Voice of the vestry: “What do I do with the quiet?”

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By Michael Mittelstaedt

Alt. Clerk Mike Mittelstaedt

Clerk Mike Mittelstaedt

The planets aligned for a brief moment this Saturday afternoon, shifting the usual overlap of events into a sweet coincidence, where by God’s grace – BOTH. THE. BOYS. ARE. NAPPING!

What do I do with the quiet? The time? I start with panic, the collision of the things I could do with my uninterrupted time, all coming to mind at once; it’s paralyzing.

The day began with our weekend traditions: breakfast, coffee (brewed with the help of little hands), pick up toys, run the vacuum, feed the dog. Then the boys and I stuff ourselves between the arms of the “big chair,” under a layer thick blankets to watch Sarah & Duck, an animation about a little girl and her duck friend… Duck.  In each episode, the pair find their day interrupted by a variety of life’s complications, scaled down sweet dramas, experienced from the point of view of a kindergarten girl: a favorite park bench isn’t available, their friend the tortoise sleeps past hibernation season, their elder friend Scarf Lady is out of wool for her knitting, or Donkey looks sad, needs cheering up.  Things that could easily go unnoticed with the momentum maintained as adults.  The beauty is that the solutions they find are typically discovered with library books, a game with good friends, lending a hand to others, or a “sit and think” in a favorite chair.  After two cozy seasons, it’s easy to see that the themes are purposeful, kind, and joyful.   I want to watch.  They want to watch.

Faced, now, with the dilemma of uninterrupted time, the tragedy of endless choices, my aspirations of getting it all done…I go for a “sit and think” in the same big chair that started the day, sifting to the surface the gifts of family and fatherhood, a celebration of a good life that takes place amidst the bumps of the week, that I then share with you in the pews and the parish hall each Sunday, my family at Grace.

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