Monday, December 16, 2013

blessed art thou

Now that Marigold is four she is doing and saying so many things that four year old children do--like obsessing over death and using language to express herself. So now in Sunday School (Catechesis of the Good Shepherd) instead of wandering around breaking things and rolling on the floor and whining and making me wish she was still in the nursery, she is breathless and engaged and often flapping her arms with excitement. All the lessons are hitting her little soul like a tuning fork and she can't stop talking or pause for breath or contain herself. Indeed, she doesn't speak here at home all that much, but in the atrium my whole hour is taken up with saying things like, " Please be quiet Marigold, it's my turn to talk. Shh. Let's be still for a minute and listen to Jesus." And so on and so forth. 

Last week we did the Annunciation, this week the Visitation. First off, as we gathered in a circle, Marigold was shouting and flapping, "Where is the Angel? Where is the Angel? "
"There is no Angel this week," I said.
"Mary is in the forest. Where is the Angel?" shouted Marigold.
"She's not in the forest," I said. 
I told the story, lit the candle, read the story, used the material, asked the wondering questions.
I wonder how Elizabeth felt when she heard the sound of Mary's greeting?
I wonder how Mary felt when she heard Elizabeth's beautiful words?
I wonder how Elizabeth's baby knew and recognized Mary's baby?
General silence.
"I don't know," said one of the boys.
"Have either of you boys ever been around a new tiny baby before?" I said, trying to get the boys to care. 
"Oh yeah," said one of them, "I have a baby brother."
"What do babies do?"
"They cry and stuff" he said.
"Do they know and recognize you when they are tiny like that?" I asked.
"My brother knew me."
"Did he know you before he was born?"
"Nah," he said.
"I wonder how John knew Jesus?" I asked again.
Bored Silence.
"Maybe somebody told him," said the other little boy.
"That's a very good thought," I said and then broke all the rules. "I'll tell you who told him, The Holy Spirit told him."
General silence interrupted by Marigold flapping and breathing heavily and muttering about Jesus and the Angel and Mary and the Cross.
Then she shouted, "Jesus came forth from Mary!"
I fell back in astonishment, "that's very true. Would anybody like to pray?"
Marigold launched right in. "Thank you for the candles and Jesus dying on the cross and thank you for Baby Ermintrude who is a baby who cries. I'm not a baby who cries. Thank you that I'm not a baby like that baby over there," she continued," that baby who cries."

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