7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 7)

— 1 —
Who knew that 5-year-olds came with so many questions? During just one half-hour drive this week I found myself explaining why bicyclists always have the right of way, why people steal credit card numbers, and how we try not to spend more money than we make. Leo thinks the word “budget” is one of the funniest words. When I say it, he just laughs and laughs
 I love how the boys discover new words and give me new perspective on others. When I picked them up from school the other day, they were playing in the sandbox.
“What are you making?” I asked.
“Mama,” said Leo. “We are making an interruption.”
“Um…an interruption?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said, “a volcano interruption.”
Aha. My favorite kind.
— 2 —

Do you make three wishes when you visit a church for the first time? My mother always said we could, so I tell our sons the same thing. When we visited St. Louis Church in Clarksville on Sunday, it was our boys’ first time, so they each made three silent wishes—or prayers, really—once we were in our pew.
When we took the boys to Mass to a church during our summer vacation last year, I mentioned that it was Daniel’s first visit, but not Leo’s.
When we walked in, an usher greeted us, and Leo leaned toward him and whispered loudly, “I already got my three wishes.” Then, having reported in, he headed for a pew. I hope that usher made note of that in the official church records.
— 3 —

Speaking of wishes, the “porcupine” growing out of our sidewalk turned to seed. Leo and Daniel were so excited. They ran to pluck it, and Leo got there first—and didn’t want to share. Luckily it was too hard for him to blow the seeds off. In the end, they both blew and blew and blew and handed it off to me to finish. I felt like the Big Bad Wolf huffing and puffing with nothing happening. I wonder who got the wishes. Let’s hope it was the person who wished for extra sleep.
— 4 —
If you had been there when the bombs went off, which way would you have run—away from the bombs or toward the people who needed help? I keep asking myself this question, and I’m not proud of what I think would be my response. Maybe in that moment the Holy Spirit gives people unexpected courage. (And, if you are new to the blog, here’s my post from earlier this week about a conversation in the Beijing airport from three years ago that I can’t get off my mind.)
— 5 —

Looking for a good read? I enjoy Grace Lin’s writing, and her latest is an uplifting young adult’s book with Chinese culture woven through it, Starry River of the Sky.
I don’t think I love it quite as much as Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, but that’s sort of like trying to decide whether you like macaroons plain or dipped in chocolate. You’ll eat them regardless because they’re absolutely decadent either way. Lin is a marvelous storyteller. I also like that the main character is a boy, which may make the book more appealing to our sons one day.
— 6 —
My latest book idea is a guide titled Holy Big Boy Underpants, Batman! How to Toilet Train Your Son by Convincing Him He’s Robin. Of course, that won’t work for everyone. It just happens to be working for our son, whose diapers didn’t go with his superhero attire. It may not be a bestseller, but it’s more helpful than the mother on the playground who tells you, “Our 13-month-old woke up one morning and said, ‘Mommy, I don’t want to wear diapers anymore,’ and that was it! She was trained!” I’m just happy we made it through without having to buy an expensive prize.
— 7 —
Speaking of prizes, you may find this hard to believe, but only one person submitted a papal limerick in honor of National Poetry Month. And, believe it or not, she’s related to me.
Here is my sister Treasa’s outstanding contribution:

When Benedict the sixteenth resigned
We wondered, “Will they ever find
Another one who
Can fill up his shoe
And lead our Church with heart and with mind?”
But from hot Argentina there came
A cardinal, Jorge by name,
Much loved by his flock,
And with faith like a rock
And a love for the sick, poor, and lame.
Though Pope Francis was unknown at the start
In no time he has won the world’s heart.
We just can’t get enough
Of this pope who can stuff
Calamari and spreads joy by the quart.

CNS Photo/Paul Haring
Read more quick takes on Grace’s blog as she fills in for Jen, whose newborn son is home from the hospital.

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Catholic Review

Catholic Review

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