Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cry Room Chronicles I

Today we were up early enough to go to the 8 a.m. Mass at St. Louis Parish in Clarksville, Maryland. Since we have a two-year old and a nearly one-year old, we quite often go to the Children's Chapel.

The Children's Chapel is a room down a staircase and down a hall from the main church. The sound from the Sanctuary is piped in and a TV mounted on the wall provides live video of the Mass. Under the TV is an altar with a crucifix and two unlit candles. Four rows of folding chairs provide seating. On the left side of the room is a roomy bathroom which allows for private diaper changes during the service. On the right side low shelves are full of sturdy, spiritual children's books, large bead rosaries, some square pieces of rug for kneeling. The set up is very nice and very helpful for us to pray while trying to corral the little ones.

Today was a pretty good worship experience. The worst thing that the children did is when Lucy stopped me from making the sign of the cross over her at the end of Mass. A lesser offense (though possibly more dangerous to her) was when she tried to pull the trash can over on top of her. The first time she did it, we caught her in time. The second time she headed over there, I got up and beat her to the trash can. The third time she stopped half way and looked back with a wicked little smile on her face. Angie and I rolled our eyes and picked her up. What kind of trouble will she cause when she's walking?

Jacob did much better than usual. He did his usual and quite altered versions of the hymns. To his credit, he sings the gospel Alleluia almost correctly. And he is very helpful in getting us hymnals and missals when we ask. He didn't shake our hands for the sign of peace, which he usually loves to do. Without other parents and children in the room, it may have been less interesting for him. He only tried to leave once or twice and sat through most of the homily.

Which was nice, since that meant we could pay more attention to the homily than to the kids. The homily discussed the Trinity (since it is Trinity Sunday) and ended with some homework! Father asked us to think of who we pray to when praying to God--God the Father or the Son or the Holy Spirit. Or do we just pray to God in general, without specifying. He said that the answer would show something about our priorities or focus in spiritual life. For me, the answer is God in general. I wonder if I should be more specific in the future?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Reflections on the Lost Finale--full of spoilers

I just finished watching the final episode of the TV series Lost. Whoa, there was a lot going on! Do not read on if you don't want to read some massive spoilers about the show.

Clearly, the big reveal of the episode is the explanation of the flash-sideways as the afterlife. Remember back in seasons one and two when a lot of people thought the "survivors" of Oceanic 815 were all really dead and the island was supposed to be Purgatory? Purgatory has finally come to the show, even if it isn't called that. The characters in the flash-sideways have been running into each other and slowly been discovering their previous lives, realizing the need to let go and move on. Most of them do this in a final scene in a church, where Christian Shepherd almost literally "shows them the light." Kate Austin even says earlier in the episode, "Christian Shepherd? Really?", referring to the obvious literal meaning of his name.

The flash-sideways/afterlife shows a couple of things. First, the characters need to work together to move on (presumably to Heaven). This idea is a great artistic representation of the communion of saints. Second, it shows that this life is incomplete and fulfillment is ultimately only in the afterlife. Third, even if your life ends really badly (blowing up with a bomb, drowning, etc.) you can have a happy ending. Fourth, a lot of times, couples save each other (here is a case where the exception does prove the rule: I think Ben wasn't ready to move on yet because he was in the most dysfunctional couple on the show, viz. him and Rousseau).

They left a lot of questions unanswered, especially about the island mythology. I was prepared for this because the producers, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, have been saying on their podcast that they wouldn't answer everything that the fans wanted to know, partly because there was no way to fit it all in and mostly because they wanted to conclude the story the way that they had planned it. I think a lot of fans are obsessed with the mechanics of the plot or how the island works (how did the smoke monster get his powers, what are the rules between Jacob and the Man in Black, how does the island regenerate people/only regenerate some, what different people have come to the island and what's their stories, etc.). The creators are clearly more interested in the interpersonal relations of the characters and wanted to resolve those issues. I'll have to think more about the mythology. I suppose I was satisfied enough with what they gave us. I don't really care about all the different groups who've been on the island though it would be cool to know what the "rules" of the island are.

Lost is over now, what will I do? I'll probably re-watch the whole thing now that I know all that they'll tell me about what is going on.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

More on Lucy's Teeth

Lucy's teething has continued. Angie received a lovely Mother's Day gift, a teething ring bracelet! Lucy shows it off in its "stand alone" mode.

It won't keep her satisfied forever, though. It looks like she's found something better to chew on.

In fact, I think she wants to give the cameraman a hug!

Uh-oh! She has a fourth tooth...and what is she going to do with it?!? I think I saw this pose in a Hammer Horror film.

I guess I can't complain. Jacob did the same thing when he was her age:

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lucy's New Accomplishments!

Lucy is starting to make big strides in growing up.

First, she's improving her eating. A month and a half ago, she started eating Cheerios (while flying to Minnesota). Feeding them to her has been lots of fun. Not just for her parents, either: aunts, godparents and even Jacob have gotten some Cheerios in her mouth. About a month ago, she learned to pick up Cheerios, which she would drop or throw in any direction other than her face. This week, she has put two and two together and wound up with a mouthful of toasted oat goodness. She is quite proud of this accomplishment:

At least, I think that's pride. Or it might be making an effort to fill her diaper.

She's also upped the ante on the tooth market, debuting number three:

With the off-set tooth on top, we aren't sure if she's going for the vampire look or the hockey player look. We are sure that she's very cute.

Another development: her mobility is increasing at an alarming rate. She is crawling quite fast. She can pull herself up to standing on furniture, gates and railing. She's starting to cruise around furniture from this standing position. Right now she's rather wobbly, but she is practicing every day. No doubt she will be walking independently soon. Far too soon!

Jacob is starting to worry that Lucy is taking all the attention. But he is too cool to throw in the towel yet:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

An Impromptu Concert

Jacob and Lucy are joining forces, it seems:

I swear, we don't make them sing and drum for their supper. Well, not every night. Hopefully they will have lots of co-starring roles in their future!