This whole last two weeks has been a whirlwind of finishing school (3 out of 5 As so far!), and Emma being away. This week, I took the 3 other kids to PA to the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and the People's Choice Festival and we visited with my mom and dad, and my ex-FIL and friends.
One spiritual awakening moment was when I was frustrated with Soren and a woman walked by and told me it wouldn't matter in 10 years. My first internal reaction was ... not very spiritual :) but as the day went out, it was a WWJD moment. I mean, she was right - in 10 years, it won't matter. In 10 minutes it didn't matter. And it was good to be able to HEAR that and not want her to just STFU ;).
We had a wonderful, wonderful, incredible visit with my dad, who lives in a locked ward of a nursing home and suffers from dementia. We visited out in the garden area which gave us privacy and the kids room to run, and I got him talking about his family and childhood, which really gave him focus. It was the best visit we've had in years. We also took him out to brunch the day we left and it was challenging being on my own with him and he 3 youngest kids, but it was so amazing to watch Jude with him. My 3 yo son moved his booster seat right up against "papa george" and sat next to him and loved him up the whole time. He adores my dad so much.
I went to a Wellspring orientation today, and one of the facilitators was talking about how one of the outcomes of being involved was that caring for her parents has become one of her daily spiritual practices and how it has gone from being one more thing she checks off her list of things to do, to being some larger, spiritual experience. I totally got that after this brunch and this wonderful visit - it was worth every second to see Jude soaking up his Papa, and the joy on his face when we arrived, and watching him run up the sidewalk to the front doors of the nursing home.
So to skip around a bit, I went to that Wellspring orientation today, and am going to attend for 10 months starting in September. I can NOT wait. I am so enthusiastic and anxious to experience this group and everything it will bring me. It really seems like pre-seminary and such a wonderful gift. I met our new ministerial intern, Erin, today. She approached me, because I was reading a book on polity governance from our UU library and lo! she thought that was an interesting reading choice, given that she just took a class on it. We really seemed to click right away and I am anxious to talk to her more. She is attending Meadville Lombard and loves the professors and the academic integrity of the school. I wish I could do the residential program more and more.
So let's see...I got to spend time with my friends Erica and Keith, who are getting married in September. That was awesome; they are both so thoughtful and intentional people, while I am more spontaneous. I am awed by their preparations for marriage and their love for each other. It is such a gift to have them in our lives!
The kids and I went to the local Arts Festivals and it was wonderful - Soren got to look at so much art and to take as much time as she wanted. She took many mental notes for ideas for projects and interests. It was so wonderful to experience that with my budding artist. Jude also had many interests and enjoyed much of the photography and painting. It is hard for a 3 year old to look with the eyes and not the hands, but he did an admirable job overall.
I got back on Saturday and Tom and I have really been enjoying reconnecting. It was a good break and we missed each other and have more appreciation for each other I think. We have also been talking about giving up our dog, because he has some issues that we are unprepared to deal with. Neither of us has ever given up a pet for behavioral issues, but we are worried and confused by some of his aggression and not sure that it will improve with more time investment, so we're thinking of trying to rehome him, and find a dog more suited to our needs. It's been a painful process.
Lots of deep thinking going on this week, and so much gratitude. Not least of all that my oldest, Emma, is home from 2 weeks of camp. I missed her but it was bearable this year, which is good, because she asked to go for a month next year :-O.