Catholic Living

Today Is Not Forever

Daniel says many things these days, but his first word is still his favorite: Mama. To a toddling 17-month-old, “Mama” means many things: When he falls and hurts himself, “Mama” means, “Comfort me.” When he can’t quite reach his ball that has rolled under the couch, “Mama” means, “Help me get what I want.” When … Read more

Feel the Music

The other day, I had a couple of the girls with me in the car while we ran some errands. A familiar song came on the radio and, without pausing to think, I turned up the volume. “What is this music?” my 7-year-old asked, wrinkling her nose in disgust. Oops, I wasn’t alone. I turned … Read more

Expect the Unexpected

I made one New Year’s resolution: Expect the unexpected. This will be my 2008 effort to take control of everything I cannot control. It’s a cheap trick, but I need it to work. I ended 2007 with another cruel cosmic reminder that unseen forces hover, waiting to derail my plans, like the gale winds that … Read more

Ouch

I don’t mind football, as long as it’s other mothers’ sons who are crashing their bodies around the field. When it comes to my own sons’ participation, however, I prefer gentler sports. Like chess. Thankfully, my oldest boys have thus far seemed content to play little league baseball, basketball, and various forms of amateur, no-holds-barred … Read more

Messy Little Christmas

Do you know what two straight days’ worth of candy cane breakfasts, cookie lunches, and cupcake dinners — all washed down with sippy cups of juice — does to a 2 year old’s digestive system? If you don’t, Merry Christmas! Enjoy the blissfulness of that ignorance. If you do, Merry Christmas! And join me in … Read more

Be Still Oh Everyone!

Whoever planted this news item might as well have planted a bomb. Last February, a woman at a local Pennsylvania mall was asked by security guards to cover up while she nursed her baby. In protest, over 150 “lactivists” gathered with their own babies to hold a “nurse-in” at the same mall. On Mother’s Day, … Read more

Baby Business

I was talking with a friend recently about babies starting solids foods. We discussed when to start, first foods to offer, and different babies’ reactions and preferences. Suddenly, my eavesdropping children wanted to know: “How about me, Mama? What was my first food? Did I like it? How old was I when you first fed … Read more

Apologies to My Father

Dear Dad, Can you believe it’s almost Christmas? I feel like I’m standing on train tracks watching one of those two-stroke Diesels you loved to dare me to move. Where does time go? My Carol turned 18 and, suddenly, everything she does is precious again. Yesterday, when she rolled her eyes at me, I yelped, … Read more

Watching and Waiting

In late November, the air is ripe with motherly anxiety as many of us brace ourselves to “do” Christmas one more time. We ready ourselves for more shopping, more decorating, more entertaining, and more baking. And year after year, despite our best-laid plans and intentions, many of us wind up feeling controlled by materialism, pressured … Read more

Woman To Woman

Catholic women who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant stand to benefit from others’ experience. This was the thought that motivated me to post some readers’ emails on my blog addressing the struggle to remain open to life in marriage and the difficulty of accepting an unexpected pregnancy. “Let’s encourage one another,” I wrote on the blog. … Read more

My Friday Night Hit List

By Friday night, I am exhausted. Sometimes, too drained to do anything else, I play a game listing the people who irritated me the most that week. It’s not charitable: It’s my Friday Night Hit List. My husband’s former girlfriend. This woman occasionally surfaces in my life, like a toxic oil slick. She suddenly appeared … Read more

Oh Boy

My husband is paranoid. The other day, I was about to leave for a quick run on our peaceful, tree-lined, country roads when he stopped me to ask, ”What are you bringing for protection?” Protection? What on earth was this man talking about? “I’ve got a couple of these,” I offered, holding up two of … Read more

Batman

Batman lives at my house. He’s about two-and-a-half feet tall with a tuft of blond-streaked, overgrown hair on his head. Besides the obligatory black rubber mask, he sports a red velvet cape that looks suspiciously like his older sister’s discarded Christmas dress, a pair of denim overalls, and — underneath it all — a diaper. … Read more

One More Last Chance

My sons had a bowling date with friends at 4:00 p.m. I made a deal with them: Clean up your room, and you can go bowling — and this time, I meant it. My multidimensional role as finder of all lost things, towel retriever, clothes gatherer, shoe location system, bed maker, utility monitor, and chief … Read more

One Day in the Life of a Home Schooling Mom

As a homeschooling mother of eight kids, I hear my share of “How do you do it?,” and I usually don’t know how to answer. My life is just my life. But here, as a means of appeasing the curious, I offer this humbling peek inside a “normal” day for me. 5:15 — Wake up … Read more

‘Who Wants Me Now?’: On the Way to the Kingdom

It’s four o’clock on a Friday afternoon. All the clients have gone home. I am sitting at my desk, sorting papers, mulling over next week’s case list, daring to relax. Suddenly the phone blares, like an alarm mis-set for 2:00 a.m. My startled brain jumps and considers, “Who wants me now?” Here’s what crosses my … Read more

The Physiology of Success

The philosopher Aesop once related a story about a farmer who discovered among his livestock a goose that had laid an egg of pure gold. Every morning the same thing occurred, and soon the farmer found himself a wealthy man. But as he grew rich he grew greedy; and thinking to get at once all … Read more

Fashionable Fathers

Fatherhood is coming back into favor. For most of us, it never went out. However, in today’s climate of absurd perversions of biology, we can expect — and have seen in certain academic circles as, for example, Peter Singer’s Princeton — that even such natural, normal beings as fathers have been deemed unnecessary and cumbersome. … Read more

First Family

One of the most durable and endearing images of my father was his figure bent over our den desk, writing weekly letters to his three sisters. Trinidad natives, they moved to the United States as young adults, losing closeness on a small island to gradual separation in a larger land. Distance, however, was only in … Read more

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