Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Tuesday #2: Warte Chöne (Able to Wait) / Decompression Bingeing

The theme for this week was Advent. It was a very busy morning, as Oma and Wendi were also leaving for --. I drove them to the airport at around midday, and got home just in time to get ready for Unti (what the catechism classes are called in German). The girls and I left home at 2:50, and we leave the Schulhaus at 5pm. I am a bit exhausted. We put an Advent wreath together, talked about what the various pieces meant, made stars for the Advent window at church, crafted a little wreath for their pinboards at home, and worked on their Unti memory book sheets. Ten kids are a lot. At some stage, Antonio, Cedric, and Diego were shouting out that they can’t understand me. At the end of the 45 minutes, the room is a mess, and my nerves are fried. Nicolai and Diego have unintentionally left their names on the tables with indelible ink (we were writing on thin paper and the ink went through). I spend the next 15 minutes scrubbing vigorously, mentally composing the letter of apology to Frau Baumgartner, whose room we are borrowing. In the end, the scrubbing seems to have worked, and the names (which for me had taken on significance as visible signs of how unsuitable I am for this “job”) are almost gone (or at least, blend in better with the other scratches and scribbles on the table).
Diego and Zoe’s father had watched our session. At the end, I caught him muttering something about “a catastrophe”, in reference to the state of the room. Indeed it looked like an explosion of crafting materials: colored pencils, scissors, glue sticks, bits of blue and pink wrapping tissue all over the place. Next week, I resolve to stop whatever we are doing 10 minutes before our time is up, so that the children can put away their materials. Why am I doing this? Actually, I know fully well why I am doing this. Each session with the children is as big a lesson for me as it is for them. I have this feeling that this is God's work for me at this time. This whole process is my refining fire. At the end of this, I will be as strong as steel (well, maybe). Nevertheless, I am a bit rattled by the whole thing.  When I get home, I wolf down a half slice of pumpkin pie and slurp down a cup of coffee (I had skipped lunch). Then I invite the kids to watch an episode of The Middle (our fav show), during which we polish off a bag of Cheetos. Olive and I go to the drive thru and pick up McDonalds for the kids’ dinner (when Ross is out of town, I treat them to one McDonalds dinner). I heat myself up some Thanksgiving leftovers. I drink a can of Panache and have a bit of leche flan. Olive and I share Luke’s leftover cheeseburger, and I pick at the leftover fries until they are all gone. This is very clearly stress eating. I can also feel my back tightening up. Mind you, by this time, it is already about 8 pm, hours after the Unti session. I don’t calm down until I put my headphones on and listen to a Joel Osteen podcast while I do the dishes. This absolutely does the trick! The podcast is entitled “Stay in the Game”, and the message is “I’m hurting, but I’m here”. Very apt for me. I love Joel Osteen. Every time I listen to one of his podcasts (only a handful just yet, as I’ve only recently discovered them), I feel he is talking directly to me. Next week, I’ll put on a podcast right when I get home, and save myself from the decompression bingeing. 

hung-over Advent wreath in a shoebox the morning after

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