Here’s the song reference.
After some of our educational misadventures earlier in the week, my level of enthusiasm for homeschooling was somewhat diminished at the beginning of yesterday. Being greeted by the sounds of breakfast-related whining coming from the kitchen upon my emergence from the shower didn’t do much to increase my level of enthusiasm, either. Bugaboo and Beanie were having trouble making up their minds about what would constitute acceptable breakfast fare in terms of both food and drink, and were letting Daddy know in no uncertain terms that they found the options he was presenting unacceptable. As I dressed, I used mental prayer to drown out the unhappy noises emanating from the next room, and managed to exit our bedroom with a semblance of a smile on my face.
My heroic husband had managed to convince our daughters that cereal is, in fact, an appropriate thing to eat first thing in the morning, and was downstairs making Mr. Man and Baby Guy presentable. Prayer results, sometimes, in miracles that seem like ordinary things, but that can become great reservoirs of joy in what at first appeared to be a lost morning. My smile became more genuine as the boys tumbled up the stairs and into the kitchen, their grinningly hopeful pleas for waffles washing away the last of the whiny miasma that had permeated our upstairs earlier.
Once the breakfast paraphernalia had landed in the sink, the girls headed off to dress and wash up, the boys wandered into the living room to inventory the household supply of toy vehicles, and I started the morning round of check-in calls. As I caught up on the latest news from Grandma, the commemoration of Our Lady of Knock jumped out at me from our book of Catholic customs and traditions (a wonderful gift from my oldest brother, which sees almost daily use around here), and it occurred to me that a school day that begins with construction paper, colored pencils, and glue sticks is usually a happier one. The girls re-emerged from their morning ablutions as Grandma and I were finishing our chat, and eagerly watched as I snipped fascinating shapes from green and white paper.
The project was pretty simple, honestly, and was something of an amalgamation of two other projects from our spiffy idea book. We used a sheet of blue construction paper as the background for a green shamrock topped with three white hearts; each heart bore a single word (love, hope, and joy) on a wee green banner, with enough space left over inside each heart for the girls to draw a little picture showing what the word meant to them. I did the cutting and writing parts, which left them the simpler and cheerier gluing and drawing.
Bugaboo and Beanie wrapped up their project while I was on the phone with Deedaw (and nephew, who, to my delight, always wants to say hello when his crazy aunt calls). As I described the project to her (Deedaw loves to hear about what’s occupying the tribe in the mornings), she mentioned that she would very much like to have one of the girls’ little posters for her fridge. Bugaboo joyfully volunteered her project for Deedaw happifying detail.
Remarkably, our English and math lessons were a breeze.
Today’s prayer: Lord, thank You for four little blessings who love You and look to Your mother as an example of how we mere humans can find joy simply by saying “yes” to You at all times and in all things, no matter how intimidating those times and things may be. Thank You also for the gentle reminders that if we start our days by asking You to be with us, by remembering Your love and miracles, we will be more able to recognize You in each other, and recognize Your will instead of our own. Lord, when I get so focused on arithmetic and grammar I forget to put You first, grant me the grace of eyes that see Your miracles at our kitchen table, and a heart that sings with joy at the wonder of them. Please remind me that the needs of Your little blessings include bright colors and glue when I get too wrapped up in textbooks and pencils, and that most of Your miracles when You walked among us involved the most ordinary things, made holy by the work of Your loving hands. Please imbue my hands with that same love, Lord, that I may be Your face.