Little Men at the Barbershop

Deep thoughts on the eve of the election

1522 1522_ () 1522 1522 Oh. my. gosh. You guys! Like, I so! totally! love the time change!!!!

(except, I accidentally got up super early this morning. A whole day after the change and I still got suckered. I thought I changed my personal alarm clock and lo and behold. I did not. I got up, got showered and went out to the kitchen to get a cup of my pre-programmed freshly brewed coffee. Only to discover it was 5:15 in the A.M. and my coffee would not be brewing for another hour.) 1522″ ,

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Public Speaking

1521 1521_ () 1521 1521 Weekly column (my schedule is off, due to All Saints Party on Friday, which required me to make costumes!)

I got a call recently from a very kind woman in our deanery asking if I’d be interested in speaking at an upcoming luncheon. I told her I’d be delighted.

“What kinds of things do you normally speak about,” asked the woman. I explained that in general I cover topics including motherhood, Christian dating, and staying alive in a house filled with boys.

“I also talk a lot about marriage as a vocation,” I told her.

“This group is going to be retired grandmothers,” said the woman, and she asked what else I could cover.

I did a quick mental rundown of topics on which I am an expert. I could do a 20-minute spiel on how I stay current with the laundry. I could talk about how many hot dogs it takes to feed a family with five boys. Perhaps they’d enjoy a primer on how I keep the floor in the boy’s bathroom decent? (The answer to that last one: mop every single day.)

“I’m having a book published next spring,” I finally decided, “I could talk about writing.”

She said that would be fine.

This will not be the first time I’ve talked to an audience of retirees. Last year on Valentine’s Day, I spoke to a group of businessmen about love and romance and yes, it felt a tad awkward.

Because it was Valentine’s Day, many of the men brought their wives along with them. At one point, as I stood there talking about love and boys and boys’ notions of love, what I really wanted to do was sit down and let those older women do the talking. I was confident I could learn a thing or two from them!

I realize, of course, that just because I am asked to speak on these topics does not mean I have mastered anything. Early on, I fretted about this notion briefly, wondering if I was required to first achieve perfection in an area before I could talk about it. That would bump me down to talking solely about laundry, and only about every other week.

The requisite for covering a topic is not about perfection, but a desire to head in that direction. When speaking on motherhood and marriage as a vocation, it’s not that I have it all figured out, but that like everyone in the audience, I hope to one day.

I do enjoy these opportunities to speak, even if it is simply to share what’s on my heart. And the audience tends to be receptive.

Until recently, that is.
A few weeks ago, we had the subscription renewal drive for this newspaper. As I am a weekly columnist for the paper, Headquarters asked if I’d be willing to give a brief talk at all the Masses at our parish.At the early Mass that Sunday, the one we attend, I was sitting with ten-year-old Elliott and six-year-old Augie. Our oldest was serving the altar and Paul was in the cry room with the baby and his “helper.”

When it was time for me to go speak, I left the two boys in the pew.

“I’ll be right back,” I whispered, “see you in a few seconds.”I went to the front for my amazingly brief sharing and when I headed back to our pew, no one was there. I inadvertently walked past my seat as I looked for the boys who had just been there a minute before.Once I found my seat, after a kind gentleman showed it to me, I realized Augie and Elliott had dropped me like a hot potato – they lasted less than two minutes.

There instead was a note from Elliott, written on the back of a receipt he found in my purse.

“Mom, I went to go sit with dad,” he wrote, “and good talking.” 1521″ ?

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Dressed to Impress

1520 1520_ () 1520 1520 This afternoon, I let each boy have a friend over to play (except Augie, who wanted his cousin and I said we’ll need to set that up in advance so he can stay longer).

Charlie and I walked up the street to meet his buddy halfway. As we were walking home, Charlie stuck his hands in his pockets.

“Dude,” he said casually to his friend, “these soccer shorts have pockets. Isn’t that sweet?”

See, boys do care about fashion. 1520″ ? .

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