Monday, August 10, 2009

Catholic Homeschool Spirit Wear

As a veteran Catholic homeschooling mother of four and graphic designer, I have long intended to design a heraldic school crest that homeschoolers could wear on their little t-shirts and hoodies. Other schools have them, so why not ours? Check out this design on lots of apparel and gift products at my store.

Welcome to my new blog!

Okay, I am late jumping on the blog wagon, but here I am finally. After going through a box of notes, I realized I have a treasure box of morsels to share…bits of wisdom and laughable moments on receipts and grocery store lists, sketches of impossible dream inventions, poetry and prose…All from the perspective of a Catholic Homeschooling mother who loves to laugh. Perhaps I can bring a bit of a smile to your day, too. Let me know what you think!

The Science of Peanut Butter Sandwiches & The Need For Universal Remote Coma-trols

Aidan is wise beyond his scant four years. He specializes, for example, in the exact science of sandwich-making and has concluded, after much deliberating and mental notation (not yet being able to write), that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are best eaten open-faced, as separate and distinct slices (first being the peanut butter slice), and that the crusts should be consumed, but only after the centers, in order to strike a compromise with an otherwise unreasonable mother.

He has methodically deduced the maximum volume of peanut butter a standard slice of white bread will support in relation to its thickness and density and devised the best technique for transporting the precipitously-laden slice so as to arrive at his mouth intact.

Once in a while, however, Aidan misjudges the slight but present effects of the earth's rotation, along with gravity's relentless pull, and the results are, by four-year-old standards, catastrophic. One such event resulted in a pair of well-slathered dinosaur shorts and a very much chagrined Aidan, for he has yet to accept the immutable fact that a peanut-buttered slice of bread will inevitably land face-down.

He howled with a force of emotion that only the very young, thankfully, can exhibit without spontaneously combusting. I believe his actual words were, “This is a horrible, horrible world!” Then he rounded on me with angry, tear-filled eyes, just daring me to attempt an “I-told-you-so” and expect to survive. “Aidan,” I said, in my calmest, most reassuring voice, “I can see you're feeling angry, but…you must control yourself.”

Before my eyes, his fury disintegrated into devastation, and he wailed, a sound so hopeless as one would never, ever wish to hear from a child so young. “But,” he sobbed, “There's no remote coma-trol!” (Aidan has always pronounced 'remote control' this way, a rather appropriate name for the device).

We stared at eachother for a moment in static silence. And then–oh, forgive me, but I could no more stop the laughter that welled up from my heart then I could stop his peanut butter sandwich once it slipped from his chunky hand. I thought briefly of the endless trips to the psychiatrist's office that lay before my child, a result of his mother laughing at him in his most tragic moment of childhood.

But then something truly amazing happened…Aidan's mouth quivered, the corners turned upward and he smiled, his tear-stained cheeks bunching up like bright red apples wet with rain, and then…he laughed! He laughed that infectious little laugh that starts out low and grows louder and higher until the air is gone from his lungs, and the laugh continues silently, his shoulders bouncing up and down.

We hugged, and peanut butter smeared across my new white sundress, but I didn't care. This was one of those moments I knew went far beyond learning to laugh at one's mistakes, even beyond the wonderful reasoning of a four-year-old mind that this world was hopelessly devoid of so practical an invention as a remote control for our emotions.

No, even beyond that lay the universal truth that grounds my child securely to the very depth of his being so that he may soar through life with freedom, knowing that, regardless of whatever tribulations fall into his lap, the one thing that will transcend them all…that a mother's love is constant and eternal.