7 quick takes Friday (Vol. 9)

— 1 —

Ever seen a Johnny Jump Up? I don’t think I even knew it was a flower. I thought it was something you bought and attached to a doorway for babies to jump in. Anyway, I saw my first one—or the first one identified as such—on our trip to Williamsburg.

Isn’t it lovely? And don’t you like it even more because of its name?

— 2 —
Yesterday I spontaneously decided to take today off from work. When my sister was planning her wedding, I promised that I would take off a day and we would spend time together. It was supposed to be sort of a bachelorette celebration, but I’m pretty sure we missed the window of opportunity on that since she and my brother-in-law have been married six months next week. So it will just be a day of fun. We’ll window shop, maybe get a cup of tea somewhere, perhaps speak in British accents, and quote randomly from The Princess Bride and whatever Jane Austen film we wish we had time to watch.
My new year’s resolution was to take one day off each month, and I’ve failed. This will be my second day off this year and, as I just realized this week, it’s May. And I can’t be the only person who has had this song running through my head for the past three days.
— 3 —
If a person keeps a candy bowl in his or her office, is it appropriate for a visiting child to ask for a piece? My sons joined me for a work-related errand yesterday, and they were excited to see candy bowls in the offices we visited. Normally our rule—which is rarely followed—is not to ask for something that is not offered. However, is an open bowl of candy a sign that an offer has already been extended?
Not asking for an M&M was apparently too much for my 3-year-old candy enthusiast to grasp, and I was just happy he asked politely when he asked. So I didn’t make a big deal over it. But now I’m wondering, am I being too strict or not strict enough?
The bigger question is why am I worrying about candy bowls when the harder thing for a child to grasp is general office etiquette, such as don’t walk behind the person’s desk, don’t throw yourself toward the couch, etc. And, of course, their favorite part of running errands was the running part.
— 4 —
A friend in Baltimore County called 911 when his cat was stuck in a tree last week, and the fire department apparently threatened to call the police on him. So now I’m wondering: Do fire departments not rescue cats anymore? If not, why not? And, if they don’t, who does? Just in the past few days I have seen this story about a Florida kitten rescued from a wall and this one about the Harford County Fire Department rescuing a fox from a drain. Maybe it varies by county? We don’t have a cat, but in the children’s books you can always call the fire department if a cat is stuck in a tree. I just assumed that was how it worked.
— 5 —
I borrowed my father’s beloved GPS from him for our trip to Williamsburg last weekend. As we were driving through tree-lined Nowhere, Va., with no idea where to go and no help from the GPS, John and I were grumbling about how worthless it was.
“If I were driving,” Leo said from the backseat, “I would turn around and go home.”
We didn’t, but I won’t say we didn’t think about it. Even our printed directions weren’t helping much, and it all seemed rather hopeless. We did eventually find our way, but it took longer than it should have.
Later I realized the battery in the GPS had died and I had plugged it into the wrong socket in the car. I think that’s called human error. Once I figured it out, it did start talking to us again. But I’m still not sure I am a GPS fan.
— 6 —

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Williamsburg is a very, very, very, very long drive for a day trip from Baltimore. John and I were glad we made it a day trip rather than an overnight because it worked better for us to sleep in our own beds and it was much less expensive. But I can’t honestly recommend it as a day trip without mentioning that the trip took 12 hours and 7 ½ of those hours we were in the car.
Here’s the thing. I was raised by parents who woke up one Easter morning and, after Mass and baskets, put us in the family van and drove 5 ½ hours to have a picnic lunch with my two sisters who were in college. Then we drove home—another 5 1/2 hours. And we thought it was fun. (Note, if you ask my father, he’ll tell you he made it in under 5 hours each way.)
Other than the excessive driving, our trip to Williamsburg was quite memorable, and we got to spend time with our friends from South Dakota who happened to be on the East Coast. We hadn’t seen them since August 2011 when we met them on our adoption trip to Daniel in China. John and I thoroughly enjoy them and loved connecting with them. There’s something special about the friends you make on that journey to parenthood.
— 7 —

I don’t say it often enough, so thank you, thank you, thank you for reading my blog. When I wrote about our experience with infertility last week, I received such an amazing response, with so many thoughtful comments. I was so touched by the personal experiences so many of you shared. So I just want to say how thankful I am that you stopped by, whether for your first visit or second or 17th.
Read more quick takes at Jen’s blog!

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!

Catholic Review

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