a sense of relief yesterday when I could see from a distance that my ten year old was singing away. When this one sings, he does it with heart and soul.

So, seeing him experience that kind of joy made me feel safe.

Only a few years ago my two oldest sons served Easter Mass together for the first time in what had been a divisive couple of years for their relationship. So, while seeing them together on the alter as servers, competing like usual to out do each other,

I felt safe.

And you know what?

Pardon my French again, but without the occasional fifteen seconds of feeling overwhelmed with trust that my children are safe, will be safe, and they are being safe, parenting would only be scary shit.

All shall be well,

and all shall be well,

and all manner of things shall be well.

~ Julian of Norwich