"You will be a better mom because you are a theologian, and a better theologian because you are a mom."

Is it true? In this blog, I explore the interplay and intersection of motherhood and theologianhood.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Little Miss Mischief

Today at lunch I told Maia that if she ate her food and was good, she could have a (Girl Scout) cookie when she was done. She, however, decided to throw a stuffed animal directly in her sister's face. I sent her to her room while I tried to calm the sobbing babe.

When I went into her room after Eva recovered, Maia was still begging for a cookie. But my answer remained a firm "no." Finally Maia gave up on asking.

"Mom," she said, "I won't do that again."

"Oh?" I asked.

"Yes, next time I will throw the elephant in Eva's face AFTER I've eaten my cookie."

Shortly thereafter, I was changing Eva's diaper and Maia needed to use the bathroom. As I was snapping up Eva's outfit, Maia walked out, minus a couple of clothing items. "Mom, she said, I need some new pants and undies. The others got wet."

"What do you mean they got wet?"

"Well, I was trying to go like a boy, standing up, and, well, they got wet."

I peeked in the bathroom to see a mini-flood in the corner by her potty. And I was very angry. And I did not hide it. Part of what makes this frustrating is that she's tried the whole boy-act at least once before, and it didn't work then either. Maybe she thinks she just needs to practice more?

I sure hope not.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mother's Smile, Baby's Smile, God's Love

"After a mother has smiled at her child for many days and weeks, she finally receives her child's smile in response. She has awakened love in the heart of her child, and, as the child awakens to love, it also awakens to knowledge: the initially empty-sense impressions gather meaningfully around the core of Thou. Knowledge (with its whole complex of intuition and concept) comes into play, becuase the play of love has already begun beforehand, initiated by the mother, the transcendent. God interprets himself to man as love in the same way: he radiates love, which kindles the light of love in the heart of man, and it is precisely this light that allows man to perceive this, the absolute Love..."

I'd give you more of this quotation from Hans Urs von Balthasar's Love Alone is Credible, except that I'm typing this post standing at the counter with Eva in the sling, and, frankly, my back and feet are starting to hurt (I just wrote Monday's Scripture reflection in the same position, only with a whole lot of swaying, which makes typing difficult - but at least she stopped crying; Jeff was getting no love from her in the rocking chair).

Anyway, Eva's been smiling for quite some time now. I think she smiled kind of early. Because Eva minimizes her crying time, unlike most babies (my first babe included), she's been able to interact with the world a little bit more. And, it's official: she's already become a momma's girl. Just a few days ago I went for my swim, having just nursed her, and came home an hour and a half later to her screaming with Jeff. Was she possibly hungry that quickly? NOPE. She just wanted Mom. She was calmed down within five mintues and clinging to me like she was never going to let go.

Making Eva smile is one of my favorite past times, as you can see in the above video. (Apologies for the fact that it's self-recorded in the mirror. Yes, Eva smiles at my reflection, too.)

She Smiles...

She smiles in her sleep
And dreams about nursing
With her cheeks and lips moving with the dream
And when a sudden loud noise
(most likely made by her sister)
causes her to jolt
She follows it with a big stretch
That looks like an imitation of Superman
only in pink and green spumoni stripes
And after she is sufficiently stretched
she opens her eyes like a baby bird
and turns her head to see her world
and then...
she smiles again.