The Mundane…and the Profound

I have been very occupied lately, even more than usual.

It means a lot of late nights working, which isn’t that different than normal, but also a lot of multitasking, trying to answer emails or respond to discussion boards while my kids are entertained by the dynamic duo of Phineas and Ferb.

Some of this is work that matters a great deal to me, some of which I hope to share here soon, including the conclusion of my technical assistance consulting for direct-service organizations in advocacy, strategy planning for how to use the defense of Kansas’ instate tuition law to build momentum among immigrant students granted deferred action, some potential civil rights litigation I think is very promising, a new advocacy evaluation collaborative with advocacy organizations and foundations in Kansas, work ‘translating’ the research of some of my social work colleagues (in the impact of asset accumulation on the college trajectories of low-income students), and an exciting project mapping the networks and advocacy capacity of entities working to combat obesity regionally.

Good stuff, really, and I feel very privileged to be part of it.

And some of what keeps me busy until the early morning is far more mundane, including a communications problem that forced me to redo my syllabi at the last minute, a new server which necessitated reloading all of my online content, a seemingly endless string of those Doodle meeting scheduling emails, and the so tiresome power struggles that are present everywhere, social justice advocacy not excluded.

As we pivot fully towards fall, and as my kids get into the rhythm of school (with its own mundane elements, certainly), I was thinking about how we stay focused on the profound.

On the central.

On the really, potentially, transformative.

And that made me think about my favorite moment of every day, after long daylight hours of mingling parenting and professionalizing, and before the longer nighttime hours of inverted workdays, when my oldest son and I have finished that day’s ‘bubblegum reading’, and I snuggle next to him and ask him what lullaby he wants.

And he inevitably chooses My Country ’tis of Thee, and then sings it with me, so that, every night, we end with a duet.

It’s not as well-pitched as his favorite version from Marion Anderson, on the steps of Liberty Memorial on that memorable Easter.

But for this Mommy, who can sometimes get too busy to remember,

it’s pretty profound.

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2 responses to “The Mundane…and the Profound

  1. It is the mundane stuff that wears me out. Although its hard work organizing a meeting educating our members, it is productive and exciting work. When I get bogged down w/mundane details of dealing w/technology hitches(with an aging computer now more frequently) and the power struggles, it all becomes exhausting.

    I think the mundane mom task I tire of mostly is the constant grocery shopping for bottomless teens. It is amazing how much a teen in cross country season takes for lunch.

    But I must say my favorite time is also the end of the day, when we’re settling down for bedtime. Although we’re past lullaby stage, I do still read w/my youngest. My older teen and I will lounge on the couch discussing the days events or sometimes watching Jon Stewart which always leads to great discussions.

    Love that you sing “My country tis of thee”. “This land is your land” has always been my family’s favorite. No matter what’s going on, kids will keep us grounded and give us perspective.

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