We've been busily catching up this week after being sick last week. Amazing how the laundry, dishes and dust pile up when you're under the weather!
Something happened this week that has no accompanying pictures and wasn't planned in any way. Little Bean and I sat down to go over the virtue lessons before her Little Flowers meeting on Friday. We talked about St. Catherine of Sienna and read a short story about her life (starting back at the beginning of the book and reviewing past saints to prepare for the next lesson!). Afterward, we talked through a couple of the activities in the Little Flowers book.
As we spoke about St. Catherine, who cut off all her hair at 6 and started serving the poor at 12 and became a religious, I asked LB if she knew what it meant to be a nun or sister. Well, she couldn't really explain to me what that meant, so I started to explain that just like a wife and mother takes care of her husband and children, some women marry the Church and devote their lives to caring for the Church and its people. I explained that everyone is born with special jobs from God and that everyone lives out these jobs differently. Some men are called to be priests, some men are called to be husbands and fathers, just as some women are called to be sisters and some women are called to be wives and mothers.
I asked her if she thought she might want to learn more about becoming a religious, and she very seriously considered it before telling me that she felt that she was supposed to grow up and get married and have children. She said it with a surprising certainty and I made sure to tell her that if she ever felt called to be a sister or nun, we could help her learn more about it.
I don't think the conversation was particularly monumental or life-changing for LB, but it was a moment that made me stop and be thankful for the little moments in our day. I'm thankful for the quantity of time I have that I can spend with LB because it leads to those unexpected quality moments. Something so simple as reading a story can become the bridge to talking about what she's going to do with the rest of her life. So profound and simple at the same time.
I am reminded of stories my S-I-L has told me of discussing the priesthood with her serious oldest son (who responded that he didn't feel that's what God was calling him to). Those moments are there, just for the paying attention. Had I not taken the time to sit down and discuss the life of a saint and been present in the moment, we wouldn't have started the conversation about finding her vocation in life.
As we've firmed our resolve to homeschool next year, it's little things like this that are the real reason. LB would be fine anywhere, home, private school, public school. But having me there in the little moments of the day and available to her provides the opportunity for profound simplicity every day. In giving the quantity of my time, I will be able to provide her with the quality moments to help form her soul for a lifetime. I know I won't regret giving every moment I could to her, what I would regret is all the moments I would've missed had I not spent so much time with her.
As we approach her sixth birthday this summer it hits me that I am a third of the way through the time she will spend in our home. I've been with her almost every day for nearly 6 years and it's gone by in a blink. Giving her the next 12 years will be a gift for her, but also for me when I can look back and say, "I did everything I could, gave her everything I had and I wouldn't change a thing". Although I'll let you know how firm that resolve is when she hits the teenage years =)