The household has been bustling over these last months in hurried speed. Hanging on to Summer’s end, I took a couple of outings with my teens, including enjoying a show at Chanhassen Dinner Theater and hitting up the State Fair. The younger kids had an afternoon at Hemker Zoo with my husband, and we all did a family day Sunday to Inspiration Peak.
September launched us back to schoolwork. A couple of field trips with our homeschool co-op group. My youngest turned three and oldest turned sixteen. And, because my teens are currently in a season of being theatre junkies, “mom’s taxi service” took on evening rehearsals. Fall entered the scene and decided to disturb the ordinary with a wet, rainy plot twist, rather than blissful, warm daylight hours. It felt like a week without sunlight, but plenty of rain, was going to last nearly forever and keep us away from our beloved outdoors indefinitely!
All of those full calendar pages and weeks in my planner that fly by with flip after flip of the pages, and cold, rainy days could easily get me down on what is lost—summer and a long, beautiful Fall. I could dwell on the years that are gone and the moments that passed too soon. As I’ve been reminded many times recently when people look at my children in wonder or express the popular “You must be busy!”, time marches on with life’s ebbs and flows. Am I losing something in the meantime? Am I cultivating relationships and growing children who will be able to withstand life outside our domestic church?
I’m so glad that I take imperfect selfies, impromptu precious, as well as awkward, photos, as often as I do. If I didn’t, I think I’d forget about that season when the toddler stuck his tongue out during every photo, or the afternoon we made a quick drive to attend the St. Padre Pio relic tour at the cathedral. When I look back at the photos from the month as I upload them on my computer, the ordinary is fondly recalled. At our home we often can be heard saying, tongue-in-cheek, as if it had been a long time past, “remember that time we….?” about something that happened only the other day, last week or at some point in the very recent past, but already feels like a distant memory. The point is, while in this stretch of mothering through an active season of family life, the seemingly little things or smallest of moments tend to get lost in the pages of the bigger memory book. That’s so unfortunate because if I really think of it, the small nuggets of everyday life could be as fondly recalled as the bigger celebratory times.
I guess I’m an “ordinary time” kind of gal. I used to joke when I worked for a parish that I liked the church’s ordinary time the most, because it was less busy. Less altar cloth changing and planning ahead for those intricate details of upcoming feast days. There are special days that still fill these ordinary times that help to build up and anticipate the momentous ones too. That week of gray, gloomy weather reminded me that my body needs the warmth of the sun and the sight of the splendor of fall colors. When the sun shone again, my heart lifted, and my soul found new refreshment. The same happens when we step out of ordinary time to the next liturgical season, where our hearts will swell and await another big, amazing happening in our Church life. We don’t wish away the ordinary for the extraordinary, but instead take in the journey one step at a time, careful not to wish or rush away the present.
What ordinary things and limited moments are you taking the time to enjoy during this season? Who can you share them with and what unique memories can you make during these ordinary times?