I consider myself more spiritual than religious. My husband is a cradle Catholic, so Catholicism is all he’s ever known. I was raised Lutheran and feel the pull back to the Lutheran church on a weekly basis. I became Catholic 7 years ago when Addi was a teeny baby because I wanted my family to all walk up to the alter together each week. Now, 7 years later, I’m a pretty crappy Catholic. I don’t go to Mass regularly. I’ve never been to confession. Transubstantiation? Can’t get behind that idea. The one thing I adore about the Catholic faith? Mary. The amazing woman who gave birth to Jesus. As a mother myself I’ve always felt a pull towards Mary. I find strength in her.
Steve and I had our first night out with no kids since Chessa was born. I had every intention of taking Chessa with as usual, but when our sitter arrived she was sleeping. So, we went to places close to home just in case I needed to get home to nurse a grumpy girl. Chipotle, mango sorbet with gummi bears, and a new geocache at Notre Dame? Our perfect date night. The new cache was a multi step that took us out near the lakes. On the walk back to the car we headed towards The Grotto and I felt this pull. I find The Grotto to be one of the most peaceful and relaxing places. We knelt and the first feeling I felt was an overwhelming sadness about the frustration I’ve been feeling with Maggie lately. I’ve never been so impatient, snappy, and rude to one of my children before and it’s not ok. I’m expecting her to fit into this mold that my first three kids made and it’s not working. I got a little teary and asked Steve if he would go light a candle with me. As I stood and lit my candle I prayed to Mary and just soaked in the warmth of the hundreds of candles surrounding me. I can do better by that little girl. I can be a better mom to her and she deserves better. She’s having a hard time being two, and I need to respect that instead of trying to change it. On our walk back to the car Steve and I talked about how to be better parents to her and starting tomorrow I’m going to appreciate her for who she is and not who I want her to be.