One thing about marrying a man who at one time dumped me to try on a cassock is that he knows a lot of priests, in a way that scores VIP passes to Steeler Training Camp. Sometimes following God’s will leads you to the sidelines of preseason professional football practice to be nearly knocked over by Emmanuel Sanders as your pulling your distracted three year old by the collar of his Troy Palamalu jersey because football players run extremely fast while chasing a football in the air down the field as your baby eats mud in pink pajamas and your toddler girl yells “run faster!” to men running at the same speed as cars. I’ve never actually seen a professional athlete so nervous upon almost crushing a mom and three children. Thankfully, I got out of the way in time, which as Jim reminds me, was a really good thing, not for my own safety but because “the entire city of Pittsburgh would have hated (me) had Sanders injured himself trying to avoid injuring you and the kids.”
A special thanks to Father Paul for his friendship and his dedication as spiritual leader to his team and college.
The Case of Josie’s missing blanky
Potato was the word and 897,987 is the number of times she said it at varying volumes and syllable emphasis, each and every utterance heard as sensitively as possible by me, her mother, as her mouth pressed up perfectly against my ear somewhere around 6am Saturday morning. I thought maybe if I continued to lay there quietly she would somehow do the same, but, alas, a fascination with repeating the name of the starchy vegetable that caused the famine of her cultural heritage home it was, over and over again for reasons that will remain unknown to me forever. And since this is the same young child who breaks out of her crib to chew and spit out gum and uncooked spaghetti, I’m leaning towards ‘I’ll never know’.
Anyway, at some point during her spud speak but before she woke up Rita approximately 2 hours earlier than I would have liked, her baby blanket went missing. I expected tears and tantrums at its disappearance but there were none from her. Her detachment to anything but the very moment in which she lives pooping on the carpet or eating yogurt with her fingers is truly awe inspiring. For nearly 36 hours I searched the house high and low, in the most frantic and emotionally unstable way imaginable.
“She doesn’t really care,” Jim nonchalantly reminded revealing the genetic source of her happy playing in the midst of the lost treasure. “Keep looking!!” James joined me. As the first born, I believe James, understood my stress intuitively. What would I sleep with when she goes to college? How would we make a speech at her rehearsal dinner without showing her wedding attendants the transitional objects on which she clung?
“Do you think a reindeer ate it?” he asked, “or maybe a leprechaun?” And just when I was about to believe it was a Yedi, after praying the handy dandiest “Jesus, Jesus, Lost and Found, show me where to look around,” I spotted it tangled in the drape in a room there would never be a reason for her to enter. The relief was released with sighs and tears because I’m a crazy, crazy mom who couldn’t bear the thought of never again seeing the blanket in which she was wrapped upon coming home from the hospital. She was happy, I guess, but hippies, even as babies, tend to be unattached, I’m learning.
Rita gets an A
I went to Mass with just one baby by myself. With the exception of three very loud raptor yells at the end due to my taking the car keys from her baby death grip, she was perfect. She even sang along and clapped at the end of songs. Three old people said, “You have your hands full,” even when I had one free one.
And in the midst of a political atmosphere that tends to villianize wealth, I hope this week’s Gospel is read with some concentration and a good and healthy dose of the Holy Spirit. May the wealth of the person, whether financial or other wise, be used for good according to the free conscience of the individual, devoid of guilt, judgement, or jealousy. May we all remember that we can’t take it with us, and although Dave Matthews is great, eat drink and being merry is a terrible philosophy for life.