I realize that it’s not very blogging-break-ish that I’m already back three days after the announcement, but this is for a good cause:
Simcha Fisher had her ninth baby this morning, a healthy baby girl weighing 8 lbs., 14 oz. (4.03 kg) and with the superhero name of Benedicta Maribel! A few folks have asked if there’s a way to give her a gift, so I thought I’d do a little online baby shower in the form of a PayPal button for those of you who’d like to join me in welcoming Miss Benedicta with a monetary gift to her parents:
A couple of notes:
- I’ll leave it open until next Friday, December 16.
- Other than PayPal’s nominal fee, 100% of donations will go the the Fisher family (i.e. there is no cut for the Jennifer Fulwiler Boxed Wine Fund).
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Simcha, allow me to use my encyclopedic knowledge of her body of work to give you a sample. I think she’s one of the funniest, most talented writers out there today, and posts like this are why:
First, I try to repair thirty-three years of dressing timidly…with a single purchase. I begin to hunt for something completely opposite from my usual taste, because, after all, this one needs to count! If I’m going to take the radical step of actually picking something out, instead of just mysteriously finding it in my closet, it might as well be interesting, right?
Bristling with confidence and imagination, I rapidly choose four shirts, two skirts, and even a dress, even though I’m still nursing the baby all the time. Everything I pick is clingy, ruffly, and has straps in unusual places. There are unexpected diagonals, and even patterns.
I beam at the attendant and proudly announce that I have seven items! She seems puzzled at my pride, but hands me a plastic “7” tag. I step into the fitting room, with all the mirrors and lights, and I take off my clothes…
Now, I understand that these bulbs are better for the environment, because they save energy. But this is only true for overhead bulbs, because my kids can’t reach them for smashing purposes. Any other bulb in any other light fixture at our house works out to be much, much worse for the environment. Here’s how:
MY KIDS: Ooh, a lamp! Let’s kick it until it’s dead!
ME: (lying on the couch dying with morning sickness): . . .I didn’t hear anything. . . [promptly manages to actually forget about everything]
LAMP: I guess I’ll just lie here and bleed poison all over your house, you dirty breeders.
KIDS: Yay, let’s throw stuff around!
HUSBAND: Hi, I’m home! Hey, there’s broken glass all over the room. There’s mercury mixed in with the six bags of winter clothes you were sorting, and it’s all over the portacrib. Okay, well, you lie there, I’ll take care of it.
Realizing that, while your older kids could pretty much work for Catholic Answers as top level apologists, the younger ones are not quite up to speed, catechetically speaking. They are, for instance, under the impression that there are three Gods, one of whom is named “Jeremy.”
Design a two-birds-with-one stone remedial curriculum in which — genius! — the older kids teach the younger kids their catechism, thereby educating the younger ones while giving the older ones the invaluable reinforcement of having to put their knowledge into words. If you are feeling especially ambitious, you might even make them do it, rather than just making a chart about it.
Console yourself with the idea that the faith of converts is often so much more vibrant than that of cradle Catholics. Pray that your children will someday convert to Catholicism.
This ungratifying system even works, in a feeble way, with a water slide (and the poor kids don’t even realize the water is supposed to be gushing out in a fabulous, fun-tastic wave of SplashAction! What it does is limply burble a little, and they pretend to be puppy dogs, and line up to take turns licking it. I know, I know. This is why I don’t put my last name).
Anyway, the catch is that, in order to get the water flowing down hill through the hose, you have to get all the air out of it.
Yep, pregnant lady stands in the back yard, in full view of the constant line of bored truckers who barrel past our house…suckin’ on a hose.
Evil always wants distance. But the Incarnate God did not come to us remotely, observing and supervising our salvation from on high. Instead, He came to us. He feeds us, He breathes on us, He makes a mixture of spit and mud and daubs it on our eyes so that we can see.
God always wants closeness. Not the false intimacy of sentimentality and pornography, not the shallow closeness of gratified desires — but the dogged intimacy that does not allow me to turn my face away when I am done.
God wants closeness. I do not say that closeness brings comfort: the closeness that love demands often leads to pain. Christ showed us the beauty of love when He became a man, and then the pain of love when He accepted the intimacy of nails through his hands. This is how we are made.
I responded the same way I do every time I face this particular dilemma: I cried. I couldn’t help it. So much of managing a big family is making order out of chaos—not even making things clean, but just making cleaning possible. And despite the relative sanity of our lives these days, facts are facts: There is just no room. […]
That’s my plan for Advent this year: making room where there is no room. I have a whole other person who needs space in our house, in our routine, in our lives. What to do? A fresh, breezy room full of spacious shelves and empty closets is not going to attach itself to our house overnight; and I will not become a flawless, holy, worthy receptacle for my savior, the Christ Child, when He comes. I can barely get through a Hail Mary without driving off the road from the sheer distraction, so what can I do to make some room?
Thanks in advance for any donations! And since I’m not on Facebook, if folks could share it there I’d appreciate it.