Monday, August 19, 2013

Nourishing the Soul

So we have another rainy day today. Another rainy day. The rain is no longer news here. Last year in Cincinnati was the rainiest year on record, or nearly so. I'm not exaggerating.

I don't know what the total is for the year so far in our corner of North Carolina, but it feels like we've moved from one rainy place to another. It's damn rainy.

So the kids are crazy. Running in the house, doing cannonballs on the couch, throwing paper airplanes, making a human train with a jump rope and racing around the kitchen, living room, hallway...It's that scene from Raising Arizona, when the swinging friends visit Hi and Ed's trailer, and their kids proceed to trash the place. One wrote "Fart" on the walls. Well Elliott wrote on the wall yesterday--in pencil, thank God--but I just couldn't help thinking, Is this for real? This kid knows better. What next?

We went to the Children's Museum today, and that helped. Still, we returned home for lunch, and the jumping, running, yelling, and whining ensued.

I often deal with it by raising my voice, banishing children to corners of the kitchen, and then returning stoveside to cook and think unmotherly thoughts while preparing the trolls' lunch.

So today Ezra and Elliott are sitting on the kitchen floor, sulking. I finally allow books and dry-erase fun. Out come the markers and alphabet cards. They become quiet. They dole out letters:

"Do you want the E? Can you do an R, Ezra? Do you want the R? Okay, you don't have to do the R. How about a J? Can you do a J?"

I think, "Yes, I could do a J right about now." But seriously, they're really that polite. And they're busy, and practicing writing, which is usually a tough sell.

And then Elliott starts humming. He's writing, it's going well, and he's humming. It's a church hymn.

I instantly recognize it as "Eat this Bread," the Taize hymn that's common at our church. We heard it on Sunday. And here he is, the kid who squirms through mass, humming. I begin singing it, and he looks up.

"Yeah, that's it," he says.

I don't really have words for that kind of grace, so simple and unexpected on just another rainy day.

No comments: