This past weekend was the most beautiful anniversary mass at our church, celebrating 225 years of Jesuits on Holy Hill. Envision this special celebration as high, festive mass with smells and pagentry and organ music, and packed from wall to wall.
As part of the anniversary year, a special monthly bulletin was produced to share memories and histories of our parish. Upon joining the staff, I was encouraged to write about my own entanglement with Holy Trinity, and it was published in the final issue. Sharing here.
Because of this reflection, the anniversary manager asked me to bring the gifts forward at the Founders Day Mass with my family.
Unintentionally and unrelated, we ended up sitting in the front row of the “overflow” section that is literally right next to the altar. The kids had a great view and we were right in the middle of the mass, seeing all the altar action up close and personal–it was awesome. I’d add this past Sunday to THE LIST of Special Occasions and Memories at Holy Trinity. I am so glad we are home.
Once I worked with someone who was really into “back to school, back to basics” as a way to set a work refresh after Labor Day when the kids went back to school.
My kids aren’t back to school yet, and we have been in transition for basically a year now and the clock is still ticking, so it’s premature to make great proclamations or cast grand aspersions. Call this my rough draft.
Starting a New School Year at a New School
I don’t have new school clothes for the kids (much less having unpacked from our trip). I don’t like the backpacks I purchased. I don’t have a nanny, or an au pair (East Coast for “nanny”). I don’t have the super rad longtail bike that I want, which my mother thinks is unsafe and my husband doubts my ability to ride.
And yet, come Monday, they start school. What are you going to do about, Mom? Word to the wise–don’t hold your breath.
Wrapping up the Past
The Last Year
Our school for the past year has been nothing short of wonderful.
In a parting appreciation letter, I wrote I would send him there through 12th grade, if I could. However, it can’t be our forever school because it’s a preschool and the youngest class is for 2.5 years old, which means Little Miss could not go there for another year, and it’s in Arlington, which is a non-starter because hypothetically we are moving into the condo before Christmas (and with any luck before Halloween).
Our Time in Texas
Master O and I went back to Texas for a long weekend this past weekend. It made my head swirl and spin.
I don’t have the ending worked out in my head, but the weekend gave me the closing chapters. A year has given me space (despite continuing to be in transition here) to be able to respect my feelings and thoughts about living there. But it also broke my heart–I love my friends there.
Marie Kondo on Life
When we move into the condo, we will wish that we had a POD SALE–instead of moving all of our furniture and belongings into the condo, that we sold them all. Kind of schizophrenic but if we have lived this past year without it, and we can’t remember what is in it, do we need it? Besides, we need a fresh start in this new space.
In all of this searching and wandering, I feel I am getting old.
What I may have “made the best of it” in a previous year, I now can’t let myself entertain what does not work for our narrow parameters. While I joined the DC Moms Blog in January, I’ve resigned this month. While the condo board has many seats available, there’s no chance I can waste time or energy with that. I don’t need to start new hobbies or activities–I don’t have it in me any longer. New endings to make space for new starts.
As all bad stories begin, “When I was listening to NPR this morning…”
When I was listening to NPR this morning en route to school dropoff number one, after getting the kids, our EIGHT bags (Water Play Wednesday at both schools) and all butts strapped in to the car, there was a story about “Bourdain Day” which was yesterday, his birthday.
Jose Andres and Eric Ripert have apparently launched a scholarship which I didn’t even hear about in the NPR story, but maybe I tuned it out.
The NPR story features remembrances from social media and celebrities, like my fav gal, Christiane Amanpour. It was a lovely and touching story that I feel reminds us of the spirit of Bourdain, which we so often need in our daily humdrum, like driving to school.
And then the disclaimer at the end of the piece, “If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline” got me thinking about a friend who lost her father that way, which got me thinking about losing my own father, which got me all choked up and unable to fight back the tears rolling down my face, as I am driving to school number one.
BUT it’s a saving grace that I invested in this *f-ing*awesome* new waterproof mascara. Since starting this new job, there’s been more than one teary occasion (a priest’s homily–tears; a couple sends me their intercessions–tears, the list goes on). I was in need of solid waterproof mascara and surprised it was hard to find. I went to The Strategist (where I get all my good recs / paid advertising links) and now I am also a hyper-enthusiastic reviewer of the Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara.
We got to school, had to trash the bagel that dropped on the ground and the ensuing baby girl meltdown, lathered Master O in sunscreen, got him into class, had a great quick convo with the director (as always) then back into the car to drive to school dropoff number two. It’s about 20-25 minutes in the car from school one to school two and that’s a more pleasant experience when I queue up the playlist for my passenger before we leave the parking lot.
When I was listening to 50 of the Best Kids Songs Ever! this morning en route to school dropoff number two, the song, “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” came on in the shuffle. I love these cumulative-type songs! I am rusty on the lyrics trying to sing along and Little Miss was in the backseat cracking up laughing because of this silly song (and because of mom singing along?).
There was an old lady who swallowed a fly. I dunno why she swallowed that fly, Perhaps she’ll die
Next, the spider:
There was an old lady who swallowed a spider, That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her. She swallowed the spider to catch the fly. But I dunno why she swallowed that fly – Perhaps she’ll die.
To get the spider, a bird!
There was an old lady who swallowed a bird; How absurd, to swallow a bird! She swallowed the bird to catch the spider That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her. She swallowed the spider to catch the fly. But I dunno why she swallowed that fly – Perhaps she’ll die
And from the backseat, Little Miss starts singing along too but she only says, “DIE!”
There was an old lady who swallowed a cat. Imagine that, she swallowed a cat. She swallowed the cat to catch the bird … She swallowed the bird to catch the spider That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her. She swallowed the spider to catch the fly. But I dunno why she swallowed that fly Perhaps she’ll die
There was an old lady who swallowed a dog. What a hog! To swallow a dog! She swallowed the dog to catch the cat… She swallowed the cat to catch the bird … She swallowed the bird to catch the spider That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her. She swallowed the spider to catch the fly. But I dunno why she swallowed that fly Perhaps she’ll die.
“DIE!” (giggle giggle giggle)
At which point, I am in the front cracking up laughing overwhelmed by the absurd song and her response, chasing away the pain and the heartache and the tears.
There was an old lady who swallowed a cow. I don’t know how she swallowed a cow! She swallowed the goat to catch the dog… She swallowed the dog to catch the cat… She swallowed the cat to catch the bird … She swallowed the bird to catch the spider That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her. She swallowed the spider to catch the fly. But I dunno why she swallowed that fly Perhaps she’ll die.
There was an old lady who swallowed a horse – She’s dead, of course.