Atom Site Feed

Friday, October 07, 2005


This morning Luke got up around 6:30 and begged to watch a video before his sister awoke even though we have a no-TV-on-school-mornings rule. I told him to wait until tomorrow (Saturday), which was like telling him to wait till the cows come home—tomorrow seems that remote to him. Yesterday was even worse. He was told he’d have to wait over a week for a playdate with a favorite friend, and he sobbed in despair: over a week.

I understand; waiting is hard. It’s the spiritual practice life keeps giving me, though, so I guess I have more to learn from it.

I’ve almost forgotten that I’m trying to sell my book—almost. The other day, tucked in a tiny pocket of my wallet, I found a cookie fortune that said, “When winter comes heaven will rain success on you.” Winter’s not that far off, I thought. Does this refer to a book sale? I have no idea how long I’ve had this fortune in my wallet, several winters maybe. Still, it’s a scrap of hope. Winter.

But winter is also cold season, and it seems unlikely my mother will live through another winter. She herself is tired of waiting to die, as she tells me and the hospice nurse. My waiting is not that difficult in comparison to hers. Still, I’m waiting to see what will happen with my mom, to see if she will need a lot more care, to see what will be needed of me. It makes planning hard, which is one of the things I don’t like about waiting.

Sometimes it’s hard to know when to wait passively—without doing anything, the way Luke must wait for Saturday morning—and when to wait actively. Should I be revising my book proposal? Working on publicity? Getting ahead on my class planning so I’ll have less work in a month should my mother need me more then?

One of the reasons I like taking my children to the community garden is that I want them to learn the rhythms of nature: plant a seed, wait, water, wait, weed, wait. It’s the same reason I believe in baking cookies with kids. It’s not that home-baked cookies should be some symbol of superior mothering, as they became during the Clinton years. I don’t care so much if my children eat home-baked cookies, but I do care that they make home-baked cookies. I want them to learn that the best things in life don’t come ready-made in a box. During the twenty-two minutes the cookies are in the oven, something essential is happening, a process that can’t be rushed by raising the temperature without the risk of ruining the whole endeavor.

I need to keep remembering this myself. I sense there is something cooking within me, and I’m impatient to open the oven door and peek into the future. Unfortunately, there is no oven timer counting down for me how many minutes more I have to wait.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Who Links Here