Seven Quick Takes Sunday

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1. W. made his First Holy Communion last Sunday.

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It was just beautiful.  Nothing compares, as a mother, to witnessing my children receive the sacraments.  So far we’ve had five baptisms and W.’s First Confession.  Infant baptism, of course, depends on the parents and godparents bringing the child to the font and making the Confession of faith for them.  And since I accompanied W. at his First Confession (at his request) and several thereafter, I still had the sense of facilitating his meeting with Christ.  But, when W. rose out of the pew by himself and walked up the steps toward the altar to receive Jesus, the entire congregation watching him, I could hardly contain my emotion.

We should have at least one sacrament a year for the next few years; it’s amazing how our family has shifted from “four kids under 5” to having our four oldest children taking the first step towards embracing the faith as their own.

2.  Had we not had the profoundly moving moment of the aforementioned First Holy Communion last Sunday, I think the highlight of the week would have been Tuesday morning when we got a new dishwasher!!  To understand why the moment might even have been the second best moment of my year, you have to know that our old one has been broken since Christmas.  Four months of hand washing dishes for 7 people has come to an end.

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3. While hand washing dishes many times a day, I had a lot of opportunity to imagine a bit of what life was like for mothers in earlier times, when middle class homes relied on household help rather than shiny steel appliances to wash their dishes and clothes.  I’ve read somewhere that women today spend just as much time on housework today as women did in the days before appliances; they just can do it alone now.  So modern Western stay at home motherhood is of course more isolated and lonely and childcare more draining, or so I assume.  I mean, a dishwasher can hardly watch the kids for a few minutes while you run a quick errand or visit with a neighbor, but presumably a kitchen maid could.

I don’t want to give up my appliances and start scrubbing clothes on a washboard or anything, but I was surprised when I read that Blessed Zelie Martin, 19th century French middle class woman and mother of St. Therese of Lisieux, longed for her household to be independent of help and her own children capable of tending to the housework.  Watching my elementary aged children loading my new dishwasher made me realize this week in a new way,  I am living a Victorian mother’s dream life.

4. I’d love to write some posts on some of the other modern “mom saints” of the Catholic church in addition to Blessed Zelie.   St. Gianna Beretta Molla is one, and another (not yet canonized) Ruth Pakuluk.  This blog post gives a good thumbnail sketch of their lives.  

5. Speaking of modern mom saints, there is an incredible woman in Houston this week.  A young mother whose 6-year-old daughter experienced horrific complications from a botched circumcision in Guinea strapped her infant son to her back, picked up her daughter in her arms, and walked from village to village looking for someone who could help her daughter.  She eventually walked all the way to Sierra Leone, where doctors put her in contact with a Houston ob/gyn who was able to fly her and her daughter to Houston for reconstructive surgery.  I’m not sure if you’ll be able to access this article from the Houston Chronicle, but if you can, read the whole story.  The mother, whose feet were bleeding from the journey, said she would have walked until she died rather than give up on her daughter.  If you can’t get to the Chronicle article, which might be for subscribers only, here is a lighter summary.

6. The kids and I just finished reading this excellent book.  I learned so much about the Great Lakes from it.  Great books are what keep me going in this homeschooling thing.

7. And finally, we have a new addition to the family:

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We name our children after saints and family members and our pets after literary characters.  The current theme is Shakespeare, with two cats named Portia and Prospero.  So I put up a list of female Shakespearean characters on the wall and took a vote.  The kids wanted Juliet, and the parents, preferring loyalty over drama in a pet, chose Cordelia.  We could all agree on the nickname Cora.

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Cordelia Juliet, aka “Lady Cora

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I hope these two will grow up to be great friends.

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Crate time for both babies while Mommy takes a shower

More at Conversion Diary!

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