Hang Time

It’s been a rough start to 2022. Disappointments. Difficult situations. Heartbreak in various forms. Not exactly the stuff I want to blog about.

Honestly, I’ve found myself thinking that I’d rather have a different glass all together.

A thimble. A travel mug. A stein.

I don’t use much social media and don’t have a Facebook account. But I occasionally click through Instagram, perusing a couple of accounts. Some people seem to live in a perpetual photo shoot. Even pictures of their bad days are arranged just so. I know it’s not real because we share the same earth. And I’ve lived long enough to know that I shouldn’t compare my insides to someone else’s outsides. During a teary phone call recently, my dear mother-in-law reminded me that we are all made of the same raw humanity. And those raw pieces are messy and often don’t fit together.

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

Some days it’s hard to make sense of life. And hard to know what to share and with whom. Because it’s not just my story here but the journey of our family, written from my flawed and particular perspective. More than anything, this blog is a gratitude journal and writing posts is a cherished opportunity to reflect on life’s blessings. It also helps me record significant events. Many of those revolve around Becky as every week seems to bring new challenges with our special, special needs child.

So please don’t think me a Pollyanna, though I simply love the movie and suffer my children to watch it. It’s not my intention to curate a perfect online life. While I want to achieve balance, I’d rather tilt towards the happy and the joyous, presenting a positive slice of life. But those slices are sometimes rather slim.

Enough of my blogging manifesto.

Recently, the stress of life reached soaring levels and I thought that I might break. It was at this point that we received an email from Johnny’s teacher. It’s never a good sign when your child’s name is the subject of a school communication. I felt my heart sink as my mind raced to imagine what could have possibly happened.

Like all good school stories, it begins with a substitute teacher. Apparently, Johnny’s teacher was out for a meeting and a substitute was in the classroom. During that time, the students were to complete a work page. Johnny had a alternative idea and he saw an opportunity. He decided to make a paper airplane instead.

I immediately burst out into laughter as the pure innocence of the moment lifted my heavy heart. I visualized Johnny’s internal battle between dutifully completing the worksheet and the temptation to fold that paper into an entertaining distraction. With a substitute teacher in the room, I imagine he simply had no choice. It reminded me of the Curious George story where he folds the neighborhood newspapers into paper boats.

I was glad that Sam handled the situation, gently discussing the infraction with John. After their conversation, John wandered into our room where I was settling Becky down for the night. The weight of guilt hung heavily on his heart and the tears came. As he burrowed into my chest, I wrapped my arms around him, grateful for this moment. A moment of levity and forgiveness that reminded me of the sweetness of life.

Perhaps the downward spiral into juvenile delinquency begins with pulp projectiles. I hope not. More likely, it was a pure Johnny moment, completely age appropriate and not too destructive, except to the worksheet. The next day he spent the first five minutes of recess back in the classroom with the teacher. Honestly, five minutes with John can entertain for a week. I hope she enjoyed her time.

There have been no further incidents. But there have been plenty more airplanes.

It’s a new hobby. Johnny has been folding and launching dozens of these paper rockets, just not at school. A paper fleet is scattered throughout the house, resting on the floor, nestled in the pantry, hovering on the stairs. He’s easily plowed through an entire ream of printer paper.

When I find them, sometimes I smile and chuckle. Sometimes I grunt and growl. But each time I bend down to pick one up, it’s a gentle reminder that if my glass were shaped any differently,

then I might not experience the same hang time.

9 thoughts on “Hang Time

  1. I love your blogs & your sweet family! I don’t know you personally, but I am holding you & all of your family in my daily prayers 🙏

    Nancy Fischer

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  2. Beautifully said. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ One heart for each beloved member of your family. We all need more paper airplanes in our life! Thank you for the reminder!

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  3. I want to congratulate you on your maple syrup situation which looks to be well sorted for at least the next 2 years or so.

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  4. Kathleen, Your honesty is amazing. Your lean to positivity is awesome. You are an inspiration and a reminder that Providence will provide. Love and prayers for the entire Rauch family. Bonnie B

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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  5. […] In the past few months, I’ve thought about this moment at other difficult times. It’s a testimony to the impact another person can have. With a short phrase left on a blog post. It’s also a powerful reminder that when a person randomly enters into my consciousness, I must respond in some way. […]

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