Mama's Season Off

First day of three month renewal leave. I feel out of sorts.

I've had two maternity leaves (8 weeks each) over the last 21 years, but those have very definite, dramatic beginnings that leave you exhausted and completely distracted from the fact that you are trying to set aside the clergy role. This is different. Until we get on the plane, I suppose I am going to feel this vague - shouldn't I be checking my email or going to the office - thing.

Worship was lovely yesterday. The church gave me and my family a lovely sendoff. I could not have imagined anything more perfect. I moved out of my office last night. I did have a few piddly things to finish up today, and have putzed around trying to get loose of my work email. So I haven't _really_ had a day completely on leave yet. But I imagine this feeling will be with me for awhile.

Some of my discomfort, I think, is that awkward space inside as I try to set aside my role as clergy. One works so hard to pick it up! I've been joking about what I will find in my head when I set aside the long list of summer tasks, the worrying about everyone in the congregation, the constant pull of the next sermon.

I found one thing in my brain today - worry. I dreamt last night that I lost Theo on a train (like, for a whole day). We'll be traveling by train all over Europe in another week or so, and when Theo isn't on his ADD medication he gets a bit wandery. So Kelly and I had dog tags (literal dog tags, or cat tags, at the pet store) made up for Zane and Theo with our cell numbers on them. Then I came home and picked up The Daily Message by Eugene Peterson and read the June 4 reading, something in Philippians about not worrying but praying instead.

Not only do I not want to lose Theo on a train somewhere, but I need him here to remind me what I'm doing. He is the one who really gets this renewal leave idea. He asked me several times this weekend when, exactly, my time off began. We went to a street fair yesterday and had a picnic in the front yard this evening. He crawls in my lap and says he wants to cuddle until Middle School. He has been calling this summer "Mama's Season Off."

Nothing like a little boy to help you figure out what you are really supposed to be doing.


Catharine Larsen, MA, LP said...

How long will you be "off?"

Wishes for a real renewal!

Michelle said...

I return to work when the boys go back to school September 4.