Thursday, October 21, 2010


a few nights ago, i guess it's been over a week, i got to go to some friends' house and look through their telescope. (it was a big, big telescope) through their telescope i got to see jupiter, the dark ring around jupiter, and all four of its moons...all in one little round view...further away than i know units to quantify...there it all was...clear as day. now, i'm not a seasoned telescope viewer. i think this might be the first time i've looked through one and seen something that could be identified to me. (kind of like when other people look at ultrasound pictures and can't find the toes or the nose...but i can usually find those...) anyway, i have seen people look through telescopes on tv...and i've also seen the depictions of what they've seen on tv. (i know, i know...but i am a child of tv and a good chunk of my world has been experienced sitting on my butt looking at a box...) now, let me tell you something that happened in real life that i'd never seen on tv. jupiter kept moving out of our view finder. i'd tell someone to go look through that telescope and they would and they'd be all "yeah, they isn't anything in it." and i'd feel that despair that you feel when you are young and your toy runs out of batteries and you know it'll be forever til your mom puts new ones long, you'll probably forget how to work it. but then the man who built the telescope (i used to think it was cool i had friends who knew how to knit...dude, i know someone who BUILT a telescope...) would come adjust it and there would be jupiter and all four of his moons (i know planets are usually girls, but jupiter just seemed kind of like a single dad kind of planet..). it was crazy to me. to think about how i was watching something move and change that was so huge, so otherworldly, and so far away. and that it would happen quickly enough that i could actually observe it.

last night, i took two of my kids to their religious education classes. the third, who normally goes, had team pictures for soccer, so he was going to miss class to be in the picture. my husband has been working on two major projects for the week and completely unavailable. which is fine. all of this is fine. all of this is manageable and doable and reasonable. my bil had offered to help me out, but i actually turned down his help. my plan was to pull the soccer player a little early to pick up the religious education guys and get home a little earlier than usual on a wednesday night. and everything was fine. i mean, the baby's diapers keep leaking and last night was no exception, but otherwise, it was rolling along fine. until i got to the church to pick up the religious ed kids and my second grader was not in his classroom. that is when things started not rolling along so finely and got a little bumpier. a parent meeting started coming to mind. oh wait, was there a parent meeting that night? let me find the director of religious ed and apologize for missing the parent, if i could just find her. i walked all over the whole grounds for our church...from the religious ed building to the parish hall, to the church, to the high school building, back to the religious ed building, back to check the classroom. no religious ed director...and no child of mine. (and admittedly, i was much more panicked about second than the first...) once i did find him, his teacher informed me that i'd missed a parent/child meeting. and it was all i could do not to start crying right then and there. but i'd already made my kid attend a parent/child meeting without a parent...i didn't want to put him through that absent parent bawling in front of his teacher. i apologized profusely, to my kid and to his teacher. i began to offer up some explanation, but it just sounded lame and so i stopped and went back to apologizing. i made it through the rest of the night, apologizing every now and then, trying not to be angry at my spouse (because i really wanted to blame him, even though it really wasn't his fault). once everyone went to bed, though, i went outside and i cried. i cried because i felt like a lousy mom. i cried because i do not want my fourth born son to get stuck with exhausted, over-committed parents who forget his stuff. i cried because i worry that i have too many kids to be a good mom to them all. i cried because i felt like i was judged by the parents who were there, looking at my beautiful son with no parent. i cried because preparation for his sacraments is important to me, and i wish, man, i WISH i had freaking remembered to be there. and then i looked up. and is aw jupiter. and i realized that if something that far away...that huge and that otherworldly can change before my eye, then i can change, too. and it won't take years or months or reading twelve books or several therapy appointments or prayers i haven't learned to do it. that i will simply change.

so some things were different this morning. much the same. i have been working hard on not being afraid of failing...knowing that failing is not a permanent statement on my being or character or, you know, failure. that it is a chance to realize things need to change. i'm not changing to avoid being judged, by the way...or some of the other reasons for why i was crying. some of that stuff i cannot change...i cannot even do anything about because it's not my shit. but the stuff i can address, i'll address. but i will not resign myself to being less than i can be. there are things i do well, and there are things i can do better. and that is what i'll work on.