This, that, and the other

1.  Oof.  Am I losing it?  Tonight as I did my usual evening transfer of boys, coats,  lunchboxes, and bags from my car to the house, I inadvertently left my teaching bag on the front step.  I didn’t realize it was gone until literally hours later, when I was searching for my laptop and couldn’t find it anywhere.  Clearly, Mama needs a vacation.  (Stroke of dumb luck: it wasn’t raining tonight.  Phew.)

2.  After a gorgeous summer-like October, we are firmly in fall mode around here.  It was actually cold last weekend, and I loved it … it was so cozy to put on my new flannel pajamas at night, and I’m thrilled to see the trees turning color.  It’s California color, which is far less spectacular than the photos I’ve seen of my in-laws’ New York home in fall, but we are getting some change  (witness the Japanese maples in our backyard, above).   And it makes me happy. (Speaking of leaves, check out this wonderful post by my blogger friend Fran.)

3.  Matthew, at age five, is Schoolhouse Rock’s newest, biggest fan.  The album is playing all the time around here now, and I have to say, it’s pretty fun to see him get so into songs about interjections, conjunctions, and No More Kings — all those tunes I remember from my own childhood.  And if he hasn’t yet memorized the Preamble to the Constitution, he’s darn close.  (It’s not unusual to hear that song ten times in a row, which is the problem with giving your child temporary executive control of the remote.)

Last night he said to me,  “Mommy?  When I first heard the Preamble song, I didn’t like it.  But then I listened to it some more, and now it’s my favorite.”

“Matthew, isn’t that a good lesson about how we need to give things a chance before we decide we don’t like them?”  I asked pointedly.  (I’m a teacher and a mom.   I couldn’t help myself.)

4.  Have you noticed my new little sharing plugin at the bottom of each post?   If you like something you read here, it’s now super-easy to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and email!  (Click on the arrows on the left to get to the email icon.)  So share away!

Another feature:  if you are looking for a book to read for your book club, what about Mary and Me?  Check out this  printable PDF file of reading group questions (it’s a great preview of the book, too!).

5.  Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m totally hooked on Dancing with the Stars.  It’s a joy to watch people who are so  athletic and graceful, because I am neither.  (Seriously, there are exactly two people in the world who think I’m a good dancer, and I gave birth to both of them.)   Plus the costumes are fun, and I love seeing all the different styles of dance.  Great stuff.  (Go J.R.!)

6.  I was reflecting earlier today on church, and community.   We’re making the trek into San Francisco for Sunday Mass these days, largely so that the boys can attend the preschool catechism they offer at our church there.  I have to admit, it’s tough to have a commute on Sunday mornings too, especially when there are churches so much closer to home.  But this is the parish where Scott and I got married, and where the boys were baptized; it’s the parish where Scott works, and where we know someone in nearly every pew.  And that sense of community matters to me.    It’s like the song for Cheers: sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.   It’s a joy to worship with people who know not only our names, but also our history.  It’s worth the commute, even on Sunday morning.

4 Responses to This, that, and the other

  1. Oh my! You do need a vacation!

    How is your back doing? After considering your goings-in-and-out-and-carrying, no wonder it might have hurt!

    Your book would be perfect for a book club – I am just finishing it up, it is fantastic. It is also on my list for a review, I am so behind in my book reviews!

    As for where you worship, the topic of how we are formed in community is of great fascination to me. I recently read about the split between belief and practice in the realm of self-defined Catholics. I am not proposing some litmus test, nor am I remotely interested in the (ridiculous and insulting) who is a “real” or “better” Catholic. That said, our faith is richly fed, nurtured, formed and we literally “re-member” the Body of Christ in community, not alone. That is why it is important to be where you are, even if it means a drive!

    OK, I need to turn the pre-7am rant machine off! Lovely post from you and THANKS for pointing to my own.

  2. I also grew up going to a parish that was quite a commute from home, even though there were certainly quite a few that were closer. In a lot of ways, it made going to mass an even greater focus of our family’s Sunday activities, as we had to dedicate that extra time in the commute for it. And that was the one day a week that we would go out to a restaurant as a family (I grew up in the rural outskirts of the city where the restaurants at the time were not quite as plentiful as they were in the city). It certainly instilled in me the sense that this was something important, that my faith, and the community of faith, was worth a 45 minute drive there and back on a Sunday, and more.

  3. Thank you both for your thoughts on the long drive to Mass. Fran, I totally agree about the need to worship in community — it took me a while to learn that, actually, but I am so glad to have that in my life. Community is one of those things that I value more and more as I get older … it’s easy to lead such fragmented lives and to feel like little solo pilots. We can learn so much from each other when we create the chances to do so.

    Viki, thanks so much for sharing your memories . I love hearing that even as a kid you sensed that Mass must be pretty important, if your family made all that effort to get there. As a parent, it is so encouraging to hear that perspective! Thank you.

  4. P.S. The back is much better, Fran — hallelujah!