Crappy solemnity to you; or, Maculate. All too maculate.

Crappy solemnity to you; or, Maculate. All too maculate. December 8, 2014

Black eye: Despite being Facebook friends with All The Catholics, I somehow didn’t realize today was a Holy Day of Obligation until about 10 a.m.

Feather in my cap: We figured out a way to get everyone to Mass without too much suffering: Damien would go into work late and bring the older girls, who had a day off for some reason, to noon Mass. Then, in the evening, they would stay home with the youngest kids while I took the middle kids to Mass, while Damien worked late. Not ideal, but not too horrible; and the three-year-old, who thinks she is Elsa and so will not wear a jacket at night in December in New Hampshire, will not be required to leave the house at all. This is why I get a little testy with the “Holy Day of Opportunity!” stuff. People who say that don’t have a kid who thinks she is Elsa.

Another feather in my cap: I got all my stuff done, even went on the treadmill and took a shower, even made the bed, and even remembered to defrost four balls of pizza dough.

Yet another feather in my cap: Since I was so ahead of the game, I thought I’d stop on the way home from school and go ahead and buy the food for the giving tree, while giving the kids an impromptu lesson on love in action.

Black eye: Going off routine meant that I accidentally went home minus two kids, who were waiting at the library.

Feather in my cap: They don’t know I forgot them. They think I was just sort of vaguely running late. Dropped off the other kids with instructions to grease and flour four pans and preheat the oven, and zipped back over to the library to get the little neglecterinos.  Got home, made four pizzas, thrust them into the oven.

Black eye: Made one kid cry over long division. Same kid that I had yelled at, on the way home, for breaking his back back zipper. Well, he was overstuffing it!

Feather in my cap: At least we don’t home school anymore.

Yet another feather in my cap: Ate supper, got everyone cleaning up and making tomorrow’s lunches, and even sat them all down to read an informative article about the Immaculate Conception to them, before it was time to go.

Black eye: Suddenly remembered to take the last pizza out of the oven:

photo (4)

Black eye: Tossed everyone into the car, shrieked instructions for the older kids to put Elsa in bed before we get back, and got to the church with about thirty seconds to spare. Discovered that the windows were all dark. No bueno. Must be at the other church on the other side of town! Go go go!

Yet another black eye: Nope, that church is even darker and more deserted.

Yet another black eye: On the way back to the first church, where Mass must surely be after all, engaged in conversation about whether or not it is illegal to own a pet monkey, and allowed one kid to tell another kid a story about how this one chimpanzee ate his owner’s face off.

Yet another black eye: Threatened to kill one kid as we rushed through the icy parking lot in the dark on the way to the church. Not the same kid I yelled at before! A different kid. Went inside and discovered that this church was, you guessed it, dark and deserted.

Feather in my cap: Sang both verses we could remember of “Immaculate Mary” on the way home. Will look up, “Hey, we tried” in Latin. Let the children pretend to be pet monkeys. Did not let them eat the black pizza.

And now it’s time for bed. Definitely, a feather in my cap.


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  • Liz

    I am so glad you’re speaking at the Meeting of Families. 😀

  • Tracy Reeves

    Sounds like a real Catch-22.

  • Episteme

    “Black eye: Going off routine meant that I accidentally went home minus two kids, who were waiting at the library.”

    Just chalk it up to following Mary’s example with 12-year old Jesus at the Temple?

    *In case of emergency, ponder it all within your heart*

    • jenny

      What have Mary done with 10 children ?

  • Gail Finke

    Ha ha, we’ve all had those days!!!

  • Igotfreshmilk

    I love the picture of the pizza. And, did you find out what happened to the missing Mass?

  • cececole

    What is Latin for “A for effort”? We are Catholics, there has got to be some obscure dispensation you can claim that covers ‘we really, really, really tried to get to Mass and it was our firm intention to go to Mass”. “Holy Day of Opportunity” you showed your kids that even when it is difficult–it’s worth the effort. I can’t believe you went back to Church A for the 2nd time. Skip the black eyes and give yourself somemore feathers.

    • ImTim

      “Optime conatui.”

      I know, because my professor in college would often give me these…(ultimately she gave me a degree for effort)

  • mel

    All i think of is…do you really feed everyone with four pizzas? Cuz we need three at minimum, and I only have five kids!…feeling gluttonous…

  • Tori

    Ugh. The “Holy Day of Opportunity” gets me, too. Holy day masses are always during the kids’ squirrley times.

    • Anna

      Yup to the “squirrely times Masses.” I finally realized there is an assisted living place nearby that has an 11 a.m. – late enough for me to get to, not right at a meal or sleeping time, and full of people who like seeing small children once in a while so they don’t mind some wiggling as long as the kids smile and shake hands at the sign of peace. It has made my life on Holy Days much easier.

  • Peggy Bowes

    My husband (who is not Catholic) thinks that Holy Day of Obligation sounds horrible and dull. He thinks it should be called a Holy Day of Celebration, which is really what it’s all about. Much better than Holy Day of Opportunity, I think.

  • kiwords

    THANK YOU for admitting it’s hard! I’m a convert, and I really thought I was the only one at Mass last night, wishing I’d brought a blow dart. Managed to make the 5 year old AND the 13 year old cry. During Mass. Yep. Next time you read an article about the kids raised in the Church, who are falling away in droves? My fault. Sorry.
    And for what it’s worth, I have never gotten a kid through long division without tears. 14 years of homeschooling, and some of the kids are even good at math. Long division is horrible.

  • irena mangone

    We dont have a Holy day of obligation here in England for our blessed Mother to day plus i like Holy day of celebrating much better. So back to original query is this only in America. i thought Hly days of Celebration were universal rather than each country having extra. We have Obviously. Christmas day. Epiphany 6th JanuAry. accension Thursday moved to nearest Sunday. The feast of the Assumption 15 August. And All saints what have i missed Holy Thursday Good Friday Easter Sunday. Also i think St Peter and Paul Or maybe not.

    • I know that there are some local solemnities that are at the level of Holy Days, and that the Immaculate Conception is one for the U.S.A. (The nation is consecrated to her under that title.) I know that religious orders also have some elevated feasts, though I don’t know if they consider them “obligatory”: for example: Dominicans celebrate St. Dominic and Franciscans celebrate St. Francis of Assisi as solemnities while the rest of the Church celebrates them as mere feasts. I don’t know if England has any local Holy Days, though.

      • irena mangone

        Thank you for informing me re the Feast of the Immaculate Conception that is lovely. Being Polish. No doubt we Polish have a few special days. And Thats all to the good. For all countries to celebrate Their own special religioys feast that are meanningfull to them

  • ImTim

    “Hey, we tried,” in Latin?

    “Heus, Adfectabamus.”

  • MightyMighty1

    My husband was out of town on this particular HDO, so I had the opportunity to bring a 6, 3, and 1 year-old to Mass by myself over breakfast, over lunch, over dinner, or over bedtime. I called a priest who said, “YOU’RE DISPENSED!” I was going to try to pull it off anyway, but then there was so much crying that I could see with 100% certainty that I would spend the entire Mass in the lobby, dealing with at least 2 out of 3 crying about something. While getting dirty looks from the holy people.

    Could we try a 10 or 11 AM Mass people? 4 pm?