Saturday, October 21, 2006


Infanti - Holy Card

Posted on the 7th Day of the 28th Week of Ordinary Time - 2006 AD - (Year B)

Today I picked up my daughter from town. She had been out with a friend and had a great time. They were really excited when I picked her up, laughing and giggling, being daft as only kids can be. They were both sharing one scarf and my daughter had bought a silly wand thing that made a noise if you pressed a button.

In the car on our way home she is quiet, she's really tired. "It's your birthday next month" I say, by way of conversation. "I don't like the number 13!" she says. "It's only a number" I say, "or do you just not feel like being a teenager." She looks at me. "I don't want to be a teenager" she says.

I was about to tell her how great it is growing up. How great it is to have your own freedom, to be able to make choices for yourself, do your own thing etc etc. But I didn't, because it isn't. My 12 year old daughter understands something fundamental about life that I only glimpse now and again, wrapped up as I am in my adult life. That there is a lot of pain in life, a great deal of suffering that only seems to increase as we get older. I was about to tell her how great it is to become 'your own person' etc. But I didn't. I don't want to lie to her. I don't want her to know about money worries, relationship problems, awareness of evil in the world. In our car on the way home she is still wrapped in that luxuriant blanket of childhood. Protected from a strange and incomprehensible world, full of people fighting and disagreeing over what amounts to dust and ashes. We glide through the early evening, U2 on the CD player and for her, here and now, all is right with the world. She is in the right place and by the Grace of God, in the Holy protectorate of the Family. I remembered my own childhood then, aching days full of freedom. The real true freedom of childhood, before we begin to sin and fall away. The awareness of God that every child has whether they really know it or not. The gift of time and absorption in the present moment. Like most kids I was in a hurry to grow up and start making some real big mistakes (which I am sad to say I did with monotonous regularity). But my daughter is wise, intuitive, revelling in her childhood years. I squeezed her hand and marvelled again at how much I love her.

We pull up to the house. It's warm and as usual full of the smell of overcooked food as my wife cooks and works on her PC which is in the kitchen at the same time. My daughter dives straight for the laptop so she can chat to the friend she has just been out with. My wife walks out of the kitchen with a mushroom burger and sits on the sofa to eat it. I have to go straight out again for some reson, so we say 'hi' then 'bye' and make some good natured small talk. God filled moments.

I get back in the car and drive away and for some reason there are tears streaming down my cheeks.

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