mercredi, août 08, 2007

I read a commentary by a younger single mom today. She has mined her life experiences with authenticity and naked candor. She has also done it successfully-her book was published in this past year, and she is all over the media discoursing on what it means to be a young, single mom.

I aspire to be transparent, but perhaps not completely nude. I am constantly wrestling with what to disclose, when to disclose it, how to protect the innocent, and perhaps the guilty. I suppose I should pay attention to the idea that possibly what I am baring might be better left decently covered.

But tonight it was her essay on the fact that she had moved in with a boyfriend after dating him for only four months that gave me pause. A therapist I have consulted about the complexities of dating told me not to introduce my babes to a boyfriend, except as a friend, until such a time as we were very serious. Very serious, in her mind, means getting married serious.

I can't but think that this idea is honored much more in the breach than observance.

I am extremely cautious about introducing any male friends to my kids. Almost as cautious as I am about introducing them to myself.

There is part of me that envies, even though I am distressed, my younger friend's willingness to imagine herself in love-even with a guy who later turns out to be a bit of a heel. I wonder if I am willing to take such risks-or more likely to take refuge in the role of the loving, faithful, protective mother. That is unquestionably the most important one in my life-but should it be the only relational one in which I invest this depth of passion????

dimanche, août 05, 2007

Breaking Bread

Our little refuge here in on Ada Fleming's old property can become a three-ring circus with just a slight adjustment of schedule, or a child with a fever, or finding out that Sian's ballet practice is at the same time as Colin's baseball game. I'm hesitant to whinge about this because I do have an ex who is very involved, but it is harder for a single mom or dad to keep all of the stuff in her or his head without the help of a spouse or a nanny.

All that to say that I forgot we only have one service at St. Matthews in August. This change was noted not just in the bulletin, but in the announcements last week. Thus, it only took me about a minute, when we drove into the lot this morning and found just a few cars, to realize we should have been there an hour before.

When the children asked me if we could have a small service here at home, I said yes immediately. After all, this is something I can do as an ordained priest. In the Catholic Church, there is a tradition, which I have never quite understood, of holding private masses, so why not a family one?

I have to admit I still feel slightly selfish about that idea-after all, if Mom hadn't gotten her dates mixed up, we would have been in church. But beyond Eucharist, meeting in community is also something we Christians are asked to do. Sometimes it is time to see, in ordinary time, that whenever two or three are gathered in His name, Christ is present.

That's the easy part-then ensued a lively conversation about what to use for bread and wine. Those large Indian wafers? Perhaps. I am not going to open a whole bottle of wine, and we don't seem to have any grape juice. I don't want to go all wild and crazy with the elements-after all, this is serious stuff. So perhaps we will just call this a mini Love Feast-the joy of God's love for us mirrored in our love for each other as we share in hearing the Word, breaking the Bread, and praying for our family and friends...and even and specifically, our enemies.