How to celebrate Mother’s Day, losing teeth, little league lessons, and more (7 Quick Takes)


Our Mother’s Day tradition is to go to the florist on the day before Mother’s Day to pick up a flowering basket for our back porch. It’s simple and fun and everyone enjoys it.

I’m not even sure when we started this Mother’s Day endeavor, but we do it every year.

I love a tradition that just develops on its own and requires very little effort on my part.


Naturally, a requirement for Mother’s Day is that I need to enjoy at least one meal I didn’t prepare. We went to our favorite kabob place, where the boys and John ate koobideh kabobs, and I had a salmon kabob.

Long ago I learned that when I order salmon, I need to share with my two young salmon enthusiasts, but I don’t mind. What good would Mother’s Day be if you get to stretch your mothering muscle?


On Mother’s Day afternoon, I realized I had to make a grocery run. I don’t mind grocery shopping, and I was sort of looking forward to escaping the house for a little quiet at the store. Then I thought of my sister Treasa, who is a stay-at-home mother to their four marvelous children who are 4 and under. I figured she might love a trip to the store.

So, I called and invited her to join me—and she said yes. Off we went! We enjoyed a couple hot chocolates together and chatted as we shopped the store together. I even took a selfie of us in the ice cream aisle.

It was quite the celebration. Maybe we should make it a tradition.


Our older son lost two teeth this week. One I knew had to be pulled because it was supposed to come out weeks ago and never did.

So, I called the dentist and got an 8 a.m. appointment, took him in, had the tooth pulled, raced him to school and got there on time, patted myself on the back for my amazing planning and wonderful luck in appointments, and then worried needlessly all day that losing a tooth would interfere with his trumpet performance in his school concert that evening. (It didn’t.)

Two days later he was watching TV and reached into his mouth and yanked a tooth out.

Mileage really varies around here.


Last weekend, on one of those rare rain-free spring days we have had, we were getting ready for baseball practice. The baseball parents’ text chain was buzzing with conversation about who wasn’t coming and could someone bring the bat bag.

Not knowing what I was signing up for, I volunteered to take the bat bag. We were going to the practice, after all. So, one of the dads stopped by and gave us the bat bag.

Our little leaguer was thrilled. We had the bat bag! I didn’t even know what a bat bag held besides, presumably, at least one bat. It turned out to have catcher’s equipment and batting helmets too.

We got to the field for practice, and I carried the bat bag, while my boys ran ahead with the bucket of balls. And I discovered that when no one is available to bring the bat bag, no one is also available to run the practice. Luckily my husband arrived late after running an errand and took charge because I had no idea what we were going to do.

But next time there’s no one to bring the bat bag, I am running the other way. Because that bat bag comes with serious responsibility.


My third grader and I volunteered to welcome people arriving for the group First Communion Mass at our parish this past weekend.

We enjoyed greeting people we knew and people we didn’t know. I really liked seeing some of my students from my faith formation class.

My nephew (and godson) was making his First Communion the same day in New England, so it seemed extra special that we were greeting children about to receive Jesus for the first time at our parish.

And our 9-year-old is a natural greeter, smiling and handing out programs and answering questions.


I took the train to Washington, D.C., for a quick work trip the other day, and I realized—yet again—just how close were are to D.C. I really think I should try to take our boys down to D.C. to do some exploring this summer. What should we do? I want to see the pandas and maybe one of the Smithsonian museums. But what would a 9-year-old and 11-year-old boy want to do in D.C.? I may need to do some research.

Maybe they would be happy just taking the train down and back.

We definitely need to start planning our summer fun.

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.