Friday, September 10, 2010

7 Quick Takes-Almost Too Late


The busyness continues, and I'm just not finding time to organize my thoughts and write them. If all goes as planned, we will be in Asia the beginning of November. Never mind that we have a house two sell, eight years of marriage and three kids worth of stuff to go through, visas to obtain, and any number of other things to accomplish by then. Oh, and we need to find good time to spend with family and process this whole moving thing.


That leads to take number two, in which I tell you that I am not sleeping all. For some of you this may be normal, but not for me. Even when I have a newborn waking me up multiple times at night, I sleep exceptionally well. In fact, sometimes my husband has to wake me up to tell me a baby is crying. All three of my kids sleep through the night now, and I have always been one to fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow and not wake up until the alarm (or a child) wakes me. This lack of sleep due to stress is new for me, and I am not handling it well at all. Any suggestions other than just drinking lots of caffeinated drinks? Help, anyone?


On a brighter note, we spent Labor Day weekend in the mountains and took Monday totally off from moving/support raising/totally uprooting our lives work. It was lovely and cool and clear on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and we stopped at my favorite apple orchard (definitely the most scenic in the world) for some apples. We've already made applesauce and will be doing apple butter and pie tomorrow. Yum!


I have been thinking a lot of deep thoughts lately, but I just haven't had time to process them in writing. I have been thinking about how we spend so much time living our lives for an audience and documenting them that we don't actually live them. With blogs and digital photography and Facebook and Twitter, even those of us who try to avoid it often end up spending more time thinking about how to present our lives to others than actually living them. Because I have spent so much of the summer having to live in the here and now and not even having a moment to consider blogging or taking pictures or updating Facebook, I am realizing how much better life is without all of that. I think the generation becoming adults right now is growing up more narcissistic than any before because none of us have thought through how to use this new technology well. I heard about this book on NPR the other day, and would love other good resources that discuss how to live well without becoming a luddite and rejecting all technology.


I've also been thinking about Muslims in America. I want to hate that crazy preacher in Florida who wants to burn copies of the Qu'ran. I want to hate him, but that would make me just as bad as he is. So instead I want to be like Catherine, who is finding ways to reach out to her Muslim neighbors. But can I still be mad at 24-hour news media? If it weren't for their need to have something to report on, the Qu'ran burners would not have national coverage, and the hatred that they are showing would not be the fuel for more hatred, toward Muslims or toward Christians. I'm pretty sure the Jesus I follow said something about loving my neighbor. In fact, He even said something about loving my enemy...I guess that includes the guy in Florida as much as it does the 9/11 hijackers and even the news media.


On the parenting front, I have loved this article from Leila of Like Mother, Like Daughter (whose blog you really must subscribe to). Her parenting articles (and others as well) are so sensible and down to earth. This one was even better. I especially liked the alternate version of Ma Ingalls telling Laura to go in the house when there was a bear:

Today's child, in the false comfortable world of prosperity where parents think they have the luxury of listening to "experts" (who have no obedient children themselves), would cause this scenario:

"Laura, get inside!"
"Sweetie, get inside, please. Mommy needs you to get inside. Mommy doesn't want to scare you, but there's a big bear and she needs you to make a good choice now and do what she says."

"Will you buy me a treat?"

"Yes, sweetie, please, go inside."

"Where's Daddy?"

"Mommy knows you have questions, and that's very smart of you. I'm so proud of you. Please go inside now."

"He's never here! Why isn't he here? You TOLD me he'd be here!"
"Sweetie, when you argue with me, you are making a bad choice. What did we say about bad choices? Now, you'll have a time-out if you don't do what I say..."

Meanwhile, the bear eats them.

Why? Because Mommy is so patient that she allowed every interaction with her child to be an exchange between equals rather than a strong wall that a child can't breach. For her own sake.

My husband and I took her advice on having obedience practice, and it has worked wonders. We randomly ask the boys to run to the middle of the room and stand on one foot or hide behind the curtains. They do it the first time we ask because it is so funny, but the great thing is that they really caught on and started obeying the first time we asked them to pick up their toys or do something helpful for us. It was...well...wonderful.


On a purely frivolous note, my team plays Oregon tomorrow. We are totally outmatched. But we are playing at home, which is an intimidating place for even number 7. It could be an upset. I can always hope...


Catherine said...

Oh, SO MUCH to say!

1. You can still be very mad at 24/7 news media. I know I am.

2. You asked what to do about your sleeplessness aside from drinking lots of caffeine. As a life time insomniac...STOP drinking caffeine! :)

3. I love the story about the bear. I frequently remind A of that story (the actual version) to remind him how important it is to obey. My boys are NOT Ingalls' girls....

TwoSquareMeals said...

I don't drink much caffeine at all now, just a glass of sweet tea once or twice a week. But I am considering taking it up in the mornings to get me through the next two months of stress and sleeplessness. I know it's a bad idea, but I don't know what else to try.

My boys are not Ingalls girls (or Wilder boys, for that matter), so the obedience practice has been a good thing!

Kristen said...

Wow - I totally understand having so much on my mind but either no time or energy to process it in writing. I think you did a great job! I have had sleeping troubles lately, too. Stress always does that to me. And I found that no, caffeine does not help. But prayer before bed does. I pray and lift up all of my concerns. I tell myself I can't solve anything in that moment becasue I need mysleep and it can all wait until morning. Then I drink some chamomile mint tea. It's so relaxing. Sometimes I even drink it in bed, and the effects are immediate. In the past I've also kept a journal by my bed. I write down the things I'm thinking about just to get them out. And it helps relieve my mind so I can sleep!