Friday, September 26, 2003

Heather: Okay, now *I'm* going to weigh in on Mel's movie.

I'm looking forward to it. I admit it. I'm reading biased sources, I admit that too. Keep that in mind as you read on. And my last caveat: I haven't read everything out there about it, nor am I an expert in Christian heritage, history, the Gospels, modern journalism, or just about anything except my two kids and maybe teaching a couple of Romance languages to middle school kids.
I believe from what I've read that Mel Gibson is trying to do God's work. He's basing his film on Scripture and is previewing it to a variety of folks. Not just Traditionalists, or SSPX, or sedevacantists, or Jesuits. Evangelicals and Jews, too. Even Star Jones managed to see it (invited by her pastor, I believe--and she came out terrifically moved).
What most of his audiences do seem to have in common is a belief in the Bible and its historical accuracy. They may not be academics but they have a strong Christian bent to them. He isn't using specifically the Douay-Rheims, or the KJV, NAB, NIV, RSV, or NRSV. He's using Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Four books all those versions have in common, firmly included since the Canon was formed back in the fourth century.
How controversial. When looking for a story of redemption, I can't think of a better source.

What his critics seem to have in common is a disrespect for the Bible, or at least a disbelief in the truth of it. Late dates, contradiction hunters, doubters, et cetera. I'm sure they believe they're doing God's work, too. In fact, protecting Jews from actual anti-Semitic attacks is also God's work. However, they want a story, one that's soft and fuzzy and inoffensive and untrue to its Biblical source. A Christian version of the Westernized watered-down Buddhism so popular today.

But Satan is real. Unfortunately, he doesn't always shout or look like Tim Curry in Legend. His work is not always so obvious as abortion or genocide.

Sometimes, he just whispers doubts into good people's ears.
Heather: All of the guilt, none of the beauty.

I'm writing on behalf of a friend--really. For those men with weak stomachs, it comes down to this question: Can you recommend a marriage manual for overcoming that old mentality of "Men enjoy it, women endure it?"

Here's the guilt part: I was talking in the parking lot with a fellow member of our parish Moms' Club. We both have daughters and she was ruminating on how-to's insofar as menarche. It's a few years off for both of us, since her daughter just started kindergarten and Maddie's only two, but there was an aspect of it that she'd never dealt with and she wanted to be able to instruct her daughter.
I guessed given her discomfort and ignorance on the subject that she was relatively unacquainted with her own anatomy, and that her husband is the only man she's been with. [Not that the second fact is a bad thing; frankly, I kind of envy her that.] She admitted her mom had raised her with the idea that sex is something that a woman does to please her husband, and while a man enjoys it a woman more or less succumbs to it. Tolerates it. Endures it.
I find this mentality at best antiquated, at worst destructive. Regardless, it's contrary to what the Church teaches too, but we don't need to go there just yet.
I didn't have the words to express my sympathy. She and they have been to a counselor and it's gotten better, but I've never met someone like this--that I know of, mind you--and I want to help.

Here's the beauty part: At this meeting, we were discussing the difficulty in finding balance between kids, chores, jobs (if applicable), outside demands, parents, and still finding time for our spouse. This same friend suggested asking for Mary's intercession, given she was a mother. Knowing all of us have at least two children, I pointed out lightheartedly, "Yeah, but Mary only had one kid to worry about."
She replied, "You don't know that."
In the word of Bill the Cat: "Ack!"
Her father is an ordained deacon. Her mother went through the classes with her dad, but of course didn't get ordained. But her mother questioned Mary's perpetual virginity. Ouch.

I know you're not supposed to speak ill of the dead, especially to their only living child and within a year of their passing. This one person passed on the old (incorrect) idea that sex for the wife is to be endured but not enjoyed (guilt) and the challenge of the Perpetual Virginity (beauty). You better believe I'm going to pray for them all.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Even a sneeze can be a blessing.

Dale: Yesterday morning, while sitting at the computer with my son, I sneezed. Loudly, and twice. Dale3 went into Momentary Startle Reflex Mode, then returned to staring intently at his waving fists.

Maddie looked over at me and said: "Bess oo, dahdee."

I was so stunned by that, I almost missed the next thing she did. She turned and said "I get tiss-oo." She walked over to the kleenex box, pulled two tissues, and carried them back to me with a smile. "Dere, dahdee," she said as she handed them over.

Little miracles, Heather calls them. I'd agree, but I'm to the point where I think we have to drop the "little."

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Heather: Truly exciting news. Maddie made peepee in the potty for the first time tonight.

It went like this.

She has, for two nights running, delayed bedtime by saying she has to peepee. "I peepee potty," she says. If I say no, as I'm in there with her rocking D3, she wails it. Daddy to the rescue! He takes her, undresses her, removes her dampened diaper, waits with her, all for naught.
His wisdom came last night: "I think we should hold off on the overnight diaper until she goes through this charade." Good point, and we were going to do that tonight.
But, before any diaper went on her after her bath, I asked her: "Do you want to make peepee on the potty?"
"Peepee potty?" I wanted to confirm.
So, I trailed my stark naked daughter into the bathroom where Daddy was bathing her brother. Since she couldn't get to the big potty, she sat down on her little one. I settled in for what I assumed was an episode in futility.
"I make tars!" she said, pointing down between her legs. "Tars!"
Her little potty has lights that work when the water completes the circuit, and sure enough, red, orange, and green were twinkling down there.

Only those who have tried to toilet train can clearly visualize the utter complete encouraging antics her daddy and I went into. To the point that the little guy was overwhelmed and started to cry a little, but quickly got soothed.

She danced around her room naked, peed some more on the carpet (then she promptly got a towel to clean it up--her initiative), and later wanted to go again (only a little, but hey, I'll count it).

She turned two a week ago today.

She eats her vegetables, accepts "One" for getting Hershey's kisses, and thinks animal crackers are cookies. Barely two and using the potty?
I think He better check His register for a missing angel.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Heather: These are the reasons it's been so quiet here. Why blog when you have them?
Chirp, chirp, chirp.


Sorry for the sound of crickets here over the past couple of months. By the by, thanks for continuing to come by here, the dogged 11 or so per day.

No, this blog is not going to be shut down. But, speaking for Heather, it is difficult to chase two small children around and blog. As she says, something had to give, and it was a no-brainer. Look for updates more on a weekly basis, but more often as time permits.

Not that she will be giving it up entirely, either. As soon as Tonsafun starts getting more able to sit up and play on his own, she should be able to write.

Speaking of the Large One: He just passed the sixth month mark, and weighs in at a whopping 22 lbs., 1 oz. Maddie was that weight at one year. He's in the 90th percentile in weight, 28th for height. Yes, he's square and has his own event horizon. He also grins and giggles like a cuddly toothless maniac.

According to the records, Madeleine turns 2 this Saturday, although I refuse to believe it. I was just holding her in the crook of my arm last week, I swear it.

Now she stomps around spouting recognizable phrases like "I go ride the horse," "Oh my gosh," and "I want sippy milk." The little girl has almost entirely replaced the baby, except when she's asleep. Not fair. Not fair. She is the bodyguard and buddy of her little brother, which is especially wondrous when they get into a laughter feedback loop.

We've survived blackouts, changes in insurance providers and six hour minivan rides. The latest of the last on that list will be the subject of the next blog, to be followed by a chronologically-incorrect description of the Prices vs. the Blackout.

Preview: Coming back on Labor Day, we met the Amish--and learned that haggling is a skill developed over time. More later.

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