Monday, August 25, 2014


Isaac burned his tongue on his macaroni and cheese tonight at dinner (yes, we eat in style), got angry, and impatiently said, “Cool this off! Give me the salt and pepper!” After a quick little lesson in manners, he was on his way to cooling off his mac n cheese with the salt and pepper. Because, you know, it takes a good 3-4 minutes for a 4-year-old to carefully tip the salt shaker, watch each grain of salt hit the orange cheesy goodness, and repeat. And then the pepper grinder, well, that thing just needs to be taken apart, its inner workings examined and explained, and then working knowledge applied liberally until the kiddie food is too spicy for an adult to eat. By the time the process is done, the mac n cheese is plenty cool.

Eden is (maybe, sort of) excited about starting homeschooling this week, but only because she thinks that it is going to be wildly fun. I think her expectations are somewhere between bounce house and waterpark slide, and I’m not sure how to put her feet back on the ground gently. She asked to do math the other day, and I gave her a bunch of suggestions…she could do a lesson from the curriculum we used to finish up Kindergarten, or play with the linking cubes, or the geoboard, or the attribute cards, or hey, we could even play Monopoly and work on money counting skills. She replied, “No, I want to do, like, fun first grade stuff.” She also told our pediatrician last week that the thing she’s most excited about learning in homeschool this year is how to ride her bike without training wheels. It appears that in my attempts to make homeschooling appealing and fun, I may have inadvertently left out a few details.

I start back to work this week, beginning the jarring jumping between the world of teaching my children how to be kind and decent human beings and teaching other people’s newly grown up children how to think critically about their world and put together a few logical thoughts into a compelling written argument. I love it and I don’t know why I do it, all in the same week. I get to put on real clothes, listen to NPR in the car, have colleagues and an office (shared with 3-12 other adjuncts). I’m not quite gone enough for my kids to ever get used to it, so there are still often tears and leg hanging on and whispers of “I don’t like it when you go to work” at bedtime. I feel pulled and torn and I need to teach and to write but oh, the effects.

There is never a settledness and there is always a better option and there is never quite enough…of me, of time, of energy, of fulfillment, of foreknowledge and security and peace.

And this is all there is, and this is the good stuff, and this is enough. Enough. I had it etched into my body in the hope that it would seep into my heart and my soul…I am enough. We are enough. You are enough. This moment of my life, with the too hot food and the too high expectations and the too strong pulls in opposite directions…this moment is enough. Buried within it is the epic nature of the ordinary, the sacredness of the mundane, the soul-stretching draw to the divine. It. Is. Enough.


Jessica Swiger said...

This is such a good read for my heart today. Thanks for being willing to write and let us read!

Jamie said...

Thanks for your encouraging words, Jessica!