week’s theme was Mary and Joseph. I brought in a world map, and we talked about
where Switzerland is (they couldn’t believe how small Switzerland is on a world
map, and were astounded at how vast Russia is), where they were born, and where
Jesus was born. Diego asked which friends I had brought with me today. (Last
week, I had brought Jesus.) This week, I had Our Lady of Grace (of the Miraculous Medal), a sweet baby-faced Angel (standing in for Archangel Gabriel,
who in my mind, looks fiercer), and a donkey. I debate all week whether to
bring Our Lady, as she is very special to me, and I was worried that she might break.
(She assured me that this wouldn’t happen.) The children (well, except Cedric),
handled her with tender reverence.
The friends I brought to class today
actually skipped our session today. She is usually free on Tuesday afternoons.
Today, her teacher invited the class for an impromptu sledding session near the
school, and I let her go. (She was so excited.) Before she left for sledding,
she asked me what we were going to be talking about in Unti. So I showed her
and Olive Our Lady, the Angel, and the donkey. “Why is she stepping on a
snake?” the girls ask. So we talk about God creating the world, and Adam and
Eve. I told them how God told Adam and Eve that they could have fruit from any
tree in the Garden, except for that from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and
Evil. I ask them what they think happens next. Maeve thinks for a moment, then
says, “They’ll have some of that fruit. Whenever you tell us to not-not-not do
something, the more we want to do it.“ “Like what?” I ask. “Eating on the
couch!” pipes Olive (who got into lots of trouble for that yesterday). “If God
really didn’t want them to eat that fruit, maybe He should’ve just said, oh,
don’t bother with that one. It doesn’t taste so good, “ muses Maeve. I agree
with Maeve on this one. In my teens, an aunt once told me, “You can have any, and
as many, of my books to take with you except this one.” Well, I took the one and
only one. (It still weighs heavily on me, 20 years later.) We talk about how
Mary’s foot on the snake is God fulfilling His promise to Adam and Eve when He
kicked them out of the Garden. I’ll have to show them this illustration of Eve and Mary, by Sr. Grace Remington, which I found out about through a post today by kkollwitz on his blog Smaller Manhattans.
Illustration of Eve and Mary reconciled, by Sr. Grace Remington, O. C. S. O.
allowed Maeve to skip our lesson today because of the fabulous snow. Actually,
I was half expecting a lot of parents to excuse their kids for the afternoon to
play outside. I myself had been out for a run in the morning, and it was truly
Photo I took on my phone during my morning run. Dear God, Your creation absolutely rocks!
I try to run or work out on Tuesday mornings (while Olive is
in playgroup) to help me with my pre-catechism nerves. It is similar to the
feeling I would get before a big conference presentation, when I was in
academia. In those days, the audience would include über high-profile
professors, scientists, industry experts, collaborators, and competitors. I know it doesn’t make sense to be
nervous now, since my current audience consists of a group of (mostly) enthusiastic
and inquisitive seven year olds. In any case, I was a little more jittery than
normal this morning, and after my run, decided to spend a few minutes in my
prayer room (it’s really a closet). I lit some candles and sat quietly until it
was time to pick Olive up from playgroup. I especially directed my prayers to
Mother Mary, asking her to guide me in telling the children about her. At the end of the day, when Olive and I got
back home after our session, I brought back the Our Lady of Grace statue into
the prayer room. I said a prayer of thanks that she was safely back in the
prayer room. Perhaps it was my imagination, but there was a hint of
rose-scented incense in the prayer room. I checked the candles that I had lit
earlier, and none of them had that particular scent. Thank you, dear Mother.