Friday, November 2, 2012

All Soul's Night

“Mom, baby POOPED!”  That’s what I woke to this morning, not “Amazing Grace.”  After fumbling contact lens-free through the necessary ritual, barking half-conscious orders to the two who were walking to school, I grimly observed all the hallmarks of a lonnng day.  The house (since the hurricane) looking as though Sandy had paid us an indoor visit.  Signs everywhere of costumes, softening jack-o’-lanterns, and candy wrappers being snuck from secret stashes.  My own exhaustion, having “overslept” after having gotten up hours before the kids, but just not when they woke up for the day.  And out the window, a cold, gray rain. 


I tried to turn things around.  I mumbled a prayer.  I made hot coffee.  I did a quick clean-up.  I assessed the lack of paper towels ANYWHERE in the house, and dressed up myself and the babies to go on an “outing” to remedy that lack at the nearest drug store.  Then I tried to put the little one down for a much-needed early nap.

Lying beside her, I tried to think of something useful while nursing her to sleep.  Like dinner plans.  Nothing came to me as I wavered between aching and unconsciousness.  Finally her breathing smoothed out, her chubby arms relaxed, and I unlatched her and admired her angel baby face for two seconds before I heard the sounds of doom.

“Mom-my! Mom-my!” sang my three year old from the other room.  Dora was failing her job at holding my kid’s attention.  Baby still not asleep enough to make a quick getaway, I tried to slowly ease her off my arm, listening helplessly to the inevitable.

Thud thud thud thud…BAM!  Door burst open.  “MOM! I HERE!” greets my preschooler in her one and only volume.  Baby startled violently and struggled to sit up, eyes still half closed. 

“Honey, baby was asleep.  Could you go watch your show?”

“Oh.  I sowwy Mommy.  I go watch my show now.”  Door slams. 

I sighed and resigned myself to several more minutes of chomping; she’s teething and nursing has not been perfectly painfree for some time.  Finally she zonked… for a whole half hour.

But hey, I’m still here!  Lunch was a moderate success… I ate broccoli and candy.  Figured that was balanced enough, don’t tell anyone. J  And now I’m “blogging”… as I have finally found the secret to how mothers get time to engage in such quasi-intellectual pursuits: you simply steal the moments otherwise spent eating, sleeping, or showering to write.  That appears to be the secret thus far...

Soon I’ll be getting ready to get all the kids to a doctor’s appointment immediately followed by an All Saint’s Party (yes, on All Soul’s Day).  Which, unfortunately, I have no costumes for yet.  I do have a handful of robes from the dress-up box that could easily be St. Fill-in-the-Blank but I was hoping to get something more individually selected for each child…

I ended up going to the late Mass at the local Catholic college with my two oldest last night; I wistfully thought of my own college days when I saw the golden-lit wooden chapel packed with young people… kids who could spend their days in quiet study and their nights in sound sleep if they wanted… Now that I am (really just barely) past youth, I can finally understand that once incomprehensible expression, “Youth is wasted on the young.”  But I digress...  The sermon was on the meaning of the feast day, how we celebrate all those in heaven that we don’t have names for, who aren’t officially canonized, our grandparents and ancestors and so many, many others thronging the blissful streets of Paradise.  How we use the month of November to reflect how we want to be among them someday.  How on All Soul’s we remember those gone before us whose desire for God yet burns and is still unsatisfied.

Okay, my moment of reflection is over for now; my three year old is hauling on my arm: “Mommy, can we make Popsicles?  Pweeease?  [pause] Pweeease?”  (Popsicles?  Kid, it’s freezing!  Brrr… Plus, she still doesn’t get the “wait for it overnight” part.  Like at all, so it’s a guaranteed tantrum either way, grr.)  Coffee is mercifully hitting me though.  More candy?  One more party, this one for the saints, the real deal?  Games with some rather grim Catholic humor like “St. Lucy’s Eyeballs” (ping pong balls shot through a ring) and maybe burgers from St. Lawrence’s Grill?  I’m sure I’ll resurrect to the occasion.

I think I’ll have the kids dress as themselves, future citizens of the New Jerusalem.  Right?  Easy but profound, no?  Hmm.  Just in case they don’t buy it, anyone want to help me haul the dress-up box to the car?  Aw, I know you would if you could; thank for the thought! J-TLC

“But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them.” Wisdom 3:1 

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