Over the past week I’ve blogged every day as part of the Week in My Life series. This is my final entry in the series. I hope you’ve enjoyed it.
It’s Sunday and we have finally persuaded the boys to sleep past 7—just in time for tomorrow when we’ll need them to be up earlier. We aren’t going to church until noon, so the whole morning is free.
Breakfast is chicken noodle soup yet again, and I also offer pop-tarts, which the boys bite into puzzle-pieces.
Leo asks—as he does almost every Sunday—why he has to go to church. I usually give some brief comment, either about expressing gratitude to God or following the Ten Commandments, but today John is ready. He casually goes and gets the Catechism of the Catholic Church, looks up “Sunday obligation,” and reads the excerpt, which is surprisingly accessible for an almost-6-year-old.
I’m not sure how much Leo takes away from it, but I love the line, “They strengthen one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”
We have so much extra time that I decide to go grocery shopping before we go to Mass, and I leave the boys with John. I have also promised to bring a baked good to the fellowship event after Mass, and naturally I haven’t baked one, so I’ll need to buy one.
As I’m checking out in the self-check-out lane, six or seven coupons come rolling out of the printer. The last one is the first of six or seven vouchers I need to save to get a gallon of milk. There is no way I can keep track of this piece of paper, never mind the next five or six I’m expected to collect.
I’m wondering how many people are that organized as I head toward our van, and I’ve clicked the button for the tailgate to open before I remember that there’s no way the groceries will fit in the back of the van because this is what it looks like.
Ever since we moved out of my parents’ house a few weeks ago, my mother keeps finding items that are ours. The most recent load is still in the van. And there just happen to be a lot of games.
As I’m standing there, looking into our van, a car pulls up alongside me, and the window rolls down.
“Where did you get all those games from?” the driver asks. I tell her we’ve moved recently and are slow to empty our car.
“Oh,” she says, and I see her face fall. “I thought there was a great sale somewhere.”
Later I realize that my husband might have offered her the whole lot for $50 just to get them out of the car.
On the way home I hear a Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton song on the radio and, because I tend to listen to whatever the boys want to hear in the car, I don’t know whether it’s 30 years old or 30 days old. It turns out that it is a recent release, and I love it (but I can’t find a working YouTube video to share it with you).
When I get home, John is installing curtains in our dining room, and the boys are pretending to be Ninjago characters. I feed them an early lunch to increase our chances of good Mass behavior.
Then we’re off to church, and we sit together for the first time in ages. Typically we divide and conquer and sit in two separate pews. Before Mass, though, we designate one parent for each child, to try to prevent everyone from wanting Mama, and I pack separate bags of books to limit conflict.
Everything goes reasonably well, and the priest tells us at the start of his homily that he doesn’t worry about what the children take away from it, that that’s in the Holy Spirit’s hands. When the priest asks the congregation whether they pray, Leo’s hand shoots into the air, and the same thing happens when he asks whether we believe in our guardian angels. I catch Leo humming Star Wars music under his breath a few times, and Daniel covers my mouth when I am singing, but overall it is a good experience, and we are able to stay in our pew for the whole service.
At the fellowship time afterward, both boys do some coloring.
Then they try hula hooping.
Often we run errands after going to church, but today we just wanted to get home to get work done around the house. John finished the curtain installation. Doesn’t it look beautiful?
I spot a caterpillar on the sidewalk outside and I take Daniel out to see it.
“Don’t touch it,” he warns me. “It might be poisonous!”
He’s thinking of the orange mushrooms growing in our yard. But I take his hand and let him touch it very gently. He’s very excited about it. He loves small creatures—and large ones too, but small ones are less scary.
John finishes making our third bedroom into a playroom for the boys, and he unpacks some of the toys they haven’t seen in months since a lot of what we own has been in storage. The afternoon is full of excitement over toys Leo and Daniel rediscover. I hear a little voice yelling, “Do you remember these handcuffs?” and there’s a mini-celebration each time.
Halloween is coming up quickly, and with kindergarten homework filling our weekday evenings, we figure we’d better get the pumpkins carved today. For some reason we have three small ones. Leo wants one to be a Darth Vader pumpkin, and Daniel wants one to be happy and one to be spooky.
My work—pun fully intended here—is cut out for me.
John is busy with house projects, so I take the lead and the knife and the boys out to our back porch. Everyone is enthusiastic about the carving until they realize I am not going to let them use the knife.
This year we cut the bottoms off instead of the tops because last year we learned that was the better way to do it—I can’t recall why.
Leo helps with some scooping, but the “goop” makes Daniel nervous.
Daniel keeps talking about how his teacher says you can cook the seeds and eat them, so I tell him we’ll save the seeds, and I send him inside to get a bowl. I try to think of tasks he can accomplish, and I send him to the cupboard full of plastic and metal bowls. He comes back with a glass one, naturally, and I’m holding my breath as he carries it out, tucked under one arm. The bowl survives and I start breathing again.
Soon enough, though, Leo drifts back inside and Daniel starts building a cannon on the lawn.
Leo is satisfied with my Darth Vader, and Daniel is happy with the other two, so we’ll take that as a win.
I look up a pumpkin seed recipe online, and after making chicken marsala for dinner…
…I start on the seeds.
The recipe is a bit labor-intensive, and the seeds don’t turn out that well. I think I piled too many in the pan, and maybe I should have dried them more after I boiled them.
Leo eats one and sings its praises but doesn’t go for a second. Daniel—who was so enthusiastic through the seed preparation—won’t touch the finished product. I’d say they’re not bad, just perhaps not worth the effort unless you really love pumpkin seeds.
Just days before our first Halloween in our new home, we all pile onto the couch—the boys are already in their pajamas—to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. We laugh together and take turns saying “I got a rock.”
Then we’re off to bed, and the boys fall asleep almost instantly. And John and I aren’t far behind them.
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