lent 2010: mama monday minis

Lent 2010: Mama Monday Minis

Covert Operations 2010


* Leprechaun Hunt: I’ve caught the kids in the middle of some serious business lately, and though I’m mostly exempt from these adventures, I’ve learned just enough from the sidelines to tell you that they’ve been busy searching for leprechauns. The scene, from my view, looks/sounds something like this:

"Beth, you weh-dee?" It’s Nick, 4, donning his raincoat and boots.

"Yep, I’m coming," yells his 9-year-old sister, grabbing her usual outdoor attire, along with an extra piece of "equipment," a special hat that is essential for the task ahead.

I catch her eyes on the way out the door. "We’re searching for leprechauns," she whispers, looking at me with a knowing gleam.

"Alright, well, be careful. You never know — you might just find one," I say.

A little while later, the front door opens and a winded Nick finds me. "Mom, the lepwuhchauns painted a wainbow on the woad, so they must want us to find ’em, right?!”

Okay, so, maybe the rainbow is just an oil spill from a vehicle.

Or, is it?


Whose gonna argue with this guy — a guy whose middle name is Patrick? Not I, milad. Not I.

* Treasures from the Backpack: Sometimes, as I’m going through my quick backpack clean-out of the kids’ school junk, something pops out at me that changes my mid-afternoon funk. This week, it was a "Kindformer" note — a form that had been filled out by a classmate of my daughter’s naming the kind act she’d been caught doing: "Let someone else pass out papers," read one. Another one fell out from under that one, also naming a kind act carried out by said daughter: "She said ‘Bless You’ when I sneezed." And then I found another, this one from my daughter to a teacher: "Dear Mrs. D, you are the person that everyone in the school turns to when they are hurt. Thank you so much for all of your hard work. You are cool…just like the ice packs you give us!" Finally, a little booklet turned up; a booklet called "One Caring Kid: A Booklet About YOU — and What Your Kindness Can Do!"

So there are still forces in the world who feed our children good, edifying thoughts. This…is a really wonderful thing to realize midday, when everything feels on the drab, despairing side.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” — Aesop


* Weaker than Jesus. Public confession time. My friend, Cheryl, was in town from Hawaii this weekend. Well, she didn’t fly in from Hawaii just to visit me in Fargo. She flew into Minnesota, where she had been invited to give an academic presentation at St. Benedict’s College. Then she and her friend Julie went on a road trip to Fargo to take in the sights here. We had a lovely lunch downtown. And then, intent on showing them some of my favorite places, I brought them to Nichole’s, the French pastry shop where I had been with another friend for a business lunch the day before.

Let’s just say I should not have gone into the place once during Lent, not to mention twice.

Back up a few weeks to when my daughter was getting ready to go to a birthday party and had expressed concern about how she’d handled the cake-eating part of the event. She, too, had given up desserts for Lent but wondered if she could make an exception that day, feeling that celebrating with her friend might be more important than denying herself. I told her that in this case, she should go ahead and enjoy the party (including the cake) with her friend. I guess I used this same reasoning while with my friends this weekend, knowing my chances of ever again enjoying a chocolate torte with Cheryl Downtown Fargo are next to nothing. So, yeah, bottom line, I blew it.

Cheryl and Julie in front of Nichole’s

Thankfully, God doesn’t give up on us as easily as we sometimes give up on ourselves, and I’ve kept good on my other Lenten sacrifices — ones I haven’t publicly shared but are probably a lot more spiritually edifying than this one. All things considered, and this little setback aside, I actually feel really good about this Lent and the fruits that have come from it. If nothing else, this temporary slip-up reminded me of how weak and dependent on God I truly am.

* Blogging Bits: I’ve got a little write-up in the March issue of type-hi, the North Dakota Professional Communicators’ newsletter, called Blogging: The Communicators’ ‘Playland,’ (and more).

* Women and Family on ‘From the Catholic View:’ From 10 to 11 a.m. today, March 15, on "Real Presence Live," I’ll be chatting with three other Catholic women on the radio about the recent United Nations Commission on the State of Women (aka, Beijing +15) Conference in New York. I’m looking forward to a very lively and thought-provoking exchange. Our guest will be local Catholic mom Tracey Frei, who attended a similar conference in Cairo, Egypt, quite a few years ago and will no doubt shed light on the Beijing +15 event. For more on that event, go here. To hear us live, go here.

* Flood Watch: We’re starting to bite our nails like crazy again in these parts. Prayers that our Red River doesn’t topple over in the coming days would be welcomed, however we can get them.

Happy St. Patty’s Day a few days in advance to the green-blooded in the crowd. Grandpa Joe Byrne, Great-Grandpa Patrick Byrne, Grandma Mary Boyle (Beauclair) and all you Irish relatives of mine who have passed on…I’m thinking of you and hope you are thinking of us as well. The corned beef and cabbage are ready to go!