Forcing the children to wake up at 6:30 three mornings in a row came back to bite me this morning as they all climbed in at 6:25 baying and crying for chocolate milk. Chocolate milk! at 6:30 in the morning? I staggered downstairs and found an entire gallon of said milk in the fridge--I didn't dream and remember about it all night, but the children Did remember that some very lovely people dropped it off yesterday along with a tray of brownies, an enormous box of assorted pudding cups, ham and fruit.
Other things we've eaten this week? (none of it cooked by me)
Enchiladas and rice dripping with cheese and cilantro and tomato followed by cinnamon toasted tortilla points and ice cream.
Peanut chicken and rice with a gorgeous fresh salad and Three Different Colors of Grapes
Stromboli. Did you know that amongst the members of Good Shepherd there dwells someone who has devoted herself to the perfection of Stromboli? As far as I can tell she has achieved such perfection, even in this life. Had to force myself to stop eating, standing in the kitchen, alone, late last night, just one more bite...
Have been trying to describe to myself what sort of blessing these meals have been. The whole week has been like a smooth capacious path free of stones and trouble. Standing in front of the week on Monday it seemed, frankly, like night time driving with rain--treacherous, and on the whole, a Bad Idea. But God, as usual, is the God who sweeps away the stone and provides meals for the worn out and people to sit in waiting rooms while your beloved is sliced open, prepared and ready to text and call you to let you know what is happening moment by moment, people who write down the exact minute he goes in and comes out, people who drop off dinner, others who bring it, set it up, help you eat it and then clean it up for you, and over all, people who pray and pray when you yourself forget this most basic act of spiritual breath.
So how did the week unfold?
Well, on Monday, a vague rattle in our newly repaired car became most pronounced and joined itself to a bad smell and a drift of smoke proceeding forth from under the hood. Of course Monday was labor day, so all we could do was leave frantic messages with the mechanic who had recently received what felt like the entire contents of our pockets. I spent the rest of the day sleeping on the couch and making up hysterical Facebook updates that I never bothered to post.
Tuesday I carefully and gingerly drove the car to the shop after dumping as much anti freeze into what, I presume, is the 'anti freeze receptacle' as it would hold. 'That looks good,' said Matt who would be sitting comfortably at home while I went out in danger. The shop kindly gave me a loan car free of charge that wouldn't fit all the children. I raced home, gathered the girls, flung myself to school to finish setting up and meet more students and then flung myself back home to feed the children Top Robin (I know! I know that's not what its called) and wipe the grime off them in preparation for the first day of Soli Deo Gloria Classical Co-op. Collapsed into bed at 9pm and fell asleep reading Enchanted April.
Wednesday my eyes flew open at 4am and so was able to lie there and freak out for an hour and a half before it was actually time to get up. As well as getting ready for class, I helped Matt cope with the fact that he was supposed to not have coffee, nor water, nor anything at all until after his surgery. Left the three little ones home with their favorite person as they didn't fit into the car. Spent an excellent morning at school where we all learned to sit up straight (Stack Your Blocks) rise when called upon to speak, address each other formally and politely, and not waste a minute of the precious morning. In nervous anxiety entirely forgot the beautiful and moving speech I had prepared to give my writing and literature class. Gathered Elphine and Aloucious and ran for the door exactly at 12:05. Drove carefully but swiftly home, shoved them in the house and ran back to the hospital and up to a "room", arriving exactly 4 1/2 minutes before a groggy and smiling Matt. As he continued to regain his senses, he popped open his phone, checked his email and then called the car shop and was told that the car would be Fixed For Free!!!! as it was their fault, and that we could pick it up tomorrow. So amazed and grateful. Also discovered that Matt had read the bit in Ezekiel about how Ezekiel's wife was going to die right before going into surgery. Rejoiced that the text was in no way prophetic and we had both survived the morning. Further discovered that I had neglected to eat since the night before and that it is impossible to buy food at General Hospital. Went out of the hospital and bought a large sandwich to share with starving Matt. Finally discharged to go home. Found children happy and well and sat around in a stupor until wonderful friends brought dinner and shared it.
Thursday, agonizingly left Matt on the couch in pain and exhaustion and prayed that he would get some rest while we went back to school, taking a few more children. Picked up the car on the way home and thanked them So Much for their honesty and grace in fixing it for free. Drove home for the first time hearing No vague rattles of any kind at all. Did vast amounts of laundry, lectured Matt about his pain level and how he should call the doctor, and got the children into their beds for a rest. Neglected such a rest myself in preparing for day three of school. Enjoyed a delicious and early supper of rice and peanut chicken, forced Matt to take some excellent medical advice and change medication and went to bed at 7:30.
By Friday had become SO organized and clever that I woke up to find I had laid all the breakfast things out already. Stood around in a fog watching the children get dressed, clean up and eat their breakfast. Arrived EARLY at school for another profitable and excellent morning.
So you see, we more than survived what promised to be a trial. In a few moments I'm going to potter next door to church and fuss with Sunday School stuff as Mission Sunday is tomorrow. And there's lots of other stuff to do, amongst them being a nap, and some meditation on the goodness of God and the strength of his Body.