Thursday, March 15, 2018

Sometimes, I Want to Write, Sometimes, I have to...

I have a piece at the National Catholic Register today.  It's in response to an article written by Ruth Marcus over at the Washington Post, explaining how if she'd found out her children had Down Syndrome, she'd have aborted them, and protesting that to have the right to choose must be from conception to birth irrespective of the reasoning behind abortion.  So I wished to present an alternative perspective, and to offer to my sister in Christ, why we need these people in our world and in our lives. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

At National Catholic Register Today

We're getting to the end of the series on the Rosary, so naturally, we'd save the Crucifixion for during Lent.   Here's today's piece, "Sooner or Later, We All End Up at the Foot of the Cross."

Next week my son has a retreat in preparation for Confirmation, and I have two mysteries left to do to finish this project, The Ressurection and the Descent of the Holy Spirit.  My plan is to print up all of them for him as a Confirmation present, and add a rosary to it.  It's been a fun project in addition to being a challenging one.  Now I have to figure out what I'll write about next. 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

What Are We Looking For...

I think (with the exception of the Black Panther), we've finally saturated on Superhero movies. 


Because we're tired of being shown heroes we cannot possibly become.  What we want from our heroes, is the inspiration to be heroic.  What Superman, Batman, Captain America, Iron Man, Wolverine, X-men,Thor, The Avengers, Justice League and the like do, is show people who are beyond us, in origin, in capacity, in some cases, in economics, and potential. We can't be these people.  We cannot become mutants, Asgardians or aliens or transfigured by super soldier serum.  We can only enjoy the escape, and return to ordinariness.  These films are rather like going on a roller coaster.  Once the ride is over, so is the thrill. 

What real heroes do, is inspire others to also be heroic.  It's part of why Wonder Woman was so successful.  The men who journeyed with her, were inspired to be super-heroic, and all the moreso because they lacked powers.  It's why Black Panther is also such a hit. The characters within struggle and find their courage to act. We don't need our heroes on the screen or in real life to be impossible.  We need them to be courageous and good.  So when we have super heros that are courageous AND good, we love it because of the characters' character, (like Spiderman, Wonder Woman, and Black Panther).  Their powers are the little extra. We'd like these characters as Peter Parker, Diana Prince and T'Challa. 

We are starving for examples in real life of people not preening, not preaching, not lecturing, not coming in after the fact to explain what should have been done, but for people to be fully present in the now and be both good and brave.   It's why we are starting to drift toward less fanciful movies, and more real life stories.  We want the extraordinary from the ordinary, a reminder to each of us, that it's possible. 

P.S. My son informs me, I should watch Logan, because it is darker and struggles with the hardness of doing the right thing. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018's Thursday

So I'm posting Small Success Thursday.   Will wonders never cease? 

Hopefully not.

In other news, we took the youngest four to see Peter Rabbit and it was a fun movie.  I now have a personal favorite creature,  I always thought I was The Country Bunny...

but now I've discovered, 

The idea of a cucumber ninja bunny who doesn't count the ribs she breaks...or doesn't count them correctly anyway, tickled me to no end.   

In other news:

 My daughter Bonn got into Maryland Institute of Creative Art for graduate school.   Peter has narrowed down his choices to two schools, we ordered his cap and gown and had a snow day last week.   We also are celebrating the beginning of birthday season with the first of four birthdays which fall fast upon each other. 

It's a busy week in the Antonetti household. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Sleep Regulations of Mom and Dad

We your parents love you always.  Having said this, we've also discovered in the course of years of experimentation, we need this thing called sleep more than any of you knew possible.  Since none of you seem interested in fostering this physical need of ours, the time has come to lay down the law. 

We have operational hours...6 AM to 11:00 PM, Monday through Friday.  Saturday and Sunday, the hours alter to 8 AM to 11 PM. 

Emergencies may happen, you have needs which exceed these hours, and you are welcome in such circumstances.  However, it seems few know the difference between an emergency and ordinary inquiries.  Please refer to the following handy dandy chart to avoid confusion, faux pas and interrupting much needed Mom and Dad REM sleep. 

Before you knock...

Does this situation involve someone having a problem with a bodily fluid? 
If so, KNOCK. 

Does this situation involve someone raiding the refridgerator of the last sleeve of thin mints?
If so, don't knock.  Tell the person to leave a baggie of four for Mom for the trouble and to share the rest of them.   

Does the situation involve someone arguing over a toy?
Go to bed.  Leave the toy outside our bedroom door. 

Does the situation involve anyone being sick in some fashion? 
Knock.  Knock until you get an answer.

Does the situation involve a nightmare? 
Knock.  We will awake and help make it better.  That's what Moms and Dads do. 

Does the situation involve a dispute over technology?   Turn all of it off.  It should have been off hours ago. 

Does the situation involve needing water?
You are stalling.  If you can come knock on the door, you can get water from your sink.  Do not knock.

Does your situation involve signing papers...forgotten homework?  We'll talk about this in the morning.  We'll sign the papers.  Leave a note for me to wake you up early. 

Hope this clears everything up.  Sweet dreams.   Love you all.   Good Night. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Over at the National Catholic Register Today

with one of the last pieces in my series on the rosary.   It's on the Institution of the Holy Eucharist.  I've tried very hard not to rush any of these pieces, to let the situation dictate which one came next, but it seems to me very appropriate that the Eucharist would then be followed by needing to write on the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the Descent of the Holy Spirit.   I'd love to say I planned it, but the only thing I knew, was Pentecost would be the last in the series, since all of these pieces were written for John as he prepares for Confirmation. 

I have to write a letter to him for his Confirmation retreat, but I'm not sure what I'll say.  I know my own Confirmation retreat included a story which blew my mind even though I lived it. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

I Hate this Movie

I hate Hotel Transylvania II, even more than Hotel Transylvania I.  I can say this because I've seen it way more than any human should have to...ever.

Unfortunately, my son Paul loves both movies and today, sitting by his side as he called my attention to various points in the show, I understood for the first time, why.  Mind you, it's still a poorly written film with weird sensibilities, but I understood Paul's love for it. 

First, he loves slap stick.  So anything which has crashes and bumps and fake fights (like Batman the live action), Tom and Jerry Cartoons, you name it, it's good.  The film catches him right where he lives. He points out every prat fall, every silly movement by one of the monsters.

Additionally, Paul thinks he's the little boy who doesn't fit in either spot.  I didn't pick this...he did.  Paul dances to the music, he does all the moves.  He says "Blah blah blah." and pretends to be the vampire. He knows just enough to know, he's not where everyone else is in his own family.  He points to himself when the little boy Dennis becomes a vampire and suddenly has control over all of his life.   Right now, it doesn't hurt to be self aware about how he is and others aren't.

The problematic plot of the movie is the kid cannot stay with half his family because he is not a monster, and cannot go to the human world, because his family is peopled with monsters.   I know to the outside world, as Paul grows up, his disability will be more easily seen than his gifts. They will see him as not able.  He will be like the kid, unable to fully join a world he must live in. 

It's my job to help him hone his gifts so people can be "surprised by his ability," instead of presuming he can't.   Part of me thinks he thinks it will be rather like the character, suddenly gaining all the super powers to be able to fit in both worlds at ease.  Who wouldn't like a magic answer? He brings me a banana and draws a picture of his name and a few other letters I can't quite make out.

He wants a new movie, "Lego Batman." It's a day off and we've done all we're doing today and I have paperwork to finish so I allow it after a negotiation.  "Get changed for bed."  He goes to get his stuff on his own, comes back to my bathroom, knocks on the door to make sure no one is being interrupted and proceeds to change.   I'm surprised by his efficiency.  He also gets the remote and puts it on the movie. Again I'm surprised.  Maybe he knows more than I know. Maybe he sees me like the overprotective mother who won't let him be what he should be. Maybe he's showing me this movie over and over and over again to show me what he can be...maybe it's a message to me.


Now I really hate this movie. 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Small Success Thursday...on Thursday!

Will wonders never cease? 

It helps that I'm home sick today.  I can do three things. Groan, sleep and occasionally comment on something in social media. 

However, if I don't post SST today, it won't be because I didn't have time, only a lack of will.   Here's today's Small Success Thursday.  There are times when I think about stopping this weekly exercise of counting one's blessings.  It doesn't seem to generate much of a written response. 

Part of me, the egotistical part, wants that affirmation.  But as I told my mom recently, too much affirmation for me, is like alcohol.  I get spiritually drunk on it, and fail to keep growing.  Simcha Fisher wrote a great piece,  there's a value in the waiting to be healed, even if we do not fully recognize it, and I knew, that's what I feel sometimes when there aren't many responses to Small Success Thursday.  Where is everyone?  Isn't a sign of the Holy Spirit, community?  Am I just tooting my own horn? Does it come across as me bragging about my life? Does it come across as smug about reality?  Which lead to the question...why do you do this?  For yourself?  If so, why? 

I write it to keep track of life, to remember all the good that happens,  even when battling a stomach bug.   I write it to remind myself, all of life is a gift, and that even suffering, while not "fixable," is redeemable.   (To quote another wise woman, Leticia Adams).  God redeems our suffering, which is very different from fixing it.  However, that redemption requires one key element, our cooperation.    When you spend the day in bed, cooperation seems like a bit much to ask.  My sufferings are nothing compared to anyone else's, but I'm just as willing to whine at God, "Fix this." over the small things as the big.  I'm very good at nagging God. 

Then I read Pope Francis' work a Letter Placuit Deo To the Bishops of the Catholic Church On Certain Aspects of Christian Salvation.  Pope Francis takes on the two modern heresies which are merely repackaging of two of the oldest,  Pelagianism and Gnosticism. 

Most of us have a cursory knowledge of the second one.  The body is innately bad, and all redepmtion is a spiritual act, a divorcing of the soul from the body.  If so, there would be no need of the ressurection. Why trouble us with new bodies, if bodies are themselves, unnecessary and innately of no worth.  Why become man if being man were not necessary.  God could have shown himself as a giant head, like in that horrible movie Startrek V, and the question would be, "What does God need with a starship/body?" Answer, nothing at all if gnosticism is true.   Fortunately, it's not true even if right now, I know my body feels bad and I'd personally like a divorce for as long as it feels this way. 

Which brings us to the second heresy.  Being sick has an advantage in terms of insight. I cannot will myself better. I can only wait and work towards being well.  But I cannot make myself healed no matter how much I wish it. Pelagianism asserts we can (absent God's grace) be good, be whole, be who we are called to be.  I've only begun to delve into the piece by the Pope, and can barely spell the term without double checking, but I do get the good person who does not believe in God, does not know they receive God's grace.  They receive it nontheless because God loves all his children and wants them to know through all the graces of life, His love.  He's pouring out all the graces of the Universe in an attempt to win over each of our hearts. 

So I go back to the question...and the answer is of course, I will write SST, if only to remind myself to be grateful to God for everything.  (I'll still ask God, could you make me better soon please, this is not fun).   

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Two Pieces for You...

Hey everyone, I've got a piece over at the National Catholic Register on the Assumption.  It's funny, the pieces I sweat over, sometimes don't catch on, and the ones I don't feel quite right, sometimes turn out to be the ones people like.  I struggled with the piece on the Assumption. 

Speaking of struggles, after a long dry spell, I have a piece over at Aleteia on 5 tips if you're botching Lent.  I'll be over here drying to redone my ashes and mental sack cloth.   Thank goodness God doesn't get tired of hearing me say, "I wasn't ready.  Do-over.  I'm beginning again."  I know I do. 

A friend of mine who is not Christian asked me about Lent. She thought the fasting component fascinating.  "Do you feel yourself getting stronger?"  Nope.  Just the opposite.  What I have learned thus far this Lent, there's much to do. I need to will to do it, and I am very predisposed to be weak.

She laughed.   So did I.   Thank goodness for the mercy of Lent.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

What's Epic about Sports

We've spent the past two weeks indulging ourselves, gorging our brains on the olympics.  We love seeing people show what the human person can do. 

However, the most exciting sport I've seen in recent memory, was the 5th-6th grade CYO basketball game played this past evening.  These girls never played ball before this year.  There are only eight total on the team, and over the course of the season, often one or two have been ill. (Never the same two, but often two are).   They've struggled to score.  They haven't won a game.   Sometimes, they made shots at the wrong basket. 

This evening however, they put it all together.  Everyone dribbled. Everyone passed.  Everyone tried if they didn'ts succeed, to get the ball in the hoop.  They took foul shots.  They scored 14 points.
Seeing girls who used to be afraid of the ball, take it down the court, fight for the ball when it's stollen, and maybe even steal it back, this was the victory. Yes, there were still rainbow passes, but there were also rebounds and good passes and teamwork.  It wasn't one kid, it was all of them. 
Every girl who played in that game, wanted the season to continue, not just this week but for weeks more. For a team who has lost most games 40-2, (twice) or 38 to 2, 36 to 6, or in the closest match, 32 to 8, this was the best and closest game ever. The other team won, scoring five more baskets.   

On the gym wall was a posted sign reminding everyone, "They are kids.  This is CYO. The coaches are volunteers.  The refs are humans.  This is not D-1."  I wanted to whoop.  This is CYO. These are our kids. The coaches rock.  It's not D-1. It's so much more.   Every girl walked off that court this evening taller reminding all of us, what the human can do isn't confined to the professional level. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

It's Friday, It's Lent, What are you going to eat?

Sure, you can call for a cheese pizza or find the local Knights of Columbus fish fry, but what else is on the menu when you're trying to fast/abstain?  Here are a few ideas for when you are wanting something else...Don't say I never do anything for you folks...

50.  Grilled cheese.
49.  Mac and Cheese
48.  Baked potatoes.
47.  French Onion Soup.
46. PB& J. on toast.
45. French toast.
44. Shrimp and Grits.
43. quiche
42. pancakes.
41. oatmeal.
40. Pasta with red sauce.
39. Black beans and rice.
38. Tomato soup.
37. Caprise salad
36.  Fondue.
35. Shrimp gumbo.
34. Crab cake.
33. omlette.
32. cold cereal.
31. grilled vegetables.
30. Nachos.
29. Tunafish.
28. sushi
27. red beans and rice.
26. Rissotto.
25. waffles.
24. Biscuits with butter and honey.
23. fish tacos.
22. bagels.
21. olive oil and cheese on angel hair pasta.
20. filet-o-fish. (True penance).
19. cheese quesedillas.
18. protien shakes.
17. popcorn.
16. ceasar salad with anchovies
15. clam chowder.
14. Calimari
13. lentil soup
12. French bread with butter or oil, and wine.
11. Ratatouille.
10. cheese enchilladas.
9. Eggplant parmesean
8. 7 layer dip cups
7. Mushroom burgers.
6. vegetarian grilled flat bread.
5. pumpkin bread.
4. Fruit salad.
3. Bean burritos.
2.  Grilled samon with mixed veggies and a salad.
1. fried gator. 

P.S. After all those options, we ordered cheese pizza.  Sometimes, it's just what you can do.

Returning to it

Writing is one of those professions which always demands your next trick and doesn’t look backwards.   Five hundred words a day; no skips. No excuses.  I’d done both. For the past few weeks I’d come to the lull in the day (usually at night) when there’s time I could spend writing, and hadn’t.  Dullness took over my writer’s heart and I let it.  

With that failure to practice, I’d lost a piece on the Eucharist and the real (perceived) vs. the actual (reality) which kicked around for a day teasing me.  I’d not put out words on how we need to really tackle the issue of access to fire arms as a nation and stop putting symbolism over substance in our policies and procedures, not because we can prevent every act of evil, but because we can help curb this sort of evil.    The temptation to act like a lesser creatures and not push to action, is a form of sloth.   We have to resist the temptation in the big and little to let life simply go on and not stop, reflect and respond. I knew this about the bigger world outside of my own, and the internal one.  Sloth allowed for greater creeping dullness, for less response to the whole world. 

Fortunately, I have lots of passionate people in my life, at work, on my facebook feed, and hearing and reading their responses to world events helped.  Their energy and interests helped me recognize an unhealthy detatchment and mourn all these lost stories.   As if to bring it home with a resounding "Hey Sherry, can't miss this!"  one student in a class asked me, "What's zeal mean?"  Answer, the opposite of what I'd shown.  

Sloth and Procrastination are a writer’s greatest threat.  I ran through the reasons in my head as to why I hadn’t but they were all excuses which weren’t the real reason.  Ten kids never stopped me before.  Sickness and stress didn’t stop me before. Time wasn’t always an ally either.  For the past few weeks, I’d felt drier, and ever duller. I even remarked to my husband, “I feel like salt which lost its flavor.” It felt like it wouldn’t come back.  Being in the writer world desert, I’d not dug deeper or pushed onward, I’d simply stopped and once I stopped, restarting became harder. I was ceasing to be a writer.  I’d become someone who had been for a time, if I let it continue. I didn't want to be a had been.

Lent is one of those seasons of the Church which helps me rediscover almost always the same lesson I’m refusing to learn.  I lack discipline in my will.  Fasting, in addition to allowing me the opportunity to make reparations for the damage I’ve done to the world by my own sin, fasting or rather, the discovery of how poor I am at fasting, teaches me all the ways in which I avoid noticing what I lack.   Opening the computer, I’d shut it back down again.  I'd tell myself good reasons. I’m tired.  I need rest.  Being a slave to appetite, to impulse and to time, I lost something precious. I tried to joke to myself I’m fasting from writing, but I wasn’t wanting to write and opting to surrender that desire, I was not writing and waiting for desire to take me back to it.  

Looking back at the words, I found a lot of “I’s.” in the work, hammering home where and with whom the problem lay.  I'm guessing my muse forgave me because I woke up and felt pushed until I started writing.  Pushed out of sleep, pushed out of bed, and pushed until the words came spilling out and it didn't matter what time it was, they had to be typed.   The love of words for words sake restarted.  I still needed to know why. 

Always writing to be published didn't allow for the sort of free association thinking involved in writing as play.  As writing became more work, the work of writing demanded more, and it meant I never just allowed writing to be only my thoughts, only chasing down every rabbit hole my brain opened.  I'd even been thinking about closing my blog because all the writing was "professional." 

 However, the playground of the blog allows for more randomness and is a means of maintaining the discipline of the 500 words.  It's the home for all the 500 words which don't have some other place they could go. 

And so, I begin again, so as to continue becoming.  

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Link up to Thursday's Post...

I am trying to get more disciplined in all things including posting on this dusty old blog. 

If you're having trouble getting going on your Lenten observance, here's my latest over at Catholic Mom.   Yep, old reliable Small Success Thursday still gets written, and still somehow doesn't ever get linked to on this blog until Friday or Saturday...where I talk about how Lent never pulls punches on me. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Ash Wednesday!

It's not a day of obligation, but it's still a wonderful thing to receive. 

Here's my latest at the National Catholic Register.  How to prepare for the next 40 days.

Here is one of my favorite site's write up on the common questions for Lent.
Thank you Marcel. Lent 2018.  It was written for Lent in 2014, but the information hasn't changed. 

Ash Wednesday is always dear to me.  My father died on Ash Wednesday, March 5, 2014.  So I consider it a feast day for my father even as we fast. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Survival Tips for Parents of Teens...

The world has skads of magazines and blogs and tips on how to manage toddlers and babies, but teenagers...all you get is to learn all you should have done and all you didn't.  I know why there isn't a book or magazine devoted to parenting teenagers.  Too much knowledge not born of personal experience might doom the human race as we know it.

However, for those intrepid souls who must either face this pending reality, or who already know the doom I speak of, read on and learn Seven Survival Tips for dealing with people aged 11-19.  You've been warned.   

7)  When you had babies and toddlers, you used a baby monitor.  You supervised your kiddo's every moment, waking and otherwise.  The kid didn't object.  The kid didn't know. Truthfully, it's not a bad plan now either.  Twitter stalking and lurking at istagram, and eliminating the internet when you want to sleep, seems to me a wise strategy.   The kid would object.  The kid doesn't know. 

6) When your kids became kids, your life revolved around meal time.  What you didn't know was, when your kids became teens, meal time became all of life.   Whatever you make, it's not enough, except when you cook everything.  Then the kids tell you, "I'm not hungry."  (Note: do not take this personally. The food will disappear in seventeen seconds instead of four, but they'll still tell you, you made too much and they weren't hungry the whole time).  When they finish, they'll say, "Is there anything left to eat?" 

5) As Mom of toddlers, you'd have paid good money to guarantee nap time.  As a Mom of teens, you'd pay good money to see your offspring awake during daylight hours. 

4) Toilet training is hard.  You cannot convince them, you can only wait them out. It's a dicy thing the first time you take them out in the world without a diaper bag. Driving lessons are hard.  Convincing yourself to steel up and let them take the wheel?  That's nerve wracking. 

3) When they were little, you planned play dates.  You knew their moms, their dads, their siblings, their dogs, everything.  Now...since a lot of teens play it close to the vest, get ready to be the go to chaperone.  You can look responsible, respectible and drive them crazy at the same time.  Bonus points if Mom and Dad go as a couple to the dance...double bonus if you dance.  Mortification city...

2) Nothing you experienced as a teenager or college student or as a young adult counts and teens don't actually want to know you were ever anything but Mom and Dad.   Your job is to listen, provide a shoulder and a milk shake when necessary.  Some day they'll want to know you had a past.  Just not now. 

1) They make your heart melt when they say, "I love you." when they're toddlers.  they make your heart swoon when you get it and they're older. 

Good luck. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Hey it's Friday. Time for an Update beyond Links...

I have two pieces to link up to for you today but I thought I'd start by saying...I'm thinking of redoing this blog because it's not so much a humor blog anymore.  It's not I've lost my sense of humor, it's that I've not found a venue for pure humor.  Instead, I'm using humor like salt on popcorn, as part of articles.   As such, I'm not posting as much purely free content. 

Over the years I've remodeled this blog to reflect the content, and even toyed with switching to wordpress.  Except when I tried, it posted every article as the same one, so that just didn't work. It was a terrifying moment for me when I thought I'd lost over 800 posts.  Imagine how I'd feel if I lost 2,585 of these things!  So I'm sticking with the platform that's served me, but it's probably time to retool the place if only to reflect the content. 

This week's Small Success Thursday  post over at is on "Being Joyful." My most recent piece at the National Catholic Register is part of the series on the Rosary.  This time, I'm trying to reflect on the Coronation of Our Lady.  My goal is to finish the remaining four (the Eucharist, the Crucifixion, the Assumption, and the Descent of the Holy Spirit), print them all up and give them as a present to John for Confirmation. (Along with a rosary natch).  I've loved having this series because it eliminated the question, "What are you going to write about?" or at least, gave me easy places to start.  The blank page without a format will prove a tad more daunting.

Perhaps I'll do the Doctors of the Church. I've already done the research, and after all, we should be more familiar with Saint Hildegard of Bingen and Saint Alphonsus Liguori than Matt Smith and David Tennant. 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Over at the Register today....

Hey folks.  If you were looking for Small Success Thursday, don't worry, you didn't miss it.  We had some technical issues over at and it got shuffled into the internet abyss.   However, it will be up and running again next week. 

Today, I have a piece at the Register on How to Find Your Friends in Heaven.  If you're interested in the Saint Generator created by Jennifer Fulwiler, click on that link, say a prayer and when you're ready, push the button. 

I will tell you, the year my daughter suffered from double vision, I received Saint Valentine (patron of the eye ailments amongst other things aparently).  The year I struggled with the rosary, I received the Blessed Mother.  The year I worked on Humor, I received the Doctor of the Church, Saint Alphonsus Liguori.  God has a sense of be prepared for Divine Irony. 

I don't tell people who I received until I finish the year...and some years, I switched and other years, I honestly forgot who I picked.   Have fun!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Over at the Register

I'm trying to get back to writing 500 words a day, and submitting every other day.   Here's my latest over at the Register. I'm taking on the Crown of Thorns in the continuing rosary project. 

Today, I'm brushing up on Beowulf for a class.  Beowulf should envoke ideas like this:

and this:

and maybe  this:

but not and I mean not ever...this: 
Grendel's mother did not have great gams or great anything else...

Friday, January 19, 2018

Two-for One Friday

I know, I didn't link up to yesterday's Small Success Thursday.  I did take down the tree though, and vote for my son...a bit of maternal boasting here if you don't already know, my son was up for Maryland Boy Athlete of the week.  He ran a 1600 meter in 4:25, and an 800 afterwards in 1:59.  Both personal records for him, and both allowing him to win the events over all.   It was cool and we celebrated it by all casting votes on our phones, DS's, computers, etc.  and honestly, his smile was so wide, so awesome.  It made my day. 

I have a piece on the March for Life over at the National Catholic Register today.  I'd written it because I wanted to get at the reasoning behind the march, and also the fuller understanding of what it means to be Pro-life.  It's easy for the message to get muddled with politics and I honestly don't want that to happen.   The goal is always, as Mark Shea and others have said, to be more pro-life, not less, ergo, there isn't a point at which we're supposed to give up, to ignore, or to allow ourselves not to see those who suffer, and demand of ourselves, an accounting. 

I know, in discussing this online, it's not easy. It's not ever going to be simple, and it is long haul, this is an infinite promise we make when we sign on to the sacrament of Confirmation, to be the hands and feet of Christ, and to be sent out in the world as a sign and contradiction, as a source of salt and light, warmth and healing, hope and genuine friendship, to all we encounter from that point forward, on beyond death.   

Time to get to work. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Four Hours of Ordinary Time

Today I spent 30 minutes helping my second son practice driving and only sucked in to make the car slimmer twice. We sent out invitations for a movie party for my about to be seven year old, and I found time to pick up the dry cleaning, get the car washed and make pancakes for dinner. Three daughters sang in harmony to "Dear Theodosia," from Hamilton while the two youngest brushed their teeth.

Three dressed for bed by eight, after a full day of work, it's going to take an act of the will to read stories but, I can't not climb the stairs. The youngest is turning seven, and bedtime stories are as I have discovered, something which evaporates over time.

She fully reads on her own, so the need for a narrator is disappearing. Today, she saved me a book and a spot. Paul brings his dinosaurs to listen, and they fold their hands in prayer too when it's over. Half an hour later, I discover the bathroom needed serious help, and one brother stole the comforter and pillow from another's room. Meanwhile my fifteen year old plinked on the piano, headphones rendering her oblivious to all but her own head. Time to do the dishes.

I don't know why some days, the minutia of life is effortless, and other days, impossible. One kid needs a band-ade, another lotion, and a third can't find a paper he had only five minutes ago. I text the one who has the car this evening, "It's time to come home," and write out the schedule for the next day. There are ten forms I need to sign and six checks to write. I also need to make a late dinner for those coming home after nine. Did anyone take down the trash? No. Not yet. I keep trying to get back to the computer, and life keeps pulling me back away.

My writing coach declared I could never have writers block, and that I only need write stream of consciousness from the day to prove it. Writing twelve hours of my life, well, there are a few moments I'd rather not immortalize in my head, or anyone else's. Yet I know, there's something missing in the arc of these four hours, and if I don't chronicle it all, the memories created spill out like syrup, too quickly and too much all at once, and if standing alone, too sweet.

The reality includes all those things I'd rather omit from the record; the teasing and the fights and the struggles and the bad grades, the spider bite on the right cheek near her ear and the messes left behind in dribs and drabs and glasses half filled with water. The real story includes the pull-ups I clean up, the bathroom towels abandoned, the pillows and blankets "borrowed" in retaliation and the bumper stickers put in places I said they shouldn't go, which will rip up paint. The stories untold include the social media I see, and what they think I don't know or understand. That's probably for the best. I don't want them to work hard to become wily. Let me be near them. Let them think me naïve.

What I want them to know is they're lovely and I love them. I wish they'd clean up more, do their homework without me nagging and make real peace with each other. I've prayed and continue to fret over all the thousands of little worries I have because I'm Mom. However, when I describe them each, my writing coach says they become purple giraffes on the refrigerator. Maybe so, but while within the home, I'll tell them what's what, it's not my job to remember their faults or to expose them to everyone else. It's my job to put them up on the fridge with a magnet and say, "Hey look, So and so is pretty awesome."

We couldn't weather all the bad that goes in a day, let alone a lifetime, if we didn't love these people beyond what is earned. Hopefully as they grow up, they'll recognize, we loved and still love them unfairly. Hopefully, the combination of truth at home and pride abroad helps them learn, love is always more than what can be merited.

Monday, January 8, 2018

This Week over at the Register

Hello! Welcome to 2018.   I have a piece over at the Register today, New Year's Resolutions Not Working? Try this instead.  Yes, I'm already not succeeding at my resolution (going to bed on time), but my goal is to "begin again." 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

National Catholic Register

Taking on the Second Glorious Mystery today.  I'm also making chili, chocolate chip cookies and slumming big time on a SNOW day.  Now I want another week. 

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!