grace, and peace

August 15, 2015

I will never win Mother of the Year: I generally tell others that my husband is the one with the nurturing tendencies. So it came as a surprise to me more than anyone when tears sprung to my eyes as I beamed with pride. We had walked in, slightly flustered at my worry that we were short on time before the bell, and as we walked up the stairs another teacher looked over at us and exclaimed that my girl looked so smart in her uniform. “I know!,” I said, smiling so big I had trouble enunciating …”doesn’t she?”
The funny thing about this was that her uniform-wearing was a total improv job for us, right before we walked out the door that morning . The truth is that our rush was my own fault-I was the one stressing about my appearance and changing clothes at the last minute, so that I did not notice till the last minute that she was not wearing the uniform I had expected her to be in. Due to some payment confusion, she had spent the first few days of school in regular clothes. While the school had given us permission in this regard, I did feel bad that she was having to stand out among her peers; I’d been excited, then, to borrow a couple shirts the day before. We then discovered that she actually had with her a skirt that looked almost identical to the uniform skirts!
So yesterday morning when I saw she wasn’t wearing our planned uniform, she explained that the skirt had a problem. I asked to see it, while explaining that she still needed to wear the shirt, even if the skirt didn’t work. When I saw the problem, I realized that I could make it work sufficiently enough for the uniform to appear all together; there in the kitchen we did a quick change-and-clothing-hack, and then headed out the door.
It occurs to me that oftentimes my life is like a clothing hack–I end up finding ways to make do, but always have an underlying suspicion that the rest of the world “has it all together ” far better than I do. While I intellectually know this cannot be true, I still persist in living as if I have to maintain appearances of planned-ness, of professionalism, of “normalcy,” and of proper spirituality. Most of the time, the reality is that I tend to figure things out as I go, for better or for worse.

Peace. Our dorm daughter’s name is Peace. And ever since she arrived, I have had Paul’s benediction running through my head. “Grace and peace to you …” Somehow, with my own name (meaning and middle name) being grace, I cannot help but feel there is a significance to the fact that the two female names in our household are meant to be. In some way, we are to live output names. Somehow, we will be the recipients, as a household, of both grace and peace. In spite of mothering inadequacies :-)

*The photo is of said uniform, hanging on the clothesline this afternoon . . . on a clearly sunny day!IMG_2569

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