Saturday, December 15, 2007

The first crib at Greccio

Fresco of the first crib by Giotto and assistants in Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi

"I wish to do something that will recall to memory the little Child who was born in Bethlehem and set before our bodily eyes in some way the inconveniences of his infant needs, how he lay in a manger, how, with an ox and an ass standing by, he lay upon the hay where he had been placed." When the good and faithful man heard these things, he ran with haste and prepared in that place all the things the saint had told him.

But the day of joy drew near, the time of great rejoicing came. The brothers were called from their various places. Men and women of that neighbourhood prepared with glad hearts, according to their means, candles and torches to light up that night that has lighted up all days and years with its gleaming star. At length the saint of God came, and finding all things prepared, he saw it and was glad. The manger was prepared, the hay had been brought, the ox and ass were led in. There simplicity was honoured, poverty was exalted, humility was commended, and Greccio was made, as it were, a new Bethlehem. The night was lighted up like the day, and it delighted men and beasts. The people came and were filled with new joy over the new mystery. The woods rang with the voices of the crowd and the rocks made answer to their jubilation. The brothers sang, paying their debt of praise to the Lord, and the whole night resounded with their rejoicing. The saint of God stood before the manger, uttering sighs, overcome with love, and filled with a wonderful happiness.

(Thomas of Celano, THE FIRST LIFE OF ST FRANCIS, CH XXX, NOS. 84-85)

Friday, December 14, 2007

what makes you tick?

I was asked this question yesterday, and slowly I'm unpacking it in my mind. What makes you react? What makes you think? What makes you laugh?

Reactions come quick and sharp when I'm hungry and tired. Or when I haven't had time to be still... pray and gather my thoughts all by myself. Being with my husband or a close friend and actually conversing with them-about things that matter, stuff of the heart and soul, is refreshing and replenishing to me.

My husband makes me laugh. He has a great, dry and witty humor, an uncanny ability to laugh at himself and the situation. My children make me laugh-often without meaning to, just by the circumstance that they wind up in such as when Fefe got stuck in the baby doll stroller, or when Spikey barrels down on the baby to kiss her toes...and the baby reacts with a giggle.

My family makes me think about how I grew up and what was important to me as a child. Looking up I see two examples -my childhood and family (then and now) and my husband's childhood and family (then and now). Both are so very different from each other. I struggle with ensuring my children a childhood filled with love, compassion, understanding and fun. I fear that they will look back and think of a mama who yelled, got frustrated and sometimes, cried. Although...maybe that is not such a bad thing. Maybe it is okay for them to see this part of me, too. After all, why should they be misguided to believe that it was all fun and games? This is the stuff of life. Frustrations, happiness and messes are all rolled up to evolve and shape itself within the very beings of us. Those imperfections are what we seek in one another, confirming that indeed, we are never alone.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

play time

This is how my kids play together. They are all over each other. Laughing, screaming, crying, kicking, pushing, tackeling, and cackeling all the way... UNTIL, "MAMA!!!" Someone has been pushed too hard, tossed too much or pinched too often. Taming them is out of the question because this behavior is in their very core; like asking them to stop picking their noses, or keep their hands of the baby. Impossible. Both, they find irresistable, like playing rough with each other. So, I try to just tune out a little, kind of like leaving one ear bud out, just enough to listen for it to go too far, which, it will.

Friday, December 7, 2007

december morn

Today, I met a photographer out at the Arboretum to take pics of my three monkeys. It was such a weird morning, weather-wise. But the children were able to wear some great layers, and than we did a "dress-up" series with tu-tu's and cowboy hat/boots. Very fun to watch them interact with another grown-up, and ham it up for her. It has been over 2 years since I got their pictures done, and the last time was a family shot. I was four months pregnant with twins and those pictures were to capture a pivotal moment for our family. Little did we know how true that was to be. We lost baby Henry soon after and Sweet Sophia was born in October. I am still grieving our loss and it is a major milestone to even admit that to myself. This is one event that I will always question God in his infinite wisdom. Why?
I wonder if I'll always feel like I'm missing another.
This morning was almost therapeutic in watching my children and feeling the sadness and joyfulness and peacefulness. I am blessed, more than I deserve.