Yay summer. We launched from winter straight into the 80s this week with only a quick pause for spring, which I’m going to be honest, I’m fine with. Get thee into the backyard wonderland which I am slowly assembling with water features from the Target Dollar Spot and buckets of snacks, darling children mine.
I have a big Kindergarten graduation ceremony to attend this morning and I’m trying to psych myself up for swatting cupcakes out of Luke’s reach and keeping him lap bound for the pomp and circumstance. Call me heartless but I’d settle for an end of the year popsicle and a pile of papers and school supplies handed to me in a cardboard box in carline. (Edit: I promptly went into raccoon mode and cried embarrassing mom tears as soon as they called his name. Guess there’s a heart in there after all.)
Our big weekend plans involve a neighborhood happy hour, a birthday party, a family brunch, and a date night to see what is reportedly the best Star Wars movie in recent years, which I hope I can concur with once I’ve seen young Han Solo played by someone else than Harrison Ford. I’m cautiously optimistic.
Archbishop Chaput is one of the clearest and most charitable voices in the Catholic Church today. He is so easy to read and has a knack for cutting through the static and getting right to the heart of the matter. His piece on the kerfuffle in the German Church about reception of the Eucharist by non-Catholic spouses is no exception.
We’re fasting today for the vote on legalizing abortion in Ireland. I’m the children of fourth generation immigrants so I don’t have a horse in that race, but two of my great great grandparents were born in County Mayo, and every time we’ve been there it has felt mysteriously like home. U2’s frontman, Bono, has been vocal in his support for legalizing abortion in his homeland, and it’s a stark contrast with some of the band’s iconic lyrics(and with his social justice track record). Pray for Ireland.
Denver’s crisis pregnancy centers were smeared in an ironic ad campaign funded by Planned Parenthood and while watching the spot (which, I don’t recommend doing, by the way, since it only increases their views) I had fun swapping out the phrase “crisis pregnancy centers” for “Planned Parenthood” and then suddenly all the things they were saying became true. Fueled by propaganda? Check. Filled with medical and scientific inaccuracies? Check. Staff who were poorly trained and not licensed to provide medical services? Check, check, check.
Last week the media went berserk for approximately 36 hours covering the story of a gay man recounting his private conversation with the Pope. Here’s some helpful Catholicism 101 which the guys on the religion beats at the major news outlets would have done well to consult before crafting their headlines.
Adding this to the growing list of reasons we don’t give our kids devices. Parents, there is no reason your child, tween, or even teen needs a Snapchat account. Full stop. Even Instagram is starting to catch some blame for contributing to troubling social and mental health trends like depression (especially in girls) and bullying. Do your kids a favor and table the screens this summer and push them outside and help them learn how to have conversations with other human beings. Give them freedom to explore and stretch boundaries in their own actual, physical communities and help them understand how much more rewarding – if not as immediately gratifying – living irl can be. And also (speaking from a recent conversation I had with a 10-year-old neighbor child) if your kids are going online, you need to go there too. They don’t know the potential ramifications of sharing their GPS location online or of posting nudes, even in “private” chats, or of meeting up with “friends” they’ve only ever spoken to in virtual reality. Stuff that seems like a no brainer to an adult is not intuitive to a child whose mind and whose capacity for reason are still very much in development mode.