Thursday, September 13, 2012

on weather and Narnia and ineptitude and Jesus

Nap time silence is broken by a small raspy voice singing the words I sang to her as she fell asleep,

"I love you Lila, oh yes I do.  I love you, Lila and I'll be true.  When you're not near me I'm blue!  Oh, Lila I love you!"

Of course she doesn't realize how narcissistic it is to sing those words to herself.  I'm not sure she even thinks about the words that she is singing.  But I love that those are the words that were swimming in her subconscious while she slept.

It's a melancholy day today.  Cloudy and dreary.  I'm actually relieved, as many are, for the cooler weather, excited to pull out my sweatshirts and put socks on my toes.  But Lila kept asking, "Where's the sun?" and was unsatisfied with my answer that it was still in the sky, but the clouds were hiding it from us.

I thought about something that Puddleglum, the pessimistic Eeyore-type character in C.S. Lewis' The Silver Chair, says in response to the Witch's suggestion that Narnia didn't really exist, that they had made it all up in their minds, and that her dark underground world was the true world.
"Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things-trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's a small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say.” 

Lila's brain is so literal sometimes - how can the sun be there if we can't see it?  And yet this morning she told me, "Mommy!  Jesus is here!  He's right there! Welcome to our house, Jesus!" And I couldn't help but wonder if something in her heart is truly stirring with the presence of our Aslan.   And then, the Witch in me says, "She's just pretending.  It's make-believe.  She also says there are monsters coming and you write that off as imagination.  Why should imagining Jesus be any different?"

But he is different, isn't he?  He's just like the sun behind the clouds.  There if not felt or visible.  There whether or not we acknowledge or believe it.  And why wouldn't he appear to her imaginings?  It seems like the sort of thing he would do, doesn't it?

My mood is matching the weather.  I watched the season premiere of Parenthood while Lila was sleeping.  The oldest daughter of one of the families left for college in this episode, and I made myself sad imagining the impossible day when Lila would leave my home and my protection.  I often identify with Puddleglum who describes himself as  "a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it."  Except I'm not all that good at putting the best face on things when they're all stacked together.

The truth is, I am exhausted.  Physically exhausted from getting back in to the school routine with a five-day trip sandwiched in between the two school days we've had so far.  And Lila's sick or something.  She's sneezing and has had a mild fever and cried today when I walked out of the room to get her a pair of socks.  And I've gone two weeks without exercising (despite lugging my five-pound weights across three states with the overly ambitious intention of working out during Lila's naps in Minnesota) and having a hard time getting motivated to get back in the swing of things.

August whooped me.  The calendar was too full which was partly my fault and partly unavoidable.  But now, nearly half-way through September, I'm still recovering.  And trying to find that line between healthy rest and restoration and laziness.

 And we're in that tricky time of year financially, capping off a summer without my school-year paycheck and hoping we can stretch our pennies to the end of the month when I start getting paid again.  It's like this every August/September and I even over-budgeted when I set aside money from our tax refund this Spring so that we wouldn't feel the pinch this year.  I did not, however, budget for the $1000 bead extraction we are still getting bills for.  (Is it a blogging faux pas to talk about money?  Probably.  Sorry.  I just need to get it all out of my head and in black and white.)

The truth is, I'm feeling...inept.  Inept at managing our schedule and balancing our finances.  Inept at kicking that still-lingering baby weight (oh, who am I kidding - at this point it's just weight).  Inept at taming our child. (She drew on the carpet with "washable" markers the other day and is now grounded from them until she's three.  When I explained this to her today she said cheerfully, "Okay! I three now!")  Inept at making new babies who will grow up to draw on my carpet.

I'm feeling that familiar ineptness that comes with a new class, as I learn how I need to tweak my expectations and consequences to fit the needs and personalities of this new crowd.  (Are any other teachers plagued by nightmares at the beginning of the school year?  You would think eight years into this my subconscious would be a little more confident in my abilities and experience, but I still have the same dreams I had when I first started teaching - in which the children are running amuck and I am trying to get them under control, but my voice can't go above a whisper and there are 60 of them instead of my 23.  It makes me sweat just thinking about it.)

In short, I need the confidence of my two-year-old who hears love anthems to herself in her dreams and wakes up singing them.  I need the reminder that the sun is behind the clouds.  I need the faith that Jesus is present in my house.  I need to believe his Word that says he sings love songs over me just as I sing them over Lila.  I need those songs to sink deep in my heart so that I wake up singing them and live like a Narnian.  Because, despite my current reality, this world is but a Shadowland.  And Puddleglum is right, that World will "lick this world hollow."

I love you, Kelsey. Oh yes I do!  I love you, Kelsey and I'll be true!  When you're not near me, I'm blue! Oh, Kelsey I love you!

P.S. The Kautzis are participating in a walk this Saturday to raise money for Tuberous Sclerosis research.  If you'll remember, our dear friends the Ballews have a sweet daughter named Emmaus who was born with TSC.  Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) is a rare genetic disease that causes tumors to grow in vital organs.  Emmaus has tumors in her eyes, skin, heart and brain.  We have a goal of raising $100 by Saturday, so if you would like to help us reach our goal, visit our team's website and donate to the cause. :)  Info on our team is here and our family's donation page is here.  To read more about Emmaus, visit her mama's blog here. Thanks!


The Vaughan Family said...

Oh Kelsey, I so know how you feel! You are not alone!!! And I mean that yes, Jesus knows and He is with you...but so are all of us moms! It's all hard at times...but I absolutely love all of the life lessons that you remind me of EVERY time I read your blog! You are a gifted, genuine, writer and it always speaks to me. Hang in there and I hope your weekend is relaxing!!!

brit said...

beautifully written. love how you incorporate "The Silver Chair" into this post and it fits perfectly. isn't funny how we sing and declare things over others and their lives yet it is difficult to believe they are true for US as well? do not feel inept. (although I am right there with you in the "baby weight" and controlling of a toddler situations.)He is there. always. like you said, even if he is not felt or visible. praying we may have "faith like a child." I would pin this if I could :)