Monday, February 18, 2008
Living with Maia, Living with Mary
My seminarian friend Brian, in an attempt to save our family heirloom Immaculate Conception statue from certain impending destruction, sent our daughter Maia a Mary doll. The doll came complete with magnetic hands, magnetic chest, and magnetic baby Jesus. Since then, Mary has become a part of our life like never before. For starters, Mary sleeps at the foot of Maia's bed, alongside the many other polyester-filled gifts of family and friends. But Maia doesn't necessarily understand why we "sing a song to Mary" every night before bed, but not to the puppy, MaBaa and BaBaa, or any of the other toys.
We're also pleased to announce that Mary is now fully potty-trained. Maia, however, is not. It turned out that Maia had a much easier time potty-training Mary than we are having potty-training Maia. Recently, Mary has been very into nursing Jesus at every opportunity. It makes me think both of the Milk Grotto in Bethlehem (where a drop of Mary's milk fell to the ground and miraculously turned a cave white) and Margaret Miles's new book, A Complex Desire: The Secularization of the Breast. I've been to the former, but have yet to read the latter.
A few days ago, Maia put Mary in time-out. I'm not sure what the alleged offense was, because I wasn't at home when it happened. My husband Jeff wasn't very happy about it though, and he tried to persuade Maia that, as Mary is sinless, there is no reason for her to be in time-out. But of course, as I told Jeff, Jesus was sinless too, and yet crucified. There's no reason to think that Mary can't be unjustly punished for something she didn't do. And yet, I'll agree with him that I'd prefer Maia not be the one to do it!