Empty Elizabeth

In front of something, yet still behind...

Monday, October 31, 2005

Great, Just Great

Lately, SE has been whiney, floppy, mumbley, stubborn, rude and all around disobedient. He wrinkles his nose, squinches up his eyes and loudly says "no way!" He throws little tantrums for no reason flopping onto the floor when I ask him to come into his room. I think that now, at age 3 and 2 months, he is coming into his "terrible twos".
This sort of things I exect from SM, who is 16 months old. He gets angry when I take away the toothbrush, or when I won't let him have it.
My husband and I are stretched to the very ends of our fragile little ropes. Lack of sleep and free time grate on our nerves.
We try reasoning, explaining, cajoling, yelling and punishing (on the steps for 3 mintues! quietly!)him. Today, we threaten to stay home from the museum (this means no dinosaurs!) or put him back in bed. I use some sort of distraction, enough to get us out the door and on our way. But by that time, T is all stressed out and in a bad mood himself. That leaves one more person to cheer up. Lucky for them, I was in a good mood.
I think it all worked out well, we had fun at the museum, we saw some dinosaurs, got very close to some butterflies and I got to see the exhibit about tombs and things, with it's one paltry mummy. Oh yes, and the mummified falcon and an Ibis. Can't forget those! We're lucky those Egyptians mummified animals so our museum at least got something for us to look at. (I'm being sarcastic here, thank you!)

We had a wonderful weekend, complete with a trip to the park and the zoo. The beautiful weather and sun and colorful leaves, and good behavoir, outshined the rocky start to Sunday.
A dissident preist's homily about "becoming great" that included a long reference to a 9/11 chaplain who was a recovering alcoholic and homosexual and did mass wherever he felt like it that week, who was killed while giving last rights to a fallen firefighter, and who was honored with a memorial at an Anglican church and everyone came, because he helped lots of people and went to AA and this and that. Basically, this chaplain was a "nice guy". Basically, we left mass after that. It's hard to find a church the way it is, and then there are priests at these churches who preach about becoming great, but not becoming Catholic. A thing that is so lacking at mass these days, it is hard to think that there are any real Caholics left. It is hard for many to know the truth and often, Sunday mass is the only chatechesis they get... so what is the flock to do? I'm lucky, and happy, that I have people around me that know a lot about Catholicism, and of course, the internet (reputable sources only!) has a wealth of information. But still, it is a struggle for us and everyone else. "Becoming great" is more than what you do that other people see. Becoming really, truely great, starts in your heart and soul, guided by the Holy Spirit, and works out from there. Once your inside is "great", the rest will follow. And for that, we are lucky that God loves us so much to give us all the chance to be great... and to raise great little kids, once they get past the tantrums.


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