Tuesday, January 13, 2009

the calling isn't likable

I grew up with "the calling" as a thing as real as our family's couch. If you are a PK (um, preachers kid....duh) then you get it.

"The Calling" is something you get, like a memo from God. "Hi. I'd like to you be a preacher." If you ignore the call, you will always feel as if one of your legs is shorter than the other. Your digestion will never be quite right. You will carry a black hole around that sucks the life out of everything else you try.

Yes. I get called crazy.

But I'm OK with that now.

It has recently come to my attention that Preachin' ain't the only thing you can get called to do.

For example, I would make a great plastic surgeon. What with the steady hands and ability to create a perfect butterfly steak, and the urge to create images of people in different stages of agedness. But I pass out cold when presented with blood and guts. I think in order to get past all the scary stuff about that job, you have to be put on earth to do it. That'd be the calling. Nurses, Kindergarten Teachers, Farmers, Prision Guards, and anyone who finds themselves learning Greek in seminary are undoubtedly called to their profession. Why else would they volunteer to spend their best years doing what they do?

Here's the thing about being called to do something. Sometimes the calling isn't likable.

This is especially evident to me this morning. I got a rather crappy, snippy, poorly written (OK, I could barely figure it out) email from my dear sweet son who lives in the far north. He begged me to sell his guitar, which I paid a lot of money for two Christmas's ago. I resisted. Then, I sold it. I got about a third of what I paid for it. When he was here over Christmas break, he didn't notice it was missing. In fact, it wasn't until this past weekend that he finally noticed. He asked Highlander about it, but still didn't say anything to me. And then we got busy with the weekend and I forgot.

Today I got an email from him saying he didn't think it was "Right" that I sold HIS guitar and he wants the money. Or a NEW one.

Today, I do not like the calling. Today, I'd rather work in a gas station than have to deal with this kid's amnesia and adolescent attitude.

So....what to do? Well, I'm going to make two lunches, put Tori on the bus at 10:00 (two hour late start), take Zoe to school, fold three loads of laundry, start the sauce for supper, mop the kitchen floor, change the sheets on the beds, finish off the pot of coffee I started an hour ago, take the dog for a walk around the block, pack away the rest of the Christmas decorations, take a quick shower and eat some lunch, pick up Zoe, finish cleaning the house, deal with some household paperwork, and not think about the snotty teenager.

Because when his mood swings the other way, he'll be my sweet, loving, caring boy and this job will go back to feeling like exactly the thing I'm supposed to be doing right now.

I know. Not funny. Not yummy.

The next time you see a woman pushing a stroller in the mall at 2pm on a Tuesday, don't assume she's shopping. She's got cabin fever and would really like a reason to put on real pants and mascara. The woman in the park left behind a messy house and doesn't want to face supper, so she deposited her kids on the playground for fifteen minutes (that's their attention span) so she can SIT DOWN somewhere.

Being a stay at home mom isn't often the lovelist job. The pay sucks. The world we live in kinda looks down its nose at stay at home moms. But the alternative, for those of us who are called to raise the kids we had in a hands on manner, is unbearable. Do you hear me? Unbearable. I'll go get that glorious job selling something, or making something, or buying something, when my kids have been raised in the manner that they deserve. I promise to drive an important looking car and wear high heels for the last thirty years of my life. I will eat in restaurants and entertain clients when my kids no longer feel the need to inform me every time they need to go to the potty. Until then, I remain boring, underpaid, underdressed, and sans mascara.