7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 5)

— 1 —
If I hadn’t already been a fan of the pope’s youngest sister, I would have become one when I read this interview. Maria Elena Bergoglio is honest and real, but she’s also a masterful public relations expert, whether or not she knows it, as she turns even the weak questions into meaningful answers.
You’ve almost certainly seen the photos of Pope Francis giving a hug on Easter to Dominic, a beautiful child who has cerebral palsy. I loved this video interview with his mother and this blog by his father. “You know, your son is here to show people how to love,” a woman in the crowd told Dominic’s mother. What better time than Easter for us to learn how to love more deeply.
— 2 —
It’s a good thing neither of my brothers is in danger of being elected to the papacy because the media would discover that my memory is fading quickly. I forgot to bring the boys’ lunches to preschool on Tuesday.
While I was trying to act as if this doesn’t happen often, Leo announced loudly, “Mama, you have forgotten lunches three times!”
In my defense, that would be three times over the course of one year. But our 5-year-old is right. And I do think someone with a memory as sharp as his should not only be in charge of remembering the lunches, but perhaps also handle the packing.
It’s just that I think my sons need to eat more than crab chips and fruit snacks. And I don’t mean balancing that with an extra Milano cookie.
— 3 —
Our 3-year-old had a major toilet-training breakthrough last weekend. I thought I had made a big fuss over him until we called Grandma on speakerphone to share his news. He listened as she congratulated him and then he took the phone from me.
“I get nothing,” he told her, obviously offended. “Nobody give me anything.”
You can bet Grandma showed up the next day with a matchbox car. And that’s why God created grandmothers.
— 4 —
My camera has died. On Wednesday afternoon I tried to take a photo of the toothbrush Leo wants to take to heaven, and I realized the camera was done.
“Mama, I feel sad for you,” said Leo. That was particularly compassionate considering that he doesn’t like having his picture taken unless he is dressed as a superhero. By the way, people have asked me whether I shoot photos hiding the boys’ faces specifically for the blog. Not really. Our sons dodge me and hide their faces most of the time, so I have plenty of options for the blog. The challenge is getting pictures where you can see their faces.
I am sorry my camera is broken, mostly because now I have to buy a new one. And it’s not just the money. It’s the time. Life was easier before there were product reviews. Now if I buy a bad camera it’s my fault for not doing more research. Of course, it is my fault that I have to buy one in the first place since I have a bad habit of dropping cameras—or letting my children drop them.
Can you recommend a point-and-shoot digital camera? I just want one that takes good photos, has a quick reaction time when you press the button, and that also shoots video. And I don’t want to spend more than $200.
— 5 —
I thought I was a careful shopper. Then the other day I pulled a box of spaghetti out of the pantry and saw this on the box:

“Six servings?” I thought. “Shouldn’t a pound of pasta serve more than six people?” And then I realized it was not a full pound of pasta.
I felt cheated. I certainly can’t be carelessly buying skimpy boxes of noodles—especially when our sons eat noodles faster than they eat crab chips.
— 6 —
Spring is coming! It has been a bit brisk this week, but you can tell spring is on its way.
This is a tree we saw together earlier this week.
Isn’t it magnificent? I love the creative colors God sends us every spring.
— 7 —
April is National Poetry Month. When I mentioned to my sister Maureen that I was thinking of inviting my readers to write limericks about Pope Francis for a poetry contest, she said, “Do you actually want people to participate?”
So, as our 5-year-old would say, “How about this for a deal?” You can write a limerick about the pope or a topic of your choice and send it to me at openwindowcr@gmail.com. Then I’ll share the best ones here. 
As for me, I am going to kick this poetry slam off with a limerick about the pope:
So who is this new pope, Pope Francis?

He cooks for himself and he dances.

Therese is one of his faves,

As a meek heart he craves,

While our love for our faith he advances.

If we get enough entries, maybe we’ll even award a prize, and it will be something better than a 12-ounce box of spaghetti.
— And here’s a bonus Easter treat —
See more quick takes at Jen’s blog.
And please keep her and her baby in your prayers.

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Catholic Review

Catholic Review

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