Saturday, March 21, 2009

Oy! What a day!

Last week I'd made plans with my father to have breakfast on Friday morning.
Dim Sum on the first day of spring with one of my absolute favorite people on this planet. What could be better than that?!

We woke to a heavy snow. Big fat, thick, fluffy flakes. Pancakes of the snow world if you will. It was really beautiful but completely uncalled for on the part of Mother Nature. That gal has a very twisted sense of humor I'll tell you!

I dropped the kids off at school and opted to NOT be lazy today and walk the mile to the PATH train.
I cranked my IPOD wrapped my jean jacket a little tighter around me and set out. I got into a good steady catwalk strut (my dad calls it the fuck you walk) and I walked a mile in under 20 mins.

I've been told that's an average time but it feels good to me and I always feel accomplished when I do it. The snow was beautiful as it danced and flitted around me, I felt warm enough in my sweater and jean jacket (though I would have liked some gloves) and it was a nice walk down Hoboken's main street called Washington Street.

My heart rate was up and I considered it my exercise for the day. Since I was going into the city at rush hour I anticipated being a smooshed marshmallow on the PATH to 9th Street. I timed it right so that I just missed a packed train and was able to snag a seat on a rather empty train that had just pulled in.

When I got off I called my dad to see where he was in his travels from Brooklyn and called my sister to tell her I would be to mom's place in about 5 mins.

I'm on the elevator at mom's and my cel phone rings. I knew. I just knew. Everyone else was accounted for and the only reason my phone would ring at 9:15 in the morning was if the school was calling me.
I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and answered it.
"Diana? It's Angela from Head Start."
"Hi Angela" (In a weary resigned voice)
"PJ is fine but he was running in the hall tripped and hit his head rather hard on a wall."
(Heavy sigh from my end)
"The nurse said he should see a Dr."
"Now? Do I have to come and get him?"
"She said he should go now. Yes, he needs to be picked up"
"Okay, I'm in the city so it's going to take me a little while to get there but I'll be there as soon as I can"
At this point I'm standing in my mother's living room and my sister has caught the tail end of this conversation.
"Oh no" she says.
I tell her what happened and call my dad back.
He said he would be at mom's shortly and we woulc go and get him.
Get big man from school (thankfully the quick ice pack they applied seemed to have worked wonders because the egg I'd heard about was almost non existant and today there isn't even any bruising)

We take him to the Dr. and are surpisingly seen quicker than I think I've ever been seen. Perhaps it's beacuse of the nature of the injury and the recent death of Natasha Richerdson due to head trauma (which I also think played a major factor in them telling me to come and get him and get him to a Dr.) Doc gave him a clean bill of health.

Since my dad had a parking spot we opted to go to the Malibu diner which is right next door.
I got a Belgian Waffle. Not quite the Dim Sum I had dreampt about but hey, it was yummy.

We went to Target to get PJ a belt and I got him a ton of new clothing. Of course he walked out with a new Lego set and I got The Lion a set of Thomas trains.

My dad came and hung out at our place for a little while, I baked cupcakes, he and I were able to have a semi grown up conversation (which if you have children you know it's impossible to do with them around) and he left at 2:20 when we had to go and pick up Lion at school.

The cleaning ladies swooped in at around 5:30 and created order and cleanliness out of the chaos that is my abode. (It's the most awesome thing. They are a pack of 6 or 7 women who come in a divide and conqure my apartment. They get it clean in about half an hour)

All of a sudden it was 6:30 and PT was home.

Sometimes he's the very best ever.
I'd been invited to attend a Bible Study by the mother of one of Patrick's classmates. I adore this woman and truly value her friendship. She is one of my favorite people and I love to be around her.

She had invited me before in a more casual manner and I was polite but did not commit.(I have a bible study group that I'd love for you to come to sort of thing)

She knows I'm not religious, nor am I looking for a God or a home for my spirituality. It's fine with her and she's never one who pushes it or even makes it a central focus of conversation.

When she was here on Monday, she invited me to her monthly Bible Study group on Friday.
She said they get together at around 7:30 have dinner and then around 8:15 start the discussion.

I told her I wasn't against it but had nothing to offer to the group beyond my open mind and my curiosity. I told her the bible as a tool fascinated me because not much else in this world wields the power that religion does.
I thought about it and I decided I was going to go.

I was going to go because I truly enjoy her company and I know that her relationship with God and her faith is something very important to her and who she is. I know that for her to invite me is something special and it's an oportunity that will not come around in my life often. To know that she felt close enough to me and comfortable enough with me to want to share this side of her life with me is flattering to say the least.

I grew up with zero religion. My dad is Jewish and my mother is Protestant (sp) If I had to align myself and say I was anything I would say I was Jewish but it's only because my grandparents and friends from school gave me more religious information about the Jewish faith and observations than any one else did.

I feel like these days I find I'm liking the Buddhist teachings more and more and feel more connected with what that camp or school of thought has to offer me than any other.
Simply because it seems to fall in line naturally with how I've attempted to conduct my life and the way I treat other people.

Being raised by parents who were not at all religious has allowed me some creative freedom and up until VERY recently religion was never something I EVER thought about.

I do however find it odd that when I start researching the Buddhist religion and sort of start to think about it and think about religion and God or the lack there of this invitation falls into my lap.

I was going with an open mind and a genuine curiosity. And Cupcakes.

I think that things present themselves in this world for a reason and perhaps this one has nothing to do with religion at all. It's an invitation that had never been extended or existed in my life before and one I'm not sure I'd be offered again.

I think I was invited for a reason. I don't think it's something as simple as finding religion or learning to love God either. I felt that it almost has nothing at all to do with religion. I felt that I was meant to go but the why isn't clear.
The topic of discussion was "Greatness in the face of challenge" which I figured I could use some coaching on anyway.

I also decided to go out of sheer curiosity. When you say Bible Study Group to me I think my face contorts itself without meaning to and I recoil a little in horror.

I have a negative preconceived notion of what goes on in these groups and it's unfair because I've never seen it or experienced it first hand.
I have a visual of puritanical ladies sitting around talking about being smote and the sins of the world and the evils within us all.

I figured, it might not be my thing and I might walk away feeling exactly the same about religion that I do right now but I'm touched that she's invited me into something so personal and important to her.
If nothing else I will have some good food and adult conversation.

As PJ would say "It's a speriment".

Of course all day yesterday the question what the fuck do I do if I LIKE what I find there? niggled in the back of my brain and I found I was a bit nervous and apprehensive.

I got dressed (nothing fancy but a little nicer than my usual uniform of leggings and a band tee) brushed my hair, grabbed the cupcakes and walked the block to their home.

You will recall that social settings are not my thing. I'm happiest alone and the people that I do chose to surround myself with are of a more funky alternative crowd. The kind who don't blush when you talk about sex, or curse, who have tattoos and have survived a mosh pit.

I knew these folks were NOT going to be of that ilk and that my best June Cleaver behavior was in order.

What I found when I got there was a VERY pleasant surprise. I should have know in hindsight. A warm, welcoming group of creative folks who could not have made me feel more comfortable.

Conversation was easy (we discussed kids, art, theater) and I didn't for one second feel like an outsider.

When the meal was over and the bibles were brought out I felt a moment of panic because I had NO idea what was where or who was what and wasn't sure if I would be able to contribute a single thing to this discussion.

I'm not sure if it was instinct or if she had been filled in prior but the woman I shared a bible with did all the page flipping and guided me to the passages being read so I could read along.

I found that much of what the bible has to say I already apply to my own life but minus God or the players in the Bible.
(God has a plan for all of us. In my life that translates to: Everything happens for a reason and though the reason may not be clear now it will present itself in time. )

It was good company and an interesting evening.
I'm super glad I went.
A good ending to a VERY long day.

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