7 Quick Takes: Piggyback rides, succulents, salmon, and how great it is when your son loves you more than his bathrobe

~1~

After a long day, I picked up the boys and we drove home. I was asking questions about their day and not getting much. When we finished dinner, Daniel climbed into my lap, and I said, “Can you just tell me about one part of the day that was good?”

He leaned back against me and said, “Right now.”

I still don’t know what happened at school, but it was such a great answer—and a perfect reminder to me to find joy in the moment.

~2~

Our boys are really into giving each other piggyback rides. I’m not a huge fan of this idea since it seems a little dangerous, but the other morning I was clearing the breakfast table and glanced over to see big brother giving little brother a ride—while reading a book.

Maybe it’s not as difficult as it looks.

~3~

Besides riding piggyback, our younger son’s favorite thing lately is making things out of duct tape. He really wants to make long ropes of duct tape. Then he and his brother pull each other across the floor.

Who knew duct tape was so strong?

~4~

How was your Mother’s Day? We had a fairly low-key day. We went to Mass, and the priest asked people to put their hands on the shoulders of the mothers who were with them. So I would like to tell you about the blessing, but instead of hearing it, I was working on prying our boys apart as they jockeyed to try to stand in the best position to have a hand on my shoulder.

It probably shouldn’t have amused me as much as it did, but it was definitely an authentic mothering moment for me.

Then we went to lunch, and I had some lovely salmon and a free Mother’s Day beverage the restaurant offered.
Then I went home and napped the day away. Ha! Not exactly. I went home and did some writing. But that was a gift in itself.

A highlight of the day was when Daniel gave me the Mother’s Day card he had made in school.

Not much can top learning that your son loves you more than his much-loved bathrobe.

~5~

Our sons had two friends over for a play date last weekend. I was trying to be a relaxed mother with just a handful of rules. At one point I said, “In our family we don’t throw stuffed animals around the living room.”

Our 6-year-old guest looked at me and said, “Oh, I can see why. They probably get all dusty.”

Ah, the honesty of children.

~6~

A friend dropped off this sweet little pot of succulents this week. Aren’t they beautiful?

She thinks I can keep them alive, so I am remaining optimistic.

~7~

I cooked quinoa for the first time! As it was cooking, I suddenly realized I would need to strain it, and I panicked.

Immediately I texted a friend to ask for advice on straining quinoa. She wrote back right away with two possible ways—using a mesh strainer, or a regular strainer with a paper towel.

Everyone should have a friend who is a quinoa expert. Dinner turned out well, but our children didn’t like the quinoa. Good thing I’ve heard it takes a child 13 times trying a new food before he knows whether he likes it.

Read more quick takes at Kelly’s blog, This Ain’t the Lyceum. And have a wonderful weekend!

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner is a wife, working mother and author of the Catholic Review's Open Window blog. She and her husband adopted their two sons from China, and Rita often writes about topics concerning adoption, family and faith.

Rita also writes The Domestic Church, a featured column in the Catholic Review. Her writing has been honored by the Catholic Press Association, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and the Associated Church Press.