Monday, January 30, 2012

What you learn in half a lifetime

Monica, our 7th baby will soon be 9 months old. And I haven't blogged in nearly half her lifetime.  I could get down on myself for that but I don't. Our family life is busy... Four now in school, one in preschool, one (please Lord) on his way out of diapers and our little blue eyed speed crawler.  I once posted an entry with 9 reasons (excuses) for not having blogged in over 2 months.  If only I could have gotten to the keyboard in so little time this go around. 

I've come to appreciate a little bit of wisdom from John Hughes, director of so many of the angst filled films of my youth.  In the words of Ferris Bueller (now part of American folklore, but when I first heard them part of a Saturday movie outing with a pack of my 15 year old friends....) life moves pretty fast. If only Ferris knew how fast - in that I'm blogging while on an Amtrak train from Washington DC back home after a one day business trip. I literally needed a 3 hour train ride to be able to type these lines - which while not revelation with a capital R, have been a revelation to me in these months.

 Life moving pretty fast comes much more clearly to me as I watch my children grow.  In the months (short though they may be) since I've last blogged, Monica has 1) started solid foods and now enjoys the heck out of a pizza crust, inspite of having not a single tooth, 2) rolled over, 3) learned to laugh, 4) experienced her first Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, 5) begun to crawl , 6) mastered sitting up and most recently 7) pull herself up in the crib to greet me each morning.  In four months.  Not a bad learning curve.

She's not the only one learning and changing.  We have two aspiring cursive writers, one spelling bee competitor, two sound blending pre readers and a singer of all things Thomas the Train and Little Einsteins.  And two parents trying to keep up with it all.  The learning  is never static. (The clothes from the dryer may be!)  

And so you might say, what am I learning and am I changing... well in the half a lifetime since I was 20, I've learned lots.  But nothing so fast as what I've learned in marriage and parenting (albeit only for 8 years). I've learned that what the psalmist says "our life is over like a sigh, our span is seventy years or eighty for those who are strong" is true.  And that in a way, Ferris is right on target.  Stopping to look around is important.  With the busyness of our house and family, it is easy live life like Bill Murray in the classic movie Groundhogs Day. Instead of teenage angst I get forty year old parent angst sometimes. Every day the same routine and all bent on achieving external success or some exterior measure of happiness.  Says who?

Reflecting on how much my little one has learned in these few months reminds me that God doesn't want me to  lose sight of what is most important. God doesn't want me to have angst.  I'm learning it is most important to look to the right place for wisdom, the Church. And most of all, when I have that little "r" revelation about what the big "R" counterpart can offer me, I receive peace and patience as gifts.  How's that for a good lesson to learn? And the more I accept this learning, the more God can change me.