A Father and a Child Meets the Father and His Children

Saturday mornings have quickly become “Daughter/Daddy Time”. I’m not sure Maggie looks as forward to the time as I do. Yet, today she seemed to do ok with it.

Let me take a side track by making three short notes:

1. If you aren’t a Catholic/Christian, this may not mean as much to you as I hope it would. That’s ok, I just wanted to preface the post.
2. If you aren’t a red neck-type person, the end of this post might not mean as much to you as I would hope it would.
3. As an always failing practicing Catholic I am unnerved by folks who “brag” about their prayer accomplishments. (In other words, “I went to mass every day this week” or, “Of course, I pray the rosary everyday, don’t YOU?!?”) At this time I don’t have that sort of consistency and to hear of others often comes off as too much of a comparison. Having said that, I want to point out that this post isn’t meant to be that way at all. It was just a sweet moment that got me thinking.

In an earlier post I mentioned how much I loved the solitude of Saturday mornings. So far that hasn’t changed. So far… Yet this morning, although quiet, was a little extra special. Since the point of this blog is to share those happy moments, I have to share this one. One of the advantages to Saturday now is that I can get up with Maggie and keep her company so Sue can sleep late. I don’t have to go to work and I want Sue to rest. So “Daughter/Daddy Time” has a practical purpose too.

Today I debated what to do with Maggie. In past weeks we have walked, or shopped. Today I really didn’t want to do either. And it was too sunny to be walking our almost eight week old in the stroller at a farmer’s market. So we went to church.

Mass had already concluded. I knew that. I just thought it would be a quiet place to sit. I would set the car seat next to me and just read. Except I had forgotten one thing. It was just about 9:30 am on a Saturday morning. At St. John’s that means Confessions. I walked in and saw a few people praying and thought, “I wasn’t planning on confession today. (Not that I couldn’t use it.) Rather just to sit quietly and read. Oh well, I can still do that.”

I kept Maggie in the car seat next to me, I reached into the diaper bag for what I had planned on reading, the Liturgy of the Hours. I like to pray them as often as I can. Although I am not someone who prays the complete prayers each day, I try. (I fail more often than I succeed.) WIth Maggie asleep in the car seat, today was going to be different!

How many times to I have to repeat that Mother Theresa quote to myself? “If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.” My plan to sit quietly and read the Liturgy of the Hours was squished before I could open the book. Maggie decided she was going to be unhappy and started fussing…then whimpering…then screaming. All in the span of about, oh, 4 seconds. So I got her out of the car seat and, after wraping her in a blanket because of the air conditioning, put her in my arms. She quieted down.

This quiet moment gave me a chance to try again. I’ll open the book and try to read/pray with her in my arms. I’ve prayed at mass before holding her. I’ve even prayed with her in my arms at home. (And not just that she would be quiet or settle down either…hehe.) So I opened the book and began today’s Office of Readings. What I read while holding this little girl just hit me.

It didn’t take long and Maggie had found sleep again. This time resting against my chest with her head just under my left cheek. I could turn my head slightly and rest on her. When I did just that, she would relax a little more in my arms.

It was a great, quiet, peaceful and prayerful moment. It was then that I read the first antiphon in today’s Office of Readings:

“Whoever humbles himself, like a little child, will be greater in the kingdom of heaven.”

I looked down at Maggie and can’t help but think about how I need to be more like her at this moment. I need to keep things simple in my life. Humble myself and rest on God’s shoulders more than I do.

It was the prayer after the first psalmody that really combine to strike the cord with me though:

“Lord Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, you declared that whoever receives a little child in your name receives you, and you promised your kingdom to those who are like children. Never let pride reign in our hearts, but may the Father’s compassion reward and embrace all who willingly bear your gentle yoke.”

Those words caused a pause. We have received this little child into our lives and did so in His name. I was humbled that we are on the way. Reminded again about how we need to be more childlike and trust. I stopped and gazed at the tabernacle. Then I looked down at Maggie. She was still sleeping, but a small smile appeared on her face. My heart had an almost indescribable feeling. In the middle of that “sleep smile” her eyes opened up fully and that small smile turned into one that stretched from ear to ear. THAT created in indescribable feeling in my heart.

I can’t stay I consciously prayed at that moment, but the thought I had certainly seems like a prayer:

“We don’t know what heaven is really like. All we know is it will be even greater and happier than anything we will know or feel here on earth. If it is greater than this moment….I want some of that.”

Then Maggie closed those eyes, stretched her hands out as far as she could and started dropping back into slumber. That childlike, trusting slumber you can only get in mom or dad’s arms.

That is what I think we all want/need/got to have.

I prefaced this post with three small notes. Two for the Christian/Catholic readers and one for the red necks. (Some, like me, fall into both categories.)

How do we end this time together? Well, to give Sue a chance to sleep longer and still get Maggie fed and not let her fussing wake up Sue, we are in the garage. After feeding Maggie, she is in her swing changing between watching cars roll by and sleeping. I’m sitting in a lawn chair, iPad on my lap surfing and writing. All in all a good way to end our “Daughter/Daddy Time”.

Both of us have our feet up and the little summer breeze is blowing between our piggies. What is funny is the last time the breeze came by I spread our my toes and looked over and my little girl was doing the same. I guess the apple really doesn’t fall that far from the tree.

(And I greatly apologize for creating an image of my bare feet in your mind….hehe.)


2 thoughts on “A Father and a Child Meets the Father and His Children

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