Tag Archives: children

The Call

When my children want to talk on the phone instead of sending a text message, I know something big is happening—and my first instinct is that bad news is coming. Earlier this summer, my younger daughter called to tell me she was engaged. I was so thrilled that she was delivering joyful news, especially as she had just gone through the experience of watching someone she loved die after a courageous battle with brain cancer. It was so wonderful to hear the joy in her voice. A conversation with my eldest son a few weeks …

Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

When Language Betrays

Trite expressions betray our true position, we just rarely pay attention to what these banal formulations are actually saying about us.   I’m as guilty as anyone else in this regard.    Lately, I’ve been trying to take note of my own ways of speaking within our common culture, in light of subtle – yet immanently present – secular ideologies.   Take, for example, what is perhaps the most common excuse for “dating around” (i.e. jumping head first into a number of quasi-serious relationships with intensive physical and emotional attachment): “I am trying to find …

Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m Still Wolverine

We play dress ups a lot in our house. Just about every day, when I come home from work, I am greeted at the door not with a hug or a “Yay! Daddy’s home!” (though that happens a lot, too!), but with a plastic sword and the words, “I’m going to get you!” My four year old son is dressed in some sort of costume playing the part of the prince, my 2 year old daughter is in some sort of dress playing the part of the princess, and the bad guy just walked into …

Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Lent for Children

Lent may be the most challenging season of the Church year, but for some reason, it is also a time that people are most proud to authentically live their Catholic heritage.  What better time could there be to reengage our children in practices of the faith.  Here are just a few simple ideas on how to make this Lent a memorable season and positive impact on your family’s faith development.  1.       Give up different things each week.  It can be too disheartening at first for young children to go the whole season of lent without …

Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

They Grow Up Just Right

 “Kids grow up too fast.”   With two of them running around my life, I think this is the common advice I receive from the passerby.    “Enjoy it!  They grow up too fast.”    These lines are interesting for a couple of reasons.  First, they indicate a problem:  Kids growing up too fast.  This seems to be a universal problem.  Second, we see a “solution” for the fact of kids growing up too fast – enjoying them, enjoying the time while they are young.    “Enjoying it” is not necessarily bad advice.  Ecclesiastes draws …

Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

You Don’t Mess with Kids.

There are times when the evil we see portrayed in society is too overwhelming for us to even grapple with it. We are borne down by events like the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut or the slaughter of the Holy Innocents near Bethlehem.  Even as adults, we are never really prepared to cope with such direct and insulting assaults upon the dignity of innocent human life.  We rightly experience such feelings of rage at our inability to protect them.  Other times, we try not to think about it.  Perhaps, we even welcome the quasi-relief that comes …

Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Is Jesus In It?”

A couple years ago, my wife and I decided my then 2 year old daughter was old enough to watch a 30 minute Christmas cartoon.  We only had a few to choose from on DVD, but as we thought of many of the popular ones, we were concerned they all had things in them too scary for a two-year old.  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had the Abominable Snow Monster, Santa Claus is Coming to Town had Winter Warlock… so eventually we settled on Frosty the Snowman. So we excitedly told Ellie that we had a …

Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Used to Sit Next to You

I love my husband.  Some of my fondest memories of the early part of our relationship are the times we spent going to Mass together.  I guess because I was young and naïve, I totally took for granted the way we could sit with our shoulders touching.  We could always be close enough to really feel like we were at Mass as a couple: a little hand-squeeze if part of the homily applied to us in a special way, a small nudge if the reading was one we both loved, etc.  Just us…The old days. …

Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Lost and Found

There was a news story recently about British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife, Samantha. Apparently they and their three small children were enjoying a Sunday afternoon visit to a local country pub in England. When it came time to leave, the Prime Minister left with his bodyguards and his wife left in a separate car. Of the three children, two left with one parent. However, the eldest daughter, who is eight years old, was inadvertently left behind. Each parent had thought she left with other. When they both arrived home each parent was …

Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

How About Two?

I’ve recently had a number of conversations with my 2-year-old that have gone something like this: Daughter:  “Can I have one gold coin [referring to those very waxy pieces of chocolate covered in gold foil]?” Father:  “Not until after dinner.” Daughter:  “How about two gold coins?” Father:  [Turns head and laughs] Her innocence makes her hard to turn down.  And her bold asking makes me want to cave and give her a double-portion on the spot. These conversations have led me to wonder if I’m childlike enough in my prayer, especially if the following statements …

Tagged , , | 6 Comments