Maybe Pope Francis Will Teach Her To Pray (7QT)

— 1 —

Wednesday was the strangest day of the last 4+ years of my life:  Girl 1 amused herself all day long: playing believe with her dolls, drawing on paper, dancing around the house.  All I did was feed her meals, put on Sesame Street at one point (at her request), and play princesses for a few minutes.  She didn’t even protest when I put the princess doll down.

This is the girl who, since the day she was born, has delighted in nothing half so much as getting all up in my grill.  She never found herself in a situation that wouldn’t be made better by demanding something of her mother.   I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve thought, “Why can’t you go away for a while so I can miss you?”


And suddenly she did.

And I did.

Even though she was just in the next room.

This was the moment I had waited for, the light at the end of the tunnel, blessed peace at last.  And yet, to quote Ruby Gillis on heaven:

Oh Anne, it isn’t what I’ve been used to.

— 2 —

Pat assures me that playing quietly to oneself is a normal part of childhood.  I don’t know.  I can’t help but see it as an omen that one day she will grow up and want to leave me.

— 3 —

In the past few months, Girl 1 has taken to climbing into bed with Pat and me in the middle of the night.  She never slept with us before, even as an infant.  Now I often don’t even notice when she crawls in.   I wake up at some point later to find her next to me, sleeping in 5T footsie pajamas.  5T is the last size in which I easily can find non-ironic footsie pajamas.     I’m so grateful for these footsie pajama moments because . . .

— 4 —

This morning I read this passage in Ann Voskamp‘s One Thousand Gifts:

My baby is five.  She falls asleep in my arms . . .  and I can’t capture it, hold it, this, her life now, me in this moment.  She is leaving me, she’s growing up and moving away from me, and she stirs and I sweep back the crop of the golden ringlets. Stay, Little One, stay. Love’s a deep wound and what is a mother without a child and why can’t I hold on to now forever and her here and me here and why does time snatch away a heart I don’t think mine can beat without?  Why do we all have to grow old?  Why do we have to keep saying good-bye?

Stay, little one, stay.

— 5 —

A few nights ago Girl 1 was struggling to enunciate the last lines of the Lord’s Prayer.  I really stuck my foot in it.

“De-li-ver us from e-vil.”

“Do you know what that means, Girl 1?  It means . . . keep us away from evil.  Evil means . . . bad things.”

” . . . You mean when I was crying yesterday, I was being evil.”

“No! No no, sweets, you are not evil.  You are . . . not evil.   Evil means bad things like . . . scary monsters . . . and bad guys . . . and . . . the big bad wolf.”

“Oh, like scary monsters and bad guys and the big bad wolf?  Scary monsters . . . bad guys . . . the big bad wolf.”

“That’s right.  Good night, Girl 1.  Sweet dreams.”

— 6 —

Next day, after saying Grace:

“Mommy, what does ‘holy’ mean?”

“Err, holy means . . . someone who is close to God.”

“Oh, someone who is close to God? . . . What does ‘spirit’ mean?”

“Uh, ah, er, ah . . . spirit means . . . spirit means . . . spirit means a person . . . apersonthatwecan’t seenowthat’senougheatyourlunch.”

— 7 —

New rule: no lying on the dining table, except when waiting for a new pope to be announced:


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


8 thoughts on “Maybe Pope Francis Will Teach Her To Pray (7QT)

  1. Aww, the “away” is just too tough to contemplate!

    And you’ve got to bend the rules sometimes. Maybe she’ll remember how you let her lay on the table that one very special time! I lifted our no-dessert-during-Lent custom and made a cake yesterday. Thrilling.

    I’ve decided to just read the QT’s from now on. I just can’t keep up w/all the linkies!

  2. This is so touching. My first boy was/is the same way.

    Just curious, is there a reason you don’t shop at Carter’s? They go up to size 7. My first boy is about to size out of them and I am seriously depressed. I love their clothes for boys and girls. Some people think they are pricey but for me it is worth it to not have run into a cartoon character every time we go to pick out clothes.

  3. You’re like making me want to cry right now! I have an almost 4 yr old and a nearly 2 yr old little girls… I try to soak up whatever I can, but I know I’m going to look back one day and wonder how the years went by so fast!

  4. That made me tear up, and I don’t even have kids! That was so sweet and heartbreaking! So now I’m mad at you for making me cry. 😉

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