Friday, August 31, 2007

Peaches and Raindrops

Savoring the last days of summer means:

1) Eating very ripe peaches OUTSIDE in the grass, barefoot.
2) Letting the juice dribble all down your chin and then rubbing it into your hair for that, "Yes, I just ate a peach outside with Mommy" scent.
3) Attempting to pick up and eat the raindrops that suddenly fall on your peach picnic.
4) Blowing sloppy peach juice kisses at the man pulling up in the fancy sports car, with shoes worth more than Mommy's entire wardrobe, talking on the most expensive cell phone on the market and who fails to notice the summer loving, barefooted, peach eating princess who is fairly certain that the last mouthful of peach is worth more than all the money in the world!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My Brother's Wedding

Weddings bring with them remembrances of the past, wonderings about the present and hopes for the future. My brother's beautiful wedding was no exception. As I sat there and watched him waiting so nervously and excited for his lovely bride to make her way down the aisle, I was suddenly taken back to a different time. A time when he was three and I was six, we were dressed in our finest and having a tea party in the living room with crackers and water, but feeling ever so grown up and sophisticated. We were friends and companions. We encouraged each other, played together, fought together, even had chickenpox together and most importantly we, were there for each other.

In some ways everything has changed, and in others, not much at all. We live far apart now and we talk much less frequently then we should, but we are still together in other ways. We went to the same College, fell in love with St. Thomas Aquinas and then choose to pursue Philosophy. It was at this College that we both have found our spouses. And now we are both married to the persons that God had created us to be with. As I watched he and his bride exchange vows and give their lives each to the other, I remembered how I felt and I know how my brother felt. Now we are not playing grown-up, somewhere along the line I guess we actually grew up.

I have so many hopes for my little brother and his wife. I hope that they feel that grace permeate their marriage, as we have. I hope that they look back at their wedding day, not as the pinnacle of their love, but as loves very beginning. I hope they always love and cherish one another more each day.

And I hope someday, when my little girl is sitting in a pew, watching her siblings enter into this holy sacrament, she will feel her heart fill with memories, wonderings and hopes for them as my heart did on Saturday. I hope she looks back, and thanks God for giving her a best friend to share all her childhood and growing up years with.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Mystery of Mothering

"Babies do not come complete with an instruction manual." A very astute observation. Some days I feel like rummaging through the diaper bag, certain, that I will find a booklet (of substantial proportion) titled: "How to maintain and properly train your strong-willed daughter without ever losing your mind or patience." But alas, no matter how confident I am that such a booklet has been published and stashed away in my diaper bag for frequent reference, it does not exist.

When our little cherub disrupts the Mass by singing rather too loudly AFTER the choir has ceased singing, I want to look around and ask someone what I should do. Only then do I realize that it is up to me and me alone to discern in this matter whether I need to whisk her out quickly, or just hope that after her solo is done, she will go back to silently looking at her book. Or trying to discern whether her rather forceful smacks towards those she loves are truly hits, or just somewhat involuntary movements. And I wish someone would point out where that ever elusive fine line between expecting too much from her and spoiling her lies!

A day can be saturated by questions like these, but then she toddles over with her lovey and a story book, climbs into my lap and lets me know she is happy and content. Maybe my questions will figure themselves out and maybe, at least for today, I haven't ruined her. She is after all the affectionate, beautiful, strong-willed little girl that God entrusted to me. Right now, all I can do is love her unconditionally and hope that I gain the wisdom I need for tomorrow.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

My Companion

It is amazing how routine can be the very thing that reveals the greatest changes in your life. Today was nothing but routine. Get up, make breakfast, unload dishwasher, sort clothes, do laundry etc. However, for the first time I noticed the extraordinary help I had. As I got my apron on this morning, Rose Marie got very excited and exclaimed over and over, "pretty, pretty!" So, I grabbed a "pretty" dishtowel (the same color as mommy's apron of course,) and tied it around her non-existent waist! All of a sudden, she became mistress of the kitchen! Out came the bowls and spoons, serious stirring began.

We then went to fold laundry together as always. This time I noticed her taking one of my shirts and vigorously shaking the wrinkles from it. I guess she was trying to eliminate one of my steps in the folding of the clothes.

I wish I could describe her intensity as she worked beside me today. She tried so hard to copy mommy and to be helpful. These chores are ones we have been doing together since she was new (of course with her in the sling at that time) and now, all of a sudden she is walking beside me, trying in her own tiny way, to be helpful. I love it! Although, we do need to work on how Rose Marie could be helpful during dinner preparations from the comfort of her room, or some room other than the kitchen...but maybe we will figure that out as we go.