— 1 —
Today is John’s birthday! Earlier in the week the boys and I discussed what to buy for Baba’s gifts.
“What do you think Baba likes best in all the world?” I asked, thinking maybe I’d get him a photo of his sons.
“I know!” Leo said. “He likes Bigfoot best.”
“Oh,” I said. “I was thinking of his family.”
“Well, Mama,” Leo said, “I don’t think Bigfoot has a family.”
Last year’s cake, which can never be surpassed
The boys can’t wait to give him—Baba, I mean, not Bigfoot—his gifts, but I can’t tell you what they are in case Baba reads this blog before he tears the paper off. In fact, Daniel has already shown him at least one of the gifts, and Leo was appalled. It can be hard to be the younger brother.
— 2 —
Today is also the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi!
My favorite St. Francis quote is: “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
— 3 —
Our children don’t seem to believe we’ll ever move into our new house. The other day Leo said, “Mama, will we move into the house before I turn 6?”
Since his birthday is more than a month from now, I do believe we will. In fact, I suspect we’ll move ourselves in this weekend. Our furniture is all there. We just aren’t living there yet. Last weekend, just as we were preparing to start setting up the beds, John realized the professional painters had painted latex paint over oil-based paint without properly preparing the surfaces, and the paint was coming off the trim. Since we had had quite a bit of painting done, thinking this was saving us time and trouble, it made most of the house unlivable. The painters had to return to sand and clean and prime and repaint.
Still, we have to keep everything in perspective. We sold our old house and bought the new one much more quickly than we expected. We’ll make our way into the house eventually—and maybe even before Leo turns 6.
The boys’ room, which we didn’t paint black or pink
— 4 —
The other night we were reading Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We stopped on the last page to look at all the colors in the butterfly’s wings.
“Mama,” said Leo “How does the caterpillar do that? How does he become a butterfly?”
“I don’t know how it works,” I said. “But isn’t it amazing? It’s magical, really. He builds that hard shell around himself, and then he waits, and then one day he breaks out and he’s a butterfly. I actually don’t know how it happens. I wish I could tell you.”
Leo thought for a minute.
“Well, Mama,” he said. “We will have to wait and ask God when we get up to heaven.”
It’s a good thing we’ll have eternity to ask questions. I’m pretty sure Leo will have a few more.
— 5 —
This is a long piece about a father writing a letter to his daughter who has Down Syndrome, but it’s really worth watching.
— 6 —
Leo has never particularly liked to color. And yet last weekend he told me to stay out of the room and surprised me with this amazing drawing. Maybe we just weren’t offering the right inspiration.
I’m sure you don’t need me to explain that the green blob is Jabba the Hut and which of the fighters is Darth Vader’s. I still can’t believe he made this drawing entirely on his own. I’m starting to think kindergarten is some kind of magical place.
— 7 —
Flickr Creative Commons / Abri_Beluga
Leo’s school asks us to make sandwiches for a Baltimore soup kitchen and bring them once a week. The first week we brought sandwiches, but we have forgotten every week since then.
This week I was determined to remember. I bought bread and cheese on Monday and yesterday morning we made our sandwiches. But, as we pulled into the school parking lot, I discovered we had left the bag on the kitchen table.
I was so disappointed.
Just as I was explaining to Leo that we didn’t have time to go home and get them, my phone rang. It was my father. He had found the sandwiches and was willing to drive them to the school. But when I talked to one of the teachers, I realized he couldn’t possibly make it to the school in time to deliver the food.
I called my father. And we sat there trying to think of where we could take the sandwiches—but running out of ideas. Then I went to work and got pulled into a busy day. But my father wasn’t giving up.
On his way to the office he stopped at a barber shop and asked where people who are homeless congregate nearby. The barber directed him to a park. And my father found a polite, grateful man who was more than happy to take the bag. He promised to distribute the sandwiches to people who needed them.
Last night at dinner Daniel asked Grandpa about the man and the sandwiches, and it occurred to me how much more meaningful it was for the boys to hear about a person who enjoyed one of our sandwiches on the other end of this transaction.
Maybe it’s just as well we left those sandwiches on the table.
For more quick takes, visit Jen’s Conversion Diary.