Tag: Quinn

For Mom and for Quinlan, a Field Trip

For Mom and for Quinlan, a Field Trip

SO. Let’s catch up, shall we? Quinlan, our second kiddo, is in 4th grade, which is The Project Year in her school, aka The Year That Just Might Do In The Parents Yet. One of the fall projects she was assigned involved visiting a place 

The Easter Bunny Shakedown, or Why Some People Make Fun of Religion

The Easter Bunny Shakedown, or Why Some People Make Fun of Religion

Quinlan walked into my office the day after Easter, pursing her lips like she does when she senses deep, deep injustice in her presence. “Mom,” she said. Her tone was accusatory. “The jelly beans that were in our Easter baskets were the same ones you 

The Mighty Shows Up: It’s Quinlan’s First Holy Communion

The Mighty Shows Up: It’s Quinlan’s First Holy Communion

My youngest girl received her first holy communion this past Saturday. If you’re unfamiliar with Catholicism, all you need to know is that this is a Big Deal in Catholicland. It’s the beginning of a kiddo’s journey to adulthood, the first of many decisions she’ll make as a child growing up in a religion hoisted on her by her parents, and, frankly, one of the first times her parents look at her and can really glimpse what she’ll be like as an adult.

Cue ALL THE TEARS.

David and I drove ourselves nuts the week before the ceremony–since first communion always takes place in the springtime, you’re basically forced to do all of the usual spring cleaning and yard work in the space of a hot minute in order to make sure people don’t show up to your house and wonder if you’re working your way through a depression. We painted things and stained things and framed things and, well, all of the things. We ate a lot of pizza for dinner (“Pizza again? Didn’t we just have pizza??”). We vacuumed a lot. And then the big day happened and all hell broke loose. The dog peed under Quinlan’s bed as we were hurrying out the door to church. I snapped the little cross necklace we’d given Quinlan in half while I was trying to clasp it around her neck. I said many, many words that don’t really jive with sacred moments involving Jesus and little children and holy things. I seared a chunk of skin off the poor girl’s forehead with a curling iron as I was rushing through the very last curl on her hair. I said more bad words. I remembered at the very last minute to order the food for the party, and I totally forgot that *I* had to wear something to this thing and yanked an old dress from Cian’s baptism out of the back of my closet. It was hectic and stressful and happy and nonstop. 

But then there was Quinn: excited to receive communion for the first time, plain and simple. Offhand one day, I asked her if she believed in the sacrament, and she looked at me askance. “MOM,” she said. I swear she seemed disappointed in me. “You have to in order to receive.” (dude, I was just making sure). She was nervous about people watching her, but happy to have relatives who love her be there for her. She was thrilled to have me “curl her curls” (this was pre-scalding, of course) and wear the pretty dress, and have the fancy veil. She was super mad to discover the host tastes “like cardboard.” And I watched her, and I listened to her–our middle child, the one who was the loudest and most loving baby–and I saw all of the goodness.

I saw her earnestness. I saw the thoughtfulness. I saw her confidence, and the shy pride, and the faith and the comfort in who she is and what she was doing.

And I thought, holy crap.

And then, more coherently: This child should be my role model.

She took off her dress as soon as she got home from church that day. Changed into shorts and a t-shirt and ran away from all the adult family gathered around her to go outside to play basketball and jump on a trampoline and slide down the slide with her friends and siblings. We brought them all inside for cake and lemonade and watched them run off again, giggling. In a spare moment, I ducked into our bedroom and saw the cross necklace I’d lent her–my own, a delicate one David had given to me years ago–carefully laid on the dresser, the chain looped just so.

She’s a child. But I had a glimpse of her as a grown-up.

And I’m still humbled by what I witnessed.

The Fun of an Impromptu Family Road Trip: More Than You Can Shake a Stick At

The Fun of an Impromptu Family Road Trip: More Than You Can Shake a Stick At

The kids were off school this past Friday for their spring break, and David took off work so that we could do something as a family. I don’t know what it’s like in your world, but in ours there are times where all the red 

Parenthood: Who Needs Confidence, Anyway?

Parenthood: Who Needs Confidence, Anyway?

You guys. My kids: they’re so sweet and kind and loving–but they need to work on their compliments. Example #1: I’ve stopped straightening my hair most days and am just letting the crazy waves be themselves. I’m still not too sure about living daily life looking 

Because the Food is at Your Fingertips, Children

Because the Food is at Your Fingertips, Children

The girls and I are sitting on the couch, talking about…food. It’s a regular discussion around here. On this particular afternoon, the girls are saying that they don’t like the chicken nuggets served from the school cafeteria because “they taste like a freezer.” I’m kind of impressed that they would notice something like that and make a lighthearted compliment about their palates, which–as such a comment would, in Nowhere Land, I suppose–immediately insults them.

Saoirse is the first to get defensive. “Well, I still like sugary stuff,” she says, like I’m about to deny her ice cream cones forever. 

“It’s a compliment,” I reply. “It means that when you travel around the world some day you’ll be able to land in any country and enjoy whatever food you find there.” 

My comment worked: the girls perked up, and thankfully the conversation shifted.

Quinlan: “I want to travel.”

Saorse: “I want to go to Mexico.”

Quinlan, to Saoirse: “You’ll have to speak Spanish in Mexico. So you have to learn your Spanish.”

Saoirse nods. She’s already got a head start on that–her school starts teaching Spanish early–so she’s probably calculating how many more years of school she’ll have to endure before getting to backpack around Machu Picchu.

“Ooh, sushi,” she says. My brain’s still in Mexico, but Saoirse’s back to food. “I want to eat SUSHI.”

Quinlan tells her she’ll have to go to Japan, but now she’ll have to learn to speak Japanese. Saoirse’s eyebrows shoot up, and I tell her that her aunt Sarah lived in Japan, and that she could talk to her about it.

Saoirse sighs. “She’s so LUCKY.”

Quinlan sits up at that.

“So,” she says to her sister, “YOU study in college, so you can say YOU’RE lucky.” 

I love Quinlan.

Saoirse shrugs. “Oh. Okay,” she says, and that’s the end of the discussion. Problem solved. 

I’ve never been so happy for freezer-burned chicken nuggets in my life.

 

Lesson Learned

Lesson Learned

After a long day of kiddo basketball games Saturday we were back home, sitting down to take-out sushi (all of our children like sushi, the rawer and more tentacle-laden the better. Their taste for it is both surreal and getting expensive). Saoirse has been playing 

Getting One Answer Right

Getting One Answer Right

  I was sitting on the steps that lead to the second floor of our house (it’s one of the places I go when I need to hide). I was doing something on my phone (incredibly life-affirming and positive, I’m sure, as all internet scrolling