Another 7 am Sunday. Sleeping in on the weekend? What’s that?
It was a beautiful morning of worship, though. Jane and I sang, I played precarious keys, Ben strummed his guitar. (And Ryan on the lil box thing that sounds like a drum! What is it called hm.) Simple on simple. We had practiced remembering “not to try to be like the recording” but do our own thing, cause we just didn’t have enough man (and instrument) power.
Keys were precarious cause the sustain pedal kept going in and out — coughing like a sick man on his home stretch heavenward — and I was sweating like no other. Like, literal, stress-induced pit stains were real in my life. In and out. In and out. Precarious, precarious.
The whole ordeal made me contemplate for a hot second how interesting it was that the piano sound is so dependent on the sustain pedal — at least for the kind of churchy or classical music that I’ve always played. Take that away and you might as well take the piano out of your band equation. But then the hot second ended cause of the stark possibility of having to hold onto the keys with my physical hands in lieu of a working pedal for the whole set.
But, as always (so far), we figured out some magic jiggle that made it work, and we sang hallelujah.
I messed up a lot. At one point, I even noticed one person in the congregation actually do an inward eye twitch because I had played the wrong chord (!) and their ear had picked up on the dissonance. Heh.
But, I couldn’t help leaving church, walking out into the sunny afternoon feeling so lucky for the opportunity to use my music-making in the leading of God’s people into worship. And just how enjoyable and wonderful music itself is. And how thankful I was. For all of it.
We had lunch with the H8s, who came with easy conversations and an appreciation for soondubu that made me smile. And renewed promises for a baklava date sometime soon.
After lunch, we visited the Aldi that’s opened up nearby. Procured cheap European chocolate and unexpected thoughts about parenthood alongside.
There was a haggard mom in the line ahead of us, three haggard little girls in three different stages of foot-dragging in tow, as the mama waited her turn to pay for her quick groceries. I’m pretty sure one of the girls was shoeless. They had entered around the same time as we did, made the same sort of short little route that we did, stood in the same line, left just before we did.
But all of it, with so much grief. The youngest, falling apart at the prospect of leaving the store without any cookies, making a casualty of her oldest sister who got kicked in the face during the shoeless one’s epic struggle against capture by her tired mama. And the middle sister who wasn’t technically doing anything wrong but also couldn’t wait to tattle on EVERYONE. The mom just wanted to buy some fruit that everyone could agree on.
And she just looked so tired. Screaming, too-large-to-be-held child in her arms, with under-eye bags that looked even heavier than the ones hanging from her arms full of apples. The saddest part of this whole saga was the very end, when the mom finally cracked and bought two cans of gum — the pressure of the snack desire had been too much to bear. She had tried her best, though. You could tell.
As I walked out of the store with my chocolate cookies and bag of Aldi gummies, I was feeling very grown up and very tired at the prospect of having kids of my own someday. I already felt the bags under my eyes and that -_____- face I would be making at the tantrums, so unacceptable, so inevitable. I had wanted to throw up my own arms and cry for that mom — how much more overwhelming would my own children be? Cause those, I can’t leave behind as memories at a chaotic Sunday Aldi.
Mark tried to make me feel better with some words about some stuff, but I literally cannot remember any of the content of his reassurances because all I can recall is the overwhelming dread and sympathy-fatigue.
We got home and he worked on his data project, which has been an interesting little journey. We’re learning a lot about each other through this ordeal — stuff that personality tests ask you about but that you probably don’t answer accurately because these things are actually pretty difficult to know about yourself, or because you’re not really being honest.
Differences in attitude toward deadlines (absolute for me; relative for him), ideas of work-life balance (workward for me; half and half for him), time management (“focus and get it done, no matter what”; “maybe I’ll work on it a little bit this afternoon”)
I’ve been nagging him with a vengeance over all these differences — I’m sort of worried that he’s never going to finish… Or that he’ll finish so late that they will tell him it’s TOO LATE. And it will be really tragic.
And he truly disagrees with me. He doesn’t think the deadline is absolute; says that this is asking a lot of someone they haven’t even hired yet, so they should be more gracious than I’m expecting them to be.
But he’s so sweet. He listened to me carefully yet again, and said “Thank you for sharing.”
And honestly, that really is all I can ask for, at these places where we will have to agree to disagree. At these same junctions that we’ll come to in the future, many times, I’m sure.
Sigh. But I’m still worried and slightly afraid that this is going to end with an “I told you so” kind of lesson. I haven’t evolved quick enough for this, either.