To the Batmobile! We’ll just need St. Anthony first.

A few weeks ago when Leo complained that he couldn’t find his Trio Batman figure, I suggested we pray to St. Anthony. Leo was pleased, and he expected an instant response.
“I hope God puts it right in my hands,” he said.
Yes, well…I explained that St. Anthony might help, but that it can take time for prayers to be answered—and that we have to do our part to keep looking for it, too. I also told him stories about times we had called on St. Anthony and how sometimes a lot of time passed before we found the missing item.
He liked my story about the spare car key that showed up months after we lost it, but he really did want his Batman back—and soon.

For the next few days, I looked everywhere. I found all kinds of toys we had lost, but not Batman. I started wondering whether our 5-year-old would be terribly disappointed if his prayers didn’t seem to be heard. If St. Anthony fails you the very first time you ask for his help, will you never turn to him again? Still, it was out of my hands.
With all the fun of Easter and traveling out of town and work and ordinary life, I forgot about Batman.
Then yesterday morning the boys and I joined my parents for a trip to the National Air and Space Museum Annex in Dulles, Va. If you live anywhere nearby, you should make the trip.

There’s a space shuttle.

There are airplanes everywhere—and each one is different.

Even when it’s crowded, you don’t notice because the place is enormous.

And, except for the $15 parking, it’s free.

When we walked out to our minivan, Leo asked to sit in the backseat with Grandma. I just had to move his seat into position, and as I did I happened to notice something sticking out of a crack in the floor.
It was, of course, Leo’s long-lost Batman.
Leo was overjoyed.
I said that we should thank St. Anthony, and Leo didn’t think my initial prayer was adequate. He insisted that we say a formal prayer of gratitude. Then he played with Batman the whole way home. The rest of the day, in fact, revolved around Batman. And we thanked God for finding Batman again in our evening prayers.
Last night I asked the boys their favorite parts of the trip to the museum. We saw so many fantastic and historic airplanes. What would they say?

Daniel, who’s 3, said it was seeing the golf carts, which were parked on the side for the staff to use.
His big brother loved the shuttle and he was fascinated by the German and Japanese planes.

But he didn’t mention any of those. At the top of his list? “Finding the Trio Batman!”
Sometimes that’s how life is. You spend four hours driving so your children can have this incredible experience. Then you make your child’s day by discovering something you could have found if you had just taken the time to clean out your car.

Then, the next morning, you’re still asleep when a small voice announces in your ear: “Mama, we can’t find the Trio Superman.”
Great Scott! We’re keeping St. Anthony busy.
Today I’m linking up to Stephanie’s Sunday Snapshot, where you’ll find bloggers with far superior photography.

Ni Hao Yall

Catholic Review

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