Wednesday, 9 November 2005
Two experiences today: one brief, the other extended.
One: Walking to the post office, I overtook a woman, her daughter, and the woman's dog. The dog was a cute little Jack Russell, who despite his diminutive size was keeping pace with the woman. The latter, dressed in furs and high heels, was nonetheless walking at quite a clip. Even I, a fast walker, didn't pass by nearly as fast as I normally would.
In fact, my opportunity only came when the woman stopped. The dog's lead wrapped around the woman's daughter, she scolded her child. This little girl, probably no older than seven (though I'm a bad judge of age) had been struggling for some distance to keep up with her mother. The task was made no easier by her school backpack.
Please, let that never be me, I thought as I passed by. Obviously, this woman has some screwed up priorities. Maybe they were late, I don't know. But somehow I came away with the impression that her daughter was a burden, and why couldn't she be more like my obedient dog, anyway?
Who's in so much of a rush that they they don't keep a child's pace, and yet can stop to scold her? It's so easy to think of the woman as having a typically French attitude, the way they value their dogs. But just as I'm sure not all French people are like her, I'm pretty certain that there are many more like her around the world.
Flash to this evening, our latest pre-Cana course. Tonight's topic was children, and raising them with Catholic beliefs (hardly a surprise, considering this is an official church course). I'm not very religious, but I have really enjoyed this course - tonight's class the most of all.
It's great to have a chance to gather with other to-be-married couples, to get a chance to listen and learn from a pair of experienced couples (21 and 24 years of marriage, or thereabouts). I also really like Father Ephrim, who has some excellent anecdotes.
The short experience is the long explanation, and vice-versa. And I'm pretty confident that I won't be like that woman with her dog and child. As long as I can enjoy a class like tonight's, there's always hope. Maybe I'll even do as well as my parents did with me.
It is a big change in life to have a baby, and even a bigger change to have a child. Things get very different when the "portable" baby turns into a creature with his own pace and will. And so much more fun!!
The situation that you described rings a bell to me, I get stressed at times too. What I do, is ask myself why I am angry or stressed, and the answer is ALWAYS: because I am not putting Nils' first, which I am supposed to do, since I'm off work to take care of him. As long as I always take his needs into account when I plan activities or trips or whetever, there's never a problem...
Good luck with your pre-marriage class and all the other preparations!!