As I was checking to make sure the doors were locked for the night, as is fitting for the man of the house to do, I heard a rustling by the kitchen window. At first I thought it might be a raccoon and I love their little masked faces so I opened the side door. And there it was. A black cat peeing right in front of me.
I said, “What is this?”
The cat blinked lazily then traipsed off into the dark.
Black cats are bad luck, right? That means a black cat peeing defiantly in front of you must be really bad.
So the Boy turns one in a few days. And really we don’t have anything huge planned. It’s a combination of he-won’t-remember and Thea-has-no-free-time-to-plan-and-Nikolas-is-hopeless. Just a small family thing. But the hope is that Thea will be able to put together a Batman cake. Does one “put together” a cake?
I think I’ve been adjusting fine to… staying in my pajamas and watching movies with a toddler. Admittedly, not a difficult adjustment. Much more difficult for Thea to go back to full-time work… and then some. Being a teacher is hard. And unlike me, Thea doesn’t look for shortcuts nor is she as comfortable with mediocrity. So she works very hard.
Fortunately, we have a setup where I’m able to work from home quite a bit (he says as he updates his blog) and my mom can watch the Boy a couple days a week. In my mind, a pretty good setup. Of course… I’m the one in pajamas.
So I feel a little guilty that we’re not the traditional family… Where the man goes to work and… the wife stays home. I guess the traditional family from the 50’s. Because I know very few families where one parent can stay home. Life is expensive.
I’ve been thinking about the idea of being a “light in the darkness,” which is an image for Christians that dates back to… Jesus, I guess. Since he said it.
And it’s conjures some lovely imagery: a lighthouse guiding a ship safely to shore, a lantern illuminating someone’s path, a hopeful candle in the window beckoning a loved one home… It’s really all about bringing someone home.
And somehow rather than being lighthouses, lanterns or candles… I think we have more of a reputation of kicking someone when they’re down. Is there a word for that? How about “mean?”
Lately I’ve been hearing hissed whispers of people’s secret lives and hidden struggles… and it bothers me because I feel like I’m sheltered, disconnected from the reality of… the darkness. Like a lantern in a well-lit room, maybe. So that I’m surprised by how much people are hurting out in the world. Not even out in the world… how much people an arm’s length away are suffering from their poor choices or even what the world has dealt them…
I’m realizing what a terrible and wonderful responsibility it is to be a light. Wonderful because it’s about bringing people back to God. Terrible cause you gotta go out in the dark.
I don't recall Superman pooping his pants.
Another Hallowe’en over.
It was the first time I gave out candy in my own house. Very fun. Last year we had a food drive so we weren’t able to indulge the trick ‘r treaters, but this year we postponed the food drive for Christmas time so we could do the Hallowe’en thing in our own neighbourhood.
Our neighbours’ strange tendency to socialize and spend time in their driveways turned out to be quite enjoyable on this spookiest of nights. Everyone was outside their houses handing out candy and chatting with each other… I liked it.
I must say, though, a lot of kids didn’t seem to know the Hallowe’en contract: Demand treats, threaten tricks. Kids weren’t saying “Trick or Treat.” I had to force them to say it before I gave them candy and now I’m probably the neighbourhood weirdo.
Thea took Nathanael around the neighbourhood in his Superman costume. Of course… now we have a bag of candy. I’ve put it in a bowl to share with guests… Unfortunately by the time we have a guest the candy will be all gone.
First off, I want to say that I’ve come a long way with interpersonal communication. I now say ‘goodbye’ on the phone and in person before hanging up or leaving. I don’t abruptly change the subject if I find it uninteresting. But there are definitely moments…
OK. Here’s what happened. Not a big deal, but I’m the pastor so I figure I should be less awkward than this, but there was a new lady at church this morning. Hadn’t met her before. Came with her daughter whom I just met a couple of days ago. Trying to make a better effort to mingle and chit-chat at church… so I walked up to new lady and said, “I’m really horrible at small talk. I’m not sure what to say now.” As these words are coming out of my mouth, it’s like I’m looking at them in a big cartoon word bubble and I realize that this is not only an appalling way to start a conversation, it’s not even something that should be said out loud ever unless you want to look like Rain Man.
A friend was standing nearby and he jumped in and wrangled the conversation away, glancing at me with horror and disbelief.
I just read this article about a dad dealing with having a disabled son with an extremely rare genetic disorder… And this sort of thing bothers me so much now. Or I should say effects me.
Any news article or story about a sick baby, hurting child, or suffering son cuts me right to the bone. A couple of times I’ve had to snatch Nathanael out of his comfy crib late at night and just hold him for a little while.
It’s important to be reminded that something as simple as having a healthy baby is a gift, a blessing.
There are times when I miss being able to just go somewhere without having to complete a checklist of baby items necessary to leave the house (diapers: check… formula: check… Sophie the Giraffe: check). Or being able to have a conversation without having to prevent a squirmy kid from grabbing things off the coffee table.
But I’m so grateful. So achingly grateful for his ten fingers and ten toes and his perfect little nose and two Chiclets teeth and slightly-crossed eyes and perfectly spherical head.
Yesterday I was a guest preacher at the English service of a Chinese church. Delightful people. Very friendly.
At the end of the service, after announcements and have-a-great-week I stood up and starting talking to my wife about how my teaching went and what we should do for lunch and wondering how Boy was doing in nursery… Until I noticed that everyone else was still silent with heads bowed. The whole church. And there I was standing in the middle blabbing away.
I casually side-stepped to some people at the back and asked what was going on. She said that sometimes a few people take a moment of silence before leaving… But this morning it happened to be everyone taking a moment of silence simultaneously. Nothing planned or announced or coordinated. Apparently Chinese people are psychic or something. Good to know.