The weekend of December 8-9 had been pretty busy for my household: a cookie-exchange party, my husband’s office party, joining our new church, and I went to a Christmas concert Sunday evening. That’s a lot of anchor events. It was also the weekend we were all in the process of getting sick with the stomach bug, so we ended it a bit wiped out.
This past weekend was different. There were more have-to-dos, like getting my car’s oil changed and figuring out how to deal with the mouse we suspect has taken refuge in our basement. I am in crunch mode on a few projects and spent some more time working: a few hours Sunday, plus writing a short piece for USA Today related to the utterly awful events at Sandy Hook Elementary. This Christmas, those families will be burying their children rather than opening presents with them. It is hard to think about, though we should think about it. And also think of the ongoing tragedy around the world of child mortality — of societies where it is the normal experience for parents to lose a child for preventable reasons.
I spent some quality time with my own kids this slower and somber weekend. My baby daughter and I went to breakfast at Dunkin‘ Donuts together; the staff gave her free donut holes, which she adored. We went shopping at REI while the boys got their hair cut. We went for a walk today to go see some horses (“neighs”). My husband and I took advantage of the slightly warm-ish weather to sit on the back porch together after the kids went to sleep Saturday night. Sunday morning, I went to church and heard the new minister who was preaching her (yes, her) trial sermon. In the Presbyterian church, a pastoral search committee nominates a pastor and then, after this person preaches at a service, the whole church votes. Rev. Norfleet has a slight southern lilt and a big presence. She’d no doubt written her first sermon for us weeks ago, but in light of the events Friday she had quickly updated it and it still made sense — a theme of peripheral characters in the Christmas story made deeper with references to “Herod’s evils.” I’m looking forward to listening to her over the next few years.
How did you spend this weekend?