Parent in training: a review of “Bless This Mess”

My five-month-old just fell asleep. Now I have anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours to “get something done.” This phenomenon of sporadic, indefinite hands-free time is something that’s hard for folks who are not immersed in parenting young children to understand. Even those of us who’ve been through it often develop a gauzy memoryContinue reading “Parent in training: a review of “Bless This Mess””

On parenting, poverty, and privilege

It’s been two months since our family abruptly said goodbye to the mission we were serving in Honduras. We left because our five-year-old daughter came down with dengue fever, a nasty mosquito-borne illness that becomes even nastier if contracted a second time. In someone who has already had the illness, a second exposure can resultContinue reading “On parenting, poverty, and privilege”

St. Joe and me

I have been praying to St. Joe, the earthly father of Jesus, a lot lately. I call him St. Joe instead of St. Joseph because shortening his name makes him more real to me, like a friend. When I pray to saints it is helpful for me to behave like we are in relationship; change occurs onContinue reading “St. Joe and me”

Listening to and praying with the cries of the children at the border

Like everyone else who understands that the Bible is a book that calls us to love without limit, I am heartbroken by the splitting of families at the U.S./Mexico border.

Namesake

“Lord, have mercy/ On my descendants/ For they know not/ What they do/ For they know not Who you are.” ~ “Pillar of Truth” by Lucy Dacus It’s been about four hours since the birth, and now that everyone is calm and happy and relaxing, I take a minute to steal away. I descend softlyContinue reading “Namesake”

Love in the midst of the mess

You are dreading another meal of ramen noodles and canned vegetables, but you know that’s all that’s left in the cupboard, that it’s the best you can offer your son tonight. You’re thinking about this as you enter the dimly lit child care center to pick him up, with hunger pulling on your stomach, onlyContinue reading “Love in the midst of the mess”

A litany for the teens in Parkland, FL

Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. –2 Corinthians 6:2 Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.  Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us. For our failure to protect children, God, have mercy.   For our failure to elect leaders who protect lives, God, have mercy.   For our failure toContinue reading “A litany for the teens in Parkland, FL”

Again

I tense up slightly as I see my daughter toddling over to me holding the telltale green and blue box, replete with several cartoon dinosaurs staring up at me. “Me want to do dinosaur puzzle,” she says. “Please,” I entreat. “Not the dinosaur puzzle. We’ve done the dinosaur puzzle six times today.” I can’t takeContinue reading “Again”

The awkwardness of being a long-distance aunt

With an armful of children’s books and DVD’s, I make my way through the glass library door. I feel awkward as I carry these items, as foreign to me as the rocks on Mars. I feel like I should explain that these books aren’t for my children, that I don’t have any. I’ve been visitingContinue reading “The awkwardness of being a long-distance aunt”

One life together

As of the writing of this reflection, Witness Against Torture, The New York Catholic Worker, and Voices for Creative Nonviolence, among others, are in the midst of a week-long fast for the victims of the recent airstrikes and ongoing besiegement of Yemen. There we see, once again, one of the poorest countries of the worldContinue reading “One life together”