By now I'm sure everyone else has heard about Pope Benedict XVI's intention to step down at the end of the month. What a surprise! I am so grateful, as I'm sure we all are, for his years of wonderful leadership and service to the Church.
While that certainly overshadows any of my news for today, I suppose I will write about our weekend (and why I was sporting the frazzled mommy look yesterday) anyway. Little Bear and I spent Thursday through Sunday at my family's house, helping to keep everything running smoothly while my parents were out of town celebrating their anniversary. I was glad to be able to help, and it was fun to spend time with the eldest of my sisters still at home, but nights were hard without Matt around to help with Little Bear.
The kiddo has been rolling over for several months now, but he picked this weekend to learn how to get up on his hands and knees, rock back and forth, and scoot backwards. It got to a point where every time he rolled onto his stomach, he would pop up onto his hands and knees--even if he didn't want to. I cannot tell you how many times I woke up to him whimpering, eyes closed and head hanging down, as he rocked back and forth on his hands and knees: body language clearly saying, "Mommy, why? I just want to sleep." Poor boy... I hope he gets over this phase soon!
Saturday I brought the two youngest to the library with Little Bear and me. As we stood in the lobby zipping coats and pulling on hats and mittens, we saw a couple whom I hadn't run into in years. The wife, looking over my entourage, smiled and asked if they were all my siblings. I was so grateful to her! I know that it would not be unheard-of for the 9 year old, 4 year old, and 7 month old to all be mine, though people would look askance at someone my age with a 9 year old. These folks knew that I haven't been married two full years yet, though, so I really appreciated her assuming they were siblings instead of my own.
Did I make too much of that? I'm sure it wouldn't have upset me if she'd asked if they were mine; I would have laughed and pointed out the two who are siblings, just as I pointed to Little Bear as mine when she asked if they were all siblings. I guess I particularly appreciated it because I'd been feeling weird walking around with a group of kids all clearly related to me, one clearly mine, and wondering what people were thinking when they saw us. I know, pride; most likely the other library patrons didn't think anything about us at all. It is so easy to feel like everyone else is watching and judging, though.
Taking my youngest sister to mass with us on Sunday was an event in itself, and an occasion of fervent "please don't give us another one for quite a while!" prayers. Not that she was bad, exactly; we were having trouble keeping Little Bear quiet, though, and I guess I was expecting her to "behave herself" on the level that a 6 year old is capable of instead of a 4 year old who is tired and unhappy and wants her parents home. She was pretty good overall; there were just a few times when she decided that she couldn't hear what Matt or I were asking her to do.
It's funny how Matt and I can take the same thing two completely different ways. Just before the consecration, Little Bear was becoming increasingly vocal about his gums hurting, and I had to take him to the cry room and leave my sister in the pew with Matt. When we came back at the sign of peace, the older ladies in the pew behind us were giving Matt sympathetic looks as my sister ignored him. I was mortified; he, relieved.
To Matt, the looks of sympathy meant that they understood, they had been there as parents, and that her behavior wasn't bothering the people around us. To me, they meant that we were not doing an acceptable job of keeping the children well-behaved and preventing them from distracting the people around us.
Has it become obvious yet that I am usually concerned about what other people are thinking?
Maybe this is something I'm supposed to work on this Lent.
Just to cap off our weekend, after I made the mistake of hoping that everything would go back to "not-crazy" now that my parents are back, I may have fractured my toe. It has been painful and swollen since I tripped over/ran into the high chair last night; the pain and swelling have gone down as I've been babying it today, which makes me think it may not be fractured, but I still can't move it. Maybe I just jammed one of the joints hard and it is taking its sweet time getting un-jammed?
Hopefully your weekend was a little less exciting than ours! It's hard to believe that the day after tomorrow is Ash Wednesday... have you decided what you're doing this Lent?