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Parenting

Let the little children come

“Hi, Jesus! I love you, too, Jesus! Mmm …” my oldest daughter blows Jesus a kiss as we drive past a Catholic church on the way to a play date. Normally, I initiate the ritual, but she does it on her own today. The motion is natural to her,…

What to expect from the babysitter

Q: What’s with babysitters these days? I have hired at least a half-dozen teenaged girls in the past two years, and the issues that have arisen have led me to conclude that it’s not worth the trouble for my husband and me to go out for an…

10 family Mass rules

This year it will be a quarter of a century since my wife and I brought our first child to Mass for the first time. Every Sunday Mass since, with the exception of a business trip, retreat or getaway here and there, we have knelt, stood, and…

To teach a child to love

It had been a bacon-and-egg, aster-and-bluebells, children-hanging-on-every-limb kind of Sunday, five stars all around. By 3 p.m., I was comfortably buzzed on sunlight and motherhood, the grass looking a little greener than usual, my mood a…

The man on the train

A litany of children sticky with candy cane juice jammed the aisle of the Chicago Transit Authority holiday train, grasping for an early glimpse of Santa. Our entire suburban neighborhood, including my husband Sean and our two kids,…