7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 25)

— 1 —
The best thing about celebrating the days we met our sons is that we can make our own rules. There’s no expectation of gifts or anything—other than Chinese take-out for dinner.
For Daniel’s special day, I picked up two Pez dispensers for each of the boys and an angel food cake with strawberries for dessert. The cake was mostly for show since neither of our sons likes cake much.
We lit two candles, sang “Happy Gotcha Day to You,” and Daniel was as happy as he would have been if I had hired a brass band and catered a party for 500 people. He smiled the whole time. It helped that his preschool had a pizza party at lunchtime, and he assumed that was also in his honor—and I let him think that.
Leo, whose Gotcha Day isn’t until December, didn’t feel too left out. But there is a movement underfoot to celebrate the anniversary of the day the brothers met. That’s fine with me, especially since I over-ordered our Chinese food, and I’m sure we’ll still be eating our way through steamed dumplings and lo mein when we celebrate our newly named Brothers’ Day in two weeks.
— 2 —

These days when I pick Daniel up from preschool, he runs to get his lunchbox. He beats me every time and yells, “I win!”
Then he reaches over and takes my hand. And he says, “Let’s race again.”
And we run to the doorway and reach it at the same time.
“Now we both win!” he says, and he gives me this amazing smile. It gets me every time.
— 3 —

Somehow summer is slipping by and we have not eaten much watermelon. How did that happen? So I bought a big one the other day and hacked it into pieces for our dessert.
The boys love watermelon, and the messier, the better. They took the biggest pieces they could find and slurped and chomped away.
I should have had them eat outside and then hose them off. But it was fun.
— 4 —
The owner of the house that is soon to be ours came to the home inspection this week. He wanted to show us how to change the water filter in the refrigerator and explain where the batteries for the edger were stored, but he also showed us photos of the house through the years and the seasons.
When he was giving us names and numbers for local contractors, he suddenly said, “Are you Catholic?” and I was momentarily surprised but said, “Yes, we are.”
He pointed to a little piece of paper on his bulletin board in the kitchen with the Mass times for the local Catholic church.
I don’t know how he knew—or guessed—that we were Catholic. I suspected he was because of the lovely crucifix hanging in his hallway. But I don’t know what made him think we were—unless he was tipped off when I walked in holding a rosary and a St. Joseph novena card, and while singing the Litany of Saints. (I’m kidding.)
I’m so happy we had a chance to meet him.
— 5 —
Last night I made the mistake of saying something negative about a decision made by the President of the United States, and Leo jumped in immediately. He started asking questions that quickly drained all my American government knowledge and then he just kept on asking.
“But why would the president make a bad decision?”
“Who will stop him? Who is in charge of the president?”
“Why would we vote for someone who makes bad decisions?”
I hope they’ll cover some of this in kindergarten.
— 6 —
Which one of us is more worried about the fact that Leo is starting kindergarten? Mama or Leo?
I can tell he’s nervous about it, but I think I might be the one who is even more anxious. It’s such a big step. I don’t worry about him academically at all—not because I think my children are brilliant, but because that’s just not how I am. What I do worry is that he won’t have nice friends, or that he won’t listen to his teacher, or that he won’t feel comfortable there.
Then I worry because he’ll be attending the after-care program after school.
As a mother who works outside the home, you think the hardest time to leave your child will be that first day, but it’s not true. There are so many moments when you wish you could be in two places at once. For me, explaining to Leo that some of the children’s mothers will pick them up at the end of the school day, while he goes to another program is one of those times.
I’m sure it’s a wonderful program—trust me, I’ve looked at it—but I remember being able to come home right after school to my mother and siblings, and I wish I could offer that to our children, too.
— 7 —
We took a trip to the Maryland Science Center last week, thanks to tickets Leo won through the Pratt’s Summer Reading Program.

Every time we go, I wonder why we don’t go more often. Then I remember that tickets usually cost money.
The boys had such a good time and Leo asked a lot of questions.
I realized yet again that really we could just go to the Kids Room there and not even look at the exhibits.
And Daniel amazed me by shaking hands with this creepy Cal Ripken statue. I am a Cal fan, but I do think this statue is eerie. And Daniel walked up and shook the brass hand without any qualms.

But he still won’t go near the scary men at Grandma’s house.
See more quick takes at Jen’s blog.

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.