7 Quick Takes: Chilly baseball games, honeysuckle, entering a new whole new world of Pokemon fun, cow birthday cards, and more


We have had some gorgeous spring days. We have also had lots of cold, wet ones. When we went to watch Daniel play baseball on Saturday, it was so cold and wet that I just wanted to go sit in the car. But you can’t go sit in the car when your son is playing in a baseball game. So we stayed on the icy cold metal bleachers, while I wondered whether anyone would ever call the game due to icy cold mist.

No one ever did. So we froze and (sort of) cheered.

For the record, I still prefer baseball to soccer.


Did you get a comic book on Free Comic Book Day on May 6? We came home with a few copies we have enjoyed and one that turned out to contain foul language. So that one went into the recycling. But that was its own lesson and conversation.


Our boys have been into Pokémon cards for a while now. But we are just discovering the local Pokémon world, in a way. We had heard about a Pokémon Club that meets two Saturdays a month at Amazing Spiral, a comic book store near Belvedere Square in Baltimore, and Leo and I went for the first time this weekend.

There were children trading cards and others battling with cards. I had no idea what would be involved, but a store employee was there to mediate the card trading, and it all went smoothly.

I started chatting with a few of the parents sitting along the side, and I met a father who had adopted one of his sons from Korea and one from China. So while our sons talked about mega something GX cards, we talked adoption and traveling to China and whatever else parents chat about while waiting for their children to complete Pokémon trades.

The dad and his sons also told us about a similar program, Pokémon League, that meets at Alternate Worlds in Cockeysville on Sundays from 1-4 (but not this Sunday). So the next day our whole family went.

As we walked into the room where the Pokémon League meets, I saw older teens playing other games (Magic? Dungeons and Dragons? Some Star Wars game?) in other parts of the room. I suddenly had this sense we should just pitch a tent there because we might be coming here all the time for years to come.

The Pokémon trading was great, and we will definitely be back. The boys don’t understand why the Pokémon League won’t meet on Mother’s Day, and my explanation failed to satisfy them.


My little sister’s birthday came out of nowhere this week. I knew it was coming, but I think two-day shipping has made me less concerned about planning ahead–and planning ahead was never my strength in the first place.

I looked at my schedule for the day and realized I had no meetings in the middle of the day. What are the chances of that? And during May, when we are counting down to Commencement, one of my favorite moments of the year.

So I emailed Treasa and offered to bring lunch to her, my mom, and her little girls. It was so much fun. And, of course, I brought a homemade card celebrating my baby sister and her affection for cows.


What am I doing for Mother’s Day, you ask? Our tradition is to go buy a flowering plant in a hanging basket. Our other tradition is for me not to cook dinner that day. No matter how we celebrate it will be a lovely day.


Some of the flowers this year are just beautiful. I didn’t even remember that we had honeysuckle in our yard, but we do! And it is lovely this year.


After dinner last night I realized one of the boys kept burping. At first I thought maybe there was something wrong. Then I realized his brother was acting like a conductor and conducting him in a burping performance. It was synchronized and creative and…odd. And maybe offensive? But I just let it be.

You pick your battles, you know? And maybe one day one of them will be sitting in a job interview, and the question will come, ” Do you have any other talents you didn’t include on your resume?” and my son will stop and say, “Yes, I do. I’m part of a burping orchestra.”

Read more quick takes at Kelly’s blog, This Ain’t the Lyceum. I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day! If this is a difficult day for you, please know you are in my prayers.

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Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner is a wife, working mother and author of the Catholic Review's Open Window blog. She and her husband adopted their two sons from China, and Rita often writes about topics concerning adoption, family and faith.

Rita also writes The Domestic Church, a featured column in the Catholic Review. Her writing has been honored by the Catholic Press Association, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and the Associated Church Press.