ordinary time.

When left to his own devices, Atticus happily climbs on top of the table. On top of the couch. On the windowsill. On the bookcase. On the toilet. Mike and I are learning which silences actually mean RED ALERT. We have had our share of bumps and bruises, but Atticus is undeterred. Climbing is so fun, mama!

The liturgy of parenting has captured my imagination this week, and I was particularly enchanted by the idea of the liturgy of play dates. Up until now, play dates have sounded like this: Do you want some water? Crackers? Come back here! No no! The adults sigh at each other but can’t find time to say much more than that. And it is holy, in its own way. Like Lent, a time of denial. It does not last forever.

There have been glimpses of a future where we don’t have to watch him like a hawk, where he is learning some boundaries. We recently visited some friends and I realized that the toddlers were playing together. Without us having to watch them. Not so quietly as to arouse suspicion. When we checked on them, no one was on top of any furniture. I think this means we are approaching the days of actual play dates rather than children playing in the vicinity of one another while parents try to keep them from climbing the stairs and pushing the buttons on the DVD player. The language is different, more relaxed. The adults go beyond, “How are you, we are fine.”

I know the words of those more tired, frantic play dates. The new ones are a mystery that is still unfolding. I look forward to learning the liturgy as we move into (what I hope is more) ordinary time.

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