Mother’s Day

I knew the next day was going to be a doozy when Hayden woke me at midnight, fresh from the latest fab Bar Mitzvah to tell me, “Don’t forget to sleep in tomorrow — it’s Mother’s Day!”

I woke at 6:30 like usual to make myself some coffee and write in my journal. Nice. I then returned to bed to wait for three and a half hours for my breakfast in bed. Chris had to run to the store for bagels. I was getting crabby.

When it finally arrived, the breakfast was a bust, because the kids tussled on my lap and on top of the bagels and lox, sending the cream cheese flying all over my dresser and rug.

I couldn’t have eaten much any way because Charlotte was forcing a manicure on me. Catherine replenished my lukewarm coffee. She did affix a Post-It to the mug with the handwritten words, “Best Mom EVER!”

I did not want another fight so I told the kids, “You don’t have to come to church. But I’m going.” I set out alone, which is actually a decent way to spend Mother’s Day. When I got to the back of the sanctuary though I missed the family, so I called and whispered, “Please come to church. Your friends are here.” And they did.

The sermon was about seeing the Bible as poetry and not as a textbook. The day was getting better. I called my Mom. I read the Times. I checked Facebook. I did laundry.

I was thinking about being alone as I made Mother’s Day dinner — pasta primavera and toasted bagels. I told the kids, “I may be cooking, but you’re cleaning up.” They did. They did it badly, but they did it.

As a present to myself that night, I made my reservations to join my book club weekend in San Francisco next month. Every Mom deserves a break, not just that one Sunday in May. And while I do love my kids snuggling me in bed, I also love my aloneness and my friends.

I wrote this during Donna Schaper’s lunch time class offered today at Global Ministries. It was about finding Sabbath at work. I had been to another class of hers on Sacred Chow a couple of months ago http://gettingmyessayspublished.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/sacred-chow/


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Sacred Chow

At lunch time, the author and pastor Donna Schaper spoke about creating community and communion through food. She was awesome.

The discussion reminded me of last summer when I taught the the adult spiritual study, “Food & Faith” in the schools of mission at Western Connecticut State University and at Dillard University in New Orleans. I loved hearing people’s rich stories of food memories.

One older woman remembered being on the farm, sitting at a picnic table with relatives of many ages after a barn raising. Food was definitely both a fueling and a feasting. Donna wrote about this kind of communion in her book, “Sacred Chow.”

Food has the capacity to bring us together. But there is also, as Donna mentioned, a divisiveness or a righteousness when we discuss food. We’re right about the way we eat and others aren’t.

There are small, good, spiritual things we can do with food, including writing about food, teaching about food and faith, saying grace, opting out of corporate food manufacturers’ offerings, choosing farmstand foods. We can also remember our childhood dinner tables.

When I was a kid, we took the phone off the hook. All seven of us ate dinner together in the dining room every night. We argued, we discussed the day, we ate. I’m going home to get that party started right now.

Donna Schaper spoke as part of Raising Women’s Voices, workshops on women and health offered by the Interchurch Center. Interesting that the event came on the heels of the healthcare legislation.

Schools of Christian Mission are dynamic adult learning opportunities offered in thousands of venues usually in the summer for United Methodist Women and their friends.