Quote of the week

By which I mean, “Lucy’s favorite thing to say right now.”  Here it is:

“Stop sneaking me up!”

By which she seems to mean, “You’re getting on my nerves!”

A Charmed Life?

We have such beautiful girls.  Samantha is fighting her molars, but at the same time she has started giving hugs and kisses, and I don’t think there is anything in the world cuter than a hug from a 14-month-old.  We are truly blessed.  And I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, with the NFP discussion going on on a friend’s blog.  Some people struggle to figure out their signs and when they’re fertile, and it leads to frustration, fights, and general trouble.  I, on the other hand, have a regular cycle and a hard time not knowing if I’m fertile, now that I know what to look for.

We have met two beautiful young men with special needs through the youth ministry now.  And I keep wondering, “Will we have a child like this?”  All children have their own challenges, of course, but talking to these parents, you can see the years of struggling to help their child get by in society written all over their faces.  Again, it’s something we just haven’t had to deal with, at least not yet.

And I’m meeting more and more women who have had to deal with miscarriages.  Growing up, I thought that was a very rare occurrence.  Now that I am an adult talking to adult women, and maybe the things brought up in polite company have changed since I was little, but I’m finding it frighteningly common.  My friend Julia wrote a beautiful, moving post about her friend who lost a baby in utero.  But again, we’ve only suffered through this vicariously, it has thus far passed us by.

And I’m left wondering, maybe it’s the flip side of what these struggling families wonder, “Why not us?”  Surely we can’t escape these hardships forever?

Maybe it’s just the rain outside today, but it’s strange the way the suffering of others can cast a gloom over our own bright times.  Or maybe it’s not strange at all.  Maybe, and I think Julia (see above) is right in this – we have the chance to bear each other’s burdens, even if only tiny pieces of them.  The Triune God did not design us to suffer alone, or to rejoice alone, for that matter.  Which is a little difficult for a loaner like myself to accept sometimes, but I can’t think of a time I’ve opened up my suffering and not been thankful for having done it afterward.

We’re hoping to have a crowd for dinner tonight.  And we’re hoping to pray the Liturgy of the Hours after dinner, despite the two (or more, depending on who comes) little ones bounding around the room.  It seems like this is where all my writing, all our work is tending these days.  Community.  For joy, for suffering, for prayer, for play.  Community.

Those pesky “young adults”

This is a bit of a follow-up.  I talked about the young adult meeting we went to in Baton Rouge in We Are One Body, and my suspicions have been confirmed.  That night we had 10-ish people gathered from the whole diocese for what the textbook says young adults want to do: mostly fellowship, with a little prayer thrown in for kicks.  This Wednesday, we had 12 or 13 (I don’t remember and don’t have time to count!) young adults from one parish – singles, married couples, college students, career folks, a great mix really – gathered to do wait for it – service.

The first official St. Jean Vianney Parish youth night very nearly had more adult helpers than youth.  They were itching for a way to share their faith with these youth!  I tried to covertly bring things to the car afterwards, because our car is such a mess I didn’t really want anyone to see it, and four of them followed me unasked with things they knew needed to come to our car.  They stood up with Craig at Mass last Sunday to invite youth to this event.  They moved chairs.  I have a volunteer to make Rice Krispie treats next week.  They sang and did hand motions.  Ok, I guess it was a very social event, with games and pizza and all.  But that’s not why these young adults showed up.  They showed up, yes, because they want the community, and they knew, somehow, that the community was to be found in service to the youth of our parish.

Needless to say, Craig is pretty excited about the team he has to help with this youth ministry thing.  Mostly because the team is pretty darn excited about it all themselves.  (They sat through an almost two hour meeting to start planning all this.  With no texting, yawning, or hurriedly exiting at the end.)

Point being, I’m not convinced that “socialization” is going to be the best draw to get “young adults” together.  Maybe it will bring the ones who don’t feel called to work with youth, but my other suspicion is that even we very busy “young adults” do feel called to some form of service.  Maybe we just need to get busy and help connect them with the people who could really benefit from their talents.  Meanwhile, we’re having some pretty awesome young adult community-building on the way to planning movie nights and youth retreats.

Goodbye, Goldilocks

I thought Lucy was still in bed yesterday morning.  And I went to put away come clean paintbrushes, and was surprised to see her standing at the table in the learning room.  I was even more surprised by what I noticed next:

Do you see it?  The little pile there under the scissors.  That’s right, Lucy reached that milestone every little girl reaches at some point in her life: her first self-imposed, clandestine haircut.

I almost cried.

But instead I laughed, and yelled, “Craig, come quick!  Bring the camera!”

(You can see around the hair the remnants of the Christmas card project.)  So today we have an extra little project in Baton Rouge – fixing Lucy’s new bangs.  I tried really, really hard to keep her from having bangs.  I hate bangs, because they’re a nuisance.  I didn’t want to have to keep them up or facilitate growing them out for her.  But it is Lucy’s hair, after all, and her scissors have spoken.  So bangs it is.  For now.

Babies and Sisters…

It’s amazing how kids learn.  It’s so totally effortless.  There are always the examples of four-year-olds casually using curse words in polite company, much to their parents’ embarrassment, or course.  Yesterday, on the other hand, Lucy was walking around the house with her Fish do the Strangest Things book, standing on top of things, holding the book in front of her, and proclaiming, “A reading from Saint Paul.  Babies and sisters…”  I stopped in my tracks.  She is clearly paying much closer attention while she wiggles away through Mass than we have been giving her credit for.  (I asked about the “babies”, and she seemed to think that made more sense than “brothers”, which is understandable I guess since she has a severe lack of brothers at the moment.)  Anyway, we are redoubling efforts to have such good influences and Saint Paul and his letters around, so that her osmosis can do its thing.

Kid quotes

Lucy: I can’t help pick up.  It really gives me a headache.

That’s right, she skipped a few years, and is now sixteen.  In case you hadn’t heard already.