Bella at 3

Bella at 3

I took Bella to the pediatrician this morning for her 3-year physical. She was thirty pounds and thirty-seven inches tall. My long, leggy girl! I think this appointment was the first where she’s stood upright on the scale while the doctor measured her and weighed her. Maybe they did that at the 2-year, though. I know it was the first time she’d had a blood pressure cuff put on, though.

Bella was very calm throughout, quietly doing as the doctor asked. Dr. S. gave her a lollipop when it came time to prick her finger for the hemoglobin level and lead exposure tests. I don’t think it was necessary, though. Bella seemed much like me when I get pricked. She was curious and wanted to watch, even thought the doctor tried to get her to turn her head away. Perhaps because she’s seen me have blood drawn and get an injection in the past few months and seen how much of a non issue it was?

Of course, the lollipop provoked Sophie who had until that point been sitting quietly on my lap. If Bella had one, she wanted one too! And let me know in no uncertain terms. The doctor said, nothing gets by her. Nope. She’s sharp and wants everything Bella gets. She was content for a minute or two to just play with the wrapped lollipop and I was hoping it might end there but eventually she demanded that I take off the wrapper. It went immediately into her mouth and then she began drooling copious amounts of purple goo all over herself and me. Evidently there’s a bit of a swallowing issue. By the time we got to the car, Sophie was wearing a purple bib and had a purple chin and arms. She fell asleep almost immediately and when we got to Target I woke her up as I tried to clear up the worst of the mess with a wet wipe.

Anyway the doctor pronounced Bella healthy as can be. She initially asked if Bella was speaking, because she was doing her usual clam up and observe routine. I assured her that Bella seldom starts talking and has a great grasp of grammar and vocabulary. By the end of the visit Bella had come out of her shell a bit and amazed the doc with her observation that the cars on the street outside had stopped because the light had turned red. Curious too see how much Bella understood the doctor quizzed her on what cars do when the light is green. It took Bella minute to understand the phrasing of the question (and possibly the doctors Philipino accent) but then she gave the correct response. That’s my Bella, always wanting to know how and why everything works, how it all fits together.

Sophie also gave the doc a little shock when near the end she said something, I no longer remember what: “The baby talks?” she asked. “Oh yes, full sentences sometimes. She’s always surprising me with what she says.”

The doc conceded that with a very verbal older sister it’s not too surprising that Sophie is making rapid progress. Can I confess that I’m a bit proud of my two smart girls? It’s not that I’d love them any less if they were slow learners, of course. But yeah, my personality is such that I really do value learning and get a thrill when I see it happening.

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  • Some really, really unformed thoughts of my own:

    I liked this book, and I liked that chapter of it as well.

    Seems to be that learning to LOVE is key to becoming an adult human person.  If celibacy is used wrongly, to stifle that growth by making it “disappear” in a way, well, then you get stunted people and that leads to no good.  It is difficult to love and remain celibate, but it doesn’t make it not worthwhile or not possible.

    In a way, it takes the recognition that love is a GOOD thing, that will be channeled in a different direction, to make celibacy livable at all.  I would expect there to be a constant reminder of the *goal* of celibacy…..

    In a way it reminds me of couples who use NFP.  They accept that sex is a great and wonderful thing, and honor it as such, even during (and maybe ESPECIALLY during) periods of abstaining.  You honor the act by treating it as the great thing it is—not by trying to figure out a way to make it less than it is.

    That probably makes no sense, but it’s started some ideas rattling around in my head about all this.  Sometimes I have to type them out to see if they are worth having roll around or not!

  • This is also why homosexuality is incompatible with the priesthood. One must give up a GOOD in order to make the proper sacrifice.

    “[M]al-formed and misdirected celibacy … results in an inability to love, to have friendships, in nuns to express mature spiritual motherhood and in brothers and priests to express mature spiritual fatherhood.”

    In the same way, a homosexual tendency, uncorrected, creates an impediment to love, to authentic friendship, to mature spirituality, and to a mature spiritual fatherhood

  • I think many people have a hard time understanding or appreciating the nature and beauty of celibacy and so find it an easy scapegoat. I did my Master’s thesis on celibacy and still get frustrated at the knee-jerk reaction of some people to blame problems on celibacy as though married people never had problems or difficulties.

  • The thing I suspect is that the generations of celibate people run differently. Sometimes you have tons of people who do have very extroverted feelings, fall into infatuations and friendships easily, and so forth. Sometimes you tend to have people who aren’t really all that concerned with sins of the flesh or tendencies toward infatuation, because they’re naturally a bit more reserved. When those generations clash, I suspect you have trouble.

    Right now, for example, people in general, and discernment committees in particular, have a lot of trouble understanding anyone on the St. Thomas Aquinas/Pius XII end of the spectrum. There are men and women who can honestly say that they just never think about marriage, boyfriends, girlfriends, or sex. Many of these people are mature psychologically. They just naturally aren’t all that interested in that side of life, and are naturally celibate whether they go into religious life or not.

    The modern world just can’t picture this except in terms of extreme repression or medical disorder. Shrinks tell us it’s not that uncommon a way of life, even so. But these people who used to crowd religious orders are now shut out of them entirely, or driven away by discernment committees that insist they admit their non-existent repressed desires.

    So the whole thing goes in cycles, and humans as always are very good at misunderstanding each other and punishing each other for being ourselves.