A fine day . . .

Guess what I did yesterday?

That’s right, I took the four youngest kids and picked up their older brother from the mountain 40 minutes away because he broke his elbow on the school ski trip; got lost,  got lunch for the other kids, discovered I was short one lunch and went through the drive-through, picked up the math workbook we left at the dentist’s office a month ago, got gas, realized that if I tried to find the hospital which was closer than our normal one, I’d get lost again; went home, changed the baby, threw in some laundry, raked snow off the roof and dug out the mailbox, took the five kids at home and picked up the other three from their ski trip, dragged them all to the hospital, discovered the elbow was actually just bruised, ran to the supermarket for supper, gave the kids a stern lecture about patience, was thoroughly  ignored, went home, and pretended to forget that I had promised severe comeuppance for those among us who bite others among us in parking lots.

In the few minutes we were actually home, the baby managed to climb on the countertop and smash some decorative eggs, pour the last coffee grounds in the house into reservoir of the coffee machine, twist her brother’s new glasses so badly that the lens fell out and the temple piece sticks out of the case like a broken limb, and push a stool up to the stove and turn on the oven.

She also took the clean laundry out of the dryer and threw it in the toilet.  But she always does that.

In the several hours we were in the car, the toddler did two things:  screamed, and peed.

What I’m trying to tell you is that this is a really good day for me to have two articles in different places today.  Not here.   Somewhere else.  Just . . . just leave me alone in my wretchedness.  These are both pieces my regular readers have seen before, but I’m delighted to see that I’ve picked up several new readers in the last few weeks!  So they will be new to you guys, anyway, and thanks for joining us.

At Faith and Family Live, it’s “What I Say to Mary:  A Mother’s Prayer” — a little slice of life, exterior and interior.

And at Inside Catholic, it’s “No Petty Virtues,” which will be up sometime in the middle of the day (but I will be out, so I’m saying this now).  It’s about generosity, prudence, and Superman!  Sort of.

Please come check them out!   And have a lovely weekend.



  1. I once opined to my then dissertation supervisor that there was a conference coming up at which I should give a presentation but I didn’t have time to even put in a proposal. He chuckled and said “But don’t you have anything in your top drawer?” This guy writes a lot and publishes constantly. And I always enjoy seeing it in print even if I heard or saw another version earlier. You’re not wretched.You’re a writer and a fine one at that. Was so pleased to see the prayer piece again.

  2. Peace out from a sister in wretchedness.

    And thanks for your prolifedness and prolificness, both making it so that there’s always something for us to read and nod our heads to.

  3. Oh, Simcha, how I love your daily life stories. I mean really REALLY LOVE THEM. I need the realism to know that my life is, yes, quite normal when my days go like that. Even when they go like that one right after the other. Even if part of it is that you’re a great storyteller. 🙂

    Now, I do also appreciate the wonderful posts by (for example) homeschooling moms who seem to have their lives in impeccable order as they raise their many brilliantly gifted children of the highest moral caliber and behavioral standards. Because: 1.) I can see that’s an image of sorts of heaven, of what my life truly would be if me, my family and the world around us wasn’t corrupted by original and personal sin. (And theirs – I know it’s rather unlikely anyone’s life is quite as shiny as often presented.) But it’s a way I can use to understand heaven! Alleluia, I can’t wait to get there!! 2.) I can mooch unashamedly every great idea and resource they have without having to muscle the additional brain power and creativity to come up with them myself.

    But you? You give me contentment. 🙂

    May you have a peaceful weekend!

    • Incidentally, trading real story for real story: your line about the baby, the stool and the oven gave me a flashback to a event when our then-three-year-old son set the terror of God in us. My husband noticed one morning that the front door was unlocked and the chairs on the porch had been moved around. Through some deduction, we realized that our youngest had gotten up in the middle of the night, pushed a chair over against the back door where the spare keys were hung (presumably out of reach of children – ha, ha!), took the keys and went to and unlocked the front door, and had a little party by himself outside. In the MIDDLE OF THE FREAKING NIGHT. And we might not have noticed except that the front door is difficult to lock, because very conscientiously he hung the keys back up where they are supposed to go.

      Needless to say, the keys were moved to hanging, like, 10 feet off the ground, and the kids got a safety talk about what was acceptable if they woke up in the middle of the night. And I spent a lot of time telling myself it’s actually going to be a good thing for the future that he’s a creative problem-solver…

    • Denise took the words out of my mouth/heart. I appreciate that you are *real* and share your stresses and vulnerabilities as a mother with all of us. It bolsters and consoles me to read of others living similar lives in the Sisterhood of Catholic Motherhood—-we need to be reminded frequently that we are not alone and that we are all in this together! God has not just singled ME out for a life of torture………! (Ha. Just kidding…;) ………………….Kind of.) 🙂

  4. Sim, when I think of you and all you seem to go through so often, I always think you must have boatloads of grace to get you through it.
    So, I’m thinking of Theresa of Avila… “God, if this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few!”
    This will teach you to sign up for adoration!
    I DID pray that the elbow wasn’t broken! : )

  5. I am one of your new readers and am relieved that I’m not the only one who had a terrible week! (I only have two children but they both have special needs so they count as extra trouble. So there!) Still, I love your writing and am glad the supposed broken elbow was only bruised. God was incredibly gracious to us this week as well and today is turning out to be a good day, so survival once again seems possible. And there will be no autism in heaven, which sounds just heavenly right now.

  6. Thanks for that. Now I don’t feel so bad. I started my day this morning in the drive-thru at the local Starbucks to buy a pound of coffee. When I got to the window to pay, I realized that my debit card wasn’t in my wallet. Called my spouse inquiring about said card, because I last used it while in his car buying Taco Bell last night. (I know. Think what you will.) Drove to his office with now sleeping baby (who I am trying to train out of the morning nap). No luck. Drove home. Completely unable to place what in heaven’s name I did with that card. Wracking my feeble brain. Parked van on drive and noticed that the card was in my lap the whole time! I had taken it out — while in the drive thru mind you — only to FORGET that I had done that, in what? A two minute period? Needless to say, my head was just numb with the dumbness of me. Still is, I think. I HATE when that happens. The good news is, I got to call my spouse back and ease HIS pain. Just yesterday he couldn’t find his cell phone, had me call it … only to discover he was HOLDING it. Ah … the joys of multitasking a little too much.

    • Oh my! That kind of thing happened to me, too!
      I love the part, “my head was just numb with the dumbness of me” but, as someone already pointed out, you were *trying* to get coffee, and you actually were just planning ahead, (by getting the card all ready) so you weren’t dumb at all…

      Thanks for sharing your crazy day and allowing us to laugh at the hilarity of the situations, screaming siblings and stress of it all. Please don’t be mad if we giggle because we have days kind of like this too—we aren’t laughing *AT* you, just with you!
      God bless you!

      PS I am going to send you some wonderful coffee–actually 2 bags so that you will have one to drink, and one to hide when you are out–courtesy of the toddler trying to make your coffee for you…I think you NEED to have coffee available if you are going to put so many miles on your rig…with all the kids! Send me your PO box if you want!


    • This makes me feel so much better about: 1) leaving my checkbook (I’m old, I know) at the bank and 2) not noticing my daughter’s DS XL (yes, we’re evil) was missing until 2 weeks later–she didn’t notice, being too absorbed by Wii Sports Resort. It had been left at a local Korean restaurant–and they still had it. We are now their biggest fans.

  7. You know what: If you wrote a book, I’d totally read it.

    And I’m very glad that your son is okay. Have a wonderful weekend.

  8. I can’t compete with that — I mean, obviously — but I do have a story.

    The other evening I was in the kitchen talking with my wife, who had her back turned to our one-year-old, when said one-year-old proceeded to:

    1) Pull out the bottom drawer;
    2) Remove everything from the bottom drawer;
    3) Climb into the bottom drawer; and
    4) Jump up and down in the bottom drawer.

    Then the following exchange took place:

    Me: Um, she’s going to hurt herself.
    She, without looking: She does that every day.

    Alright, then.

  9. I don’t know whether I should just keep on laughing hysterically, or do the merciful thing, which is find some kind of gift card to mail you that will let you buy yourself a nice bottle of wine.

    I’m always so relieved to see that other moms have the occasional crazy day . . . I usually only post once a week, which allows others to think our house is saner than it really is. Maybe I’ll plan on sharing some of the crazy as a public service, like you’ve done for me. Thank you!

  10. One of the things I love about you, Simcha… You can relate all of this (which I can totally relate to) and leave us laughing somehow. Are you laughing, too? 🙂 Hope so. BLessings, girl! (LOVE seeing your work spread around the internet, btw.)

  11. I read this post and the “What I say to Mary” post out loud to my family. There was the joyous feeling of, “See it’s not just us” about them both. DS put his feet up on the pew this morning and was told, “Down means down, not on the baby” after which he quoted back the rest of the post to me. Thank you!

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