Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mummy, my tears are dropping

Young sir has a very sweet phrase that he uses when he is crying. 'My tears are dropping' he says, looking into your eyes with his little bottom lip wobbling and sure enough, tears falling down his cheek.

Tears are funny things. You can not stop them and those of us with less thespian talents in us can't force them out. They just come.

Tears of joy...sadness...relief...pain...

When you are little the tears usually come because you have hurt yourself...grazed knees, bumped heads, cut fingers - and they are usually healed with the magic power of kiss and a plaster.

Couple of nights ago we read about Joseph and when his brothers sold him to slavery. One of the illustrations is his father holding the bloodied coat with tears in his eyes. Young sir was very upset about the 'daddy being sad' and had tears in his little eyes thinking of the 'daddy missing his son'.

It is the first time I've seen tears in his eyes because of someone else's pain - even if it was just an illustration - and it made me all squeezy in a good way and sad at the same time as I knew that this was his first introduction to pain that can not be healed with kiss and a plaster, pain that touches your heart. I still gave a kiss (it still is the universal mums' remedy for everything), assured him that the daddy would see his boy again and we prayed Jesus to make his heart happy again.

I have a vivid childhood memory of listening to Heidi on cd (long ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth and there were no dvds) and sobbing my little heart out when Heidi had to leave her grandfather and not knowing whether she'd be back. There is something quite powerful about words being able to impact you in a way that evokes emotions.

Anne of Green Gables was one of my favourite books when I was little. The last book in the series Rilla of Ingleside has a paragraph that always opens my tearducts. The book is set in the First World War and there is a faithful little dog called Dog Monday who has been waiting at the station for years for his master to return:

"A black-and-yellow streak shot past the station agent. Dog Monday stiff? Dog Monday rheumatic? Dog Monday old? Never believe it. Dog Monday was a young pup, gone clean mad with rejuvenating joy.

He flung himself against the tall soldier, with a bark that choked in his throat from sheer rapture. He flung himself on the ground and writhed in a frenzy of welcome. He tried to climb the soldier's khaki legs and slipped down and groveled in an ecstasy that seemed as if it must tear his little body in pieces. He licked his boots and when the lieutenant had, with laughter on his lips and tears in his eyes, succeeded in gathering the little creature up in his arms Dog Monday laid his head on the khaki shoulder and licked the sunburned neck, making queer sounds between barks and sobs.

The station agent had heard the story of Dog Monday. He knew now who the returned soldier was. Dog Monday's long vigil was ended. Jem Blythe had come home."

As parents we often want to shield our child(ren) from pain and there is a side to it that is good. But too much protection can give us unrealistic expectations of what life is like. It is important to learn that there is sadness as well as joy. Tears as well as laughter and sometimes there is tears and laughter mingled together. Keeping our heart soft enough to be able to empathise with the pain and joy of others is hard and you may get hurt in the process at times but it is still so much better than shutting your heart completely from pain as by doing that you are also reducing your ability to feel joy.

Laugh. Cry. Rejoice. Be sad. Live!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ten on Tuesday - sunshine and sand

1. Aaah...the is glorious while it lasts...which usually isn't long enough so we've learnt to make the most of it whilst it is here :)

2. Inspired by the hot weather and family visiting I made some rhubarb ice cream and strawberry ice cream over the weekend - just a thought of them makes me salivate...I love my ice cream maker

3. On Saturday we explored further north - only to Morpeth and Druridge Bay with our visitors and found a pub that had an amazingly varied menu and delicious food - the boys ate kangaroo (didn't write that in Henrik's home school diary)

4. Next to lovely ice cream, the best thing on a hot day is the beach and we are spoiled for nice beaches around here, Druridge Bay is one of our favourites, even on a busy day it was not crowded at all

5. Young sir collected some shells to bring home, they are nicely arranged on his shelves whilst there is mountain of sand on the floor where he emptied his shell container...

6. I had first Pimm's of the summer on Saturday, there is something special about the first one and it tasted just as good as I remembered

7.  I've enjoyed being lady of leisure but I am slowly starting the preparation for the viva and job hunting. There are few jobs that have looked quite interesting and some that are just not my cup of tea requiring 'a strong commitment to the study of human adenocarcinoma' or 'demonstrate experience with human or non-human behaviour and electrophysiology'.

8. We've been listening to cd with prayers for kids, I had enough of miss Polly had a Dolly and needed a change! We got the cd years ago when we were in the school of the heart in Toronto and it's finally come to use.

9. The only downside (if you can call it that) is the overwhelming amount of questions young sir has about the prayers...'what does amen mean', 'what is revelation', 'what is the truth'...if Socrates didn't know what truth is, how am I supposed to know it!!!

10. The cd has the Lord's prayer and young sir duly asked about 'why it says our father in heaven', I must have explained it somewhat satisfactorily but got stuck for what to say to the next question 'where is our heavenly mother then?' - I wonder how many years I have to wait before I can reply with 'ask Peter on Sunday'??? Soon hopefully

Here is Helen and the other lovely ten on tuesday ladies linked to her (Sarah, Jo, Lucy & Hannah)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday morning musings on waiting

Waiting is the hardest thing at times. You know what you want to do and you want to do it now but for one reason or another things are not working out the way you want. We go through seasons in our lives but at times winter, the time of waiting for new things, seems endless. Like in Narnia - always winter but never Christmas. 

In the time of waiting self control and patience are tested. Your heart desires to do something, be somewhere, achieve something but the reality is far removed from where you want to be. The intangibility of what you are hoping for or dreaming of challenges our patience and faith. If we knew the exact timing of things in our lives we could reason with ourselves telling only three more months and then it is time to...move house, change jobs, start a new project...

Yet, it is not that simple. Our time of waiting shapes us. Whatever we are going through is part of the journey of our life. We don't always know why but sometimes I wonder if knowing why would actually help me to endure or not. We often think that knowing why would make things easier. The often repeated phrase of 'if I only knew why' can often keep us focused on the past rather than looking forwards.

I haven't really got any answers, just few thoughts and ponderings. I think we need to enjoy the season we are in the best we can whilst not losing focus on our dreams. Like it says in Ecclesiastes:

There is a time for everything
and a season for every activity under the heavens: 
a time to plant and a time to uproot,     
a time to kill and a time to heal,    
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
 a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,     
a time to search and a time to give up,    
a time to keep and a time to throw away,     
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak, 
a time to love and a time to hate,    
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time for war and a time for peace. 

And here is what sparked my thoughts - on the difficulty of waiting...The classic psychology study conducted in the 60s (or as my lecturers often used to call the 'good old days before too many ethics forms') called the marshmallow test. Child is left in a room with a marshmallow in front of  them with the promise of receiving two marshmallows on the return of the researcher if they do not touch the first one. Here's some clips of one reconstruction of that put a smile on my face.

They say that good things come to those who wait. Two marshmallows instead of just one :) Treasure the time of waiting and think of the things to come. The harder and longer the time of waiting, the sweeter the reward will be once the seasons change.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ten on Tuesday - cleaning your guns...

1. They have been talking about dentists at nursery. I think young sir had missed some of it though as he told me that 'children have milk teeth and grown ups have false teeth'...he also proudly announced that we need to 'clean our guns'!

2. Last Sunday we had the first service back in the old new church and it is looking fantastic! Exciting times ahead :)

3. The school fair is coming up, I have been a lazy parent and completely forgotten to sell any raffle tickets - I found them buried under piece of paper on the notice board the other day...

4. Everything is relative - if you want to know how relative have a look of this.

5. Allotment is turning out to be a complete washout this year. It's been so cold and rainy that none of the seeds I've planted so far have germinated. At least the potatoes are growing so we'll have something to dig up.

6. I am finding it very weird not to have any work to do since submission. I felt almost guilty watching tv the first night rather than sitting on the computer typing away!

7. We went for a walk in Chopwell woods weekend before last and had a lovely wonder/cycle around. I'd said we'd see some squirrels and thankfully we spotted two to make young sir's day.

8. The bathroom is nearing completion. Last weekend David whitewashed the floors and they look amazing!

9. We had the chiminea on with the youth last night and cooked some stick buns - lovely memories from scouts camps of eating burned from the outside raw from the inside buns - my skills of cooking on open fire must have improved as I managed to cook it properly without it being completely charred...yum :)

10. I discovered that my wonderful husband is 'saving the mankind' according to channel 5 programme that featured one of the vehicles designed at his work...

Here's Helen with her ten which are amazing as usual