The basics

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Tonight is our third and final Back to School night. I have attended coffees and meetings and planning sessions. I’ve met with teachers and mothers and people who want me to sign my name to volunteer lists in blood. I have engaged in more small talk than I can possibly recover from, and I am sick of hearing my own story.

“We moved from Switzerland. No, I don’t speak Swedish. The Swiss speak German. No, I don’t speak that either. We lived here before. We live here again. Yes, I’m glad to be back (mostly a lie). Yes, my kids love school (also a lie). Yes, I too feel like I’m slowly losing my mind, while trying to keep up with their schedules (the absolute truth).”

I hope to someday have a conversation in which I don’t have to simply rattle off the names of my children and their ages. Forget what grade their in, let me tell you how my daughter’s wit reminds me so much of her father I can’t help but smile. How my son’s ability to see past the superficial to the heart of things makes me wish for his insight. How my youngest lights up a room when she walks in. Let me tell you how some days I want to hide from them in my closet, from the incessant bickering and the never-ending requests to go here, buy this, help them with that. How sometimes I feel certain you’re doing this mothering thing better than me. Like when one of my children says incredulously, “You mean Jesus was a real person?” Um, yeah. We told you this approximately 2894 times. When your kid asks you this question, you wonder if there will ever come a time when they will believe it. Word to the wise–this is probably not the time to enter into a discussion about the book of Revelations. I know this from personal experience. Let’s just stick to the basics.

I find myself wanting this more and more these days. A return to the basics. A return to regular home cooked meals, to evenings around the dinner table where no one jumps up to look at a screen of any kind. I want to return to good books and early bed times and knowing that Jesus walked the earth in mud-caked feet. I want a church where I can greet my neighbors, where I can tell someone how things really are, how the kids are crazy and so am I. I want to drive to the shop to buy what I need and not everything the ads tell me I want. I want the clock to tick the hours and for me to feel the passage of time, and I want to learn not to fear it.

Let’s just stick to  the basics. Time together. Real conversation. Good food, solid faith, enough hours in the day to worship, work, and play.


What are some of the basics you’re sticking with or hope to see return?