when it's time to regroup

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

This perfect photo taken by Jesse

There was an incident at church on Sunday.

One of my sons hit his brother, his brother kicked in retaliation.  Their teacher sent for me, and I found them both cross-legged, staring at a wall, crying.  Their teacher, a soft-spoken mother of four herself, smiled an apology over their heads.  I shrugged a response, and left them in time-out.

A minute later I went back into the room and motioned for them.  Both boys stood up and took my hands.  Nobody spoke until we were out in the breezeway.

"He did it! He hit me!" the younger boy said.

"Because you drew the lines all wrong! It's not supposed to look like that!"

"Boys," I said deliberately.  "You hurt one another, and you had your consequence with your teacher.  Now it is over.  Take a minute and get yourself together.  Then we are going back into worship together."

"I can't!" the older boy said.  "Everybody will know I cried.  I'll be embarrassed."

"Once you calm down they'll never know."

We stayed outside another minute, then walked back in to the church.  I opened the door to the sanctuary just as the the priest began the Eucharist.  "The Lord be with you."

"And also with you," I replied.

* * * *

Learning to regroup.  It's a lifelong lesson.

I thought about yesterday's incident this morning as I sat in the coffee shop, staring at a blank screen.  All weekend I flew solo while my husband was out of town, and I was on my game.  I cleaned the house, we had a homemade dinner Sunday night, and I was prepped for school this week.  But now that I finally had a few minutes alone, I had zero creative energy.  It was totally gone.  I had nothing left to give.

I snapped the screen shut and left forty minutes early.

Back home, my toddler whined for a drink.  The boys talked over me and each other, trailing in and out of the room.  I wanted to talk to my husband in the last few minutes before he left for work, but it just wasn't working.  

I was out of my groove, and I didn't want to do my life today.  It was time to regroup.

Time to get outside.

As soon as the baby woke up, we went for a bike ride.  With the little ones in the carrier and the big kids on their bikes, the negative energy diffused.  I noticed the hint of coolness in the morning air, a promise that fall is almost here.  The rhythm of pedaling, the deep greens of late summer.  The way children thrill in the tiniest things, like riding over a bridge or through a pedestrian tunnel.  We stopped at a park, and as I watched the boys play with their sister I remembered why I chose to homeschool.  I thought about how failures and successes are all temporary.  I couldn't write today, but tomorrow, I will.   The house is clean today, it will be dirty tomorrow. 

But time outside, with people I love, cannot be replaced.  The value of time never diminishes.

When things don't go the way you expected, how do you regroup?

1 comment:

  1. I needed this today. I'm needing to regroup. David and I are regrouping with Doctor Who. I need some outside time though.



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