Waiting Up

My husband works second shift at work, which is nice,  because we get to spend the mornings together when he first wakes up and before a long day at work tires him.

When our son was young and throughout our years of homeschooling, I’d get up early  and go to bed early. I had to have a clear head to teach school all morning and the energy to care for an energetic little boy. Most of the time I was too tired by night-time to stay up to welcome EJ home. However, now that JJ has graduated from high school, I have been trying to wait up for EJ to get home. We talk a little and then I go to bed.

JJ started his first job at McDonald’s in May. McDonald’s is a good first job, and he’s doing well at it. He’s working hard, cheerfully, and with integrity. I am proud of him. JJ’s hours are constantly changing. Tonight he was supposed to work a four-hour shift and get out at 8 p.m., but he texted me that they asked him to close the store, so he’d be working until at least midnight, although it could be longer. Apparently, closers have to stay until the job is done.

I waited up for EJ to get home. Now I am waiting up to make sure JJ gets home ok. JJ is a good safe driver, but he isn’t really all that experienced, so I want to make sure he gets home safely. It’s ok. I can’t sleep anyway. Besides, with Prednisone or without it, waiting up is a Mom-thing. Many times it’s also a Dad-thing but tonight, EJ fell asleep in his chair with his computer on his lap, so I gently removed the computer and am letting him sleep.

Yay! JJ just came through the door. Now I can sleep. Well, maybe.

Last night I was so tired that I slept more than I have in days–in spite of the sleepless effects of the Prednisone I am taking for the rash on my leg. The rash is diminishing, I am glad to say. I am tired during the days, but I am doing well.

Yesterday I didn’t do all that much. I think I had worked too much the day before, weeding my herb garden and EJ’s veggie garden and digging up bricks from the path through the back yard. My body felt a bit battered. I couldn’t make it pull any more weeds or lift any more bricks.

Today was a beautiful day with periods of rain and sunshine, and even a thunderstorm or two. I like sunny days and I like rainy days and I like thunderstorms. On sunny days I can work outside and enjoy the day. On rainy days I can work inside or cuddle with a cat, a book (or computer), and a cup of coffee or tea. Stormy days are wild and exciting as long as they aren’t destructive. JJ and I like to drive in the car sometimes and pretend we are storm-chasers. These days he drives and I take pictures of dark clouds.

This morning I made homemade pizza. For some reason, the dough didn’t rise well. I don’t know if I missed an ingredient, or the rainy day prohibited the dough rising, or what. Oh, well. I made the pizza anyway. The crust was more like flatbread, but it still tasted pretty well. My husband grew up with six sisters (with a couple of brothers sprinkled in) and he ate plenty of their cooking mistakes so he doesn’t mind a few less- than-perfect results. As an only child, JJ is a bit less brave but, as I said, the flatbread pizza tasted pretty good.

After EJ left for work, I walked my dog Danny, as I usually do. Danny knows that when EJ goes to work it’s time for a walk, so he gets excited. Fortunately, it was during a time of sunshine and not rain so we had a very pleasant walk. It was very humid though.

After JJ left for work, about an hour later, I vacuumed rugs, swept and mopped the downstairs floors, and decided to make potato salad. EJ usually texts me on his breaks to make sure all is well, and I texted him back that I was making potato salad. Only I abbreviated my message and actually wrote that I was making “pot salad.” I figured he’d know that “pot” meant “potato.” Duh. He thought “pot salad” was pretty funny and was still laughing when he got home from work.

A few years ago, I started teaching myself (and then JJ) Hebrew. Then I started to study Hebrew with my friend. She lives several states away, but we study together through video-chat. Then she and I started to teach a few friends. We aren’t experts at Hebrew or anything, but we teach them what we have already learned and we have fun doing it.  If we get stuck, we ask friends who know the language better for help. It’s very rewarding to me when one of our “students” is able to read Hebrew. It is the same sort of fulfilling satisfaction I got when I was able to teach my son to read.

For two hours this evening I met with a small group of friends via video-chat to study with a Hebrew scholar/author, who is also a friend.

I love Hebrew because it is unlike any other language. I don’t want to get into a detailed discussion about the language because that is not the purpose of this blog, but Hebrew is very profound and teaches a lot about faith and life. Hebrew started out as a picture language and is very action based. Every word can be reduced to a three-letter root, and every similar three-letter root is connected even though at first glance you can’t imagine such dissimilar words could possibly be connected.

Photo: blog.fabflour.co.uk/
Photo: blog.fabflour.co.uk/

For example, the word for “bread” is connected to the word for fighting and struggling and wrestling. This doesn’t make sense until you think about the way you knead bread dough–pushing it around, pressing it down, and then punching it after it has risen. The process is very much like wrestling and fighting. Making bread is very physical. And, connected to this, when you think of it, life is like making bread: wrestling and struggling to provide “daily bread” for your family, hopes or dreams rising only to be punched down by disappointment or heartbreak, and yet, even though it doesn’t always turn out the way you wanted, it still somehow turns out good. Whenever I make bread dough of any sort, I now think of this concept. I like making bread, even when it doesn’t turn out perfectly.

Anyway, once a month, a small group of women and I study together with a Hebraic scholar/author. Most of us in the group are from around the USA. One is from Australia. We’ve never met in person, but we are connected through our desire to learn Hebrew and Hebraic insights. Our time together is very, very enjoyable and I always learn a lot. I have so much fun. I love the Internet because it opens the world up to me, and I can meet and study with so many interesting people and learn so many interesting things.

EJ told me that he once watched a television series in which the host would randomly choose a person from a telephone book in whatever city he was in and he’d interview that person. The only rule he had was that he had to interview that random person no matter how average or boring he or she first appeared to be. What the host discovered is that even the most average person had an interesting story to tell–some interesting trait or experience that made him unique. Sometimes I think about that. I think that if someone met me–or probably anyone in the group–at the grocery store, he might think I was a boring stay-at-home Mom. He wouldn’t know that I was learning and teaching Hebrew and studying with world-famous scholars. It almost seems like there are superheroes with secret identities out there, everywhere. This thought changes how I view people. Who are they? What stories do they have to tell? What hidden talents do they have?

I really like the Internet because many people are able to write blogs, and most of these are probably people who, if it weren’t for the Internet, wouldn’t write, or couldn’t share what they wrote, so you wouldn’t know they could write, and you wouldn’t know their stories. But because they can write blogs and share them, their stories get told, and the stories are fascinating.

EJ and JJ have been asleep for a very long time. The need for waiting up is long past. I suppose I should go to bed too.

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