Tag Archives: motherhood

Reading with Alex

It’s been a rough fall for my 15 year old. With our move back to Canada, he started Grade 11 in a new school. The marking is different, the cliques are difficult to break into, and he hasn’t really found his “groove” yet.

A year or so ago, I started reading the novels that he was studying in literature class so that I could give him a hand in thinking and writing. Lit has always been his weakest class. Last year, he was placed in a gifted lit class in a year above his because of the International Baccalaureate tracking at his former school. By reading the novels with him, he could discuss them with me. It’s a fine balance. I (obviously) don’t write his essays (although I often proof them) but sometimes he doesn’t “get” the book. Or a part of the book.

He’s just started his first novel for the year, as the first part of the semester was spent writing. I dropped by my local Half Price Books and picked up another copy of The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, a Canadian classic that I have never read (although I loved the movie with Richard Dreyfuss in the title role.)

Last evening, after dinner, we sat together on the sofa in the living room and read, silently, side by side. It’s not easy to spend quiet time with either of my boys, and this was very relaxing and enjoyable. We agreed that we’d try to get an hour’s reading in each night until the novel was done (required by the end of the month).

Eckhart on Holiness

Counsel 4 (from Counsels on Discernment) speaks “Of the profits of self-abandonment, which one should practice inwardly and outwardly.” In particular, these words struck a chord:

People ought never to think too much about what they could do, but they ought to think about what they could be…We ought not to think of building holiness upon action; we ought to build it upon a way of being, for it is not what we do that makes us holy, but we ought to make holy what we do….as we are holy and have being, to that extent we make all our works holy, be it eating, sleeping, keeping vigil, or whatever they may be. (emphasis added)

In my current vocation as wife, mother, and keeper of the home, it is easy to bemoan the sameness, the drudgery, the lack of concrete results in so much of how I spend my day.

Kathleen Norris’ little book The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and Women’s Work speaks exactly to this. She compares women’s work to liturgy…acts that are repeated and that can have a contemplative aspect that is often overlooked. Acts that can be transforming and holy.

I haven’t come across my copy in our unpacking yet, but I’m due to read it again. It’s slim, at only 89 pages, but an inspiring read for all who mother.