parenting

Making a Pilgrimage with Kids in Tow

Before you think I’m a holy person, let me correct you; I’m not. And aren’t holy people the ones who go on pilgrimages? The word still strikes fear (or is that wonder?) in my not-raised-Catholic heart. It feels foreign in my mind, resounding with unattainable piety and perfectly behaved kids. Because, like it or not, the season of life I’m […]

Being Humbled…Again…on Holy Thursday

Photograph © by Andy Coan

That year, I had to go to the back of the church to nurse the baby, so I had a clear view of the front of the church after Father’s homily on Holy Thursday. He invited everyone forward to have their feet washed. “It’s a gift you give me,” he said, with a look that I had come to recognize. It’s […]

The World of Little Girls and Possibilities

It was not until I was sleeping in a pink ruffled bed in a pink walled room, surrounded by all things sparkly and pink, that I began to fully realize our enormous responsibility—as parents of daughters and as a society and Catholic community. Laying there in my niece’s bed, with my own girl in the neighboring bed, watching the light […]

Mass without My Kids: Not All It’s Cracked up to Be

Every so often, I find myself at Mass without my kids. And it never fails to shock me that…I’m just as distracted without them as I am when they’re with me! I wrote this piece back in 2007, when I only had one toddler to my name and was the full-time parish secretary. This toddler came to work with me every […]

The World of Little Girls and Possibilities

It was not until I was sleeping in a pink ruffled bed in a pink walled room, surrounded by all things sparkly and pink, that I began to fully realize our enormous responsibility — as parents of daughters and as a society and Catholic community. Laying there in my niece’s bed, with my own girl in the neighboring bed, watching […]

Seven Steps to Combat Grocery Checkout Lane Smut

I was unloading a mound of groceries onto the conveyor belt during a recent trip to a major superstore when my 7-year old said, “Mom, the baby is looking at something inappropriate.” Since I was calculating the cost of an astronomical food bill for a family of eight, I only half-listened to my child’s cautionary words. When I turned my […]

Mary as a Parent, Relating to Me

My understanding and devotion to Mary really ripened when I had my first daughter.  I remember lying there in the hospital, the newborn sleeping in her little contraption, and taking up my rosary.  The mysteries that day were the Joyful Mysteries, and as I prayed them, using a little meditation book, I started crying. I had never thought before about […]

20 Lessons I Will Teach My Son

Mother and Child

My little boy should arrive any day now. Having ventured beyond my due date, I’m experiencing Advent as the “season of patient waiting” to a very realistic extent this year. The extra days have given me ample time to reflect and prepare for both his arrival and the celebration of the arrival of the infant Jesus shortly thereafter. I decided […]

“Do as I say!”

Mother and Children

There has to be a top ten list of the dumbest things parents can say to their kids. I don’t want to Google it, because I am certain it will only prove that I have uttered each phase numerous times. So, I will refrain from my Internet research and remain blissful in my ignorance. However, I am certain that if […]

The Challenges and Joys of Modern Fatherhood

Father and Son

Sometimes I can almost imagine myself as a great father to my children… then I do something to mess it up. I vividly recall a past October when the boys and I welcomed my wife home from a five-day trip to California where she had been visiting her sister. What started out as my great adventure with the kids at […]