God is in the details
In parishes across the country, parents are turning to each other to find support and wisdom in their quest to raise good kids. Mothers, in particular, have been using resources such as MOMS: A Personal Journal (Resource Publications, 1992) to help them set up programs based on the MOMS (Ministry of Mothers Sharing) model. One such group meets at Mary Seat of Wisdom Parish in Park Ridge,Illinois. Here is an excerpt from its recent newsletter:
A few months ago, after I placed a baby blanket across the lower half of my sound-asleep 21/2-year-old son, I realized that this is one of myf avorite things to do as a mother. It's a time when I don't have tobe rushing or watching out for my son's safety or saying no; it's atime just to reach down and kiss him.
That made me wonder what other moms would say if they were asked, "What's your favorite thing to dowith your children?"
Mary Beth Clarke savors the moments she spends with her four children baking in their kitchen. "I feel like I get a chance to talk with them," she says about her kids,Elizabeth, 6; Michael, 5; John, 3; and Cecilia, 2 months. "They get to learn counting and measuring, but it's also a time to touch base.They can sit on the counter by the bowl, and we talk a lot.
"I also like it because my grandmother did it with me, and so did my mother. It's a time when my kids are quiet and focused. They love it."
Josie Howard-Ruben has been reading chapters of novels to her sons, Jamie and Willie, 9, sincethey were very young. "At 3 years old, they listened to a long story night after night; it amazed me," she says. "So we started a tradition of reading novels."
Ruben says reading together is relaxing and connecting. "I hope one of my greatest contributions to their lives is slowing down and listening to the written word."
Jean Martino, mother of Alice,5; Michael, 3; and Carolyn, 1, loves spending time with her children one on one. "I enjoy anything at all if I can spend time with my children one at a time," Martino says. Whether folding laundry or going to the grocery store or riding to school, Martino says she gets to relax and grow closer to that one person.
"That is when I get to appreciate each child for who he or she is, as a unique individual,"she says. "You get to see them in a whole different light."