Sometimes our efforts at catechesis or character formation do not go as planned: but they can be funny.
- An attempt to get my three boys, lounging around on couches, to pick up their ubiquitous LEGO’s AND appreciate their blessings: “Boys, get over here and pick up these LEGO’s . . . and if you don’t, I’m going to pick them up and give them to some poor kids who don’t have LEGO’s and who will know how to take care of them!” One of them lazes over to the kitchen, looks under the table, casually picks up a couple of mini-figures and saunters off. I watch this happen and say in an irritated tone, “Hey! What about the rest of those?” He tosses them over his shoulder: “Give them to the poor.” I couldn’t help but laugh at the clear, pathetic analysis: sloth, laziness, and zero charity.
- My friend told me about the time her not-particularly pious younger brother surprised everyone by starting to cry after hearing a story about the life of a saint. When his mom asked him what was wrong, through tears, he replied, “I don’t want to get the stigmata!”
- Getting out the door can be an exercise in frustration, and one particular child I have can test everyone’s last nerve as five of us load up. As an incessant reader, he often pays no attention to warnings to get breakfast, find his stuff, get ready, etc., so he is regularly way behind when the rest of us are trying to get in the car. It is not uncommon for my annoyance at him to be taken out on other more innocent kids as well. One morning was particularly frustrating and chaotic, and everyone was mad and fighting as we loaded up. I was contemptuous as I waited for my regular offender to sit in his seat so I could shut the car door. Incredulously, I watched as this clueless, unrepentant source of chaos flopped into his seat and opened his book to continue his reading of The Holy Bible.