Have a nonfiction day!


When John and I started writing notes for the boys’ lunches, we drew simple pictures and added a few words: “Have a great day at school!” or “Have a fun day!”



Somewhere along the way, the boys started asking for different messages to match the drawings. The notes changed to “Have a Ninjago day!” or “Have a Star Wars day!” or even something a little less expected like “Have a cheese ball day!”



The notes make me smile. And I love that our children care enough to want precision in the words, even though they can’t actually read them.


Just to clarify, this is our family in cheese ball form.

The other day it was my turn to make the notes, and Daniel came up to watch me draw.

“Write ‘Have a nonfiction day,’” our 4-year-old said. “Then write, ‘Love, Nonfiction Baba and Nonfiction Mama.”

So I did. And, in the chaos of figuring out whether he wanted Chex Mix or a handful of raisins, I didn’t ask him why he picked that word. It was only later when his godmother, who had picked him up at lunchtime—and seen the note—mentioned to me how much she enjoyed that message that I realized I should have asked.

By then, of course, Daniel wouldn’t tell me. He just ran away laughing.



I’m fairly sure our little boy just picked a word that sounded good. But since then I’ve been thinking how appropriate his word was.

How often do we tell people to “Have a nice day” or “Have a good day,” all the while knowing it’s not likely to improve their day? A nonfiction day, on the other hand, is well within everyone’s reach.


This one read, “Have a Candy Head Family Day!”

And “nonfiction” sounds so much classier than saying, “That’s life” or “It’s been real.”

Tonight when John came home from working late, he said, “How was your day?”

I thought back on the squabbles over toys, the “oil change” light that came on in the car, the dishes piled up in the sink, and all that I tried to accomplish at the office.

Then I thought of our boys who came running to hug me when I picked them up, the way they both helped carry their backpacks inside for the first time ever, and how they played mostly quietly while I cooked dinner.

How can you summarize a day in a few words?



“Well,” I said, “it was a nonfiction day.”

And I’m so, so grateful to the Author.
This week I’m joining a group of wonderful bloggers and posting every day! My fellow Catholic Review blogger Patti Murphy Dohn is also writing #7for7 and today she has a ticket giveaway for “Son of God.” 

Linking up for Worth Revisit Wednesday on Nov. 26, 2014, with Theology is a Verb and Reconciled to You.
P.S. Happy birthday to my baby brother!

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Catholic Review

Catholic Review

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