This is a perfect day to pen some thoughts, as I sip my morning coffee with the temperature in the teens and snowing--again. Just part of the process and groaning of winter, becoming Spring. I tell myself that everyday, as this is the reality I've grown to know in my many years of existence on the planet earth. Nothing mysterious here, just the same ol' same ol' one day at a time. Pussy willows soon, please?
One thing that hasn't changed in our family is the love for chocolate cream pie. My mom used to make one on every holiday, and I carried on the tradition. So you can imagine the exasperation of Jean, who made one for Steve's birthday, only to drop it on the floor. It was a huge disappointment and mess, at the same time. Little Ryan, my youngest grandson, loves chocolate pudding, of course with cream on it. And, licorice, (not at the same time). The two fail safe ingredients in my kitchen--cream and Ranch. Nathan, on the other hand, loves grandma's chocolate chip Pillsbury cookies and chocolate chip ice cream. Nathan is content with ketchup, on just about everything. Once a fussy eater, he no longer doodles....and can pack down a portion.
This time of the year seems long, especially for the children who can't wait to be riding their jeeps outdoors, and playing in the sandbox, as Ryan told me yesterday. He could almost imagine the pears growing on the tree, which grows over the top of the canopy. Three-year-old Ryan remembered eating those Bartlet dwarf pears last fall. They were sweet, now that I come to think of it. He is a fussy eater, never the less, there is something special about growing your own produce, or playing having an eating party. We spent more time with learning activities, in between watching Handy Manny, the tool series on Netflix, by piecing in colorful stickers in their appropriate pages. Often he'll say, show me how to--and, all it takes is once. A learning activities book is suitable now and I can see an eagerness for him to excell, his mind is growing at an exceptional and unbelievable speed. His father told me that he now is sleeping in his "big boy" bed, no more crib. He has given up the binki, but it has remained in the back of his little mind. We know that binkies are for babies and baby Leo has been given his. They are no more....We spend many mornings making grandma and his (second) breakfast. He loves cooking and trying new foods which are placed on a platter in the center of the table. People like to choose at every age, instead of being forced to eat. He particularily enjoys sausage, meatballs, sauce and wholesome breads, broccolli, and anything with cheese. It's even better when he has had an opportunity to participate in it's preparation. Ryan likes to please other's. Yesterday, we made Pillsbury cookies for his brother, Nate. They have been playing together more and fighting less. Nate was telling me about t heir sledding experiences. I'm so glad someone is enjoying the winter...They are learning how much they really do care for, and love each other. They actually paint together, without getting it all over the place. They can make a puzzle together..remarkable! My kitchen is covered with their artwork and my home with their messes and photos.
Nate told his classmates that Ryan is afraid of ants, he told me yesterday. But continued, he's not afraid anymore, because he threw his slipper at it. Situation resolved...While it seemed funny when Nate related this story to his friends, little did he realize that I remembered clearly when Nate was afraid of ants and bees. We had to face that issue each and every time he climed up and down grandma's stairs. The fact is, I remember when their dad was afraid of flies, bees and racoons. So it continues, the circle of life.
One thing they both have had in common, was they miss their mom. She has a huge responsibility and her day starts extremely early, with Mr. mom, (daddy) doing his fair share getting the kids off in the morning, while she is battling the Boston traffic. (I'm not sure who has the short end of the stick here). Ryan is good about missing mom until he can't take it anymore and like most kids his age, it starts with "I miss mommy. " Yesterday, I made the mistake of waking him up from his short nap, the one he took in the car seat, which is usually the case, while driving back from my home to his, in order to meet the bus for Nate. I should know by now that waking him makes him mad enough to keep his coat and boots on, and causes a steady "I want my mommy and sometimes daddy," rant. The only time we could change his mind was when we went out to the car to secretly get the cookies which were placed in a paper plate and zip-lock plastic bag, to surprise his brother Nate. Nate was so thrilled, that he put the cookies on the couch and, in bending over to hug his brother, which Ryan wanted no part of, the cookies came smashing to the wooden floor, exploding in many, many "contained" crumbs. We carefully divided them up, some which remained intact, for dessert after dinner, some for a quick snack, and the rest for grampy. Mission accomplished! Ryan had his cream, as he left the balance of the Nestles chocolate milk for the drain. Nathan, after drinking his milk, ran upstairs and brought down a picture of mom, dad and Ryan, and placed it by the computer telling Ryan that if he missed mommy, the picture would help. Nathan is a big brother. He knows how to help-- as he's been there. Yes, he too missed mommy. Now that he's older, I notice that he also worries about his mommy coming home. He is quite the little man, looking out for everyone. Yet, he is dreaming of the day when he will become a pilot. Nothing will keep him back, he is just that smart and determined. Nate is a very happy and accomplished little boy.
It hasn't been that long that Ryan has been talking, but the things that proceed out of his mouth are deep. Last week, I made four breads for the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy pot luck supper which followed Liturgy. He eyed them curiously, especially the Italian herb bread, which he politely asked for the crusted piece, to be eaten with sauce. Ryan, like his uncle Steve, is a bread eater. I told him that I made the breads for that night. He said "for church" and I said "yes". So, he said, while eating his portion, that it was good, and "the rest is for Jesus." Ryan is sensitive and quick minded. Nothing goes by him without his observance. He likes to talk about church and Jesus.
On Wednesdays, it is a chore to pack all that has to be brought with us in transit from houses. The service at church begins at 6PM which is cutting it close with traffic. Just in case the parents cannot be on time, I also bring along a headscarf and my Liturgy Music, which is in a binder, in the event that I should had to go straight there. Looking at the music book, Ryan said to me "you sing for Jesus?" I noded..." he said, "and you sing to me."
That's one I hadn't thought about...
Last night the topic was... "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." It is not just meant for the deceased, explained Father Peter, but for anything you long for like the loss of paradise-- It is that which is missing that causes you pain and suffering that you grieve for. The hope and promise is that you will be comforted. We are to grieve, and we are to be comforted, especially by those who love us. Have you learned to give comfort to others? Have you ever thought of simple ways that provide comfort to those around you? We are all called to love others by providing comfort in any way to help with their grieving.
Like Pillsbury cookies, chocolate cream pie, and Italian herb bread, I had to ask myself, has my singing provided some "comfort" to those who were in need of hearing? That, from out of the mouth of babes.
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