Friday, September 19, 2008

The Crucible

The last 48 hours have reminded me of a crazy idea that I had a few months back. More to come about these last 2 days, but first, my idea which I'm afraid would probably leave the world underpopulated if it ever caught on...

The Mommy Crucible:

In Catholic circles, as men and women approach their indepedence (and beyond), they are encouraged to seriously discern their vocation: Marriage, Religious Life, Consecrated Single life.... Now, focusing on women for the moment, it is not unheard of for ladies to go on vocation retreats with different Religious orders, to become more familar with their particular way of life.

Unfortunately, beside the school of their own family and perhaps exstensive childcare, there is no way, with which I am familar, to help women experience the particular challenges of motherhood. I am convinced that this is some sneaky plan that may be cousins with the old "bait and switch," without which the human population might quickly die out. Well, perhaps not, as mother nature has given us the gifts of selective memory and a biological clock that keep the species going. Or perhaps that was God, in His infinite wisdom. I suppose that's the more likely answer. :)


This idea is quite skeletal at the moment, but it would be a series of exercises done to simulate some of the "joys" of motherhood. (Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments section) One example:

- To simulate night feedings of newborns:
Woman sets her alarm for every 2 hours throughout the night. At each alarm, she gets up and sits in a dark and quiet room with a full-to-the-brim glass of water in hand. She must sit there for 30 minutes without spilling a drop.... Teaches: ability to stay awake and aware even in the most fatigued state, in a sleep-inducing enviroment.

more to come, I'm sure...

In my current state, that's the only one of my brilliant exercises that I can recall. Now, why do I find myself in this state?

Perhaps it's because I was up most of the night, 2 nights ago, doing 7 loads of laundry, in hopes that I could rid our home of germs, after I sent my husband off the ER, (incidentally, driven by his boss's son who happens to live across the hall!) because Mark had a case of dehydrating food poisoning and, after catching all 200+ lbs of him as he passed out in the bathroom at 2 am, I realized it had officially gotten beyond me. Note: a few liters of IV fluid, some Zofran and a handful of hours later, he was home again and on the upswing. He's not fully recovered, but at least he's no longer the human Niagra Falls!

Maybe it's the stress of constant disinfection in hopes that my 7 month old and I don't catch whatever it is that Mark had. (So far, so good...please do pray!)

Last and very least, it might be that I was anticipating that I could get some sleep last night, only to discover that my 7 month old, who had spent the entire day nursing every 2 hours (leaving me hopeful that perhaps that meant he would sleep through the night for the first time in 4 months, having tanked up all day) continued his 2 hour trend alllll through the night...and day, today. Did I mention he also woke up with quite the runny nose. Hey, I'll take a runny nose over other runny alternatives, any day!!!

I don't know how working mothers do it! On that note, my new favorite motto is: What doesn't kill you... takes a few years off your life. ;)

Actually, all in all, aside from the passing out incident, which was scary for me, this whole experience has been so much more bearable than I would've imagined. Thank you Lord for giving us grace as we need it, and for not letting us see what's coming before we have the grace to handle it!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

It's not Fall yet...because I say so

We were cheated out of May and spring this year. It went from winter to summer and spring was a blip somewhere in mid-June. Now that it's September the weather seems to think that it's permissable to go straight into Fall...leaves turning and all. Despite digging in my heels and whining, time has not stopped and I apparently have to come to terms with the end of summer. To be honest, Fall is my favorite season, but evenso it feels dreadfully misplaced, like a snowstorm in July.

It's dismal and dreary in St Paul, today. I believe the British description of the weather is "spitting". I'm waiting around for Iain to wake up so I can feed him and get on with my day. I have errands to run. Yes, it's one of those exciting days. This evening we have an all-NET,SPO,CCR Mass to attend after which there is a pizza dinner. Unfortunately, the food is strictly RSVP and we did not, so we will BYOP(izza). This is yet another example of scheduling blunders that have afflicted our family recently. Too much to do and not enough motivation (until now?) to have a boring calendar meeting in our free time. Oh well.

Mark is thoroughly enjoying the school year thus far. Every evening we're around he slips out of the apartment to play pool in the basement with whomever happens to be around. He loves that he is getting paid, in his role as chaplain, to play pool, organize fantasy sports teams, hang out with guys, etc. With this year starting off markedly different than last year, we are considering a longer tenure here than previous jokes about babies sleeping in the bathtub and dresser drawers may not be far from the truth. We shall see... ;)

Baby's awake.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Fallen Hero?

I think not! Paraphrasing Mark, he asked me if I still think Sarah Palin is made of gold now that we know that her 17 year old daughter is pregnant. Roundabout answer: Well I can only imagine the difficulties that a 17 year old will have as a soon-to-be-married-very-young-mother. And, let's just call sin, sin... I'm not happy that she's arrived there by participating in something that is aimed at that end. However, the baby itself is NOT the issue. When, oh when will people "get it"?!

When did it become merely the ends and not the means that causes scandal? Why is it the baby and not the misplaced baby-making that has our country up in arms?

In a country that seems aware and all but encouraging of fornication, how is it that this still scandalizes us? The only remaining conclusion is that the scandal is the failure or absence of birth control. HORRORS! SHE FORGOT A CONDOM!

Well folks, when we get right down to it, I think this reaction of the media/country is a muddy-but-hopeful message. The fact that our country still thinks that a 17 year old unmarried pregnant teenager is scandalous means that despite the moral decline of our culture, we haven't yet forgotten that there is something here by which we are scandalized. It is our job, as intelligent Christians, to remind people of why they are scandalized... clearly it's not the failure/lack of birth control (let's just be honest, as a scandal that's just laughable). Rather it's that somewhere deep down inside, despite the best efforts of this relativistic culture, our country still knows that the place that God intends babies to be made ...means and ends... is within marriage.

I, the pessimist, still have hope.

Maybe someday soon we'll remember that sin is sin and babies are not sin.

So, to directly answer the question about Sarah Palin: Having read her response to the media concerning her daughter's pregnancy, she has done it again... calm, collected, mature, parental and loving. I still think she is 100% my vp candidate! Go Palin!