Monday, October 24, 2011

A little something from the personal archive

- from Jeremy

A journal entry from June 20, 2011

"What a terrible day. Not that anything terrible happened - just that nothing happened. A day spent working on nothing of significance. An evening spent playing at nothing of significance. And yet I feel as though there is something to say. Not just the normal draw that I feel to a blank page, or a nice pen or this expensive keyboard. More than the typical supposed writer in me trying to get out. More than the stories I’ve wanted to and now promised to tell. More like an unanswered question lingering in the air. An expectation that there is some reasoning, some intellectual or emotional beauty to be drawn out of this common disappointment. Some yearning for a final thought that keeps me sitting here when fatigue and common sense would plead with me to submit to my pillow.

I think part of it is held over from the camping trip. It was tough. Josiah struggling with us and us struggling back. The night’s broken rest, and the morning’s sputtering and wheezing to get started. The dirt and the bugs, and the smelly diapers and humidity. The feeling that everyone is tolerating and no one is exulting. Or maybe that’s just me. Camping in our situation is everything I hate about my life except my job, and nothing I love about my life except my family. I told Christy exactly that as we sat in the sprinkling rain late in the last night of the trip. Rather than have a moment of understanding where I’m coming from, I think she just heard it as negativity. Who can blame her for that?

It's like I’m all out of anger, and now just feel deflated and sad. Joe is only becoming more frustrated with us, and Jay is only becoming more strange and disturbing. Today Jay took his poop from his diaper and rubbed it all over his face. Now, Autistic or not, shouldn’t some things just not be done? Not be appealing? Does everything have to be upside-down and backwards with these kids? Awake during the night. Turning down nearly everything offered from the kitchen and then eating rocks and mud. Never quiet and yet never communicating. Grabbing my hand every other moment in the house and then refusing it in public and running away as fast as they can."

Is it okay to have a terrible day? Is it wrong to reach out into the darkness of the future with a quaking candle of question? Is it just negativity? Or worry? Am I selfish to seek the least degrees of disturbance? Is there a Stoicism that will help me accept the fact of random poop on the bookcase? Am I lazy or spoiled to wish sometimes that it was just a little easier to live in my own house? I want to live a life of blessing and joy and meaning and service. How do I rise above the fray and show my precious babies that they are delights and gifts and special creations of God? Very special creations.


  1. How can you *not* have a terrible day from time to time? People tell us, "I don't know how you do it - you must have the patience of a saint!" Not Even. You do it because you have to but it's not always a joy and I know I don't always do it without tears of desperation. Random poop? Oh yeah. "So THAT's why this room smelled like poo for weeks. I'll go get the bucket...." On the other hand, it certainly does lend an extra-special glow to the tiny moments like, "Amelia raised her hand in class the other day," or her smile when I read aloud the book she made at school.

  2. You are truly a gifted writer, Jeremy. And terrible days are to be expected as long as we live in this sin-cursed and imperfect world. It's how we respond that matters. I think of the Psalms and how many of them record David or other writers crying out to God and complaining of their distress in varying circumstances. (Psalm 86 and 102 for example). And God "knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust". I think He wants us to cry out to Him, even with thoughts of worry, discontent, unhappiness - and then follow the example of those Psalm writers and remind ourselves of God's goodness, mercy and amazing love toward us and know that His grace is sufficient.


Just use your name, not your email address.