Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Our Noisy Retreat

S is gone on a 9-day, 8-night silent retreat to a cornfield in Iowa; I've been "flying solo," as it were, since Monday morning. (I like to say I'm having a parallel "noisy retreat.") I'm getting lots of sympathy and support--our friend Sister Jerima showed up at the door the other night with a pan of brownies and a batch of cookies. "I felt sorry for you," she said. Numerous friends have offered to babysit. And my Early Childhood Family Education and Parenting with the Spirit groups have been rather incredulous. Maybe just because they don't know that many moms who pop off for a week-long silent, directed retreat.

In any case, it's not that different from the usual routine so far, other than longer days. The kids have been pretty good, overall. Tonight M asked rather sweetly whether I would play with her after supper; when I asked what she wanted to play, she said, "Anything!" Then she suggested, "Tickle monster!" So we played Tickle Monster for a while. This is a really raucous game in which I, the monster, chase them through the house in a monster-ish sort of way (roaring, flailing around) trying to catch them; when I do, I tickle them. They love this game, especially running away screaming at the top of their lungs. Drives S nuts, which is why it's a good activity for our "noisy retreat." We did that for about half an hour, until M got hurt. (These games ALWAYS end in tears.) Then we had a low-key family time, reading the card that S sent, talking about the saint of the day (Thomas Aquinas), and saying prayers.

When I tucked M into bed, she gave me a big smile and hug and whispered, "Thanks for being my dad."