What a Difference a Day Makes


I thought about writing this e-mail as Catie, Kevin and I were returning from Washington, DC. Today was the day that Catie filmed a St. Jude’s commercial with NFL Man of the Year/Dancing with the Stars Runner-Up Jason Taylor.

Monday was my first “normal” Monday back home, and as it was to be a “normal” day, Megan was there to observe how it all gets done. It was a day; a typical day in the life of any mom with six kids. I was up at 6:45, dressed and helped get Maggie, Max, Catie and Mia dressed, fed, teeth brushed and to the bus stop by 7:30. That all went fairly well.

Once I returned from the bus stop it was time to start the laundry and get Molly and M.E. up, dressed, and fed. Today was going to be Molly’s first day of school!! The three of us left the house at 8:45 to arrive at Mass at 9am. Mass was a bit long as we celebrated the birthday of Our Lady – Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Then I gave Molly to her teacher Mrs. White. I kissed her good-bye and told her I’d be back home by noon.

I went to Wesley Pre-school to inform them that Molly decided that she did not want to go to school there. I also needed to explain that I could not push her because I was not going to be there for most of the year and we were talking about pre-school. They were excellent and told me if she was ready later in the school year that they would make room for her; all that I needed to do was call.

I left there and ran a few quick errands with just M.E. noticing how easy it was with just one. I arrived back home at noon and Molly had just arrived home. She told me all about her day, including the fact that she receivedt homework. We ate a quick lunch and I put M.E. in bed for her nap. Molly wanted a story so she had Megan read her a story before her nap. I left and went to school. I was the reader for first grade.

The first graders were great. Mia escorted me to her classroom and then I read three books to the class. Mia sat beside me and smiled the entire time. Then I said good-bye and Mia escorted me back to the school office. I waited there for Mrs. Nebel, she is the school counselor. I wanted to meet her before I returned to Memphis – in case the need arose for her expertise. She is delightful and I am sure any of the kids would benefit from spending some time with her.

I quickly got back in my car – escaped being blocked in by the buses and drove home. There I preceded to find out what Megan was up to and how much progress she had made while I had been gone in the morning. I also readied the house for the arrival of the four oldest. Put the wash done earlier that morning in the dryer and moved the basket of clean wash to the ironing board.

After homework was done I greeted Julie who made dinner and we chatted for a few minutes and then we attempted to take my girls out of her car and find her daughter to get her back in the car. I attempted to straighten out dinner for the next night – with a few phone calls. Mrs. Connolly offered to have everyone over her house as Kevin and I would both be gone with Catie, and I felt 5 kids – homework, dinner and bedtime was too much for any one person – thus taking care of dinner. Now on to dinner for tonight. As the table was being prepared Kevin arrived. We sat, ate, sang Happy Birthday to Mary and enjoyed a lovely meal.

Now it was time for showers for six, changing Catie’s dressing, prayers and bed for the same six. Then Kevin and I ran out to the mall to pick up a shirt for the Jason Taylor Commercial. Once home we debriefed Megan and then packed the lunches, set-up breakfast, finished the laundry and sat down to read the mail at midnight. What a day!

Today began so calmly. Again I was up at 6:45. Today Kevin was here. He took a shower while I woke and readied the kids. I found Max dressed on his bed reading a book. Maggie and Mia both quickly dressed and went downstairs to find not just Kevin but Megan too. Catie and M.E. slept. Molly was awake and downstairs with Megan. Kevin left for the bus stop and Catie woke up. I calmly began to ready things for the day – when Kevin came in a told me to get in the shower. We were supposed to have 2 hours more than we needed to get to Washington DC, but the schedule had changed.

I jumped in the shower and we were off in less than ten minutes. As the rain pounded the car I prayed that even though “they” changed the schedule it would not negatively effect Catie. She meanwhile ate and listened to music in the backseat. God was with us. Even after missing Dupont Circle we arrived and the bus was still waiting to take us to the commercial shoot.

Once there Catie became the star. She was the only kid with a speaking part. She handled all of the direction and attention very well. She smiled and joked with the other kids. I found myself rubbing my cheeks. Then it hit me. This was the first day since I have returned from Memphis that I spent the entire day with Catie. Oh, how I had missed her and how I was delighting in listening to her voice through a headset. Her laugh made me smile until my own cheeks hurt. I also realized that I had insisted that Kevin join us. Several times I looked over to see his eyes brimming with tears and a smile on his face. Ah, fatherly Pride. I had the privilege to spend the entire day from 8-8 with only two people in only one place doing only one thing and enjoying them. What a treasure!

Is that how God feels when each and everyone of us stops and prays? Prayer takes many forms but stopping takes only one form – STOP. Putting everything else down and focusing on just one thing. My life is very full – for that I am thankful and blessed. Sometimes all that fills my life also distracts me from what is truly important in my life – my husband and my six sensational kids. Today, like everyday, was a gift and today I appreciated the gift. I pray I do appreciate tomorrow too.

In keeping with the specialness of the day and because we were two hours ahead of schedule, Catie, Kevin and I stopped for dinner. Then a little further along the road we stopped to pray. Kevin took Catie and I to the Grotto in Emmitsburg, MD. Catie went right up the path to the grotto and lit a candle for herself and filled out a prayer card stating “Please make me better. I have brain cancer. I am 7 years old.” Maybe all our prayers should be that direct and specific. In all that this day presented Catie with, I was proud of her. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a mother and to be her mother.

May you all appreciate the gifts you are given each day and the opportunities that present themselves to you.

God Bless,

Christine, Kevin, Maggie, Max, Catie, Mia, Molly, and M.E.

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