Thursday, May 21, 2009

Guilt. GUILT.

In three hours we have the first real, formal houseguests I'll ever have had. At least, the first ones staying longer than a day who also don't share any of my blood. Just Avram's. But still, a brother in law, Samuel, and his wife Aleatha feel pretty official and formal to me right now. I'm at zero hour minus three, and the fact that I'm writing a blog post does not speak well for my preparedness. The idea today was that, while babysitting James, I would take the three kids grocery shopping to two different stores, while also picking up the bathroom (Avram will be doing the sanitizing this evening) and cleaning Lydia and Elisheva's room, which is the only pigsty left in this house.

The reality went something more like this: Ho, hum, I'm tired (from staying up late and reading a new Robin Mckinley book. 'New' meaning two years ago, but I'm really out of date on my teen fiction). I think I'll just read the rest of the book - I'm almost done, after all. And then Elisheva and James both need their morning naps - in both bedrooms. Which means that I can neither leave for shopping, nor clean the Girl's bedroom. I'll just dust the living room instead. But maybe I can see if my lost keys are in the car. Nope, but this car sure is messy - let's clean it out. Would you look at that! Eleven am, and here comes the mail! Only a magazine, but it's one I want. I'll just read a couple of pages in the Smithsonian Or....Cover to cover (good issue - I love the Smithsonian - it's better than the National Geographic in my opinion, becasue it doesn't play the 'guilt, guilt, you're making this tribe/animal/ecosystem/world go extinct' every single month tactic). I did some dishes - hey, I can't be all lame. And, the kids slept long, and I'm a slow mover, and Lydia had a meltdown over cracking nuts, and wow, look at the time! There's no way I can get the kids out of here and to two stores before Avram gets home in an hour! Not to mention that suddenly I feel this strange attraction to cleaning out the coat closet.

Yup, so although I've managed to do lots of finicky chores I never dream of attempting (next I shall pull out the iron I have used once since moving here.), I have yet to actually accomplish any of the necessary matters. The stuff that has to get done before we have company come and see the third world country that my daughters room in. I tell you, it's Lydia. That girl has no civic pride in the state of her room. I should publish a little magazine, with articles about the endageered ecosystem of a girls' room. guilt. GUILT.

Speaking of guilt, Avram's funding for next year, from having lots of options, went down to practically zero. We've been hoping that if I can add on a full time babysitting kid, and Avram could get a Graduate Assistantship at the Library (which would provide a small stipend, but more importantly a tuition waver), but it has been something very much on my mind lately, since this does essentially cover whether Avram has a job next year.

Avram was supposed to teach a Mythology class, but his department has been hit very hard by the recession, so they couldn't add any new classes - and hence TA's - that weren't taught last year (which it wasn't) to the curriculum. All I have wanted was some miracle to come through, and to get an email or letter telling us that funding had come through. That it would all be okay.

Yesterday Avram and another colleague in the department who's in the same boat Avram is, were told that the department had one other TA position (which they did miraculously dig up out of nowhere), and that one of them could put their name on it, while they both looked for other jobs at the Library, with the idea that one could work at the library, and one have this TA job. Avram and he just have to decide whose name goes on the TA position.

Great. Now I have monstrous guilt, that the penguins in the Antartic never caused in me. Do we give up the fellowship to the other deserving guy? Do we ask for it for ourselves? I don't know if I could handle watching a sure monthly stipend, insurance and tuition waver waft out of our hands. Sure, Avram could still get a library job - but it wouldn't be a sure thing, and the stipend for thelibrary isn't nearly as much. But how could I feel like a Christian if we just took it for ourselves, and left Avram's colleague out in the cold? It's not as simple as this - the other guy is actually about 40, is an ordained pastor (although not currently working as one, since he's in school), and his wife works as well. So they're not penniless. But they do own two houses (one of which they're trying to sell), and they have two children, one of whom is still at home - so they also have a lot more financial responsibility than we do.

I feel so selfish. And instead of wanting to learn to be selfless, I want someone to come along and tell me that it's good to be selfish. Guilt. GUILT.

And now they'll be here in two and a half hours, and there is no dinner started, etc & etc. GUILT.

(But we are going to have a lovely visit. I have no guilt there. They will be here for five days, and we're going to go to an Amish style restaurant, and for walks in the Metro Parks, and we're going to have loads of good food and Avram and Samueal are going to watch Kirasawa movies to their hearts' content.)


  1. Don't know what to tell you about the TA position; that sounds like quite a quandary. I'm sure God will lead you to the proper path, but that doesn't help your anxiety now. Or Avram's.

    As for Samuel & Aleatha, a little pre-visit jitters are to be expected, and Yvonne & I can definitely sympathize about the state of housekeeping. But I submit to you that if there is a more laid-back soul put on this earth, it is Samuel, and he will not care one whit about the state of your house — which I'm sure is perfectly fine to begin with. I do not know Aleatha as well as I would like yet, but from what I have seen, she seems equally disposed.

    So relax, enjoy, and try not to tire them out too much before our visit with them.

  2. I've actually been meaning to ask you about babysitting next year-- and by next year I mean after this Christmas, which is pretty much saying that I am talking about this coming January. I was wondering how you would feel about a 2 1/2 year old AND a six week old? How much would you charge for the two of them? This is all hypothetical, but something that Jeff and I have talked about extensively. I am considering, meaning planning, on going back for a Masters of Library Science, but it would require that we find a babysitter (i.e. you) for our two (two!) kids at least three days of the week.

    Anyway, not a sure thing by any means. And I wouldn't actually go to school until next September, but I would get a part time job starting in January to help pay for my schooling in case an assistantship isn't in the plans for me :)

  3. Are you kidding me? Thora, pookie, you are so kind and thoughtful. But come on....the other guy is also much more financially stable then you guys, his wife works full time and their kids are not 1 and 3. deffinatly Avram should get it.

  4. i hope that as a minister the other guys feels all christlike and lets Avram take the TA position. Oh and he should rent out his other house to cover his rent, thats what we do! We dont make any profit but at least we are not losing money!

    i am sure your house is not that bad! if you had a cell phone i would text you pictures of my house to make you feel better! there is nary a clean room in the whole place!

  5. Two things. 1) I do the crazy not-important-chores whenever I have guests coming too. Weird.

    2) The job situation sounds crummy. It shouldn't be up to you guys, surely? Isn't there some big headman who makes the final decision based on who's most deserving/qualified so you don't have to feel all this guilt?!

  6. Hope you have a super weekend!
    ♥ HUGS ♥

  7. I so totally relate to pretty much most of this. Hey, have you read Robin McKinley's Sunshine? Love it! Actually, I love most of her books but Sunshine is my fave.

  8. I knew an Alethea once, back when I lived in DT. Turned out, she was my 5th cousin or something. Could it be the same person? I mean, how many Aletheas does one meet?