16 January 2009

7 Quick Takes

I know, the blogging has been sparse. But, I'm back to try again 7 Quick Takes from Jen at Conversion Diary. Because Annika's naps are reeeeeeally short.

In an update to my previous post, after feeling bad all day that I had no decent warm clothes for Katrina in single-digit temperatures, I asked her that night if she was cold during recess. (What? Keep kids inside on a sunny, but freezing cold day? Only an American school would do that. The Brits and the Germans? "Fresh air is good for you!")

"Were you warm enough when you went outside at lunchtime?"

"Mama," in an injured tone, "I was soooo hot and they wouldn't let me take off my coat!"

"Honey, it was very cold today--only about 15 degrees at lunchtime. Of course they didn't let you take your coat off."

"But, MAma, the sun was out!"

Toys are taking over our house. I've been packing up some of Katrina's toys that she no longer uses or which are too young for her. I have to do this without her, because she will insist that she wants to keep toys that she has not touched in a year.

Perhaps it was not the right time to read her Racketty-Packetty House--about an old, neglected dollhouse and dolls supplanted by the brand-new but soulless Tidy Castle. But it was a fun book for both of us.

I recently read Robert Benson's In Constant Prayer and it convinced me to once again try to pray the daily offices. I met Robert Benson at a writer's conference many years ago, and he impressed me with his kindness and his ability to be straight-forward, humble, and poetic all at the same time. If you are at all interested in spiritual memoir, go hunt down his first book, Between the Dreaming and the Coming True, about his struggle with depression. All of his books are beautifully written, but that one is my favorite.

Oh, and as always, something about Benson's writerly voice and dry humor reminds me of my cousin Dave. Which amuses me because their worldviews couldn't be more different. But I bet they would appreciate each other's work (and humor).

In addition to praying the daily offices (I'm using Phyllis Tickle's The Divine Hours), my other New Year's resolutions are to get back to exercising regularly and to write regularly. Today is the second day I exercised, and I'm feeling it.

Annika is teething, we think. She is not happy. She is especially not happy if I put her down. At all. From about noon on. So, I did push-ups and chest presses and what-not this morning during her nap (using an exercise DVD), and I spent the rest of the day carrying the baby around. Oh, and her crying has turned to screeching. Actually, most of her vocalizations get up into screeching range. She squeals for joy and she squeals in frustration and she squeals when she's hungry and...what's that? oh, just my eardrums vibrating.

Katrina is in football (soccer) club at school. Last week, I arrived just in time to see her beaned on the side of the face by the ball. She cried, of course, and sat on the bench and held her cold water bottle against her face. I was so proud when she decided to get back in the game after about 10 minutes. Within two minutes, she got hit in the head again.

And yet she went back to football club today. Good for her! And no injuries today, thank goodness.

Did I mention that Annika is teething? She did not go to sleep easily tonight, but worked herself up to crying/screaming pretty hard. I calmed her down, finally, and she started to relax in my arms and suck on the bottle. I sang a bit to get her to sleep. Her eyelids fluttered shut, and I started to relax for the first time in hours. And it appeared in my mind, a song I haven't thought of for years, "Sweet Little Jesus Boy." I couldn't remember all the words, so I hummed it to a just-barely-sleeping Annika. In my mind's eye I could see Joe Graves singing it in the church of my childhood, his gravelly voice catching on the minor notes. I searched through YouTube trying to find a similar version. The closest to the arrangement that Joe sang is the version below, sung by Andy Williams, of all people. Joe is long gone, but to me, the song will always be his, sung in a hushed, darkened church, with a spare piano accompaniment, his voice needing only a few running notes before it soared away.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Over the holidays, I heard "Amen" and also think of that as Joe's song. I probably looked like a crazy person in the car, singing away and clapping (I was only going about 10 mph, so didn't really need to steer).