Friday, September 30, 2011

An Evening at the End of September

We had an unusual evening, one that is difficult to describe.

It could have been simple. It could have been watching the baseball playoffs and going to bed. That's what I expected of this final Friday evening in September. But the rains came in New York, so hard that even that great monument to Sports Excess--Yankee Stadium--had no remedy against them. So, instead, I talked with my son.

How much has happened in this past month. He is certainly growing in many ways as a high school student. It had been an extraordinary day. It was a school field trip, with students and teachers hiking Old Rag in Shenandoah National Park and then having a spirited afternoon and evening of intramural competitions. He was actually tired! But also full of the life of the day.

John Paul and I talk quite a bit. So there's nothing new about that. But there's already something new about him. A part of me has always been afraid of the kids growing up. But he has so much more to say! Doors are opening wide inside his soul. I like that!

After we talked and waited for the game to be called, we came out to the living room for prayers. And then Teresa came and sat on me, and we started talking about St. Therese, and her coming feast day. We got going, and Eileen and I shared old memories with the kids until they fell asleep on sofas, chairs, and Teresa in my lap. Josefina, of course, was asleep from the beginning; talk of this kind is very difficult when she is awake and scampering about. But she too will grow, and join the family circle, begin to ask questions, and find her soul. I am happy for that.

There are these moments in family life where something inside you says, "Yes, this is it. This is a hint, a little hint, of what it's all about."