Monday, September 07, 2009

Bishop, Baseball, and Back-to-School

Has it really been a week since my last post?

Sadly, it has -- and even more sadly, I hardly noticed the lack of posting during week until I ran into a friend and she told me how much she enjoyed reading my blog, even if there was not too much going on with it right now.


I guess I can see how she might get the impression that nothing was happening if she was to rely solely on the content of this blog.

Take heart, my friends, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I have no excuse other than the fact that I've had to cover approximately seventy two textbooks every night for the past week.

In all honesty, that is not true, since my kids don't even have all of their books yet, thanks to the morass that is the PA state budget. Thanks for the big props for education, legislators!

My children's teachers have awesomely covered the gap, as proven by Francie who told me tonight: These aren't even all my books yet, Mom, which is really surprising since we STILL have work to do. Right on.

We have managed to have a lovely Labor Day weekend, bringing all my favorite things along for the ride: open window weather, the first hints of autumnal colors on the fields, and Penn State football.

Even though the days are still warm, I changed out all of my seasonal decor this weekend. I knew that if I missed the chance to have Rob help me, I would have my summer things out until Christmas.

You think I'm exaggerating, but part of my "summer decor" included a decoupage egg tree that I put on top of my hutch for Easter. Which ended THREE MONTHS AGO.

On Sunday, we had the opportunity to attend mass celebrated by our new bishop. We were all excited, since Bishop Barres has been saying masses at two parishes each weekend, and this was the kids' first mass with a bishop.

Naturally, the fighting at home before mass was INTENSE. There was more than the usual barging-in-on-mom-in-the-shower tattling, and it may have even come to blows at one point. I wouldn't know, because I turned my hairdryer on HIGH and pretended that I was home alone.

Thank God for my quick-showering, long-suffering husband, who lets me pretend that I am home alone. Unless someone's hair needs to be done, then all bets are off.

After mass, we waited in line for forty minutes to meet the bishop. As we waited, the kids alternated between scarfing doughnuts and pounding the snot out of each other. In front of the bishop. Nice.

I kept hissing their names and grabbing collars, until I nearly felt too mentally exhausted to even meet the bishop.

Luckily, I was somewhat bolstered by the sight of my friend's children, who I dearly love and who I think are model children (absolutely no snark implied), karate chopping each other before turning to more stealthy acts of ninja violence.

When we were finally on deck to meet the bishop, I turned to the kids and laid down the law:
You will NOT act like the wild animals you have become in front of the bishop. You WILL answer every question with a polite, YES, BISHOP or NO, BISHOP. You will NOT speak unless spoken to.

What did my children do when they met the bishop? They broke into the fan chant for our local minor league baseball team. Let's go IronPigs! Oink! Oink!


In their defense, the bishop did ask them what they were planning to do later, and they immediately mentioned our last baseball game of the season. The bishop even joined in the chant with them, and then he asked if we had a specific intention for he could pray.

The first thing I thought was pray that we make all it out of this alive, Your Excellency, but I thought that might not sound too in line with my vocation as a mother.

After we managed to leave the church without embarrassing ourselves further, we headed straight to Fiver's first cross country meet of the season, where he ran like a champion and shaved TWO MINUTES off his time from last year.

Even a non-runner like myself can appreciate that. Last year, he finished dead last, and this year he was solidly in the middle of the pack.

We have seen a marked increase in his strength and stamina, and even his therapist has been kicking around the idea of decreasing him to one session per week. We're going to revisit the idea after we see how he settles into school, but we're keeping our fingers crossed.

Tomorrow they are back to school again, and this time with none of the first day excitement. But at least the hot lunches start tomorrow; nothing says welcome back to school! better than institutional whipped potatoes.

'Night, my friends -- and to all of you with kids just heading back to school tomorrow: Happy First Day of School! Hope the day goes swimmingly.


  1. I met with our priest after Mass on Sunday and afterwards he was talking to Bella about the new school playground. He asked if she had used the swings yet, and she said that one day she spent a whole recess swinging. He said that must have been fun, and there must not have been any other children waiting since she was able to do it for an entire recess. She replied, "Oh, there were other children waiting." Great, just great.

    Yay for Fiver!

  2. institutional whipped potatoes!

    see, THIS is why we read you all the time. :) I'm inspired to end my blogging drought, too!

  3. Great narrative.
    I bet your kids made the good bishop's day by being "normal" and enthusiastic about life.
    Yay you.

  4. Aimee- that's huge about decreasing therapy. Congratulations!!!!!

    If it makes you feel any better, when my then 3 year old saw our bishop, she yelled out "who's the snowman?" loud enough for him to turn and acknowledge her as he walked down the aisle. The ground did not open up and swallow me as I had hoped.

    ps- I still love those potatoes. Yum.

  5. Way to go Fiver! Two minutes improvement is great! I make sure my brother hangs out with me a lot, so when he becomes a priest (3 years, God willing) he can truly appreciate what us mothers go through and will be more patient with kids. He's definitely absorbing the lessons.

  6. Good to have you back!

    I like to think that bishops grew up fighting with their siblings. It makes me feel much better!

    Have a great day!

  7. If my kids weren't fighting in front of a Priest or Bishop, I would think something was wrong! Glad you made it through!

  8. Don't feel bad. I've still got the Russian Easter Eggs sitting on my dining-room sideboard. I usually get them put away right around Advent.

  9. Oh, and I used to MAKE institutional whipped potatoes when I worked in Keystone in Scranton, teaching challenged young adults to work in food-service. Yummy. I love them!


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