Well, we ended up running ourselves ragged this Father's Day, just like Mother's Day, visiting both fathers and wrangling the children, but it honestly turned out pretty well (certainly better than Operation Mother's Day which resulted in an Anne temper tantrum that may mean we can never return to that brunch restaurant again). Although Mike and I agree that we would LOVE to find a way to just celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day at home next year. Not sure how that will be possible, but one can dream.
On Saturday though, I took Henry to a Marian shrine that is about 45 minutes from our house by car. Anne was home napping with Mike. I thought about bringing her, but then remembered the following:
She has officially entered the Terrible Two's, meaning that she (a) throws frequent temper tantrums, and (b) finds sitting in her stroller for long stretches to be absolutely abhorrent. Combine (a) and (b) and you get (c) a very flustered and sweaty Catholic Librarian. Not the peaceful shrine trip I'm longing for.
So I waited until she was napping, then packed Henry up and headed out. I listened to my podcasts as we drove (now that I use Twitter so much, I unconsciously go to stick a hashtag next to everything, in this case #SQPN) and we arrived to an idyllic scene. The weather was gorgeous, and there was a rosary procession, statue of Our Lady perched on this little portable dais, just forming out by one of the fountains.
I told Henry that we could do anything there that he wanted to, and the first thing he wanted to do was climb to the top of the church. Sigh. There's a giant statue of Mary up there, and loves to climb up to it. That's fine, but I would have rather not done it *3 times* which is what we ended up doing. Great leg workout, this pilgrimmage.
We also went exploring in the wooded part of the property and found countless saint statutes and an outdoor chapel. Going into the church and lighting a candle is absolutely mandatory for Henry, and then of course, we had to go to Mecca: the gift shop.
My son loves Catholic "stuff." You know, tchotchkes. We acquire a small new saint statue every time we go, as well as a motley assortment of prayer cards, medals, bookmarks, rosary cases and Catholic paraphernalia for one's automobile that somehow end up totaling approximately $50. I never mind this, although I do try and keep his wish list down to a dull roar. I always toss stuff for myself into our basket (Bl. John Paul II bookmark and matching medal anybody?), and gifts, so I can't complain. Anne was the recipient of a laminated Mary prayer card with encased medal that she now insists upon bringing to bed with her. The *instant* we returned back home, Mike's visor medal of St. Michael broke, and we could have so easily replaced it at the gift shop, blast! But we had a good time. Henry's chosen saint statue this time was St. George, always a fan favorite, especially with the dragon.
It was lovely.