Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Anne Rice, Part 1

I've been a reader of Anne Rice for some 20 years. Since having kids, though, my literary pursuits have both dwindled to already-owned material and stuff involving childrearing. I'll admit, though, when I heard Anne was writing about Jesus I was quite intrigued.

This is not a book review nor a history of my renewed love; that will be Part 2. I just have some thoughts on her conversion(reversion?) inspired by the letter in the Register this week.

Yes, Mrs. Rice was raised Catholic. We know what that is worth--so were John Kerry, most or all Kennedys, Richard McBrien, and Frances Kissling. She drifted away to atheism, for Heaven's sake. Not just warm fuzzy Unitarianism, or cafeteria Episcopalianism, but all the way out. And she was there for YEARS. She is finding her way back.

And last I heard, conversion is a process, not a destination. Isn't that what Christ was referring to with the Third Luminous Mystery? Or are we spiritually complete once we're obedient Catholics?

I don't condone her views on sex and being Catholic, and I'm not going to pretend they're okay. I will say, though, that quite often the Church's stand on sex is the last stumbling block, and it's a big one. You can find people who go along with the Church on everything but.
Virgin Birth and perpetual virginity? Sure. Apostolic Succession and Petrine primacy? Of course. They can even recite relevant facts to their patron saints and the definition of a sacrament. They know all of the Stations of the Cross and the Mysteries of the Rosary. Their faith extends from that burnished Tabernacle right up to their bedroom door, which remains shut.

Another relevant factor is her only child, her son Christopher, is gay. You can't tell me that nobody would tell her, however inaccurately, that she should abandon or condemn her son on those grounds if she's going to call herself a "believing Catholic." That would give me pause, frankly.

[Deep breath.] Spleen officially vented.

I do recall Mark Shea saying something charitable about her reversion, like keeping in her in our prayers once the media blitz passed. I think that's a more productive outlet than criticizing her attempts.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Channeling Larry King

Why don't they make Stain Defender children's clothes? Seems Oshkosh, Garanimals, or Carter's could afford such technology. Probably has to do with chemical sensitivities.

We had Mass for our 8th grade candidates tonight. One dad asked afterward if he could have received Communion, even though he had received earlier at a funeral. (I told him yes, because it was two different reasons for being at Mass.)
His daughter was in pajamas.

I had a student tell me his mom, worried about the graphic violence, wanted to prescreen The Passion of the Christ before he saw it. She didn't have those same concerns about Saw II.

We told Dale that he had to use the potty in order to go to preschool like big sister. We've discovered he has the same steel-trap memory as his sister, because he's calling us on it. He still is unclear in speech to most people (and even to me sometimes), so sending him off to preschool (or any drop-off situation) isn't a valid option. Any suggestions for activities an almost-3, newly-potty-trained boy can do with a parent that don't really involve a tremendous layout of cash?

I have an entry about my renewed love affair with Anne Rice's work, but you'll have to wait a bit more for that.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Some thoughts on TV...

Am I the only one a touch disturbed by the all-encompassing invasiveness of children's toys?

I don't mean how you find bath toys under the bed and Legos under the couch cushions. I mean how Barbie (for example) isn't just dolls anymore. It's series of dolls, apparel, "appropriate" accessories for both the child and the doll, tableware, bed linens, bathroom accessories, movies, books (coloring and story), all of which combine to exhaust any potential for the child herself to have a say in what happens in Barbieland.

I mean, when Barbie was just dolls (okay, and clothes, houses, and cars) at least you could make up her personality and what happened to her. Sure, Ken and PJ (does that date me or what?) weren't an entire Homecoming Court of syncophants like she has now. But the relationships were determined by the child, not a marketing team in a board room. That turns those "movies" into extended toy commercials, doesn't it?

With the movies, though, you can reenact scenes from the movie or not, but you already have her voice and personality determined, as well as all of the other folks in the line/film.

I realize Dora started out as software and has morphed into an entire franchise as well, with Diego added for additional marketing to the male child demographic. That I can forgive because she had to have a personality in the genesis of it. But when something like the Weebles and Fisher-Price toys have their own TV show or videos, it really has gone too far.

I'm not even going to touch on using the TV to teach your kid morals and ethics. I'm lucky to have even gotten this much vented.

Friday, January 06, 2006

I'm reading this new book...

Colleen Hammond's Dressing With Dignity. Now, mind you, on Sundays to church I've been wearing a dress or skirt--with rare exception, like those in-between months of pregnancy--for some time now, but outside of church has been standard practice: pants.

But I recently went to this convention, where I ran into a fellow Heather and her friend Rebecca. They were both wearing denim jumpers, and I felt a little odd wearing jeans. I wasn't the only one there, but it's that company-you-keep kind of thing. So I asked them about it.

Turns out it was just coincidence; they were both nursing the small child accompanying them, and that's what was both clean and convenient. Okay. I was a touch disappointed; I had some practical questions about the idea of an all-skirt wardrobe and thought they might have some answers.

Then this past week, Heather happens to be at our home parish Mass and passes on DWD as a gift from Rebecca (if you're reading this, by chance, thank you!). I'm checking websites for clothes, and realize it's not as impractical as I'd first thought as far as buying them. But then come the living-it-out questions, like:

1. Is denim ever appropriate for church, like daily Mass or Holy Days of Obligation during the week?
2. Do you ever wear socks under the skirts? What about shaving, or with hosiery? I just ain't got it in me to pull on tights every day, and if I had time to shave, I'd have time for tights.
3. What about shoes? If you convert to an all-skirt wardrobe, do your shoes change too?
4. What about girl children, and such things as playgrounds and monkey bars? Is it more practical to go the Muslim route and wait until menarche? What about sports, especially swimming? I don't mean just lessons; I mean those with team uniforms.

It makes sense to just not replace worn out pants and buy skirts instead, or let your daughter outgrow the pants she's got, but answers before we start the process would be helpful.

Incidentally, Madeleine has already ingrained the dress-to-church concept. This Monday I took her to daily Mass and she insisted on wearing a dress even though I was in jeans. I justified myself with the St. Joseph's Clothes argument, but when your four year old shows you up, it gives you pause for thought.