Friday, May 29, 2009

Edgy Encounters

This is my dust pan.

I bought it (and my broom) at Target in the "going to college" section, where things are super useful and super cheap.

THIS is said dust pan's saber-toothed edge.

I offer insane cool points to the person who can tell me its purpose.

I mean, besides helping me fend off ferocious dust particles and other fierce forms of filth.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

4th Grade Encounters

Last year, I took on the task of teaching the 4th grade Sunday school class.

Wait. Let me rephrase that: Last year, I got suckered into teaching the 4th grade Sunday school class. While I realize many people prefer to work with elementary students, I actually prefer working with teenagers. I just really need a group that can understand certain things. Important things. Things like sarcasm.

Anyways, my time in 4th grade was not a total loss. I got some grey hairs out of it, as well as this little gem of an encounter:

One day we were talking about St. Simeon and how God had promised he would see Christ before he died. In the same lesson, we talked about St. Anna who lived and worked in the temple. Now, Anna was a widow. Her husband died after they had been married for only seven years. Just to be sure we were on the same page, I asked the kids if they knew what a widow was.

One girl raised her hand to answer.

Girl: Yes! It's like what my Sitti (Grandmother) has to write on papers when it asks "married, divorced, single or widow..." since my Jiddi (Grandfather) died.

Me: Exactly.

Other girl: Man, Erin, it must really stink to be a widow.

Me: Yes. It is very sad. Wait... I'm NOT a widow.

Other girl: But you're not married.

Me: Right, but I have never been married. My husband didn't die.

Girl: So, you mean, you're JUST single.

Me: Yes. Yes, I am... So, back to St. Anna...

It seems the only logical explanation for me not being married is that my husband must have died.

Thank you, nine year old girls, for your insightful comments.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Innocent Encounters

Our church recently started a Mom's Day Out Program.

Two days a week, the halls are filled with tiny people toddling their way around. My ears ring with their joyous laughter and giggles and, of course, their shrieks and screams when they realize their mothers are leaving them....FOREVER. No, not really. But sometimes the way they scream sure sounds like that's what they think.

Anyways, today one of our priests was walking down the hall and passed the toddler room. He walked by and waved and as he moved past the door he heard one of the kids say, "(gasp) I just saw GOD!" I love the genuine amazement in kids. The priest is always here, in God's house, and for all they know he sleeps here. So, naturally he must be God.

I miss the way the world, and people, looked through my childhood eyes. As the priest was telling me about this encounter, I couldn't help remembering my childhood vision of the Big Man Himself. I used to think that God looked like my dad. I vividly remember having dreams about God and even though I never saw his face, He was always wearing a robe just like my dad's and He had on my dad's slippers. Maybe it's because the first prayer I learned was the Lord's Prayer.

I would be the kid that took "Our Father," to mean "the father of my brother and I."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"You Too" Encounters

I think my brain has a short circuit. Lately I've been saying things without thinking and it's getting a little out of hand. No, not like insulting things or inappropriate things - just the wrong thing for that moment. I feel like I'm stuck in a Brian Reagan sketch. Particularly the "you too" one, which can be enjoyed here.

For example, yesterday was my day off. A mom called me with a question and after talking to her for several minutes we were wrapping up our convo and she said, "Enjoy the rest of your day off." Without thinking, I enthusiastically said, "You too. Bye." It wasn't her day off. I knew that. But I just blurted it out and there was no turning back.

Seriously, this has happened to me five or six times in the last three days, and once was at a funeral:

"I'm so sorry for your loss," I said.

"Thank you. You are so sweet. Have a nice day, Erin," said the lovely mourning lady.

"You too!" said the babbling idiot that has been running around in my body.

Really? I said have a nice day to a woman who was burying her husband in a matter of hours.

Totally appropriate, right?