Monday, December 11, 2006

The Nativity, Potty Training, My Mother's Birthday, & A Christmas Carol

I had a very full weekend. I was able to spend much of the day on Saturday doing very little. It was the only time all weekend that I wasn’t busy. My busyness, however, was all good stuff. Saturday afternoon I went to see the new film entitled “The Nativity”. It was very well done. Scripture scholars may take some issue with it but overall I believe it was a very realistic portrayal of what that first Christmas must have been like for Joseph and Mary. I would recommend it all persons of Christian faith.

My granddaughter, Chloe, came over for a few hours on Saturday night while her parents attended a company Christmas party. At some point in the evening, my wife suggested I read a book to Chloe. It was a Bert and Ernie book about using a potty chair. The next thing I know Chloe is taking her clothes off, dropping her diaper and heading for the bathroom. It was time to practice using the potty chair. She sat down, pretended to pee, asked for toilet paper, wiped herself, and flushed the toilet paper down the real toilet. I thought, “Wow, she’s got that process down”! Of course, then we had to do it three or four more times. Finally, she said, “Wash hands”! I held her up to the sink as she turned on the water, asked for hand soap, and rubbed her hands together. When she was finished, she rinsed off the soap and dried her hands on a towel. Of course, it wasn’t quite that simple. We also had to go through the hand washing process three or four times. Finally, I said, “That’s it, Chloe. No more. We’re done here”. That did not go over well. She gave me the look. It was the same look I sometimes get from her Grandmother. It was the kind of look only a woman can give to a man. Of course, sometimes Granny’s look is accompanied with words that I cannot print here. We slipped the Bert and Ernie book in her diaper bag when she left to go home. I’ll let the parents read it to her next time.

On Sunday morning I met my brothers and one of my sisters, along with my mother, for a very pleasant brunch. It was my mother’s 77th birthday. It’s actually a rare treat to be with my siblings. Usually the entire, extended family is also present. With spouses and children and boyfriends and girlfriends, our family encounters do not always lend themselves to much intimacy.

Last year on December 10th, I was a nervous boy. I had been asked to give the Sunday homily at the local Cathedral in memory of Thomas Merton on the 37th anniversary of his death. It turned out fine as most things do.

My weekend finished off with a trip to the theater with my wife, sons, and daughter in law. We went to see the classic Charles Dickens’s story “A Christmas Carol”. It was enjoyable as always. Admittedly, I am not at my most alert at 2:00 PM on a Sunday afternoon in a semi dark room. However, as I walked out of the theater I found myself thinking the words of Tiny Tim Cratchit, “God bless us, everyone”!

No comments: